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Tropical Storm Olga Develops over Gulf of Mexico, Pablo near the Azores

Tropical Storm Olga developed over the Gulf of Mexico and Tropical Storm Pablo formed near the Azores on Friday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Olga was located at latitude 26.3°N and longitude 93.2°W which put it about 260 miles (420 km) south of Lake Charles, Louisiana.  Olga was moving toward the north-northeast at 18 m.p.h. (30 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 998 mb.

A reconnaissance plane found that former Tropical Depression Seventeen had strengthened by Friday afternoon and the National Hurricane center designated the system as Tropical Storm Olga.  More thunderstorms developed near the center of Olga and the plane found that the minimum surface pressure had decreased to 998 mb.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were also developing around the tropical storm.  The strongest rainbands were in the eastern half of the circulation.  Bands in the western half of the circulation consisted of more showers and lower clouds.  Storms near the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the northeast of Tropical Storm Olga.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 90 miles (145 km) from the center of circulation in the northeastern quadrant of Olga.

Tropical Storm Olga could strengthen a little more during the next 12 hours.  Olga will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  An upper level trough over the south central U.S. and Mexico will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulationn. Those winds will produce moderate vertical wind shear, which will inhibit intensification.  However, the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification while the Olga is over the Gulf of Mexico.  The wind shear will cause Tropical Storm Olga to start a transition to an extratropical cyclone.  A cold front will move toward Olga from the northwest and the tropical storm could merge with the front during the next 24 hours.

The upper level trough will steer Tropical Storm Olga toward the north during the next several days. On its anticipated track Olga will make landfall on the coast of Louisiana during Friday night.  Tropical Storm Olga will bring  gusty winds to coastal Louisiana. Olga is likely to drop heavy rain over parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and eastern Arkansas. The rain could cause floods in some locations.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, visible satellite images revealed that a tiny tropical storm had developed at the center of a much larger low pressure system west of the Azores on Friday afternoon.  The National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Storm Pablo.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Pablo was located at latitude 35.8°N and longitude 32.2°W which put it about 325 miles (525 km) west-southwest of the Azores.  Pablo was moving toward the east-southeast at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 990 mb.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 35 miles (55 km) from the center of Tropical Storm Pablo.

Tropical Depression Seventeen Develops over Western Gulf of Mexico

Tropical Depression Seventeen developed over the western Gulf of Mexico on Friday.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday morning the center of Tropical Depression Seventeen was located at latitude 25.6°N and longitude 94.4°W which put it about 320 miles (515 km) south-southwest of Lake Charles, Louisiana.  It was moving toward the north at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

More thunderstorms developed near the center of a low pressure system over the western Gulf of Mexico on Friday morning and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Depression Seventeen.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were also developing around the depression.  The strongest rainbands were in the eastern half of the circulation.  Bands in the western half of the circulation consisted of more showers and lower clouds.  Storms near the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the northeast of the depression.

Tropical Depression Seventeen is likely to strengthen during the next 12 to 18 hours.  The depression will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 28°C.  An upper level trough over the south central U.S. and Mexico will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of the depression.  Those winds will produce moderate vertical wind shear, which will inhibit intensification.  However, the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification while the depression is over the Gulf of Mexico.  The wind shear will cause the depression to start a transition to an extratropical cyclone.  A cold front will move toward the depression from the northwest and the depression could merge with the front during the next 24 hours.

The upper level trough will steer the depression toward the north during the next several days.  On its anticipated track the depression will make landfall on the coast of Louisiana during Friday night.  The depression could be a tropical storm when it makes landfall.  It will bring gusty winds to coastal Louisiana.  The depression is likely to drop heavy rain over parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and eastern Arkansas.  The rain could cause floods in some locations.

Low Pressure System Forms Over Southwest Gulf of Mexico

A surface low pressure system formed over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday.  At 8:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of the low pressure system was located at latitude 20.8°N and longitude 95.4°W which put it about 70 miles (110 km) east-southeast of Nautla, Mexico.  The low was moving toward the north at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1009 mb.

