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Current dry spell to become the 3rd longest on record

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In the Tri-Cities, we've gone 20 straight days without seeing measurable rain. This is the longest dry spell we've had since the fall of 2001.

With rain chances very low through Saturday, it's likely that this gets extended to the third longest dry spell on record in our area.

There is some relief in sight, though, and it's in the form of a Tropical Depression.

Tropical Depression 16 formed on Wednesday morning near Costa Rica and Panama.

It's forecast to be a strong tropical storm, if not weak hurricane, by the time it gets close to the Gulf Coast this weekend. However, if it travels over a warm batch of water - it could get even stronger than that.

As is usually the case this far out, there is some uncertainty as to where exactly this system will go (as shown below by the spaghetti plots).

The farther west the center of the storm goes, the more moisture gets pulled in and the more rain we see. However, the farther east it goes, the less moisture gets pulled in and the less rain we see. The amount of time this spends over open ocean will also impact how much rain we see.

More time over warm Gulf waters means a stronger storm and potentially more rainfall. A quicker moving storm would spend less time over the Gulf waters, meaning a weaker storm and less rainfall.

Our best chance of rain, as it stands right now, is Sunday-Tuesday. Stay tuned for updates, as we continue to track this storm and hope that it brings us some much needed rain.

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