Stormy weather

Seascape during an approaching storm

It’s impossible to confidently predict the landfall of a tropical disturbance that has not yet formed, but officials are hoping to get a better idea today.

There is a 70 percent chance a tropical depression will form by Thursday afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“It’s finally out over water now,” Brazoria County spokeswoman Sharon Trower said.

A National Hurricane Center projection showed the system Tuesday afternoon off the Apalachee Bay in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico. These models are updated every nine hours, said Wendy Wong, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service Houston office.

The National Hurricane Center will offer the most reliable models because it has the expertise and experience necessary, she said. At the end of the day, what the hurricane center puts out will be what the weather service’s forecast is, Wong said.

There are a lot of things up in the air, so once something actually forms, it should be more predictable, she said.

However, now is the time to prepare, Wong said.

“Things could change really quickly and you probably won’t have time to prepare,” she said.

Once something develops, it tends to move pretty quickly, Wong said.

“It is hurricane season and it never hurts to be prepared,” she said. “Have a plan of action for the family and have supplies in case something does develop.”

There is an active investigation in the Gulf at this time, Wong said. If they find significant activity, the National Weather Service will do a special report, she said.

The disturbance has the potential to produce heavy rainfall along the Upper Texas Coast to Florida throughout the next few days, according to the hurricane center. It could also produce wind and storm surge impacts on the Texas coast and Louisiana later this week, the model states.

“Interests along the Gulf Coast should continue to monitor its progress,” the National Hurricane Center’s website states.

County officials are continuing to monitor the system and should get a better idea of where it will go today, Trower said.

They want residents to be aware, have emergency plans in place and kits ready to go in case it blows something in our way, she said.

“Emergency management and county officials are staying on top of it,” Trower said.

As always, residents should stay informed, be prepared and download the Ready Brazoria County smartphone application, she said.

Maddy McCarty is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0151.

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