The low pressure area we have been watching in the eastern Gulf of Mexico is now Tropical Depression Five, and is heading toward Louisiana and Mississippi for a Thursday landfall as either a depression or a tropical storm.
Some strengthening is possible before it makes landfall, as it will be moving over very warm surface waters, but there will be some wind shear present from the east that could prevent further intensification. Nevertheless, forecast data indicates the system will be able to just reach tropical storm strength (39 mph sustained winds or stronger), likely by tonight.
If this system becomes a Tropical Storm, it may be named Danielle, unless another system in the central Atlantic beats Five to the punch! This second system is not a depression yet, but conditions are favorable for it to intensify into either a depression or storm at any time. The next name on our list after Danielle is Earl. It is feasible we could have both Danielle and Earl form out of these two systems.
The low in the Atlantic (bright white on the right of this infrared satellite image) will likely not impact the U.S., as it will continue to track through the open Atlantic Ocean well away from any landmasses.