The northern end of a trough of low pressure moved over the Bay of Campeche on Wednesday and a surface low formed when the trough moved over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.  More thunderstorms developed near the center of the low pressure system.  Divergence from a surface high pressure system over the U.S. was converging with the northern periphery of the circulation around the surface low and a band of showers and thunderstorms was occurring over the west central Gulf of Mexico.  Storms near the center of the low were starting to generate some upper level divergence.

The low pressure system will move through an environment that will be favorable for intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours.  The low will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move under an upper level ridge where the winds are weak and divergent.  The low could intensify slowly if it gets better organized on Thursday.  The National Hurricane Center is indicating that there is a 60% probability of formation of either a tropical or subtropical storm.  A reconnaissance plane has been tentatively tasked to investigate the low pressure system on Thursday afternoon.

The upper level ridge over the surface low pressure system will steer the low toward the northeast during the next several days.  On its anticipated track the low could approach the northeastern coast of the Gulf of Mexico on Friday.  The low will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain.  The winds will generate higher waves and there could be a storm surge of 3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters).

Tropical Disturbance Brings Rain to Southeastern Bahamas

A tropical disturbance brought rain to the Southeastern Bahamas on Wednesday.  The disturbance was also designated at Invest 95L.  At 8:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of the tropical disturbance was located at latitude 21.8°N and longitude 74.0°W which put it about 30 miles (50 km) southeast of Acklins Island, Bahamas.  The disturbance was moving toward the west-northwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1010 mb.

The circulation around the tropical disturbance was not well organized on Wednesday.  There were indications of cyclonic turning in the wind flow, but there were no reports of westerly winds at the surface.  The lack of westerly winds indicated that there probably was not a defined center of circulation at the surface.  There were some thunderstorms near the apparent middle of the tropical disturbance.  There was a larger cluster of thunderstorms east of the middle of the disturbance and a second cluster of thunderstorms northeast of the middle of the disturbance.

The tropical disturbance will be in an environment marginally favorable for the development of a tropical cyclone.  The disturbance will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  A large upper level low over the eastern Gulf of Mexico is producing southerly winds which are blowing over the western half of the disturbance.  Those winds are producing moderate vertical wind shear.  There is another, smaller upper level low near Bermuda.  An small upper level ridge is developing between the two upper lows.  The winds are weaker in the ridge which is over the eastern half of the tropical disturbance.  It is possible that a center of circulation could develop in one of the clusters of thunderstorms east and northeast of the middle of the disturbance.  The National Hurricane Center is indicating that there is a 50% probability of development of a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours and a 70% during the next five days.

The upper low over the Gulf of Mexico and the developing upper ridge are likely to combine to steer the disturbance toward the northwest during the next few days.  It is difficult to anticipate the  track until a distinct center of rotation forms.  If the center reforms east or northeast of the current middle of the disturbance, then that would affect the future track.  On the most probable track the disturbance would move across the southeastern and central Bahamas during the next several days.  It could approach southeast Florida or the Florida Keys on Friday night.  The disturbance could move into the eastern Gulf of Mexico during the weekend.  If the disturbance brings any significant rain to the northern Bahamas, that would hamper efforts to recover from the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Dorian.

Tropical Storm Barry Drops Heavy Rain Over Lower Mississippi River Valley

Tropical Storm Barry dropped heavy rain over parts of the Lower Mississippi River Valley on Sunday.  The wind speed gradually decreased as Barry moved farther inland on Sunday and it was classified as a tropical depression on Sunday evening.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Depression Barry was located at latitude 33.5°N and longitude 93.5°W which put it about 70 miles (110 km) north of Shreveport, Louisiana.  Barry was moving toward the north at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

Several rainbands in the southern and eastern portions of the circulation around former Tropical Storm Barry dropped persistent heavy rainfall on Sunday.  One rainband developed in an arc that ran from near Beaumont/Port Arthur, Texas to near Alexandria, Louisiana.  A weather station in Beaumont/Port Arthur measured 4.21 inches (10.69 cm) of rain.  A second rainband stretched from south of Abbeville, Louisiana to west of Baton Rouge.  A weather station in Abbeville measured 4.29 inches (10.90 cm) of rain and a station in Lafayette recorded 3.68 inches (9.34 cm).  A third rainband dropped heavy rain over parts of Mississippi.  A weather station in Hattiesburg, Mississippi measured 4.06 inches (10.31 cm) of rain.  A fourth rainband dropped heavy rain over parts of western Alabama.

