Updated Oct 10, 2023 - Climate

Tropical system in Gulf to bring needed rain to New Orleans metro

A tropical disturbance in the Gulf as seen on satellite around 6am Wednesday. Image: NOAA

A tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to bring several inches of rain to the New Orleans metro region on Wednesday and Thursday.

Why it matters: Louisiana is in an extreme drought, and forecasters are welcoming the system, which is not expected to strengthen into a named storm.

Threat level: The system is expected to bring up to 3 inches of rain to New Orleans, according to the National Weather Service in Slidell. Higher amounts are possible, especially near the coast.

  • The greatest chance of rain and flash flooding will be south of Interstate 10 and Interstate 12, forecasters say.
  • Strong winds may make driving on bridges more difficult, especially Wednesday afternoon into the evening. A wind advisory is in effect Wednesday.
  • Significant coastal flooding of 1 to 3 feet is possible, and a coastal flood warning is in effect.

The big picture: Southeast Louisiana needs rain. As of Wednesday morning, New Orleans is more than 25 inches below normal rainfall for the year, NWS forecasters say.

The latest: The system, Invest AL93, is over the southwestern Gulf and moving north, as of a 1pm Tuesday update from the National Hurricane Center.

  • The disturbance has a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression within 48 hours. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters team was en route to investigate the system Tuesday afternoon.
  • It's expected to merge with another system by Wednesday morning.

Zoom out: Systems can form at any time, but historically the most active period for strong storms in the Gulf is August and September.

  • Atlantic hurricane season ends Nov. 30.

Go deeper: What's in our hurricane emergency kits.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional forecast details.

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