Tropical storm Lee hit the Gulf Coast states over the weekend bringing winds and extremely heavy rains to many areas from Texas through to the Florida panhandle. Louisiana seems to have taken the brunt of the storm with some reports of more than 15 inches of rain in certain areas causing severe flooding.
A slow-moving storm, tropical storm Lee was spawned from a large area of low pressure in the Gulf and the storm’s approach towards the Louisiana coastline caused many Gulf oil platforms and facilities to shut down production and evacuate non-essential staff.
Flash flood warnings are still in effect for much of the New Orleans area and other southern counties of Louisiana. Much of southern Mississippi was under flood warnings while the storm passed. Strong thunderstorms have been occurring all along the Gulf coast area with reports of some tornadoes have been received along the Louisiana coast and in coastal areas of Alabama.
More regional flooding is predicted a Lee moves inland, with the slow passage of the storm expected to exacerbate any flooding problems. No estimates of damage and losses caused by tropical storm Lee have been made available as yet. Lee’, now a tropical depression as winds have weakened, current position can be seen below.
Meanwhile, hurricane Katia has been continuing her path towards the northwest. Her destination is still uncertain, although most of the forecast models show her curving sharply northwards and so missing the U.S. Atlantic coastline. There is still a small chance that weather conditions cause Katia to get closer to the U.S. than currently expected, so it is worth keeping an eye on her progress.
Hurricane Katia’s maximum sustained winds are now 100mph and she is still forecast to intensify further as she moves steadily west. The next 48 hours should give us a better picture of where Katia is going. Her current position and forecast path can be seen below.
As always you can visit our dedicated page to keep up to speed with the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season.