Heads up: Gulf Coast faces a new tropical weather threat

A broad low-pressure system has a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression in the next five days over the northwestern Caribbean Sea or Gulf of Mexico, the National Weather Service in New Orleans advises.

Residents along the Gulf should keep an eye on the system, which is near the northeastern coast of Honduras and drifting to the northwest. The system is producing showers and thunderstorms from Central America across the Western Caribbean.

“Although strong winds aloft persist just to the north of the system, the upper-level environment is expected to be conducive enough to allow slow development,” the NWS reports.

By late this weekend or early next week, a tropical depression could form as the system moves northwest to north. The NWS puts the chances of formation at 40 percent over the next 48 hours.

Either way, the NWS expects the system to produce “torrential rains” over the next few days, mostly along portions of Central America and the Yucatan peninsula.

Harrison County Emergency Manager Rupert Lacy warned Friday afternoon that tides are expected to be above-normal ahead of any possible tropical depression because of persistent onshore winds of 15-20 mph.

Anita Lee can be reached at 228-896-2331 or @CAnitaLee1