Downpours to threaten flooding in Texas, Louisiana as potential tropical system brews in Gulf

Regardless of whether or not a tropical storm forms in the western Gulf of Mexico to end this week, tropical downpours may lead to flooding and travel problems in parts of Texas and Louisiana this weekend to early next week.

A plume of showers and thunderstorms that began to brew over the western Caribbean last weekend is forecast to migrate northwestward into this weekend.

What's the latest on the Gulf tropical potential?

As this area of disturbed weather enters the western part of the Gulf of Mexico, conditions may allow the moisture to organize into a tropical depression or storm.

The odds are greatly against rapid development and strengthening of any tropical system in the western Gulf of Mexico, according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

"Instead, it looks like a broad area of disturbed weather is in store with localized heavy rainfall to take aim northeastern Mexico and southern and eastern Texas," Kottlowski said.

Static Tex Mex Tropical Concern
Static Tex Mex Tropical Concern

Risk of heavy rainfall, flooding to exist regardless of tropical development

Pinpointing exactly which communities may be hit by the heaviest rainfall may not become apparent until the end of the week. However, enough rain is likely to fall to cause urban and low-lying area flooding.

Motorists in the major metropolitan areas such as Houston, Port Arthur, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, San Antonio and Austin, Texas, as well as Lake Charles, Louisiana, should anticipate travel difficulties this weekend.

Motorists are reminded never to drive through flooded roadways as the water may be deeper than it appears and the road surface may have been compromised beneath the water.

Slow-moving tropical downpours have the potential to unload localized rainfall on the order of 6 inches or more where showers and thunderstorms repeat. Should even a tropical depression or weak tropical storm form, rainfall could be even heavier in some communities.

While much of the rain may fall on the Father's Day weekend when many people may have outdoor plans, rainfall is needed over much of the region.

Abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions exist over much of Louisiana and central and southeastern Texas, according to the United States Drought Monitor. Severe drought exists in some counties of Texas as well.

Movement of the batch of tropical downpours is uncertain beyond this weekend.

On one hand, the rain may be drawn northward across the Plains and part of the Mississippi Valley.

However, another scenario is possible.

"There is a chance the system stalls over southern Texas and northeastern Mexico for several days next week," according to AccuWeather Lead Storm Warning Meteorologist Eddie Walker.

Another Harvey is not expected

Even though the area of disturbed weather is originating from the western Caribbean Sea and may organize just off the South Texas coast, a repeat of Harvey is not anticipated with this event, despite the chance of rain farther south and west.

While some heavy rainfall and isolated flooding are likely, this setup will not bring 30-60 inches of rain, like Harvey did.

AccuWeather will continue to provide updates on the progress of the tropical downpours and flood risk, regardless of whether or not a tropical system develops.