Alexandra Cranford / WWL Eyewitness News Forecast Team
A weekly discussion of the tropics from the Eyewitness News Forecast Team
What’s up in the tropics this week? Let's take a look.
First, we have Tropical Storm Jerry in the central Atlantic Ocean. Jerry is not an especially strong or determined storm. Winds have been hovering around 45 mph, and it’s ever so slowly inching northward. Jerry could strengthen a tad in the next couple of days, but it should weaken later this week as it speeds up along a frontal boundary. Jerry will head out to sea and pose no threat to land.
What’s more interesting for our area is a blob of moisture in the Caribbean Sea (a satellite image is at the top of this article). It hasn’t changed much over the past day or two; it’s still a broad area of showers and clouds. This wave will drift northwestward over the next couple of days and could emerge in the southern Gulf of Mexico late this week.
It does have a medium chance of developing into a tropical depression when it moves into a pocket of moister air and lighter winds. But if it moves farther north into the central Gulf, strong winds aloft could knock it down and keep it fairly weak for the remainder of its lifetime.
A big player will enter the scene by the weekend to possibly keep the system away from the Louisiana coast: a cold front will move in from the north on Saturday. When the blob of Gulf moisture reaches the front, it should ride along it to the northeast and sweep some of that rain farther east toward the Florida Panhandle.
So what does this system mean for southeast Louisiana? There is a chance it could increase our rain chances for the weekend. Right now, it looks like the system should remain fairly weak and veer to the east… so for now, we’ll keep the chance for some scattered rain on Saturday. Rain chances could extend into Sunday morning too.
That said, there is some uncertainty with this system, so we’ll keep a close eye on its progress at the end of the week. Keep checking our tropical video updates for the latest information. We get new video updates out a few times a day.
See you back here next week for your Talkin' Tropics discussion. Every week, we'll post a fresh tropics forecast for the week ahead.