The center of Tropical Depression Barry is forecast to move north-northeast across Arkansas on Monday.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms in the eastern side of the circulation around Barry are likely to drop heavy rain over parts of Mississippi, eastern Arkansas, eastern Louisiana, western Alabama and western Tennessee on Monday.  Flash flooding could occur in some locations.

Tropical Storm Barry Brings Wind and Water to Central Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Barry brought wind and water to the central Gulf Coast on Saturday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Barry was located at latitude 31.0°N and longitude 93.0°W which put it about 35 miles (55 km) southwest of Alexandria, Louisiana.  Barry was moving toward the north-northwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were still in effect for the portion of the coast from Grand Isle to Cameron, Louisiana, and for New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.  Several weather stations on the coast of Louisiana were still reporting sustained winds to tropical storm force on Saturday night.

Tropical Storm Barry strengthened into a hurricane prior to making landfall near Intracoastal City, Louisiana on Saturday afternoon.  Then an upper level ridge centered over Texas strengthened after Barry became a hurricane.  The ridge produced north-northeasterly winds at 25 m.p.h. (40 km/h) which blew over the top of former Hurricane Barry.  Those winds created strong vertical wind shear and they blew the top of the circulation south of the lower part of the circulation.  By Saturday night the lower level circulation was over southwestern Louisiana and the top of the circulation was over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.  Since the lower part of the circulation did not extend as high in the atmosphere, rain near the center of Tropical Storm Barry was relatively light.  Heavier rain fell in bands on the eastern side of Barry.  Heavy rain caused localized flooding in the area around Mobile, Alabama and along the coast of Mississippi.

Tropical Storm Barry did cause minor wind damage over portions of southern Louisiana.  There were reports of downed trees and widespread power outages.  The wind pushed water toward the coast in the eastern half of the circulation and Barry generated a storm surge of 6 feet (2 meters) in several locations.  There was also a rise in the water level along the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

Tropical Storm Barry is forecast to move northward over western Louisiana on Sunday.  The water level along the coast should gradually decrease while Barry moves farther inland and weakens.  Rainfall could increase in bands in the eastern side of the circulation on Sunday where the wind will transport moist air from the Gulf of Mexico over Louisiana and Mississippi.  Flash Flood Watches continue for parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama.

Barry Strengthens Into a Hurricane Near the Louisiana Coast

Former Tropical Storm Barry strengthened into a hurricane on Saturday morning.  The National Hurricane Center designated Barry as a hurricane on Saturday morning based on data from surface weather stations and from reconnaissance aircraft.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Hurricane Barry was located at latitude 29.6°N and longitude 92.0°W which put it about 40 miles (65 km) south of Lafayette, Louisiana.  Barry was moving toward the northwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 993 mb.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City to Grand Isle, Louisiana. A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City to Cameron, Louisiana. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the portions of the coast from the Mouth of the Pearl River to Grand Isle, Louisiana and from Intracoastal City to Sabine Pass, Louisiana. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and New Orleans.

Former Tropical Storm Barry strengthened on Saturday morning.  Many more thunderstorms developed just south and east of the center of circulation.  The pressure gradient tightened near the center of Hurricane Barry and the wind speeds increased to hurricane force.  The hurricane force winds were occurring in the eastern side of the circulation.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 45 miles (75 km) from the center on the eastern side of Hurricane Barry.  The winds were weaker on the western side of Barry.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 170 miles (280 km) from the center.

Hurricane Barry is unlikely to strengthen significantly before the center moves over the coast of Louisiana.  Almost half of the circulation is over land.  The wind speeds will decrease gradually after the center moves over land.

Hurricane Barry will move around the western end of a ridge of high pressure.  The ridge will steer Barry slowly toward the northwest during the next few hours.  Barry will move more toward the north on Sunday.  On its anticipated track the center of Hurricane Barry will make landfall southwest of Lafayette, Louisiana near Abbeville.  The center of Barry will move northward over western Louisiana on Sunday.

