A tropical depression or storm could form in the Gulf this weekend while also bringing flooding rain to the Southeast.
Development across the Caribbean and Gulf has been a concern since early in the week, with numerous scenarios. However, meteorologists have been getting closer to a consensus on how this system will play out.
An area of low pressure has emerged into the southwestern Gulf of Mexico Friday.
As it moves away from the Yucatan Peninsula, and into the warm Gulf water, there is a chance that the system could organize into a tropical depression or weak tropical storm.
Despite the warm environment, there are multiple factors that could also hinder development.
The storm will be deflected in different directions, tearing the system apart.
The main area of low pressure is expected to track westward, likely towards Mexico or the Texas Gulf coast early next week.
Meanwhile, most of the moisture will surge into the Southeast through the weekend, whether the system is a storm or not. This will bring the potential for heavy rain that could stall over the area for several days.
With a very wet summer thus far, even just a little rain could cause isolated flooding problems. However, with the tropical surge, the risk of flash, human and small stream flooding will be escalated through the weekend.
The Gulf coast from eastern Louisiana through the Florida Panhandle is where the heavy rain will likely move onshore. The moist flow will continue up through Georgia and Carolinas, an area that has been hit with rounds of heavy rain and flooding already this week.
As Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski explained earlier this month, the drenching rain was already starting to make it too wet for some crops.
Heavy rain will continue creeping farther northward throughout the weekend, making it into northern Virginia. The Washington, D.C., and Baltimore area could encounter the outer fringes of this tropical rain.
However, a high settled over the Great Lakes this weekend will likely keep showers from pressing farther north than Philadelphia. For most of the Northeast, it will remain a dry weekend.