New Orleans Floods as Gulf Coast Braces for Torrential Rains

Marco Green
July 10, 2019

There are a few key players in the development of this potential tropical feature - now dubbed "Invest 92L" (short for "investigation area") by the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Water temperatures in the northern Gulf of Mexico are in the middle to upper 80s F. For information specific to your area, please see products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast office.RAINFALL: The system is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 6 to 12 inches near and inland of the central Gulf Coast through early next week, with isolated maximum rainfall amounts of 18 inches.WIND: Tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area by late Thursday or early Friday.NEXT ADVISORY -- Next intermediate advisory at 100 PM CDT.

A tropical storm is an area of thunderstorms that produces a circular wind flow with winds from 39 to 73 miles per hour. Rain chances will begin today for Florida, Georgia & Alabama then shift west into Mississippi & Louisiana by Wednesday followed by a continued west movement of precipitation into Texas by the weekend.

The system will have the potential to produce heavy rainfall in Southwest Louisiana this weekend.

Shell has evacuated all non-essential staff from eastern Gulf drilling rigs, with more action on the horizon depending on how the storm develops, spokeswoman Cindy Babski told CNN.

Regardless of the classification this system develops into, both Louisiana and MS are forecast to see very heavy rain - more than a foot in some places, Brink said.

As the low-pressure system moves closer to land, will meet warm, open waters that will fuel the storm's intensity, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said. Right along the coast south of Louisiana, water temperatures are now approaching 32ºC - more than ample fuel for a healthy storm. This could present an imminent possibility for disaster since the levees are only capable of protecting the city from surges up to 20 feet.

Even in lieu of a hurricane, sometimes tropical storms that are near the coast or make landfall can unleash sudden tornadoes. 2008's Tropical Storm Edouard took a similar path, forming over the northern Gulf before cruising into the northeast coast of Texas in early August.

The Flood Protection Authority said it will be closing several flood gates and structures in the New Orleans area starting Wednesday morning. However, there is potential for the system to become a hurricane should it remain offshore into Saturday.

The strongest recent storm to make landfall in the United States in July was Hurricane Dennis, which hit the western Florida Panhandle on July 10, 2005, as a Category 3 hurricane, the Weather Channel said.

Another way tropical storms can form is like the situation this week.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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