A tropical wave is moving across the Gulf of Mexico — and there is a newly formed and quickly strengthening tropical storm behind it.
"These are two very distinct storms. (Tropical Storm) Gonzalo is well out in the Atlantic and is not an immediate threat to our area. Now, we do have a tropical wave in the Gulf of Mexico and that will have the potential to bring some rain," said Donald Jones, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service's Lake Charles office.
Tropical Storm Gonzolo is continuing to develop out in the central Atlantic, and is intensifying quickly. It is forecast to become a hurricane by Thursday morning.
"The reason that's happening is because ... the smaller a storm is, the more quickly it can spin up. The smaller they are, the quicker they can intensify," Jones said.
The more immediate threat is a disorganized tropical wave that is continuing to move across the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane Hunters investigated the Gulf tropical wave Wednesday afternoon. The National Hurricane Center gives the disorganized tropical wave an 80 percent chance of development over the next three days. The winds are not strong enough yet to classify the tropical wave as anything stronger, and it is forecast to continue west into the central Texas coast.
This will most likely bring widespread showers and thunderstorms to the area today and through the weekend. Tropical watches or warnings are possibly going to be issued further south, near Texas, as soon as today, Jones said.
Rainfall is expected to be about one to six inches in some areas, he said.
"The important thing to keep in mind is that on the east and especially northeast side of the storm, that's where the most significant rainfall is expected to be, which will be our area unfortunately it looks like," Jones said. "As we go early into next week, we're still going to be looking at ... higher-than-normal rain chances at least into the middle part of next week. We're looking at a fairly long period of very high rain chances going into early next week."
Hurricane Douglas is in the Pacific and is due to impact parts of Hawaii and should begin to weaken as it moves into the state.