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Gulf tropical system to impact Gulf coast Saturday

Several inches of rain likely in central Gulf region
Posted at 10:38 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-18 18:53:40-04

The third tropical disturbance of the 2021 tropical storm season has the northern Gulf coast in its path.

The disturbance is still called a "potential tropical cyclone" because of its poor structure, but it can still cause adverse conditions similar to a tropical storm.

The system's broad circulation located about 1000 miles south of the Louisiana coastline. The system is moving to the north at 16 mph with peak winds of 45 mph.

The system is not a tropical depression, as it lacks the proper low-pressure circulation and organization needed for the upgrade. But being a "potential tropical cyclone" means it still has a chance to become a depression or tropical storm before landfall.

Based on the Friday night forecast, the disturbance will turn to the northeast, passing over Alabama and northern Georgia. However, its rain effects will be noticed far beyond its landfall point.

Widespread flood potential exists for sections of southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi and Alabama, and parts of the western Florida Panhandle through Saturday. Any high-end impacts will remain well west of the Big Bend and southwestern Georgia, although localized flooding and heavy rainfall is possible. A flash flood watch is in effect west of the Apalachicola River until Sunday evening.

Most of our local area will receive at least about one inch of rainfall over the weekend, with isolated locally higher totals are possible, especially further west toward the tri-state area. A slim chance for a spin-up tornado is possible for the tri-state and southwest Georgia Saturday night and Sunday.

Wind impacts are expected to be minimal, with occasional wind gusts reaching 25 mph near the coastline and offshore waters Saturday, gradually diminishing area-wide Sunday.

Regional forecast rain totals through Monday morning

If this disturbance reaches tropical storm strength, it will be named Claudette.

As always, be sure to follow the ABC 27 First Alert Weather Team on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to download the Storm Shield App to get watches and warnings delivered straight to your phone to stay updated on your forecast through the week. Get the app today: iPhone/iPad | Android.