Monday, June 19, 2017

Tropical storm warnings for U.S., northern South America

Forecasts made possible by scientists.

See maps at the National Hurricane Center:

A serious rain/flood threat for the central Gulf Coast

The much bigger tropical concern in the Atlantic is from a system that hasn’t yet become a depression. Advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 were launched on Monday afternoon. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Intracoastal City, Louisiana, to the mouth of the Pearl River, and a tropical storm watch from west of Intracoastal City to High Island, Texas (see Figure 3 below). Although the Alabama and Florida Panhandle coasts are not included in the watch, residents there should be aware of the potential for extremely heavy rain even if the potential tropical storm remains well to the west.


NHC’s official outlook for PTC3 calls for it to become a tropical storm by Tuesday evening, in which case it would be named Cindy. Having two simultaneous tropical storms in June would be very unusual, though not unprecedented. According to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, the Atlantic has seen at least two simultaneous tropical storms in June three times during the 20th century: in 1909, 1959, and 1968.
NHC forecast track for PTC 3 as of 2100Z 6/19/2017


The slow-moving system now known as PTC 3 could dump 10” to 20” of rain on parts of the central Gulf Coast this week. Models do not indicate that PTC 3 is likely to become a strong tropical storm or hurricane. Even if it does become Cindy, its sustained winds may never top 50 mph. However, a system like this doesn’t need to reach tropical storm status in order to cause major havoc. This became clear with last year’s “no-name” floods in Louisiana—the nation’s worst disaster of 2016, with more than $10 billion in damage.

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