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Hurricane Season 2011: Lee (Gulf of Mexico)
09.13.11
 
NASA's EO-1 satellite captured this natural-color image on September 10 of the Susquehanna River, loaded with sediment. › View larger image
NASA’s EO-1 satellite captured this natural-color image on September 10 of the Susquehanna River, loaded with sediment. The Susquehanna flows through the city and appears confined within its embankments.
Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/Jesse Allen, Robert Simmon/ NASA EO-1 team
Lee's Heavy Rainfall Makes a Muddy Susquehanna in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Traveling northward from the Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm Lee carried heavy rain to the northeastern U.S. in early September 2011. The rain swelled multiple rivers, including the Susquehanna.

Authorities evacuated residents of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, then nervously watched the city’s 41-foot (12-meter) high levees, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. By September 11, the river had receded. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured this natural-color image on September 10.

Loaded with sediment, the Susquehanna flows through the city, but appears confined within its embankments. According to the Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service of the U.S. National Weather Service, the Susquehanna River fell rapidly between September 9 and 12, 2011, from major flood stage to below flood level.

The levees withstood the river’s pressure in Harrisburg, but other communities along the banks of the Susquehanna were less fortunate. The river stressed levees “beyond what they were built to withstand,” said The Philadelpha Inquirer. The paper reported that some towns suffered more from Tropical Storm Lee than they had from Hurricane Agnes in 1972.

By September 9, 2011, President Obama declared an emergency in New York and Pennsylvania, Agence France-Presse reported. Roughly 100,000 people had been forced to evacuate, and the death toll stood at five. By September 11, the death toll for Pennsylvania had climbed to seven.

Text credit: Michon Scott
NASA's Earth Observatory
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



September 09, 2011

Map created from NASA's TRMM satellite shows rainfall from tropical storm Lee. › View larger image
Map created from NASA's TRMM satellite shows rainfall from tropical storm Lee. Rainfall from the northern Gulf of Mexico across eastern La., Miss., northwestern Ala., and central Tenn. generally exceed 100 mm (~4 inches, shown in dark green) with some parts of Miss. and La. receiving upwards of 250 mm (~10 inches, shown in dark red). Totals of 125 mm (~5 inches, shown in bright green) to as much as 200 to 250 mm (~8 to 10 inches, shown in orange and red) extend from south central Pennsylvania. Elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic, rainfall ranged from 100 to 150 mm (~4 to 6 inches). Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce

The TMPA rainfall analysis showed a stark contrast between Lee's rains and the drought to the west. › View larger image
TThe TMPA rainfall analysis showed a stark contrast between Lee's rains and the drought to the west. Anomalies for the 1-month period August 7 to September 7, 2011 (areas in green) to well-above normal rain (areas in blue) along and east of the Mississippi due to the passage of Lee, while nearly all of Texas and most of Kansas are either below (yellow areas) or well-below normal (brown areas). Credit: SSAI/NASA, Hal Pierce
NASA Satellite Rainmap Shows Extent of Tropical Storm Lee's Heavy Rainfall

NASA has a rain gauge flying in space called TRMM, and data from that satellite has been used to create a map of the massive rainfall generated by landfalling Tropical Storm Lee.

After forming in the north central Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm Lee came ashore over south central Louisiana on the morning of Sunday September 4th, 2011. Over the next two and a half days, the slow-moving storm worked its way across central Louisiana and central Mississippi and into northern Alabama, dumping heavy rains along the way. Tropical Storm Lee joined a frontal system to soak the eastern U.S.

The primary mission of the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite is to measure rainfall over the global Tropics using a combination of passive microwave and active radar sensors. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA. For expanded coverage, TRMM can be used to calibrate rainfall estimates from other satellites. Rainfall estimates from the TRMM-based, near-real time Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. are shown here for the period August 31 to September 8, 2011 for the eastern half of the U.S.

TMPA shows heavy rains extending inland from the northern Gulf of Mexico across eastern Louisiana, Mississippi, northwestern Alabama, and into central Tennessee. Rainfall totals in this region generally exceed 100 mm (~4 inches) with some parts of Mississippi and Louisiana receiving upwards of 250 mm (~10 inches) Chattanooga, Tennessee broke their all time 24-hour rainfall total with 9.69 inches.

After coming ashore, Tropical Storm Lee began to merge with a slowing-moving frontal system advancing eastward out of the Mississippi valley. This frontal system was associated with a quasi-stationary upper-level low pressure center located over the Ohio valley. As a result, tropical moisture was drawn up the eastern seaboard, bringing heavy rains from the mid-Atlantic up into the northern Appalachians.

TMPA rainfall totals of 125 mm (~5 inches, shown in bright green) to as much as 200 to 250 mm (~8 to 10 inches, shown in orange and red) extend from south central Pennsylvania up into central New York, where the Susquehanna River reached record flood levels in downtown Binghamton. Elsewhere across the mid-Atlantic, where pockets of rain exceed anywhere from 100 to 150 mm (~4 to 6 inches), numerous roads and streets were closed due to widespread localized flooding.

On Sept. 9, 2011 at 5 a.m. EDT, heavy rains associated with Lee's remnants are slowly coming to an end across the Mid-Atlantic. The large-scale extra-tropical low pressure area that absorbed Lee's moisture and energy was centered over Indiana and will continue weakening. Meanwhile, The National Weather Service's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) expects "tropical moisture to continue streaming up from the Atlantic Ocean leading to the potential for another round of heavy rains across the region."

For updated rain totals from Tropical Storm Lee, visit the HPC's webpage: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIAHPCAT3+shtml/090857.shtml.

While much of the nation east of the Mississippi received too much rain, there was no relief for Texas and parts of the Central Plains, which remain locked in a drought. TRMM satellite data is also helpful in determining areas of drought.

