ORLANDO, Fla. - 11 UPDATE: The National Hurricane Center says Claudette remains a tropical depression but has lost some strength. The system now has maximum sustained winds of 30 mph, but continues to move northeast at 14 mph, according to the NHC.
8 P.M. UPDATE: The National Hurricane Center says Claudette is still a tropical depression, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph. Forecasters say the system is moving northeast at 15 mph.
The NHC says the center of Claudette is moving into western Alabama and bringing heavy rains and gusty winds across portions of the southeastern U.S.
5 P.M. UPDATE: The National Hurricane Center downgraded Claudette to a tropical depression.
Forecasters said the system has 35 mph maximum sustained winds and is moving northeast at 16 mph.
The NHC said heavy rains and gusty winds will continue across portions of the southeastern U.S.
2 P.M. UPDATE: Tropical Storm Claudette formed in the Gulf of Mexico early Saturday morning.
Claudette made landfall in southeastern Louisiana. The system is moving toward the north-northeast near 14 mph. A turn toward the northeast is expected later on Saturday followed by a motion toward the east-northeast tonight or Sunday.
On the forecast track, the system should move farther inland across portions of southeast U.S. through Sunday night, and over the western Atlantic Ocean on Monday.
"Claudette is expected to weaken to a tropical depression later today, however, Claudette is forecast to become a tropical storm again when it moves across the Carolinas Sunday night or early Monday," the National Hurricane Center said.
Maximum sustained winds are at 40 mph.
"The main concern of this storm is the heavy rainfall causing dangerous flooding conditions to the North Gulf Coast region," FOX 35 Storm Team Meteorologist Allison Gargaro said.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- Mississippi/Alabama border to the Okaloosa/Walton County line Florida
Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- Cape Fear to Duck, North Carolina
- Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds
Claudette is expected to produce rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches across portions of coastal Mississippi and Alabama, and the western Florida Panhandle through the afternoon. Considerable flash, urban and small stream flooding impacts as well as new and renewed minor to isolated moderate river flooding are likely across these areas.
"As the system continues to lift northeast through the weekend, heavy rain will occur across central Alabama, central and northern Georgia, and into the Piedmont of the Carolinas, resulting in rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches," the NHC reports.
Tropical Storm Bill formed earlier this week as it moved away from the east coast of the U.S. and further into the cooler waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Subtropical Storm Ana formed before the official start of the 2021 hurricane season.
The next name on the list is Danny.
NOAA issued its annual hurricane season outlook last month, calling for an above-average number of storms in 2021, but not as many as last year’s record-breaking season.
Watch FOX 35 News for the latest weather updates.