Hurricane Barry will cause mainly minor wind damage over the eastern half of Louisiana.  There also could be widespread power outages.  On the eastern side of Hurricane Barry southerly winds were pushing water toward the coast.  A storm surge of 6 to 9 feet (2 to 3 meters) could occur just to the east of where the center makes landfall.  Southeasterly winds were causing flooding around the western side of Lake Pontchartrain.  Several bands in the eastern side of Hurricane Barry were dropping heavy rain.  Persistent heavy rain is likely to cause flooding in some locations.  Flash Flood Watches were in effect for parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama.

Tropical Storm Barry Strengthens South of Louisiana

Tropical Storm Barry strengthened south of Louisiana on Friday morning.  Hurricane Hunters flying into Barry found that the maximum sustained wind speed had increased to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Barry was located at latitude 28.2°N and longitude 90.4°W which put it about 115 miles (185 km) south-southeast of Morgan City, Louisiana.  Barry was moving toward the west-northwest at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 998 mb.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from Intracoastal City to Grand Isle, Louisiana. Hurricane Watches have been issued for the portions of the coast from the Mouth of the Mississippi River to Grand Isle, Louisiana and from Intracoastal City to Cameron, Louisiana. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the portions of the coast from the Mouth of the Pearl River to Grand Isle, Louisiana and from Intracoastal City to Cameron, Louisiana. A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the portion of the coast from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and New Orleans.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Barry exhibited greater organization on Friday morning.  Thunderstorms developed in a band around the southern side of the center of circulation.  More thunderstorms also formed in bands that stretched around the western, southern and eastern sides of the circulation.  Bands in the northern portion of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds, although there were some thunderstorms in the parts of those bands over land.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 170 miles (280 km) from the center of circulation.  Storms just south of the center were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the west of Tropical Storm Barry.  The removal of mass allowed the surface pressure to decrease and it was down to 998 mb on Friday morning.

Tropical Storm Barry will move through an environment that is some what favorable for intensification.  Barry will move south of a narrow upper level ridge that stretches from east Texas to south Alabama.  The ridge will produce northeasterly winds which will cause some vertical wind shear.  The shear is one of the reasons why there are fewer thunderstorms in the northern part of the circulation.  Reconnaissance aircraft reported that the middle level center was a little to the south of the surface center.  The tilt of the circulation with height is also the result of the vertical wind shear.  However, the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Tropical Storm Barry will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30.5°C.  It will extract a lot of energy from the Gulf of Mexico.  Tropical Storm Barry is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane during the next 24 hours.

Tropical Storm Barry is moving around the southwestern part of a ridge of high pressure over the southeastern U.S.  The ridge will steer Barry slowly toward the west-northwest during the next few hours.  Barry will turn more toward the northwest later on Friday.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Storm Barry will approach the coast of Louisiana late Friday night.  Barry is forecast to be a hurricane when it reaches the coast.  The broad circulation will cause mostly minor wind damage over a large area.  There could be widespread power outages.  Barry will also generate a storm surge of 6 to 9 feet (2 to 3 meters near where the center makes landfall.  Tropical Storm Barry will drop heavy rain when it moves slowly inland.  Flooding is a serious risk, since soils are nearly saturated and many creeks and rivers are already high.

Tropical Storm Barry Threatens Louisiana

Tropical Storm Barry threatened Louisiana on Thursday.  A low pressure system formerly designated at Potential Tropical Cyclone Two strengthened into Tropical Storm Barry on Thursday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Barry was located at latitude 27.8°N and longitude 88.7°W which put it about 95 miles (150 km) south-southeast of the Mouth of the Mississippi River and about 200 miles (320 km) southeast of Morgan City, Louisiana.  Barry was moving toward the west at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1005 mb.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued for the portion of the coast from the Mouth of the Mississippi River to Cameron, Louisiana.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the portion of the coast from the Mouth of the Pearl River to Morgan City, Louisiana.  A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the portion of the coast from the Mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border.  A Tropical Storm Watch has also been issued for Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and New Orleans.