At NASA Goddard, TMPA rainfall anomalies were created for the one-month period from August 7 to September 7, 2011 that showed a stark contrast between the drought-stricken, well-below normal areas (nearly all of Texas and most of Kansas) and those with well-above normal rain along and east of the Mississippi due to the passage of Lee. The anomalies were constructed by computing the average rainfall rate over the period and then subtracting the 10-year average rate for the same period.

Those drought-stricken areas are hoping that Tropical Storm Nate, currently in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico will bring them some wet relief.

Text credit: Steve Lang, SSAI/NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



September 05, 2011

NASA Sees 4 Tropical Cyclones in the Atlantic Today

There are four tropical cyclones or remnants plaguing the Atlantic Ocean basin today, Sept. 8, 2011, and one satellite has captured all four in one image: Katia, Lee, Maria and Nate.

GOES image of four Atlantic Storms on Sept. 8, 2011 NOAA's GOES-13 satellite took a stunning image of 4 tropical systems in the Atlantic today, Sept. 8, 2011. Hurricane Katia in the western Atlantic between Bermuda and the U.S. East coast; Tropical Storm Lee's remnants affecting the northeastern U.S.; Tropical Storm Maria in the central Atlantic; and newborn Tropical Storm Nate in the Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico. (Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project)
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NOAA's GOES-13 satellite monitors the Atlantic and eastern U.S. and took a stunning image of Hurricane Katia in the western Atlantic between Bermuda and the U.S. East coast; Tropical Storm Lee's remnants affecting the northeastern U.S.; Tropical Storm Maria in the central Atlantic; and newborn Tropical Storm Nate in the Bay of Campeche, Gulf of Mexico. The visible image was created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Hurricane Katia

Hurricane Katia is causing rough surf along the U.S. east coast, and fortunately that's all she'll do. Today, Sept. 8, 2011, her center is passing between Bermuda and the east coast of the U.S. Bermuda is still under a tropical storm watch. Katia's eye is still visible in today's GOES-13 image.

NASA's Aqua satellite's AIRS instrument measured the cloud top temperatures within Hurricane Katia on Sept. 8 at 2:29 a.m. EDT. The infrared data showed the coldest cloud top temperatures (-63F/-52C) and strongest thunderstorms with the heaviest rainfall extended from the north to the east and south of the center. The AIRS imagery was created at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

At 11 a.m. EDT, Katia's maximum sustained winds were near 90 mph (150 kmh) and holding steady from earlier today. Katia was located about 320 miles (515 km) west of Bermuda near 33.6 North and 70.1 West. She was moving to the north at 16 mph (26 kmh) and had a minimum central pressure of 970 millibars.

Those rough surf conditions are expected along the U.S. East coast, Bermuda, and east facing beaches in the Bahamas over the next couple of days. Dangerous rip currents and very rough surf are expected in these areas.

Lee's Remnants

On the GOES-13 satellite image, the large area of cloud cover over the eastern U.S. is indicative of Lee's remnants. Gulf and Atlantic moisture associated with the remnants of Tropical Depression Lee were absorbed into a large scale extra-tropical low pressure area currently over east-central Ohio. That low continues to generate widespread rain from the Mid-Atlantic to southwestern New England today. Flood and flash flood watches and warnings are in effect over the northern part of the mid-Atlantic states, eastern Pennsylvania and southwestern New England.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Hydrometeorological Prediction Center forecast today concerning Lee's remnants calls for "very heavy rain with embedded thunderstorms has been persisting along two rainbands across the mid-Atlantic into southwestern part of New England. Additional rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are expected today...with isolated amounts of up to 6 inches possible." The extra-tropical low is expected to dissipate slowly over the weekend.

Tropical Storm Maria

Tropical Storm Maria appears smaller than Lee, Katia and Nate on today's GOES-13 visible satellite image. Its cloud cover also appears to be less organized than Katia (understandable since she's a hurricane) and tropical storm Nate (that just formed late last night, Sept. 7). At 11 a.m. EDT today, Sept. 8, even the National Hurricane Center called Maria "not well organized."

At that time, Maria's maximum sustained winds decreased to 45 mph from just three hours beforehand. She was centered about 660 miles (1060 km) east of the Windward Islands near 13.0 North and 51.2 West. She was moving to the west near 22 mph (35 kmh), and is the fastest moving of all the Atlantic tropical cyclones today. Her minimum central pressure rose by three millibars in the last three hours to 1005 millibars, indicating weakening.

NASA's Aqua satellite's AIRS instrument caught an infrared image of Tropical Storm Maria on Sept. 8 at 1:53 a.m. EDT. The infrared data shows the coldest cloud top temperatures (-63F/-52C) and strongest thunderstorms with the heaviest rainfall were seen in patches north of the center and were not throughout the entire circulation.

Maria has prompted a tropical storm watch is in effect for the Leeward Islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Montserrat, Nevis and Saint Kitts. A tropical storm watch is also in effect for St. Barthelemy, St. Marteen, Guadeloupe, and Martinique, Dominica, St. Maartin, Saba and St. Eustatius.

The National Hurricane Center did note that "surface observations and satellite imagery suggest that Maria could be degenerating into a tropical wave," so forecasters are keeping a close eye on the storm.

Tropical Storm Nate

Nate appears as a small rounded area of clouds on today's GOES-13 satellite image. The rounded area of clouds coincides with the strongest thunderstorms and heaviest rainfall on Nate's southern side.

At 11 a.m. EDT on Sept. 8, Nate's maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph, and are expected to strengthen in the warm waters of the Bay. Nate was located about 125 miles (200 km) west of Campeche Mexico near 20.2 North and 92.4 West. Nate is creeping to the southeast near 1 mph (2 kmh) and has a minimum central pressure of 1001 millibars. The forecast from the National Hurricane Center calls for Nate to become a hurricane over the weekend and make landfall in eastern Mexico early next week.

