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Hurricane Hunters to investigate Gulf Coast tropical system on Wednesday

10 July 2019

US oil producers on Wednesday cut almost a third of offshore Gulf of Mexico crude output as what could be one of the first major storms of the Atlantic hurricane season threatened production.

A storm surge watch is now in effect for Mouth of Pearl River to Morgan River in Louisiana.

"The storm will sit over the Gulf of Mexico for a few days and may eventually become partially or fully tropical in nature during the time period from late this week into next weekend", said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty.

Impacts for the Big Bend and South Georgia will continue to be higher rain chances as the deep moisture from the low continue to make its way into our area.

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Barry, the second named tropical depression of the season that NOAA is giving a "near 100 percent chance" of forming into a hurricane, is predicted to slam into the coast on Saturday to the west of New Orleans.

While El Niño conditions may suppress the number of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic basin somewhat this year, all it takes is for one or two hurricanes to strike populated areas and result in great risk to lives and property. In order to support a tropical storm or hurricane, sea surface temperatures need to be about 27ºC. In addition, this disturbance has the potential to produce very heavy rainfall from the Upper Texas Coast to the Florida Panhandle.

In the days ahead, parts of Louisiana could see up to 12 inches (30 centimetres) of rain by Monday. On the forecast track, the system is expected to approach the central U.S. Gulf Coast this weekend.Maximum sustained winds are near 30 miles per hour (45 km/h) with higher gusts.

A forecast of landfall anywhere from Lake Charles to New Orleans has equal weight roughly 72 hours out this point.and even the Upper Texas Coast remains in play.

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said a "considerable" amount of water could over-top levees that hold back the Mississippi River in the New Orleans area as emergency officials prepare for a potential weekend storm. For now, the storm system in the northern Gulf "looks like it will be a slow mover", he said.

Unrelated to the system in the Gulf, our region will likely get hit with a round of thunderstorms Thursday afternoon and Thursday night, because of a cold front that's moving through from the Midwest. The National Severe Storms Laboratory defines an MCS as a "collection of thunderstorms that act as a system". Right along the coast south of Louisiana, water temperatures are now approaching 32ºC - more than ample fuel for a healthy storm.

New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania could face another round of stormy weather on Thursday, July 11.

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Hurricane Hunters to investigate Gulf Coast tropical system on Wednesday