PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The National Hurricane Center has upgraded 92-L to a Potential Tropical Cyclone. A PTC is an advisory level the National Hurricane Center uses before a system becomes tropical, but is considered "likely to" within 48hours, and could create tropical weather conditions impacting a nearby landmass, in this case Louisiana and Texas. The upgrade to a PTC allows the NHC to issue tropical storm watches or warnings as an early warning system for potential life threatening weather conditions such as storm surge. Currently, a Tropical Storm Watch has been issued for the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts where tropical storm conditions may be felt within 36 to 48hrs. This disturbance will likely become a depression or storm late Wednesday or early Thursday as it moves further west in the North Central Gulf, south of Louisiana, and away from NWFL. As of now, the depression is likely to become Tropical Storm Barry by Thursday night or Friday morning and could reach Category 1 Hurricane strength before making landfall late Friday or Saturday near on the Louisiana or Texas coast.
Impacts to NWFL are still minimal with unsettled, rainy, days through the end of the work week. And a likely return to a more typical July like pattern of an afternoon storm chance over the weekend.
1. Rain: 2-3" likely Wednesday through Sunday, localized pockets of up to 6" possible for a few communities
2. High Surf
3. High Rip Current Threat
Keep in mind that potential track changes are still possible as the system is still developing. But for now, the impacts will remain minimal over NWFL. A landfall into Eastern Louisiana may mean more rain sticks around into our NWFL weekend forecast, especially for Walton & Okaloosa Counties. A landfall further west toward Texas would likely lend to lesser rain chances, or a typical July afternoon storm chance.
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