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Tropical disturbance organizing, impact likely this weekend

A tropical disturbance in the Gulf could become a tropical depression or a tropical storm....
A tropical disturbance in the Gulf could become a tropical depression or a tropical storm. Whether it does or doesn't develop, it's likely to bring tropical rainfall to us this weekend.(WTOK)
Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 5:19 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico is becoming better organized. The Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to fly into the system on Thursday. A tropical depression or tropical storm could form on either Thursday or Friday. Regardless of whether it develops, this system is likely to bring gusty wind and widespread heavy rain to a large part of the Deep South. Louisiana could get the worst of it. Some shifting is still possible, however.

As expected, the track forecasts have shifted. In most cases, the shift was to the east. That brings the storm close to us initially, but it keeps the tornado-favored eastern side of the storm to our south and east. If it tracks west and then north of us, tornadoes will be more likely on Saturday. That’s still possible, but it seems to be becoming less favored based on the latest data we have.

Impact In East Miss. & West Ala.

What can we expect? Saturday will be our primary impact day. This is mainly going to be a rain maker for us. The rain will mostly be in on-and-off waves, but when it can fall heavily. Rainfall amounts of 3-6 inches are likely with up to 7 inches possible in localized cases. Gusty winds are possible, too. They will generally be in the 20-30 mph range with gusts up to 40 mph if the worst-case scenario plays out. Again, that risk for an isolated tornado is there and can increase if the track shifts back to the west. More changes are certainly still possible, but confidence is growing in the expectations of this system.

Flooding Concerns

The heavy rain can cause localized flash flooding, especially with the ground already being saturated from so much rain recently. The Pearl River just receded to below flood stage near Philadelphia and is still overflowing downstream closer to Edinburg. The Tombigbee River is also overflowing its banks from Gainesville to Demopolis to Coffeeville and south. The flooding concerns on the river will continue for a week or more after the rain finally ends.

Our Next 24 Hours

Tonight will be mostly clear. Lower humidity will let us feel more comfortable. We’ll cool to the lower 70s by midnight. The low temperature will be near 63 degrees. Thursday will be mainly sunny with a less than 10% chance for a stray shower or thunderstorm. The high temperature will be near 91 degrees.

Looking Ahead

After the weekend affects from the tropical system, an unusually strong cold front for June will track through our area on Tuesday. It will bring some heavy storms followed by unseasonably cool air and low humidity for the second half of next week.

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