Tropical Depression14 likely to become Hurricane Michael

Don Ames
October 07, 2018 - 10:29 am

Tropical Depression 14 has formed just east of the Yucatan Peninsula, and is expected to become Tropical Storm Michael by the time it enters the Gulf late Sunday or Monday. 

Additional strengthening is expected and is anticipated to become a hurricane before making landfall along the Florida panhandle on Wednesday.

"Right now, the National Hurricane Center's forecast path keeps it east of Louisiana with a landfall around Destin, Florida on Wednesday," says WWL-TV meteorologist Chris Franklin. "We are not within the cone of error at this time."

"On the forecast track, the center will move through the Yucatan Channel Monday morning and then across the eastern Gulf of Mexico late Monday through Wednesday."

Forecast models are showing that the low will drift into the Gulf of Mexico by Monday, and there it is expected to strengthen as it drifts north then turns northeast. A cold front arriving midweek should force the system to turn northeast.

A turn toward the north is expected later today, with that motion at a faster forward speed continuing through early Wednesday.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next several days, with the depression expected to become a tropical storm later Sunday. The system could become a hurricane by Tuesday night or Wednesday.

"We'll still have to track it, as there is still some uncertainty in the path and timing," Franklin says. "But right now it looks like the center will stay east of Louisiana with the strong winds and associated rain on the far eastern side.

So what should we expect in south Louisiana?
At this time it looks like:

- possibly higher than normal tides starting Tuesday due to sustained southeast/east winds, and

- some rain Tuesday and Wednesday of roughly 1-3 inches for southeast Louisiana. Higher amounts of 3-6 inches are possible toward the Florida panhandle.

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