First Alert: Development of tropical system almost guaranteed

First Alert: Development of tropical system almost guaranteed
The latest from the NHC puts the likelihood of tropical development at 90 percent during the next five days and a 70 percent chance of development during the next two days. (Photo source: Twitter/@NHC_Atlantic)

GULF OF MEXICO (WDAM) - The National Hurricane Center continues to monitor Invest 90L for development. The latest from the NHC puts the likelihood of tropical development at 90 percent during the next five days and a 70 percent chance of development during the next two days.

Tropical development means the formation of a Tropical Depression or Tropical Storm. Invest 90L is currently located near the Yucatan Peninsula but is forecast to drift north into the Gulf of Mexico during the next 48 hours.

What to expect:

The system will move into the Gulf during the next 48 hours. Once there, it will be over warmer water, not only at the surface but also at depth, with plenty of energy to use to strengthen. Expect the system to be at least a Tropical Depression when it makes landfall.

At this time, though, we are more concerned about the heavy rain, flooding and isolated tornadoes,depending on the track.

Preparations:

Have your NOAA Weather Radio programmed with fully-charged batteries. If you must travel, make sure to check the weather conditions, watches, warnings and advisories before venturing out the door. Review your severe weather plan and know what you should do if a severe storm or tornado is near you. If you don't feel comfortable riding out a storm where you live, make a plan regarding when you should leave your home and where you would go. Also, download the WDAM Weather App so if the power goes out, you'll still have access to live, streaming coverage of any updates about the weather.

What we know right now:

Threats: Heavy rain, flooding, strong wind and the possibility for isolated tornadoes (depending on the storm's track).

Timing: Right now, it looks like the first rain associated with this system will be Sunday night. Rain and wind will increase through Monday and be with us on Tuesday and perhaps into Wednesday.

Unknowns: Tropical systems are very difficult to predict more than 72 hours out because the track and the strength of the systems aren't often mutually knowable beyond that point. Any shift in upper-level patterns could shift the track of the system, and any shift in track could also change the strength of the storm.

Extra Forecast Details: You can always find extra forecast details, a more in-depth look at the timeline, or a scientific explanation about the setup on Nick's Blog. If you want to know why this time is different than last time or you are curious about what goes into a severe weather forecast, that is the place to go. There is a lot of extra details and meteorological information to learn about on his blog.

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