It doesn’t have a name, but a tropical disturbance is poised to bring a big impact to the northern Gulf Coast this week, including Alabama.
Rain had already started to fall along the coast, with more — possibly much more — expected over the next few days.
As of the latest advisory, at 7 a.m. CDT, what the National Hurricane Center is calling Potential Tropical Cyclone Three was located about 265 miles south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River.
It was moving to the northwest at 9 mph. On that path the center of the storm was expected to come ashore somewhere along the Louisiana/Texas border by late Wednesday or early Thursday.
The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph Tuesday morning.
Tropical storm force winds begin at 39 mph, but this system doesn’t have organized storms near its center, and it also has a large wind field. The hurricane center said that those two things are holding it back from becoming a true tropical storm and getting a name.
That name would be Cindy.
The hurricane center said the storm appeared to be getting more organized and it would likely become a tropical or subtropical storm later today.
Name or no name, it is already affecting the Gulf Coast, where tropical storm watches and warnings were in place.
A tropical storm warning is in effect from Cameron, La., to Intracoastal City.
A tropical storm watch is in effect from west of Cameron to High Island, Texas.
The hurricane center said some slight strengthening is possible before the system reaches the coast late Wednesday or early Thursday. It is not expected to become a hurricane.
The center may make landfall to the west, but this storm’s effects are being felt far to the east.
The hurricane center said tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 205 miles mainly east of its center.
However it’s the rain that’s going to make the biggest impact.
The hurricane center said 4-8 inches of rain will be possible across southern Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle. Some spots could get up to 10 inches.
Flash flood watches lined the coast on Tuesday, and the National Weather Service in Mobile warned that there is a “significant” threat of flooding close to the Alabama coast through Thursday.
The National weather service said seas will continue to get rougher today, with surf heights of 6-9 feet possible along the coast. There will also be a high risk of rip currents.
The weather service said the threat for coastal flooding will also increase today, and a coastal flood advisory is in effect for the Alabama and northwest Florida panhandle coasts.
The threat of heavy rain will spread inland in Alabama on Wednesday and Thursday.
The weather service also said there will be the risk of a few tornadoes starting this afternoon from south-central Louisiana eastward into northwest Florida.
That risk will work its way northward as the storm closes in on the coast and could affect more of Alabama.
Tropical Storm Bret
As of 7 a.m. CDT Tuesday, Bret was located about 20 miles east-northeast of Venezuela’s Isla Margarita and was moving west-northwest at 21 mph.
Tropical Storm Bret’s maximum sustained winds rose a bit to 45 mph, but the storm is expected to begin to weaken later today.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for part of the Venezuelan coast, and watches are posted for Bonaire, Curaco and Aruba.
Bret is expected to encounter less favorable conditions for development starting later today and could dissipate altogether in two or three days.