The storm is then forecast to continue moving northwestward over land and weaken into a tropical depression while continuing to produce widespread rain and gusty winds through early next week. "An Air Force Reserve Unit reconnaissance aircraft is scheduled to investigate the disturbance tomorrow afternoon", the National Hurricane Service said. Ahead of that, a tropical storm watch and a storm surge watch have been issued for the coast.
The next name that will be used for the next tropical cyclone will be Barry. Heavy rain and flooding will be the main impact/threat with this particular system, both in and near where it makes landfall by this weekend.
Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are all making preparations for heavy rain and possible flooding.
A system that moves inland in south central Louisiana would have less time to strengthen over the warm waters of the Gulf.
The system could track along the northern Gulf of Mexico this week and bring thunderstorms to several states along the Gulf Coast.
UPDATE (2:30 p.m. Wednesday): The National Hurricane Center now says the storm system, which has maximum sustained winds of 30 miles per hour with higher gusts, is expected to become a tropical depression Thursday morning, a tropical storm Thursday night and a hurricane on Friday. Right along the coast south of Louisiana, water temperatures are now approaching 32ºC - more than ample fuel for a healthy storm.
Officials in New Orleans are monitoring for any potential storm surge impacts on the Mississippi River.
"There are a number of petroleum rigs and refineries along the central and western Gulf coast, and there may be considerable risk if this storm ramps up, develops to its full potential and travels in that direction", Sosnowski said.
"With probabilities, with best guesses right now, regions north of the Houston area going up into East Texas, could receive as much as, if not more than, 10 inches of rain", he said. This could present an imminent possibility for disaster since the levees are only capable of protecting the city from surges up to 20 feet.
Even in absence of a hurricane, gusty thunderstorms and isolated tornadoes associated with a tropical depression or storm can be a threat to lives and property.
Development of tropical storms in near-shore waters off the USA coast are common early during hurricane season, in the middle of the summer. There is also a good probability that a storm surge watch or warning will be issued for this event as well.
The unnamed system is spinning in the same general area where Hurricane Michael gained strength last October.