(CNN) — As if one area to watch wasn’t enough, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is now monitoring a second region in the Atlantic Ocean basin for the potential formation of a tropical storm system.
The center has already been watching an area over the North Atlantic, east of Bermuda. Meteorologists have designated this area with the name Invest 90L, which indicates a particular area of disturbed weather that is being monitored by the NHC. This storm system has a high chance of developing on Friday or Saturday.
On Thursday evening, the NHC added a different area in the Gulf of Mexico. This area of stormy weather currently has a medium chance at becoming a tropical depression or a named, tropical storm before tracking into the Deep South on Saturday.
Ana could form Friday
The first named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season could form during the day on Friday.
As of Friday morning, the NHC gives the Invest 90L a 90% chance of forming within the next 48 hours. The center says the storm could be named later on Friday. Invest is short for investigation.
This activity near Bermuda is increasingly developing into what could become a subtropical storm. A subtropical storm has similar characteristics of a tropical storm but is not considered fully tropical because it doesn’t depend on warm water temperatures to fuel its development.
If winds reach at least 39 mph, then the storm will be named “Ana.”
This would make it the seventh season in a row with a named storm forming before the official June 1 start date of hurricane season in the Atlantic basin.
Even if this storm doesn’t get named, gusty rain showers are expected in Bermuda from Friday to Sunday before the storm races east and away from any land by early next week.
Monitoring the Gulf of Mexico for development, too
There is an area of thunderstorms located over the western Gulf of Mexico that the NHC is also monitoring for tropical cyclone development.
The center gives this area to watch a 40% chance of tropical cyclone formation by Sunday morning. Whether or not this system remains disorganized, or becomes a tropical depression or a tropical storm, it will move north and over Texas and Louisiana this weekend and into early next week.
“Regardless of development, the system could produce heavy rainfall over portions of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana during the next few days,” says the National Hurricane Center.
Rainfall totals will be heaviest in southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana, with widespread totals of 1 to 3 inches forecast through Sunday night. Some isolated areas will likely receive up to 6 inches over an area that has already received an abundance of rain this past week.
The concern for flash flooding will thus remain in place, with flash flood watches in effect for over 5 million people from the coast through southeastern Oklahoma and southwestern Arkansas.
Coastal flood advisories are also in effect for portions of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi for Friday and possibly Saturday. Water levels may rise 1 to 2 feet higher than normal high tide levels.
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