But it's too early to tell how much of a threat it might pose to Louisiana, forecasters say.
A developing storm is expected to make its way into the Gulf of Mexico this weekend, but it's too early to tell how much of a threat it might pose to Louisiana, forecasters say.
"The area is not organized; it is just some showers and storms associated with a tropical wave or surface trough of low pressure," WWL-TV meteorologist Dave Nussbaum said in a forecast late this afternoon. "The area is forecast to move into the extreme northeast Gulf this weekend. We'll be watching it closely, but it looks like it may mainly just bring us some rain Saturday through Monday, possibly up to 1-2 inches."
He and other forecasters cautioned that conditions could change as the storm makes its way across Florida into the eastern Gulf, most likely sometime Saturday.
The National Hurricane Center gave the storm, near eastern Cuba moving slowly west this evening, a 60 percent chance of strengthening over the next five days.
"Conditions are forecast to become more favorable for development late this week, and a tropical depression could form near the northwestern Bahamas or south Florida as early as Friday," the Hurricane Center said. "Further development is possible over the eastern Gulf of Mexico later this weekend."
It would be the ninth tropical depression this hurricane season, which runs July 1 through Nov. 30. If sustained winds reach 39 mph, it would be named Tropical Storm Humberto.
A low-pressure system off Louisiana could interact with the storm, either pushing it farther east or tamping its development if it does approach the state, Nussbaum said.
Forecasters are monitoring two other Atlantic storm systems headed west toward the southern Caribbean. Neither posed an immediate threat to the Gulf Coast.
-- Executive Editor Keith Magill can be reached at 857-2201 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @CourierEditor.