Tropical Storm Cindy forms in Gulf

This animation shows Tropical Storm Cindy spinning over the Gulf of Mexico during Tuesday afternoon, June 20, 2017.

In addition to the Gulf storm, tropical development is possible near the equator over the central Atlantic early this week.

This storm will have a small window to strengthen before running into a wall of high wind shear by the middle of the week, which will eventually lead to its demise in the central Caribbean. It says Cindy acquired a well-defined center on Tuesday afternoon, becoming the third tropical storm of 2017. The northern Gulf Coast however, from the Florida Panhandle to Louisiana will see significant rainfall and flooding potential.

National Weather Service forecasters are warning of the possibility of more than 10 inches of rain for an area between Biloxi, Mississippi and Mobile, Alabama, by Friday morning.

But tropical storm watches and warnings had already been issued for portions of the Gulf Coast.

The tropical Atlantic season looks like it will be getting an early start this year, and that has implications for our own weather the rest of this week.

If Cindy forms, it will be one of two storms. A tropical storm watch covered a large swath of the upper Texas coast from west of High Island to San Luis Pass. Rain and tides, rather than wind, were considered the main danger from the system. The NHC said those living in areas stretching from the central Texas coast to the western Florida Panhandle should monitor the progress of Cindy.

With weaker storms, the center is far less important, but the heavy rainfall is projected to have a widespread impact. With the change, the NHC as the option to "issue advisories, watches, and warnings for disturbances that are not yet a tropical cyclone, but which pose the threat of bringing tropical storm or hurricane conditions to land areas within 48 hours".

Pensacola city officials said Monday that they are monitoring the storm and taking necessary precautions.

A tropical storm warning has been issued for a section of Louisiana's coast as a weather system approaches from the Gulf of Mexico. Reason being? The counter-clockwise spin puts the heaviest rain on the east side of the storm, which areas west usually stay drier.

Farther away, Tropical Storm Bret has also formed in the Atlantic but is not expected to threaten Texas.

  • Leroy Wright