A tropical storm warning is in effect from Chilitepec to Celestun, Mexico and a tropical storm watch is in effect from Celestun to Progreso.

The first and second week of September are typically known as being the peak of hurricane season, and Lee, Katia, Maria and Nate are living up to that call and giving satellites a lot to see.

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



September 05, 2011

GOES-13 captured the clouds associated with tropical Storm Lee's remnants › View larger image
GOES-13 captured the clouds associated with tropical Storm Lee's remnants, and a warm front along the U.S. East coast on Sept. 7 at 9:02 a.m. EDT. The combination of the two are bringing heavy rainfall from New England to the Appalachian Mountains. Hurricane Katia is seen to the right in the western Atlantic Ocean and approaching the U.S. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

AIRS image of Tropical Storm Lee › View larger image
This visible image was captured by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite. It was taken on Sept. 6, 2011 at 3:23 p.m. EDT. Several plumes of smoke from the fires raging in Texas as visible in the lower center and left. The rounded mass of clouds on the right side are the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, which delivered only gusty winds to Texas and fanned the flames. Lee's rainfall remained to the east. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
Lee's Remnants Continue to Drench the Eastern U.S.

Landfalling tropical cyclones can bring a lot of rain, but after Lee made landfall and merged with a stalled frontal system over the eastern U.S. the rain keeps coming. Lee's clouds, however, continue to remain painfully out of reach of Texas, that needs the rain to battle several wildfires. One NASA satellite image showed how close but how far that needed rain was from the Lone Star State, while another showed the extent of Lee's cloud cover merged with a front.

As of today, Sept. 7, 2011, there has been one change with Lee's remnants. According to NOAA's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC), "the surface circulation of Lee has been absorbed by a large scale extratropical low to the north and that means heavy rains and flooding expected from the central Appalachians into parts of New England."

When NASA's Aqua satellite flew over the central U.S. on Sept. 6, 2011 at 3:23 p.m. EDT it captured a visible image from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument onboard. The image showed several plumes of smoke from the fires raging in Texas and a rounded mass of clouds just out of reach to the east, from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, which delivered only gusty winds to Texas and fanned the flames. Lee's rainfall remained to the east of the Texas fires.

Today, NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite called GOES-13 captured a visible image of the clouds associated with tropical Storm Lee's remnants, and a warm front along the U.S. East coast. The image also shows Hurricane Katia threatening the eastern U.S. in the Atlantic. The two systems seem to be acting against each other. Lee's remnants are keeping Katia away from a mainland landfall, while Katia is preventing Lee's remnants from moving east and off-shore.

Finding Lee's surface circulation today, Sept. 7 is not possible because Lee's circulation was absorbed by a large scale extratropical low pressure area near the Tennessee/Virginia border. One other factor coming into play and keeping the U.S. east coast wet is a warm front draped across the Mid-Atlantic states bringing in warm, moist air from the Atlantic Ocean. It's causing heavy rainfall from southern New England to the central Appalachian mountains, and it is expected to stick around for the next couple of days. The HPC expects it to dissipate slowly by the week's end. Additional rainfall can range between 4 to 8 inches with isolated totals up to 10 inches until then.

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Selected Storm Total Rainfall in Inches Through 4 a.m., Sept. 7, 2011 EDT From NOAA's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center

...ALABAMA...
MOBILE 10.2 WSW 12.93
ALBERTVILLE 4.8 WNW 12.44
TILLMANS CORNER 4.3 WNW 11.74
GRAND BAY 0.6 NW 11.32
ORANGE BEACH 3.0 ENE 10.50
FOLEY 2.0 SSW 10.39
SPRINGVILLE 5.3 WNW 10.36
BIRMINGHAM 8.13
PINSON .94
TUSCALOOSA 5 NE 7.70
GADSDEN 7.18
MUSCLE SHOALS 6.04
HUNTSVILLE/MADISON CO ARPT 5.52

...CONNECTICUT...
NORWALK 3.20
NORTH HAVEN 3.18
DANBURY 2.61
MERIDEN 2.33
NEW HAVEN 2.28
BRIDGEPORT AIRPORT 2.16


...WASHINGTON DC...
NATIONAL AIRPORT 2.42


...DELAWARE...
WILMINGTON 2.63

...FLORIDA...
MILTON 1.4 NNE 10.03
NICEVILLE 4.5 SE 7.35
PENSACOLA 3.8 N 6.57
WEST PENSACOLA 10.9 SW 6.35
DESTIN ARPT 6.29
DESTIN AIRPORT 5.93
PENSACOLA RGNL ARPT 5.81
VALPARAISO/EGLIN AFB 5.71
APALACHICOLA MUNI ARPT 5.49
EGLIN AFB 5.6 NE 5.33
HURLBURT FIELD AWS 5.30

...GEORGIA...
LA FAYETTE 2.9 NE 11.01
RINGGOLD 5 W 10.21
LAFAYETTE 5 SW 8.71
NEW ENGLAND 2 SE 7.84
CURRYVILLE 3 W 6.81
ROME/RUSSELL FIELD 6.00
CARTERSVILLE AIRPORT 2.93

...KENTUCKY...
CRANKS CREEK RESERVOIR 5.49
CUMBERLAND 4.75
WHITESBURG 4.00
BOWLING GREEN 3.93
LEXINTGON/BLUE GRASS FIELD 2.80
LAWRENCEBURG 5.2 S 2.34

...LOUISIANA...
HOLDEN 15.43
N.O. CAROLLTON 14.32
MAUREPAS 13.63
PONCHATOULA 4 SE 13.22
CONVENT 2 S .04
WESTWEGO 1.8 NE 13.03
RESERVE 0.5 SSE 12.89
GRAY 0.5 ENE 12.15
MARRERO 1.9 E 11.21
NEW ORLEANS/MOISANT 11.00
MONTICELLO 3.0 ENE 10.91
PONCHATOULA 11.8 E 10.59
MERAUX 0.8 WNW 10.10
ZACHARY 3.5 WNW 9.04
BOOTHVILLE 8.83
BATON ROUGE/RYAN MUNI ARPT 8.20

