Gulf storm spurs flood warnings in Louisiana


This National Hurricane Center graphic shows Hurricane Katia and two other storms systems as of Thursday evening. (National Hurricane Center)

Published: Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 8:05 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 8:13 a.m.

NEW ORLEANS — A slow-moving tropical system packing walloping rains is slogging its way to the Gulf coast, which could be drenched with up to 20 inches, leading Louisiana's governor to declare a state of emergency Thursday because of the threat of flash flooding.

Facts

National Weather Service - Gainesville forecast

Friday: Patchy fog before 9am. Otherwise, sunny, with a high near 90. Calm wind becoming east between 5 and 8 mph.

Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 68. East wind around 6 mph becoming calm.

Saturday: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. Calm wind becoming east between 5 and 8 mph.

Saturday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 71. East wind around 6 mph becoming calm.

Sunday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 89.

Sunday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73.

Labor Day: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 90.

Monday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73.

Tuesday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny and breezy, with a high near 91.

Tuesday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 72.

Wednesday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 90.

Wednesday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 71.

Thursday: A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 91.

Tropical storm warnings are out from Mississippi to Texas. The National Hurricane Center said the system that is now a depression in the Gulf of Mexico will dump 10 to 15 inches of rain over southern areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama through Sunday and as much as 20 inches in some spots.

By today, it could become Tropical Storm Lee, the 12th named storm of the season.

Early forecasts were for landfall early Saturday afternoon in south-central Louisiana, though National Weather Service meteorologist Frank Revitte said it was too early for a firm time or location.

"Wow. This could be a very heavy, prolific rain-maker," Revitte said.

According to a hurricane center chart, maximum sustained winds could reach 60 mph by Saturday, lower than hurricane strength of 74 mph.

As hurricane season is hitting its peak in the Atlantic, storm watchers were monitoring three disturbances. Besides the Gulf depression, Tropical Storm Katia (KAH'-tee-yah) is spinning in open waters. It weakened from a hurricane earlier in the day though forecasters say it will again grow stronger.

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