Potential tropical storm threatens Louisiana by the weekend
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Thursday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center gave Invest 92-L the special designation of Potential Tropical Cyclone #3. This special designation allows for the National Hurricane Center to begin issuing regular advisories, forecast track cones, and watches and warnings.
At 1 a.m. Friday, the NHC reported PTC #3 is forecast to bring heavy rainfall and flooding to the northern Gulf Coast. The center of circulation was located at 24.0 North, 92.0 West, or about 390 miles south of Morgan City, La. Maximum sustained winds were 35 mph and it was moving north at 9 mph.
The current forecast track for PTC #3 shows a gradually strengthening system as it moves into south Louisiana late Friday night or early Saturday morning. South Louisiana could be dealing with Tropical Storm Claudette by Saturday morning.
PTC #3 is expected to be a lop-sided storm with the most significant impacts displaced the east of the center. With the current forecast path moving directly over the Capital area, that could limit the impacts felt in the viewing area.
Rainfall will remain the main concern related to what becomes of PTC #3. Based on the current forecast path, rainfall estimates of 2″ to 4″ are expected across the area. If the track moves east, rainfall amounts will need to be lowered (1″ to 2″). If the track shifts even slightly west, then rainfall amounts will need to be raised (5″ to 7″).
A Flash Flood Watch has been issued for the area beginning Friday afternoon and continuing into Sunday morning. The heaviest of the rain is expected to fall Friday night into Saturday morning as the system makes landfall. There is some potential that additional heavy rainfall could occur in isolated spots Sunday morning as feeder bands circulate on the south side of the system as it exits the region. Sometimes, these feeder bands can lead to training rain, which can produce high rainfall amounts in a short amount of time.
Limited threats remain: wind, severe weather (i.e. isolated tornadoes), and coastal surge flooding.
Winds will be strongest as the system makes landfall Saturday morning. Tropical storm-force winds (> 38 mph) will be possible along the coast for parishes along the tidal lakes. Winds of 20 to 30 mph will be possible for metro Baton Rouge. These winds could cause sporadic power outages. Winds will diminish quickly by Saturday afternoon as the system begins to exit.
A threat for isolated tornadoes will begin near the coastal parishes Friday afternoon as outer rain bands move inland. The threat becomes larger, encompassing the rest of the viewing area late Friday into Saturday. These tropical type tornadoes are usually brief but can cause significant damage. If you live in a mobile home, you may want to try and find a sturdier shelter for Friday and Saturday.
Coastal flood advisories and warnings have been issued along the Louisiana coast and tidal lakes. Along the coast, surge estimates of two to three feet look possible. Along the tidal lakes, surge estimates of one to two feet look possible.
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