First Alert: NHC data shows flooding possible for Pine Belt from PTC-2

First Alert: NHC data shows flooding possible for Pine Belt from PTC-2
At a minimum, this system will bring heavy rain and some gusty wind to our area, and it may give us rain until as late as Monday. (Source: WDAM)

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The National Hurricane Center is still tracking Potential Tropical Cyclone Two in the Gulf of Mexico. The PTC moniker means the development of a Tropical Depression, and likely a Tropical Storm, is all but an inevitability now. The Hurricane Hunters are flying through PTC-2 Wednesday afternoon to attempt to find the center of the storm, collect data on if it is ‘vertically stacked’ and determine the wind speeds.

At a minimum, this system will bring heavy rain and some gusty wind to our area, and it may give us rain until as late as Monday.

What to expect:

As PTC-2 continues to develop, expect the cloud cover to increase and the thunderstorm coverage to increase too. Don’t expect hurricane-force rain from any afternoon storms that develop Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Instead, expect regular summertime storms with just heavier rainfall, some gusty wind and lightning. The main bulk of the rain won’t arrive until the weekend, but due to the track of this system, there may be prolonged indirect impacts to the area.

Right now, model data suggests PTC-2 will strengthen to a Tropical Storm - and perhaps even a weak Hurricane - before making landfall somewhere between Houston, Texas and New Orleans. Model guidance suggests landfall will occur sometime on Saturday.

Threats:

It looks like heavy rain, flooding and some gusty wind will be main concerns with this system. There is also a developing low-end tornado threat. Rainfall estimates show between 2 and 12 inches of rain possible for our area. That wide spread between totals is because it is still too early to know the direct path. Those totals will become more refined in the coming days.

The tornado threat will be for tropical-style tornadoes. These are very quick to develop and quick to die. They are often only on the ground for a few minutes and can develop so fast warnings may not be issued with much, if any, advanced warning. So if a storm develops near you in the coming days, and especially this weekend, please head inside because conditions may deteriorate very quickly.

Timing:

The timeline is between Wednesday and Monday, with hit and miss storms Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. A more substantial threat for rain, wind and the potential for a tornado or two, arrives on Saturday and Sunday.

Unknowns:

Storm track is still the big unknown, as is the storm strength. We will know more this evening as the Hurricane Hunter data gets put into the computer models. And we will know even more once Invest 92L gets an organized area of centralized low pressure. Until then, there are still many unknowns.

The good news is the overnight models tonight will have the Hurricane Hunter data input into them and should help to provide a much better look at what may happen during the next few days.

More Info

For more scientific information on this and other forecasts, you can get extra details and a complete scientific breakdown over on Nick’s Blog.

Preparations:

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