An area of showers and thunderstorms over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, currently dubbed 97L, has the potential to slowly organize, and it may become the 17th tropical depression of the Atlantic hurricane season.
AccuWeather meteorologists say that two separate storms will form in the Gulf of Mexico late this week. The first of which is located closer to the United States coastline and it is expected to be non-tropical in nature, according to Dan Kottlowski, AccuWeather’s top hurricane expert. However, it will unleash a rainstorm across the South into Friday before it eventually moves on to impact the Midwest and Northeast.
“The storm farther south is the one to watch for tropical development, especially if it stays separate from the rainstorm over the Southern states and a trailing cold front that extends into the Gulf of Mexico,” Kottlowski said.
“However, if the tropical feature gets tangled up in the cold front, then development and strengthening are much less likely,” Kottlowski said.
Even if the feature fails to develop, moisture associated with it will tend to stream northward into the Deep South and enhance the rainfall in part of the region. The enhanced downpours could lead to numerous flooding incidents, even in areas experiencing long-term drought.
If the feature stays separate from the initial cold front and develops, a second batch of heavy rain would likely move northeastward and could reach areas that might largely missed by the first rainstorm in the Southeast.