Tropical Storm Claudette Brings Rain to Southeast U.S.

Tropical Storm Claudette brought wind and rain to the southeastern U.S. on Saturday morning. At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Claudette was located at latitude 30.4°N and longitude 90.1°W which put it about 30 miles (50 km) north of New Orleans, Louisiana. Tropical Storm Claudette was moving toward the north-northeast at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Morgan City, Louisiana to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line, Florida including New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. The Tropical Storm Warning included Biloxi, Mississippi, Mobile, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida.

A well defined low level center of circulation formed in the system formerly called Potential Tropical Cyclone Three on Saturday morning and the National Hurricane Center classified the system as Tropical Storm Claudette. The strongest winds and heaviest rain were falling in bands north and east of the center of Claudette. Drier air was wrapping around the western and southern parts of Tropical Storm Claudette, Bands in those parts of the circulation consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds. The stronger winds were occurring in the portion of the circulation that was still over the Gulf of Mexico. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 200 miles (320 km) on the eastern side of Claudette. Winds on the western side of Claudette were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Claudette will move around the northwestern part of a high pressure system southeast of the U.S. The high pressure system will steer it toward the northeast during the next 36 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Claudette will move across southeastern Mississippi on Saturday and it could reach Alabama by Saturday night. Claudette will move across Georgia on Sunday and it could be over South Carolina by Sunday evening. Tropical Storm Claudette will drop locally heavy rain over parts of the southeastern U.S. Heavy rain could cause flash floods. Flash Flood Watches were in effect for parts of southeastern Mississippi, Alabama, northwestern Florida, and western Georgia. There may also be enough low level wind shear to produce tornadoes in the rainbands in the eastern side of the circulation.