The circulation around Tropical Storm Barry exhibited more organization on Thursday morning, but there were not a lot of thunderstorms near the center of circulation.  Many of the thunderstorms were occurring in bands wrapping around the western and southern sides of the circulation.  Bands in the northern half of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Winds to tropical storm force were occurring in the southeastern part of Tropical Storm Barry.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 100 miles (160 km) from the center in that quadrant of Barry.  The winds were weaker in other quadrants of the circulation.

Tropical Storm Barry will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 36 hours.  Barry will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30.5°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Barry will intensify slowly until more thunderstorms form near the center of circulation.  If thunderstorms consolidate around an inner core, then rapid intensification would be possible.  Tropical Storm Barry is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane on Friday.

Tropical Storm Barry will move around the southwestern part of a ridge of high pressure over the southeastern U.S.  The ridge is likely to steer Barry slowly toward the west during the next 12 to 24 hours.  Tropical Storm Barry will move more toward the northwest when it moves around the southwestern part of the ridge.  There is still some uncertainty about the timing and location of the turn toward the northwest.  Based on its anticipated track Tropical Storm Barry could approach the coast of Louisiana on Friday night.

Tropical Storm Barry is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane before it makes landfall.  It will bring strong, gusty winds to coastal regions of Louisiana.  Those winds will also push a storm surge toward the coast.  The storm surge could be up to 6 to 8 feet (2 to 3 meters) near where the center makes landfall.  Tropical Storm Barry could drop heavy rain when it moves inland.  Many rivers and streams are already high and locally heavy rain could cause flooding in those locations.

NHC Initiates Advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone Two

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) initiated advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone Two on Wednesday morning.  NHC initiated the advisories in order to be able to issue watches for a portion of the coast of Louisiana.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Potential Tropical Cyclone Two was located at latitude 28.5°N and longitude 86.4°W which put it about 170 miles (270 km) east-southeast of the Mouth of the Mississippi River.  It was moving toward the west-southwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1011 mb.  A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from the Mouth of the Mississippi River to Morgan City, Louisiana.

The circulation around Potential Tropical Cyclone Two was not well organized.  There was a large, but relatively weak circulation near the surface.  There was not a well defined center of circulation near the surface.  There was a stronger counterclockwise circulation between about 10,000 feet (3000 meters) and 25,000 feet (7600 meters) above the surface, which was located above the southwestern part of the surface circulation.  Many of the stronger thunderstorms were occurring in bands on the northern and western sides of the circulation above the surface.  There were fewer thunderstorms in the eastern side of the larger, surface circulation.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Two will move through an environment very favorable for development and intensification.  It will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The system will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  It is likely that a center of circulation will form at the surface underneath the counterclockwise circulation above the surface.  Potential Tropical Cyclone Two will strengthen slowly until the surface center is underneath the center higher in the atmosphere.  After the circulation becomes aligned vertically, the system could strengthen more rapidly.  Potential Tropical Cyclone Two is likely to become a hurricane within 48 to 60 hours.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Two will move south of a ridge over the southeastern U.S.  The ridge will steer Potential Tropical Cyclone Two toward the southwest.  It will move more toward the west on Thursday and then turn back more toward the northwest on Friday when it nears the western end of the ridge.  There will be significant uncertainty about the future track of the system until a well defined center of circulation forms at the surface.  On its anticipated track the center of Tropical Cyclone Two could approach the coast of Louisiana and northeast Texas on Friday.  Hurricane Watches and Warnings are likely to be issued for portions of the coast later this week.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Two presents a wide range of hazards.  It will bring hurricane force winds to portions of Louisiana and Texas and it will disrupt operations of offshore facilities in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.  After the center of the system moves west of New Orleans, southerly winds will force water into the Mouth of the Mississippi River.  The level of the Mississippi River around New Orleans is already near flood stage and any additional rise in the water level could cause serious flooding around the city.  If Potential Tropical Cyclone Two strengthens into a hurricane, as expected, it will cause a significant storm near where the center makes landfall.  The system also has the potential to drop heavy rain and flooding could occur when it moves inland.