HOUSTON - An area of showers and thunderstorms east and southeast of New Orleans Friday morning is associated with a weak trough of low pressure, mostly noticeable in the mid levels of the atmosphere.
A disturbance like this is sometimes a precursor to tropical storm development in the Gulf, and now that it is the peak of the season, we tend to pay closer attention to these clusters of thunderstorms.
While the water is certainly quite warm and capable of fueling a storm, the trend in the wind environment does not seem very favorable for development. The big ridge of high pressure in the mid levels of the atmosphere strengthening over the central U.S. will producing sinking air down toward the Gulf Coast.
The National Hurricane Center gives the disturbance only a 10 percent chance of developing into a storm as it moves west this weekend.
The trough of low pressure will cross the Texas coast late Saturday or early Sunday and should enhance our rain chances into early next week before the ridge takes over.
Two other tropical waves are producing a lot of thunderstorms Friday morning. The one in the western Caribbean will move briskly west across northern Central America and Mexico but stay well south of our area. The other wave in the eastern Pacific will be watched for possible development off the west coast of Mexico next week.
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