Through our regional offices in Atlanta, New York and Texas, we continue to closely monitor tropical storm Lee in the Gulf of Mexico and Hurricane Katia in the Atlantic. While it is still too early to know if Katia will pose a threat to the U.S., we are in touch with all of our East Coast states in the event Katia does track toward us in the coming days.
Meanwhile, residents in coastal and inland areas around the Gulf of Mexico should continue to closely monitor tropical storm Lee because the storm is approaching Southeastern Louisiana with heavy rains and strong gusty winds -- and could bring tornadoes along with it. For the latest severe weather watches/warnings in your area, visit the National Weather Service at weather.gov or mobile.weather.gov on your phone.
The National Weather Service forecasts that Tropical Storm Lee will produce between 10 - 15 inches of rain, with up to 20 inches in isolated areas. With this heavy amount of rain, flooding is likely to occur, so here are some flood terms and safety tips to remember:
- Flood Watch: Flooding is possible. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information
- Flash Flood Watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
- Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
- Avoid walking or driving through flooded areas – it only takes six inches of fast-moving flood water to knock over an adult and two feet to move a vehicle.
- Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
- Don’t put yourself at risk, follow the instructions of local officials, and if they give the order to evacuate - evacuate.
The National Weather Service also forecasts areas along the Gulf Coast where isolated tornadoes associated with tropical storm Lee may occur as the storm moves through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the far western Florida Panhandle. Here's a reminder of tornado terms and safety tips:
- A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area.
- A tornado warning is when a tornado is actually occurring, take shelter immediately.
- We urge all individuals in the region to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio and their local news for updates and directions provided by their local officials.
- Determine in advance where you will take shelter in case of a tornado warning:
- Storm cellars or basements provide the best protection.
- If underground shelter is not available, go into an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
- In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
With the tropical storm watches and warnings in effect along the Gulf Coast, it is critical that residents and businesses listen to the instructions of local officials, closely follow news and weather reports, find open shelters in the states of Louisiana and Mississippi if you need a place to stay and evacuate, if told to do so. Learn more on how to prepare for hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes and other hazards at Ready.gov