Posted: Sep 3, 2011 11:31 AM by Meteorologist Ryan Davidson
Updated: Sep 3, 2011 10:58 PM
Source: WBRZ Weather Center
Tropical Storm Lee is located about 60 miles South of Lafayette. It is moving North at 2 mph. Winds have decreased to near 45 mph with higher gusts. We had a wind gust of 39 mph at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport earlier this morning. A NOAA Buoy located 50 miles east of the Mouth of the Mississippi River reported a wind gust to 54 mph with sustained winds around 49 mph. Also wind gusts to near 60 mph have been reported around the New Orleans area. The pressure has dropped to 987 mb, down from 988 earlier and this is a sign that Lee is remaining consistent in its intensity with very minor decreases as winds are down.
The drier air that was being filtered into Lee is beginning to be cut off by showers wrapping around the southern half of the center of the storm. The rain bands have been coming in waves through the WBRZ viewing area since the dry air has begun to be cut off. Heavy rain will continue throughout the overnight hours and into the early morning as bands spin through.
Here are the Baton Rouge Impacts:
Heavy Rain...extremely heavy rain can be expected all over South Louisiana today as Lee moves closer to the coast. Rainfall rates could be 1 to 3 inches an hour! Rainfall totals between now and Monday could be around 7-12 inches around the WBRZ viewing area. Baton Rouge Metro Airport has received near 6.00" of rain since midnight Saturday. Other WeatherNet 2 sites have also picked up 7"+ of rain across Livingston , Tangipahoa, and St. James Parishes. Due to all of the excessive rain, the NWS has issued a Flash Flood Watch in effect through Monday Night.
Flooding...we could see some flooding of low-lying areas, and in local rivers. We will have to keep an eye on the Comite, Amite, Tickfaw, and Tangipahoa Rivers the next few days as they are expected to rise to close to flood stage. Also, area roads that typically flood are already holding water, so please DO NOT drive through flooded roadways. There's no way know how deep the water is. As the saying goes, "turn around, don't drown." Some parts of I-10 have taken on water from time to time especially around I-10 East at Essen. Also, parts of Nicholson Road have taken on water, along with roads around Denham Springs.
Wind...A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the entire WBRZ Viewing area. This means that tropical storm force winds can be expected throughout today, tonight and tomorrow around the viewing area. These winds will cause trees to fall, and power outages will be likely. You can expect the winds to increase to 30 to 50 mph with gusts to around 60 mph later today and tonight.
Power Outages...Entergy has already reported sporadic power outages around parts of East Baton Rouge, Livingston and Tangipahoa Parishes this morning. Winds will be sustained around 30 to 50 mph with gusts to 60 mph later today and tonight!
Tornadoes...The Tornado Watch has been extended for all of the WBRZ Viewing area until 7 AM. We had plenty of tornado warnings Saturday morning and afternoon, and more will continue throughout the day and night. Anytime you have a land falling tropical system, tornadoes are very likely due to all of the spin in the atmosphere. These tornadoes are not like the typical ones we see in the Spring and Fall. Tropical tornadoes usually are very small, and do not last for very long. However, they can still produce damage!
Storm Surge...a surge will raise water levels by as much as 3 to 5 feet along the Louisiana Coast over the weekend. A surge of 4 feet was reported at Shell Beach, LA, and 3.5 feet in Lake Pontchartrain at New Canal Station on Saturday. Look for coastal flooding to last for a few days too.
**Be sure to keep it tuned to News 2, Cable Channel 18, WBRZ.com, Facebook & Twitter throughout the next few days as we will be posting many updates, warnings, and more information