Tropical Storm Cindy has been lollygagging across the northern Gulf of Mexico today. It continues to sit on its behind but should begin to get some kick in its step later tonight with a north/northwestward movement. We expect the landfall location to be between Galveston, Texas eastward into southwestern Lousiana. The actual track of Cindy will be critical in determining who ends up dealing with a threat of significant flooding. The western edge of the system will tend to be much drier than to the east of its track. In fact, flooding will be possible from the center of Cindy up to 500 miles east of it. If the center of Cindy tracks further east the threat for heavy rain and flooding in East/Southeast Texas would decrease. If the system makes landfall in Southeast Texas and moves north – those along/east of the track would receive several inches of rain. Like our pesky winter storms, a 20-mile difference in the track will be critical. Cindy will bring ridiculously high moisture amounts inland with it, so heavy rain is certainly a concern. Flash Flood Watches are already in effect for East Texas, and we’ll probably see one for Southeast Texas on Wednesday once it becomes clear where the ‘western edge’ of the heavy rain will be located. Remember, that western edge will have a sharp cut-off between little rain and several inches of rain.
Wind Threat: Tropical storm force winds over 40 MPH will be possible to the north and northeast of the center’s landfall location. Cindy is expected to remain weak to moderate tropical storm. The strongest winds will be located on heavier storms and will likely be localized. Even though the system could have 50 to 60 MPH winds at landfall, those winds would be over a small area. Most folks in the Tropical Storm Warning zone could see gusts over 40 MPH, but the threat of wind damage will be limited.
Storm Surge: A storm surge of one to three feet is possible, again mainly along and east of the landfall location. Battering waves are expected on top of that surge. Some tidal flooding is possible, but widespread impacts from storm surge are not expected. Dangerous rip-tides and swimming conditions are expected across all of the Gulf Coast through Friday.
Tornadoes: An isolated tornado will be possible in extreme Southeast Texas, but the higher relative threat for spin up tornadoes will be in Lousiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.
Heavy Rain and Inland Flooding: The heavy rainfall threat is going to be the primary threat with Cindy. Extremely high moisture amounts will allow showers produced by Cindy to produce heavy rainfall. The axis of heaviest rains will be located along and well east of the center. If you’re west of the center, the gradient between heavy rainfall and almost none will be quite sharp – perhaps a matter of 20 miles. That is why the specific track of Cindy will be critical in determining if this is a non-event for Texas, or if we have a serious flash flood situation develop. This threat would be highest Wednesday Night into Thursday. Remember; if the system tracks 20-30 miles further east, the threat for Texas will be considerably lower. Any shift west brings the heavier rains further into Southeast and East Texas. It’ll be a close call.
Tropical Storm Cindy Advisory Number 6
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL032017
1000 PM CDT Tue Jun 20 2017
…CINDY STRENGTHENS OVER THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO…
…HEAVY RAINFALL COULD PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODING
ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE NORTHERN GULF COAST…
SUMMARY OF 1000 PM CDT…0300 UTC…INFORMATION
ABOUT 230 MI…365 KM S OF MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA
ABOUT 305 MI…495 KM SE OF GALVESTON TEXAS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…60 MPH…95 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 7 MPH…11 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…997 MB…29.44 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:
The Tropical Storm Warning has been extended eastward to the
Alabama-Florida border, including Lake Pontchartrain and the
New Orleans Metropolitan area.
SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* San Luis Pass Texas to the Alabama-Florida border
* Metropolitan New Orleans
* Lake Pontchartrain
A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the
next 12 to 24 hours.
Interests elsewhere along the U.S. Gulf Coast from the central Texas
coast to the western Florida Panhandle should monitor the progress
of this system.
For storm information specific to your area, including possible
inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your
local National Weather Service forecast office.
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
At 1000 PM CDT (0300 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Cindy was
located near latitude 26.4 North, longitude 91.0 West. Cindy is
moving toward the northwest near 7 mph (11 km/h), and this motion is
expected to continue through Wednesday. A turn toward the
north-northwest and then toward the north is expected Wednesday
night and early Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Cindy
will approach the coast of southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas
late Wednesday and Wednesday night, and move inland over
southeastern Texas on Thursday.
Reports from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft and
nearby ships indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to
near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in strength
is expected on Wednesday. Slight weakening is forecast to begin on
Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 275 miles (445 km),
mainly north through northeast of the center.
The minimum central pressure recently reported by the reconnaissance
aircraft was 997 mb (29.44 inches).
HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
RAINFALL: Cindy is expected to produce total rain accumulations of
6 to 9 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches over
southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, and
the Florida Panhandle through Thursday. This rainfall could cause
life-threatening flash flooding in these areas.
Rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 6
inches can be expected farther west across southwest Louisiana into
southeast Texas through Thursday.
WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected to first reach the
coast within the warning area overnight and spread westward
within the warning area through early Thursday.
STORM SURGE: Inundation of 1 to 3 feet above ground level is
expected along the coast in portions of the Tropical Storm Warning
area, with isolated areas possibly up to 4 feet.
TORNADOES: Isolated tornadoes are possible tonight into Wednesday
from southern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.