Published August 17, 2013
AccuWeather.com Meteorologists continue to monitor low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico as it slowly tracks northwestward.
As Meteorologist Courtney Spamer stated, "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."
Watching the Gulf of Mexico
Satellite images continue to show abundant dry air located over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico while strong winds aloft continue to send a stream of moisture into the Southeast part of the country.
While this low pressure system is moving over very warm Gulf of Mexico waters, there are too many limiting factors that should prevent significant tropical development.
Between the dry air and the storm being hit with winds in all different directions, development into a strong tropical system appears unlikely.
It is still possible that the feature acquires tropical depression or minimal tropical storm status over the next few days.
Regardless of development, the main area of low pressure is expected to track westward, toward northeast Mexico or extreme South Texas early next week.
Southeast Flood Threat Continues
However, the bigger concern with this system will lie across Southeast, where deep moisture has already produced between 2 and 4 inches of rain over the last day from Savannah, Ga. through Augusta, Ga. and into Columbia, S.C.
Additional heavy rains are likely through Sunday from the Florida Panhandle through the Carolinas.
Widespread rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches are expected through Sunday morning from Mobile, Ala. through Savannah, Ga. and Charleston, S.C. Local rainfall amounts could exceed 4 inches, especially over the central Gulf Coast.
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 into early next 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.
Steadier and heavier rains will continue creeping farther northward throughout the weekend, making it into southeast Virginia and the southern Delmarva Peninsula. Localized rainfall amounts of greater than an inch are possible through Sunday morning from Raleigh, N.C. through Norfolk, Va. and Salisbury, Md.
Lighter showers may dampen the ground as far north as Washington D.C. and Baltimore, but the heaviest rain will remain to their south.
A high settled over the Great Lakes will likely keep shower activity at a minimum for cities and towns north of the Mason/Dixon line. For most of the Northeast, it will dry and quite nice into early next week.