Tropical storm warnings issued for Gulf Coast states as weather system strengthens


Showers and thunderstorms associated with a broad area of low pressure located over the Bay of Campeche increased and became a little better organized during Thursday morning.

The system is expected to begin moving northeast toward the US Gulf Coast, with a potential landfall along the north-central Gulf region Saturday. Within the thunderstorms, winds are likely gusting to tropical storm force, which is 39 miles per hour and greater. A good part of the South is experiencing an extreme drought, so the rain will be beneficial - up to a point, of course. The National Hurricane Center has scheduled a Hurricane Hunter aircraft to investigate the system Thursday afternoon. The latest computer model forecasts suggest that we could have either a tropical depression or a tropical storm in the western Gulf by later this week or this weekend.

"The disturbance is expected to develop into a tropical or subtropical storm later today or tonight, with slow strengthening then expected through Friday night", according to the agency.

While specific impacts can not be nailed down just yet, it looks like a wet and windy weekend is in store for the Wiregrass. Still, most of the forecast models agree the storm will move into the Florida panhandle, as indicated by the latest forecast track from the NHC.

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Although this is still relatively far out, generally, this could be a significant system as far as rain is concerned.

If this were to become the next named storm of the season, it would be called Nestor.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially continues through the end of November.

A subtropical storm isn't a fully tropical system but has some of those features.