Gulf Tropical Threat Could Put a Damper on July 4th Fireworks
Wednesday afternoon just after lunchtime at my house I was startled to hear such a loud noise coming from outside. It sounded as if someone was dropping a load of gravel onto my patio roof. Thankfully it wasn't rocks falling, it wasn't hailing, and it wasn't a flock of birds overcoming their kidney stones at the same time.
All that noise was being caused by rain. Not only was it raining hard but the drops that were falling from the sky were huge. That's one of the hallmarks of a tropical downpour the rain drops usually leave mark on the pavement that is equivalent in size to a half-dollar or a silver dollar. And if you get caught out in them, not only do you get wet, those darn things hurt.
The reason for those tropical downpours is actually two-fold. There has been a frontal boundary draped across South Louisiana for the past couple of days and there has also been an area of low pressure centered a little further south in the Gulf of Mexico.
The front has acted as an agent of instability and the low pressure has been feeding warm moist air northward toward Louisiana. Today, we can expect more of the same and yes, that low-pressure is still being monitored for tropical development by the National Hurricane Center.
Based on the discussions available on the National Hurricane Center's website, forecasters believe the low pressure will be moving onshore today. No, that won't shut down the threat of rain but it will certainly curtail any possibility for future development of the system over time.
Forecasters with the National Hurricane Center are still giving this storm system a 40% chance for further development and some of the tropical forecast models do show the system becoming classified as a tropical depression later today.
This won't be a wind event, it will be a rain event as far as southern Louisiana is concerned. The abundant moisture that's being pushed northward by the system will enhance our rain threats again today, tomorrow, and Saturday. There will actually still be a decent chance of rain all the way through Monday but those showers and storms should remain confined to the afternoon and early evening hours of the day.
The Hurricane Center continues to monitor Potential Tropical Storm 2 as it moves along the Venezualan coast this morning. They are also watching another tropical wave in the southwestern part of the North Atlantic Ocean. That tropical wave is only given a 10% chance of strengthening between now and July 4th.
Will the rain mess up your fireworks? Probably not but many fireworks shows could have to be delayed starting tonight through Monday. In most cases, any rain that falls will fall during the late afternoon and early evening hours, by the time it gets dark enough to pop firecrackers, An added benefit of that afternoon rain will be that it tends to make the air temperature cooler and the threat of wildfires caused by fireworks a lot smaller.
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