...MASSACHUSETTS...
PITTSFIELD 3.90
LANESBOROUGH 3.25
SAVOY 3.10
ALFORD 2.70
NORTH ADAMS 2.35

...MARYLAND...
HAGERSTOWN 3.60
BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON INTL ARPT 3.42
HAVRE DE GRACE 4 WNW 3.04
ANDREWS AFB/CAMP SPRINGS 2.75
ANNAPOLIS 2.39

...MAINE...
GREENVILLE 2 E 2.73
MILLINOCKET MUNI ARPT 2.63

...MISSISSIPPI...
WAVELAND 1.1 NW 14.11
FLORENCE 0.9 E 13.45
SAUCIER 6.4 ESE 11.75
GULFPORT 2.0 NE 11.71
LONG BEACH 0.7 S 11.59
PASS CHRISTIAN 5.0 N 11.31
RICHLAND 0.3 WSW 11.25
PHILADELPHIA 5.4 E 11.18
JACKSON 11.15
GULFPORT-BILOXI 11.14
JACKSON WFO 11.13
PASCAGOULA 10.95
KILN 6.6 N 10.90

...NORTH CAROLINA...
BLOWING ROCK 2.8 ENE 7.18
BOONE 6.56
LAUREL SPRINGS 3 WSW 5.34
LENOIR 5.28
FRANKLIN 7.5 SW 4.93

...NEW HAMPSHIRE...
KEENE/DILLANT-HOPKINS ARPT 3.64
MOUNT WASHINGTON 2.82

...NEW JERSEY...
ANDOVER 5.06
LODI 4.01
SUSSEX ARPT 3.88
LYNDHURST 3.66
CALDWELL/ESSEX CO. ARPT 3.66
TETERBORO 3.63
WOODCLIFF LAKE 3.39
KNOWLTON TWP 3.2 SSE 3.31

...NEW YORK...
MONTGOMERY/ORANGE CO. ARPT 4.23
HUDSON 4.10
STEPHENTOWN 4.00
WHITE PLAINS 3.63
ANCRAMDALE 3.28
WARWICK 3.2 WNW 3.27
PULASKI 0.5 NE 3.24
NEW YORK CITY 3.24
CHATHAM 3.10
CATSKILL 3.04
OSWEGO 0.9 WNW 3.02
LIVINGSTON 3.00
MONTGOMERY/ORANGE CO ARPT 2.96
GLENMONT 2.75
GREENVILLE 2.58
SARANAC LAKE/ADIRONDACK ARPT 2.26

...PENNSYLVANIA...
JOHNSTOWN/CAMBRIA CO ARPT 5.81
MIDDLETOWN/OLMSTED 3.97
ALLENTOWN 3.95
READING 3.65
ALTOONA 3.50
BETHLEHEM - LEHIGH RIVER 3.33
MYERSTOWN 3.25
SPRINGTOWN 3.13
MECHANICSBURG 4.5 NE 3.05
MUIR AAF/INDIANTOWN 2.97

...RHODE ISLAND...
PROVIDENCE 1.77

...SOUTH CAROLINA...
SALEM 2.7 WNW 2.03

...TENNESSEE...
CLEVELAND 3 ESE 12.22
CHARLESTON 11.50
APISON 2.7 SW 9.59
CLEVELAND 9.58
RICEVILLE 3.7 WSW 9.50
GEORGETOWN 9.48
OOLTEWAH 6.7 NNW 8.58
OAK RIDGE 8.34
KNOXVILLE MUNI ARPT 7.03
CLARKSVILLE 10.2 WSW 5.53
CUMBERLAND CITY 1.2 ESE 5.41
OAK RIDGE 6.9 NNE 5.09
CROSSVILLE MEMORIAL ARPT 4.98
LAWRENCEBURG 8.8 SE 4.95
COOKEVILLE 4.6 WNW 4.23
CHRISTIANA 6.5 E 4.22
NASHVILLE METRO ARPT 3.53
CHATTANOOGA-LOVELL FIELD 3.04

...TEXAS...
BRIDGE CITY 1.3 NW 3.12
BEAUMONT/PORT ARTHUR 3.04
JASPER 6.7 W 2.12

...VIRGINIA...
FANCY GAP 6.77
HILLSVILLE 8.9 SE 6.34
SHIPMAN 1.8 NW 6.30
ROANOKE 6.14
BEDFORD 1.1 N 6.08
ROCKFISH 5.58
WASHINGTON/DULLES AIRPORT 3.18

...VERMONT...
WOODFORD 2.63
BURLINGTON INTL ARPT 2.58
SPRINGFIELD/HARTNESS STATE ARPT 2.35
LANDGROVE 2.05

...WEST VIRGINIA...
BLUEFIELD/MERCER CO ARPT 3.76
BECKLEY MEMORIAL ARPT 3.49
MORGANTOWN 2.99
BOOTHSVILLE 1.4 SE 2.87
ROCKPORT 1.3 SSE 2.22
POINT PLEASANT 5.8 E 2.00




GOES-13 captured a visible image of Lee's remnant clouds on Sept. 6 at 10:40 a.m. EDT. › View larger image
NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured a visible image of Lee's remnant clouds combined with those from a slow moving cold front stretching from eastern Canada to the Gulf coast Sept. 6 at 10:40 a.m. EDT. At the right edge of the GOES-13 satellite image was Hurricane Katia approaching the U.S.
Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project
Lee's Remnants Continue to Plague the Eastern U.S.

Tropical Storm Lee's remnants combined with a slow moving front are painting a huge picture of clouds along the U.S. east coast today on satellite imagery.

