The latest update from the National Hurricane Center on Potential Tropical Cycle 3 indicates the system is intensifying Friday afternoon. Recent reports from a station near the Southwest Pass reported wind gusts around 50 at a height of 125 feet. Likely winds at the surface are not quite as strong but that does indicate the system is becoming better organized. The NHC has now put the system at an intensity of 45 mph.
The forecast for this system is to become a tropical storm before landfall sometime later Friday. The name of that storm will be Claudette.
Overall though the same thoughts from the past couple days continue with the majority of the rain being well east of the center. With the center moving inland a little closer now it looks like we will miss out on the heaviest rain threat.
Look for 3-6″ on average across our area especially New Orleans eastward. Heaviest amounts will be well off to the east it looks like now, and areas along and west of I-55 won’t see much at all.
Gusty winds will move through especially in these heavy bands. We could see gusts up to 45 mph and as the center passes overhead tonight.
Coastal flooding will also be possible but nothing major. Look for 2-3 feet outside the levees along the coast and 1-2 feet along the lakes.
Isolated tornadoes will be possible through tonight and Saturday morning with some of the heaviest activity.