Heavy Rains and Flooding From Tropical Storm Lee Spreading From Central Gulf Coast Into Southern Appalachians, September 4, 2011 (UPDATE 7 PM CDT)

Miami, Florida—(ENEWSPF)—September 4, 2011 – UPDATE 7 PM CDT.  The National Hurricane Center is reporting that heavy rains and flooding From Tropical Storm Lee are spreading from the central Gulf Coast into the southern Appalachians.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in Effect For:

  • Destin, Florida westward to Morgan City, Louisiana, including the city of New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas

For storm information specific to your area in the United States, including possible inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your Local National Weather Service Forecast Office.

Discussion and 48-Hour Outlook

At 7 PM CDT (0000 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Lee was located near latitude 30.9 north, longitude 91.8 west.  Lee is moving toward the north near 6 mph (9 km/h).  Some erratic motion is possible this evening before Lee turns toward the northeast or east-northeast by late tonight. On the forecast track, the center of Lee will move slowly across southern and southeastern Louisiana tonight, and move into southern Mississippi by late Monday.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts, and these strongest winds are occurring well southeast of the center over water.  ittle change in strength is expected in the next 24 to 36 hours.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 275 miles (445 km) mainly to the southeast of the center over water.

Reports from surface observations indicate that the minimum central pressure is 989 mb (29.20 inches).

Hazards Affecting Land

Tropical Storm Lee is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches across the central Gulf Coast region, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches through Tuesday.  Heavy rains will continue to expand northeastward into the Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachian Mountains through Tuesday with rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches expected, with isolated amounts of 10 inches possible.  These rains are expected to cause extensive flooding and flash flooding.  

Since Thursday morning New Orleans International Airport has reported a storm-total rainfall of 10.60 inches.

Elevated water levels of as much as 3 to 5 feet above ground level will continue to occur over portions of southeastern Louisiana and coastal portions of western Mississippi, with elevated water levels as much as 1 to 3 feet above ground level elsewhere within the Tropical Storm Warning area.  Elevated water levels will be slow to recede due to persistent onshore winds.

Tropical Storm conditions are expected to continue over portions of the warning area tonight and Monday.

A few tornadoes are possible tonight and Monday over portions of southern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, the Florida Panhandle, and extreme southwestern Georgia. 

Source: nhc.noaa.gov