Gulf storm set to strengthen as it eyes Louisiana landfall

Potential Tropical Cyclone Three likely to become Claudette Friday

Landfall will most likely be in southeast Louisiana early Saturday morning as a weak tropical storm (Claudette).
Landfall will most likely be in southeast Louisiana early Saturday morning as a weak tropical storm (Claudette).

HOUSTON – As anticipated, the disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico that we have been watching for well over a week is finally on the move and setting its sights on Louisiana.

The storm, officially named Potential Tropical Cyclone Three, currently has 35 mile per hour sustained wind. It is in the central Gulf and moving north at 14 mph. It will make landfall overnight along the southeast Louisiana coast.

Short-range high resolution models show a very off-balanced storm thanks to wind shear in the upper atmosphere. Heavy rain will be concentrated east of the center. West of the center -- the “clean” side of the storm -- will be mainly dry.

High resolution short-range models are in agreement with longer-range models in keeping the Gulf disturbance to the east of Houston.

Rainfall will be the biggest threat from this storm. Accumulations of five to eight inches will be likely from New Orleans to Panama City Beach, Florida. Fortunately, the system will come ashore at a decent pace. It will come in and get out quickly, which will help keep rain totals from being worse.

Heaviest rain will be confined to areas from southeast Louisiana to western parts of the Florida Panhandle.

Tropical storm force winds are also expected along parts of the Gulf Coast. As a result, the National Hurricane Center has issued tropical Storm Warnings for coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and extreme western Florida.

10 Day Forecast


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