A major hurricane could impact Alabama on Katrina’s anniversary

Tracking the Tropics
October 02 2021 06:00 pm

Right now, a broad area of low pressure is expected to form over the western Caribbean Sea during the next day or so from the wave that is currently located north of Columbia. Environmental conditions are favorable for development and tropical depression or tropical storm is likely to form by Friday.

The development zone brings this tropical cyclone across or just the east of the Yucatan Peninsula.

The latest run on our spaghetti plots are becoming more aligned, which would increase our confidence in the timing and forecast track of this storm. As this tropical system moves over/past the Yucatan, it will rapidly intensify when it enters the Gulf of Mexico, due to the warm waters. Sea surface temperatures in the middle of the Gulf are around 85°F, with coastal waters from Galveston to New Orleans between 87-89°F.

Looking at the spaghetti plots, with the exception of the outliers, most bring this storm between the Yucatan and Cuba Saturday morning. Then, by Sunday the storm taking aim on the Louisiana Coast. Landfall likely to occur late Sunday into early Monday morning.

If landfall occurs on Sunday, that will also coincide with the 16th anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the east Louisiana coast. If models hold together, landfall may even be within miles of where Katrina made landfall too.

Models are showing the wind field stretching across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and the western Florida panhandle. According to our preliminary wind forecast, we could have tropical storm force winds well into central Alabama. We will need to be watching this one closely.

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