Discussion: An area of low pressure on the coast of Belize (Fig. 1) is disorganized and drifting slowly north the next 2-3 days reaching the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico later Friday. From there the potential tracks vary widely. The ECM model develops this system into tropical cyclone across warm waters (Fig. 2) toward Louisiana. The GFS is less intense with this system tracking north-northeast across Florida early weekend to the South Carolina coast on Sunday.
Fig. 1: Morning satellite view of the Gulf of Mexico. Note the rain zone in Georgia which has produced 4-9 in. of rain overnight. Low pressure north coast of Belize will slowly drift north later this week with 2 possible tracks identified by the ECM and GFS models. By dawn Sunday the system is inland but very uncertain where.
The proposed north to northwest track of a tropical system this weekend toward Louisiana has the best chance to realize the 60% risk of tropical storm intensity forecast by NOAA/NHC due the sufficiently warm water surface (Fig. 2) for (tropical) development. The north-northeast track offered by the GFS features passage over water temperatures not sufficiently warm enough to generate a tropical storm.
Alberto is the first storm name this season.
Fig. 2: North Atlantic basin surface temperatures are indicated. 81F (27C) is required to sustain a tropical cyclone.