Sunday, June 25, 2017

Three Things to Know About Tropical Depression Cindy

Linda Lam
Published: June 22,2017

Cindy made landfall early Thursday morning as a tropical storm on the northern Gulf Coast and will continue to impact parts of the United States through Friday, despite weakening to a tropical depression.
(MORE: Hurricane Central)
Here are three things to know about Tropical Depression Cindy to help you better prepare for possible impacts.

1) Heavy Rainfall Will Be the Primary Threat

A widespread swath of more than 5 inches of rainfall is expected from southeastern Louisiana through southern Mississippi into southern Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle. Local amounts of up to 12 inches of rain are possible.

Additional Rainfall Forecast
Areas as far west as Houston and as far east as Panama City, Florida, may receive 3 to 5 inches of rain through Thursday night. Areas farther north into Mississippi and Alabama could receive these amounts, as well.
(FORECAST: New Orleans | Mobile | Pensacola)
In addition, the combination of tropical moisture and energy from Cindy streaming northward and an eastward moving cold front will enhance rainfall across much of the South and possibly into southern portions of the Ohio Valley Thursday into Friday.
Flash flood watches are posted from eastern Texas into into the western Florida Panhandle and northward into western Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, southern Ohio and southwestern Pennsylvania, where multiple rounds of heavy rain and saturated soil could result in significant flash flooding.

Flood Alerts
Heavy rain will then slide into the central Appalachians and into the mid-Atlantic Friday night into Saturday.
(MORE: Where Do Hurricanes and Tropical Storms Form In June)
Pay attention to any flash flood warnings, and do not drive into flooded roadways.

2) Don't Focus Just on the Cone

Often with a tropical system, the projected path or forecast cone is what people pay attention to because the worst impacts frequently can occur near the cone. However, this is not one of those times to do that, since far-reaching impacts are expected.
The forecast cone represents the probable track of a tropical cyclone's center and becomes wider over time as the forecast uncertainty increases.
(MORE: Explaining the Cone of Uncertainty)

Current Satellite and Information
In this case, Cindy's southwesterly wind shear caused the system to be lopsided, with most of the convection east and north of the center.
Consequently, focusing on the track of the center will miss where much of the rain and wind impacts will be experienced.

3) There Could Be Tornadoes and Storm Surge

In addition to the threat of heavy rain and gusty winds, tornadoes are also possible.
The risk for an isolated tornado will persist through Thursday, mainly from the central Gulf Coast into the lower Mississippi Valley and Tennessee Valley.
(MAPS: Weekly Planner)

Thursday's Forecast
It's also important to note that a storm surge of 1 to 3 feet above ground level is possible along the Gulf Coast from southeastern Texas to the western Florida Panhandle, especially in areas of strong onshore winds. This could lead to coastal flooding, particularly at high tide.
(MORE: What Is Storm Surge)
High surf and rip currents are also likely from the Florida Panhandle to southeastern Texas through Thursday.
MORE: Atlantic Basin Retired Hurricanes and Tropical Storms (PHOTOS)

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