Gulf and Atlantic moisture associated with the remnants of Tropical Depression Lee will continue to interact today and for the next couple of days with nearly stationary cold frontal boundary, producing widespread rain from the northern Gulf coast states, through the Mid-Atlantic to New England.

NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured a visible image of Lee's remnant clouds combined with those from a slow moving cold front stretching from eastern Canada to the Gulf coast Sept. 6 at 10:40 a.m. EDT. At the right edge of the GOES-13 satellite image was major Hurricane Katia approaching the U.S. The visible image was created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Additional rainfall amounts in the Mid-Atlantic through Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011 will average 2 to 4 inches with isolated higher totals expected, according to the National Weather Service. Severe Storms are possible in North Carolina, while flash flooding is likely from New England to the Mid-Atlantic states. Meanwhile- extreme drought continues in Texas where wildfires are raging.

In the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area today, a Flash Flood Watch is in effect as Lee's remnants continue to generate rainfall. The area received between 1 -2" of rain on Monday, Sept. and an additional 2-3" possible today and Wednesday. Just a week before, the region received between 5-6" of rain as Hurricane Irene passed off the coast.

New York, New Jersey and parts of New England are still recovering from flooding rainfall dumped by Irene, and are facing more rainfall from Lee's remnants. In the New York City/New Jersey region there's also a flash flood watch in effect. The National Weather Service warns that heavy rainfall rates of around one inch per hour will today "will be capable of producing urban flooding as well as flooding of fast responding rivers and streams. Overall higher chances of flooding are expected to be across New Jersey and the lower Hudson Valley."

So far, Lee is recorded to have spawned 27 tornadoes since his birth last week and continues to generate severe weather. Tornado watches are up for North Carolina, parts of Virginia and South Carolina today. The combination front and remnants of Lee are expected to continue plaguing the east coast for the next couple of days.

Lee does have one upside, and that is that his remnants in combination with a slow-moving cold front are blocking powerful Hurricane Katia from coming closer to the U.S.

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.



September 05, 2011

GOES image of Lee from September 5, 2011 › View larger image
This visible image of Tropical Storm Lee was taken from the GOES-13 satellite on Monday, Sept. 5 at 8:40 a.m. EDT. It shows the extent of Lee's cloud cover over Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle merging with the clouds associated with a slow moving cold front that stretches into eastern Canada. At the right edge of the image is Hurricane Katia approaching the U.S
Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project
AIRS image of Lee from September 5, 2011 › View larger image
This infrared image of Tropical Storm Lee on Sept. 4 at 3:29 p.m. EDT after the center had moved into central Louisiana . The purple area s indicate the highest, coldest clouds with heaviest rainfall. The image was taken by the AIRS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite.
Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
Satellite Shows Extensive Cloudcover That Includes Lee's Remnants along U.S. East Coast

Labor Day Monday in the U.S. means a lot of labor to clean up after Tropical Storm Lee dumped a lot of rainfall in the northern Gulf Coast states that extended into the central U.S. Lee continues merging with a weather system and bringing more rain to the southeast as was evident on satellite imagery today.

When NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Tropical Storm Lee on Sept. 4 at 3:29 p.m. EDT, Lee's center had moved into central Louisiana. New Orleans received over 10 inches of rain from slow-moving Lee. In the NASA infrared image, Lee's highest, coldest clouds with heaviest rainfall were north, east and south of the center. The image was taken by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite.

At 5 a.m. EDT on Sept. 5, 2011, Tropical Storm Lee became an extra-tropical storm in southern Louisiana. At that time, Lee's center was about 35 miles (56 km) west-northwest of New Orleans, La. with maximum sustained winds near 35 mph (55 kmh). It was moving to the east at 12 mph (19 kmh) and had a minimum central pressure of 994 millibars. By 10 a.m. EDT Lee's rainfall had departed Louisiana and moving through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

NOAA's GOES-13 satellite captured a visible image of Lee's remnant clouds merging with a slow moving cold front stretching from eastern Canada through the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys on Monday, Sept. 5 at 8:40 a.m. EDT. At the right edge of the GOES-13 satellite image was Hurricane Katia approaching the U.S. The image was created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Where's Katia?

Hurricane Katia is about 400 nautical miles north of the Northern Leeward Islands near 23.9 North and 62.0 West this morning. It has maximum sustained winds near 100 mph and is moving to the northwest at 12 mph. The National Hurricane Center expects large swells from Katia to affect most of the U.S. east coast, Bermuda and greater Antilles as well as the east-facing beaches of the Bahamas over the next couple of days.

Where is Lee Going?

Extra-tropical low Lee will continue crawling through the south and turn to the northeast. Lee's center will be in Mississippi today and into Alabama on Tuesday, Sept. 6. Flash flooding and heavy rain is the primary threat as moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the remnants of Lee continue to interact with the cold front. Rainfall totals are expected between 10 and 15 inches across the central Gulf coast with isolated amounts to 20 inches.

The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center noted that "Heavy rains will continue to expand northeastward Into the Tennessee Valley and southern Appalachian mountains through Tuesday...where rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches are expected...with isolated amounts of 12 inches possible. These rains may cause life threatening flash floods and mudslides."

The NOAA/ National Weather Service's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center provided a look at the heavy rainfall totals from Tropical Storm Lee through Sept. 5, 2011 as of 2 a.m. EDT. See below.

