After weeks and months of dry weather and drought, rainy relief looks to be on tap for Louisiana and Texas. The United States Drought Monitor currently has most of these two states in at least severe drought.
On the above maps, areas that are in orange are experiencing severe drought, in light red are in extreme drought, and in deep red are in exceptional drought.
That may all come to an end or at least be greatly reduced out by what is now Invest 93l in the extreme southeastern Gulf of Mexico.
Rain from the area of disturbed weather, at least initially, will be a good thing for the Central and Western Gulf Coast which has been dealing with wildfires, dying crops, and stifling heat all due to the recently extremely dry pattern. Unfortunately, though, it may be too much of a good thing. Not only will rain fall, heavily at times, beginning on Thursday, but it also could continue on Friday, and perhaps last through the weekend, and even possibly into early next week. Though folks in the Deep South and Texas need the rain, they don’t need it coming down in torrents and they don’t need it coming down all at once and unfortunately, it appears that’s what this batch of tropical moisture is set to do. In fact, government forecasters at NOAA’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center are calling for over 6 inches of rain in some parts of Southeastern Louisiana through Saturday, and that’s just potentially only half-way through the event!
The reason for this expected inundation of rain is due to the fact that the disturbance is going to initially move northwest toward the coast, accompanied by plenty of Gulf moisture, but then as steering currents gradually break down over the next several days, the system may meander or just plain stall somewhere south of Louisiana or Texas.
Another potential issue, as you can tell from several of tracks above, is the system will stay over the Gulf of Mexico for a period of time from a couple of days, with the faster models, to perhaps up to a period of nearly a week, taking into account the slower, meandering models. Even at a weaker intensity, the system will bring torrential rains, gusty winds, and possible coastal flooding to the Central Gulf Coast, but should it spend a prolonged period over the near-90-degree Gulf of Mexico, development into a tropical cyclone with more damaging effects could be possible and, in the case of the slower models, the effects could last for days. If it were to become a named system, it would be Lee.
Of course, the tracks are still in a good bit of disagreement and there is talk of some persistent wind shear over the Northern Gulf detrimental to tropical development. Therefore, nothing, by far, is written in stone, but the National Hurricane center now gives this disturbance a high chance of becoming our next tropical depression over the next 48 hours.