MIAMI (AP) — A tropical storm warning was issued Thursday for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama as a potential tropical cyclone advanced toward the northern Gulf Coast.
The warning extends from Intracoastal City, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Heavy rainfall and flooding will likely be the most significant hazard, with the storm reaching the coast beginning on Friday, forecasters said.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards late Thursday issued a state of emergency due to the potential weather threats. The move is an administrative step that authorizes the use of state resources to aid in storm response efforts, the governor’s office said.
Late Thursday night, the poorly organized storm was located about 435 miles (695 kilometers) south of Morgan City, Louisiana, with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph (45 kph). It was moving north at 9 mph (15 kph).
The storm is expected to produce total rainfall of 3-6 inches (7-15 centimeters) with isolated amounts of 8 inches (20 centimeters) across the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, according to the forecast.
Rainfall totals of 4-8 inches (10-20 centimeters) with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches (30 centimeters) are possible beginning Friday and continuing through the weekend from the Central Gulf Coast northeastward into the Southern Appalachians.
The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline, the hurricane center said. The water could reach the heights of several feet.
There have already been two named storms during the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. Meteorologists expect the season to be busy, but not as crazy as the record-breaking 2020 season.
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