As weather forecasters announced, a tropical or subtropical storm is expected to form in the western Gulf of Mexico Friday. Heavy rain , possible flooding, high surf and rip currents were predicted to the northern Gulf Coast into Father’s Day weekend. Tropical storm warnings have been issued from Intercoastal City, Louisiana to the Okaloosa/Walton county line, including New Orleans and Mobile. The next name on the list for this storm is Claudette. The majority of computer model guidance suggests the center of this system will move inland on the northern or northwestern Gulf Coast late Friday or early Saturday. The heaviest rain is expected from southeast Louisiana into parts of Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Some locally heavy rain could linger from Alabama and Georgia into the western Carolinas on Sunday, and possibly in the eastern Carolinas and Virginia Monday. Even a tornado threat could exist beginning Friday afternoon and continue into Saturday from southern Louisiana into southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle.
The last June Gulf hurricane was in 2010. Louisiana is under a state of emergency. 14 million people are under flash flood watches from Louisiana to Georgia, including New Orleans; Birmingham, Alabama; and Atlanta. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards released a statement Thursday, saying, “The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) has activated its Crisis Action Team and stands ready to support our local partners with any emergency resources needed beyond parish capabilities.”