SELECTED STORM TOTAL RAINFALL IN INCHES THROUGH 2 A.M. EDT, SEPT. 5, 2011

...ALABAMA...
MOBILE/BATES FIELD 9.80
MUSCLE SHOALS RGNL ARPT 2.52
CAIRNS AAF/OZARK 1.55
EVERGREEN 1.47

...ARKANSAS...
FAYETTEVILLE/DRAKE 4.35
HARRISON 2.26
FORT SMITH 2.23

...FLORIDA...
DESTIN AIRPORT 5.78
MILTON/WHITING FIELD NAS 5.25
HURLBURT FIELD AWS 5.24
PENSACOLA RGNL ARPT 4.37
APALACHICOLA MUNI ARPT 4.25
VALPARAISO/EGLIN AFB 4.24
TYNDALL AFB/PANAMA CITY 3.36
PENSACOLA NAS 3.29

...ILLINOIS...
PEORIA 3.67
QUINCY 3.04

...KANSAS...
MCCUNE 3.80
COFFEYVILLE 3.16

...KENTUCKY...
HENDERSON CITY 0.95
BOWLING GREEN-WARREN CO. ARPT 0.84
FORT KNOX AAF 0.43

...LOUISIANA...
NEW ORLEANS/MOISANT 10.91
NEW ORLEANS/LAKEFRONT 9.85
BOOTHVILLE 8.64
BATON ROUGE/RYAN MUNI ARPT 8.20
SLIDELL 6.07
NEW IBERIA/ACADIANA 6.01
ALEXANDRIA/ESLER 5.90
LAFAYETTE RGNL ARPT 5.65
NATCHITOCHES 3.68
GOLDONNA 2.57
MONROE 2.45

...MISSOURI...
FAIR GROVE 5.52
ASHLAND 5.39
BUFFALO 5.28
LIBERAL 5.25
CROSS TIMBERS 5.18
BROOKFIELD 5.11
PLATTSBURG 5.06
JEFFERSON CITY 5.06
HERMITAGE 5.06
COLE CAMP 5.06
WHEATLAND 5.02
HIGHLANDVILLE 5.02
FORNEY AAF 4.63
COLUMBIA 4.60

...MISSISSIPPI...
PASCAGOULA 10.43
KEESLER AFB/BILOXI 9.79
GULFPORT-BILOXI 9.16
MCCOMB/LEWIS FIELD 6.35
HATTIESBURG/LAUREL 6.04
HATTIESBURG/CHAIN MUNI ARPT 6.00
JACKSON WFO 5.43

...OKLAHOMA...
CLAREMORE 2.44
MUSKOGEE 2.38
SAND SPRINGS 2.10

...TENNESSEE...
CLARKSVILLE/OUTLAW FIELD 1.68
OAK RIDGE (ASOS) 1.58
CROSSVILLE MEMORIAL ARPT 1.46
KNOXVILLE MUNI ARPT 1.02
NASHVILLE METRO ARPT 1.00

...TEXAS...
MISSION BEND 7.37
BEAUMONT/PORT ARTHUR 4.99
HUNTSVILLE 4.90
COLLEGE STATION 3.45
TYLER 2.69
PARIS 2.44

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.


September 04, 2011

GOES image of Lee on Sept. 4, 2011› View larger image
This visible image of Tropical Storm Lee was taken from the GOES-13 satellite on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 9:32 a.m. EDT. It shows the extent of Lee's cloud cover over Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle and spread into the Tennessee Valley. The thickest clouds and heaviest rainfall stretch from the northeast to southwest of the center. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

AIRS image of Lee on Sept. 4, 2011› View larger image
This infrared image of Tropical Storm Lee on Sept. 3 at 3:47 p.m. EDT when the center was still sitting south of the Louisiana coast. The strongest thunderstorms and coldest clouds (purple) stretched from Mobile Bay, south into the Gulf of Mexico and covered about 1/3rd of the Gulf of Mexico. Winds were 55 mph at the time of this image. The image was taken by the AIRS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Sees Tropical Storm Lee's Slow Soggy Crawl Inland

Tropical Storm Lee has continued his slow, soaking, painful crawl inland. Satellites from both NASA and NOAA satellites have been showing the extent of the storm, and where the strongest thunderstorms and rainfall are occurring, and the bulk of it remains over the Gulf of Mexico.

NASA's Aqua satellite and NOAA's GOES-13 satellite revealed that Lee finally made landfall in Louisiana after two painful days of heavy rain to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Lee has grown in size, which typical for a waning tropical storm. Tropical Storm-force winds now extend out 275 miles from the center.

NOAA's GOES-13 satellite provided a visible image of Tropical Storm Lee on Sunday, Sept. 4 at 9:32 a.m. EDT. It shows the extent of Lee's cloud cover over Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle and spread into the Tennessee Valley. The thickest clouds and heaviest rainfall stretch from the northeast to southwest of the center. The image was created at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. at the NASA/NOAA GOES Project. Lee also appears on satellite imagery to be elongated. The GOES-13 satellite imagery shows that the storm appears to stretch from the northeast to the southwest, and a large part of Lee still remains over the Gulf of Mexico.

On Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011 NASA's Aqua Satellite took an infrared snapshot at the cold cloud temperatures within Tropical Storm Lee that told forecasters where the highest, coldest, strongest thunderstorms were in the storm. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on Aqua took the image at 3:47 p.m. EDT when Lee's center had still not yet made landfall and was still sitting south of the Louisiana coast. The strongest thunderstorms and coldest clouds stretched from Mobile Bay, south into the Gulf of Mexico and covered about one-third of the Gulf of Mexico.

On Sunday, Sept. 4, a tropical storm warning is in effect for Destin, Florida westward to Sabine Pass Texas, including the city of New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas.

At 8 a.m. EDT on Sept. 4, Tropical Storm Lee's winds had dropped from 60 mph exactly 24 hours before to 45 mph. Lee's center was over Vermillion Bay, Louisiana near 29.7 North and 92.0 West. It was crawling to the northeast near 3 mph (6 kmh) and expected to continue in that direction today, turning to the east-northeast tonight. Because Lee's center is over land, he is expected to continue weakening gradually in the next couple of days. Lee's outer bands still extend far over the Gulf of Mexico, bringing in more moisture and keeping the system going.

