A tropical system in the Caribbean could develop into the seventh named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. Even if it doesn’t form, the system will bring heavy rain and stormy conditions to the Gulf Coast over the weekend.
The National Hurricane Center says the system has a 40 percent chance of developing into a tropical storm over the next five days.
“Even if this does not become a tropical storm you’re still likely going to have rip currents, high surf, and heavy rain in some locations,” CNN Meteorologist Allison Chinchar said.
The system could dump 4 to 10 inches of rain onto parts of the Gulf Coast and inland Texas, creating a substantial flooding threat.
Afternoon storms this week will dump several inches of rain on major metro areas like Houston and Lafayette before this system impacts the Gulf.
Certain areas of Texas, including Austin and San Antonio, will also see heavy rain and a possible flood threat as the system moves inland over the weekend and early next week.
The country is especially vulnerable to weather events right now because of COVID-19, which makes it harder for people to evacuate when needed. Shelters might not be available, and if they are, evacuees might face crowded quarters and potentially having to share supplies.
“Storms this year are different from any other year because you have to factor COVID in,” Chinchar said. “It doesn’t have to be a really big storm to become a big deal.”
The CNN Wire contributed to this report.