The weather system hovering in the Gulf of Mexico probably will form into a hurricane before it makes landfall later in the week, according to a National Hurricane Center advisory issued Wednesday morning.
“Despite having issued the first advisory already, there’s still a lot of uncertainty because there hasn’t been circulation form yet,” said Wendy Wong, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in League City. “Without that, it’s harder to initialize and have models pick up on what might happen.”
Predictions early Wednesday have the storm sitting about 170 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, Wong said. While most trends currently have it moving toward Louisiana before making landfall, it could produce some effects between Galveston and the Sabine River.
“That could be maybe wind,” Wong said.
The system is somewhat unusual because it reached the Gulf via the Mississippi River Valley, rather than from the Atlantic Ocean, where most tropical disturbances form.
The storm should become a hurricane shortly before it makes landfall, at about 7 a.m. Saturday just off the coast near Lake Charles, Louisiana, Wong said. Predictions have the storm making landfall later Saturday afternoon.
But area residents should keep an eye on developments, Wong said.
“We’re kind of right on the edge of everything at this point,” she said. “It doesn’t hurt to be prepared for any eventuality.”
If the disturbance does form into a tropical cyclone, it would be named Barry.
Forecasters should know more about the storm Wednesday afternoon, Wong said.