Rainfall has been a serious issue with Lee, and will continue to soak the Gulf coast states and now the Tennessee Valley. Tropical storm lee is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 15 inches from the central Gulf Coast northward into the Tennessee valley. Isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches through Monday night. Meanwhile, storm surge continues to batter the Gulf coast, and tropical storm-force winds also continue. Isolated tornadoes are possible today and tonight over parts of southern Louisiana southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and the far western Florida panhandle.

Where is Lee Going?

Lee is going to be hitching a ride on an elongated area of low pressure (trough) in the next 24-36 hours. The National Hurricane Center noted that "A trough over the north-central U.S. is forecast to dig southeastward over the next day or so. The flow on the southern side of the trough is expected to turn the Tropical cyclone toward the northeast and east-northeast during the next 24 to 36 hours."

What about Katia?

Wind shear weakened Katia again today. At 5 a.m. EDT, Sept. 4, Katia was reduced back down to a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds near 70 mph. Katia was 370 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands, near 21.43 North and 58.5 West. It was moving to the northwest near 12 mph and had a minimum central pressure of 992 millibars. Although Katia is causing rough surf in the Northern Leeward Islands today, it is expected to subside later. Forecast models bring Katia close to the U.S. coastline by Friday of this week, so NASA satellites will be keeping an eye on her.

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.


September 03, 2011

GOES image of Lee› View larger image
This visible image of Tropical Storm Lee was taken from the GOES-13 satellite on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 9:32 a.m. EDT. It shows the extent of Lee's cloud cover over Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. The clearing on the southeastern side is a result of drier air moving in and preventing development of thunderstorms. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

AIRS image of Lee› View larger image
This infrared image of Tropical Storm Lee on Sept. 3 at 3:47 a.m. EDT and showed the coldest clouds and strongest thunderstorms (purple) over southeastern Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. Since that time, those strong thunderstorms and heavy rain have continued to spread more widely over southern and central Louisiana. The image was taken by the AIRS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite. Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
NASA Sees Tropical Storm Lee Spreading Flooding Rains Over Gulf Coast States

NASA and NOAA satellites are providing valuable data on Tropical Storm Lee that provide insight into the storm's power, dynamics and extent. NASA's Aqua satellite and NOAA"s GOES-13 satellite have shown a "dry slot" in Tropical Storm Lee, and areas of heavy rainfall and strong thunderstorms.

NOAA's GOES-13 satellite provided a visible image of Tropical Storm Lee on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 9:32 a.m. EDT. It showed the extent of Lee's cloud cover stretching over Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. It also revealed no clouds on the southeastern side of the storm (over the Gulf of Mexico), which is a result of drier air moving in and preventing development of thunderstorms. The image was created at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. at the NASA/NOAA GOES Project.

NASA's Aqua satellite took a look under those clouds yesterday using infrared light and that showed there were several areas of strong convection (rapidly rising air that form thunderstorms that make up the tropical storm), and strong rainmaking thunderstorms. An infrared image was taken on Sept. 3 at 3:47 a.m. EDT and showed the coldest clouds and strongest thunderstorms over southeastern Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. Since that time, those strong thunderstorms and heavy rain have continued to spread more widely over southern and central Louisiana. The image was taken by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite.

During the morning on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2011, Tropical Storm Warnings continue from New Orleans to Baton Rouge, La. and into southern Mississippi and Alabama. Because Lee is a slow moving storm, the warnings are in effect until 9 p.m. CDT Monday, Sept. 5, 2011.

At 8 a.m. EDT on Sept. 3, Tropical Storm Lee had strengthened and maximum sustained winds were near 60 mph (95 kmh). Lee's center was still over water, and about 15 miles (25 km) south-southeast of Intracoastal City, Louisiana, near 29.4 North and 92.0 West. It was moving faster than it was yesterday, now headed north-northwest near 7 mph (11 kmh). Lee's minimum central pressure is near 995 millibars.

Rainfall is a Serious Issue

Because Tropical Storm Lee is a slow moving storm and still hasn't made landfall despite its close proximity to the coast, it will continue to be a huge rainmaking storm. Lee is moving slowly north northwest spreading heavy rains across the northern Gulf coast today.

A flash flood watch is in effect for a flash flood watch is in effect for central and southern Louisiana and portions of inland southeast Mississippi, southwest Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle. The National Hurricane Center noted that "Torrential tropical rains will continue to impact south Mississippi and southeast Louisiana through the labor day weekend." Between 10 to 15 inches are possible with isolated totals to 20 inches, especially south of Lake Pontchartrain and along the Mississippi coast.

On Sept. 2, Lee had already dumped heavy amounts of rainfall on southern Louisiana. Flash Flood Warnings are in effect through Monday morning, Sept. 5 for much of southern and central Louisiana.

The National Weather Service reported rainfall estimate from Lee to average about 2 inches since Saturday morning (CDT). However, larger amounts were reported in certain Parishes. Between 4 and 6 inches were reported in St. Tammany, Terrebonne, Lafourche, Jefferson, and Plaquemines Parishes, with isolated areas totals between 6 and 8 inches in Terrebonne Parish.

In Louisiana, rainfall from Tropical Storm Lee extended from the Gulf of Mexico, where his center still sits, all the way up to the center of the state, and the city of Alexandria.

Further south, New Orleans has been experiencing rainfall from Lee since Sept. 2. The city's levees are holding. There have been tornado warnings, but no touchdowns have been recorded. Rain will continue Sunday and Labor Day in New Orleans.

At 9 a.m. EDT, the National Weather Service reported low-level flooding in New Orleans. They were watching radar for small spins on Doppler radar, indicating small tornadoes. Rainfall totals expected between 6 and 12 inches with higher isolated totals. The National Weather Service expects a flare up of heavier rain in the evening/overnight hours tonight.

In Mississippi, at the same time, the Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport reported light rain, fog and mist with winds from the east, sustained at 13 mph, with gusts to 21 mph. Winds are expected to increase through the day with winds becoming southeast, sustained between 30 to 35 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph. Winds are expected to remain in that vicinity through Monday, Sept. 5, while rainfall is expected to pick up. By Monday morning, as much as 17 inches of rain is possible, according to the National Weather Service, so flooding is a serious concern.

