ORLANDO, Fla. – The disturbance that has been meandering in the Southern Gulf of Mexico/Bay of Campeche for the last several days has been designated as Potential Tropical Cyclone 3.
The “potential tropical cyclone” is a relatively new designation from the National Hurricane Center. It was created in 2017 to identify areas of disturbed weather close to land that has the potential to take on tropical characteristics. This is done so that the forecast cone along with watches and warnings can be issued, even though the system isn’t developed yet, but has the potential to be the time it impacts land.
If this disturbance was not going to impact land in the immediate future, the National Hurricane Center would wait until the system developed and met all the criteria to be a tropical depression.
Regardless of if P.T.C 3 does completely organize, impacts along the northern Gulf Coast will be the same. The main threats will be coastal flooding from storm surge and inland flooding from heavy rain.
Hurricane hunters are in the system checking to see if it is getting better organized.
A tropical storm warning was issued for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama as a potential tropical cyclone advanced toward the northern Gulf Coast.
The warning extends from Intracoastal City, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Heavy rainfall and flooding will likely be the most significant hazard, with the storm reaching the coast beginning on Friday, forecasters said.
As of Thursday evening, the storm was located about 475 miles (765 kilometers) south of Morgan City, Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph (45 kph).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.