Tropical storm warning issued for northern Gulf Coast

NHC: 90% chance of tropical development in southwest Gulf of Mexico

NHC: 90% chance of tropical development in southwest Gulf of Mexico

Flooding had already begun on Friday night, with local media reporting high water over roads, stranded vehicles and water rescues; flood warnings and watches were in effect in addition to a widespread tropical storm warning. The warning also includes Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Metropolitan New Orleans to the west.

If PTC#3 gets a more defined and focused center of circulation prior to landfall it will become a tropical storm, if so its name will be "Claudette".

The U.S. National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone Three, which is located over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico.

On the forecast track, the system will make landfall along the north-central Gulf Coast tonight or early Saturday.

The system was sporting 45 miles per hour winds and was moving to the north near 16 miles per hour.

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The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline, the hurricane center said.

Rainfall totals of 4-8 inches (10-20 centimeters) with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches (30 centimeters) are possible beginning Friday and continuing through the weekend from the Central Gulf Coast northeastward into the Southern Appalachians.

Almost 6 million people are under a tropical storm warning from Intracoastal City, Louisiana, to the Alabama-Florida border, including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas and New Orleans.

After Claudette, which would be the third named storm of the year, the next named storm to form would be Danny.

The NHC noted that a National Ocean Service station on Petit Bois Island, Miss. had recently recorded maximum winds of 39 miles per hour with a gust to 46 miles per hour.

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