Tropical storm warnings have been issued for Gulf Coast

Posted Sep 2, 2018 by Karen Graham
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued this afternoon as Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven (PTC-7) is forecast to be a tropical depression by Monday morning and a tropical storm by Labor Day evening.
A view of the Gulf Coast.
A view of the Gulf Coast.
By Jim Brickett (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Approximately 36 hours ago, the tropical wave located in the Caribbean was only expected to cause some heavy rains as it crossed over Florida and into the Gulf. That has all changed with this afternoon's 5:00 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.
A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for portions of the central Gulf Coast from the Alabama-Florida border westward to east of Morgan City, Louisiana, including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.
PTC-7 is now located about 100 miles (155 kilometers) north-northeast of Camaguey, Cuba and about 275 miles (495 kilometers) east-southeast of Marathon, Florida. The system's present movement is to the west-northwest at 15 mph (24 kph), and this general direction is expected to continue through Wednesday.
POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE SEVEN update as of 5:00 p.m. September 2  2018
POTENTIAL TROPICAL CYCLONE SEVEN update as of 5:00 p.m. September 2, 2018
System is intensifying rapidly
Based on the forecast track, PTC-7 will pass over the Florida Keys Monday afternoon, emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by Monday evening, and reach the central Gulf Coast by Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Maximum sustained winds are clocked at 30 mph (45 kph), with higher gusts.
The system is expected to intensify quickly, becoming a tropical depression Monday morning and a tropical storm by Monday evening, People living the Florida Keys and the southern Florida peninsula are being asked to monitor this system and heed local warnings. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1012 MB (29.89 inches).
Very heavy rainfall is expected over the central and northwestern Bahamas, the Florida Keys, and South Florida through early Tuesday with rainfall accumulations of 2-4 inches likely. Isolated amounts of rainfall of up to 8.0 inches can be expected in extreme South Florida as well.
Flooding rain can be expected near the mouth of the Mississippi River, as well as Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana by Wednesday and Thursday. Flooded roadways are likely with washouts possible in some areas, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rossio.
TROPICAL STORM FLORENCE update as of 5:00 p.m. September 2  2018
TROPICAL STORM FLORENCE update as of 5:00 p.m. September 2, 2018
Tropical Storm Florence
Tropical Storm Florence continues to drift westward through the open Atlantic Ocean this afternoon, but the storm has struggled against some stronger easterly wind shear associated with the trade winds. This inhibiting factor will be brief, though.
Florence is expected to strengthen over the next several days. Located 700 miles west-northwest of the southern Cabo Verde Islands, Tropical Storm Florence saw its wind speeds drop to 50 mph (85 kph) as it picked up speed, moving 17 mph (28 kph) west-northwest into the Atlantic.
Current satellite imagery shows new convection developing over the low-level circulation, likely further promoting organization. This system bears watching carefully, particularly toward the end of the coming week. Forecasts show some weakening of both the Atlantic and eastern high-pressure systems currently in place.
Temperature reading as of September 1  2018
Temperature reading as of September 1, 2018
However, there is a potential for a re-strengthening of the high-pressure systems, and if this occurs, it will prevent Florence from continuing to curve northward and out to sea. This means the storm will have only one way to go - and that is to the west, toward the Eastern Seaboard.
Another concern has popped up for the NHC. Another tropical wave off Africa’s west coast that has formed behind Florence, dubbed Disturbance 2, Right now, there is a 20 percent chance of any development in the next five days.