In Alabama, Mobile was reporting light rain at 9 a.m. EDT, and winds were sustained from the east at 18 mph, with gusts to 29 mph. A Tropical Storm Warning, Tornado Watch and Flash Flood Watch were all in effect. Winds are expected to increase today, and Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, winds are forecast to be sustained between 25 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 45-50 mph.

Rains are mostly east and north of the center, which is still off-shore over the Gulf of Mexico, south of south central Louisiana. Mostly dry to the southwest.

Tornadoes and Waterspouts

Landfalling tropical storms or hurricanes usually generate tornadoes, and Tropical Storm Lee is no exception. This morning, Sept. 3, several tornado warnings were posted for southern Louisiana. The conditions will also remain conducive for more tornadoes and waterspouts through Saturday and Sunday.

A tornado watch is in effect for portions of inland southeast Mississippi, southwest Alabama, the western Florida panhandle and Gulf coastal waters Destin to Pascagoula out 20 nm. In Louisiana, a Tornado Watch is in effect until 1000 a.m. CDT for many Parishes. Check local National Weather Service forecasts for the list of Parishes.

Winds

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Alabama/Florida border westward to Sabine Pass, Texas including the city of New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for Alabama/Florida border eastward to Destin, Florida. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area generally within 48 hours.

Tropical Storm-force winds range from 39 to 73 mph. Lee's Tropical Storm-force winds extend out 200 miles from the center, making Lee over 400 miles in diameter, although the winds mainly extend southeast through northeast of Lee's center.

On Saturday morning, Sept. 4, an oil rig south of Grand Isle, La. reported sustained winds of 58 mph.

Storm Surge

The National Hurricane Center expects water levels along the Louisiana coast to rise 3 to 5 feet above ground level, and 2 to 4 feet along the Mississippi and Alabama coasts, including Mobile Bay.

Where is Lee Going?

Lee is expected to soak Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama for the next three days and slowly move to the north-northeast. Monday and Tuesday, the remnant moisture from Tropical Storm Lee is projected to move along a cold front and drench the Mid-Atlantic.

What about Hurricane Katia?

Hurricane Katia does not appear to be a threat to the Gulf of Mexico. However, forecasters are watching Katia's track as it continues heading in the direction of the U.S. East coast.

Meanwhile on Sept. 3 at 5 a.m. EDT, Hurricane Katia was still far away in the Atlantic Ocean. It was 530 miles east of the Leeward Islands, near 19.3 North and 55.1 West. It was moving to the northwest near 10 mph, and had maximum sustained winds near 75 mph. Katia is expected to pass far to the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico this holiday weekend.

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.


September 02, 2011

UPDATE: Tropical Depression 13 became Tropical Storm Lee as of 2:00pm EDT on September 02, 2011.

NASA Watching Atlantic Tropics: Katia, Tropical Depression 13 and System 94L

GOES image showing Katia, TD13 and System 94L.
This GOES-13 satellite image shows Hurricane Katia (right), Tropical Depression 13 (left) and System 94L (top). Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

There are three areas of tropical trouble brewing in the Atlantic Ocean Basin today and they'll be there over the Labor Day holiday weekend. NOAA's GOES-13 satellite today provided a look at the location and development of Hurricane Katia in the central Atlantic, newborn Tropical Depression 13, and developing System 94L in the north Atlantic off the New England coast.

The GOES-13 image was created by NASA's GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The image showed Katia to be the most well-organized of the three systems, although Tropical Depression 13 and System 94L are developing the typical hallmark "comma shape" of a tropical storm.

3D look at Tropical Depression 13 from NASA's TRMM Satellite on Sept 1.› View larger image
Here's a 3-D look at Tropical Depression 13 from NASA's TRMM Satellite on Sept 1. Some of the highest thunderstorm towers in that area were shown by PR data to reach heights of over 15km (~9.3 miles) and there were areas of heavy rain - which is going to affect the shoreline.. waves of rainfall to move inland. Credit: NASA/Goddard
Tropical Depression 13 is the only one of the three causing watches and warnings, although Katia is roughing up the surf in the Lesser Antilles. Tropical Depression 13 was already causing a lot of problems on Sept. 2 with heavy rainfall along the Louisiana coast, especially because it was almost stationary.

Tropical Depression 13 formed during the early morning (Eastern Daylight Time) on Sept. 2 south of the Louisiana coast. It is a large area of low pressure, whose clouds appear to take about almost half of the Gulf of Mexico on GOES-13 satellite imagery today. Because it is very slow moving, the threat for flooding is serious in the Northern Gulf of Mexico this weekend.

Tropical Depression 13 was observed on Sept. 1 by NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Satellite on Sept 1 and TRMM noticed areas of heavy rainfall, where rain was falling at over 2 inches (50 mm) per hour. Some of the highest thunderstorm towers in that area were shown by precipitation radar data to reach heights of over 15km (~9.3 miles) indicating strong thunderstorms and a lot of power in the depression. The forecast on Sept. 2 calls for bands of rain to affect the Louisiana shoreline today.

A Tropical storm warning was in effect early today, Sept. 2 from Pascagoula, Miss. west to Sabine Pass, Texas, including New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. Although expected to move north it will do so slowly and that means heavy rainfall and large rainfall totals for the Gulf coast. The NHC expects 10 to 15 inches over southern parts of Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, locally up to 20 inches. Storm surge will also be an issue as Tropical Depression 13 continues to come together. Storm surges of 2 to 4 feet above ground level are expected along the northern Gulf Coast.

At 11 a.m. EDT on Sept. 2, Tropical Depression 13 was about 230 miles south-southeast of Port Arthur, Texas, or 190 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River near 27.3 North and 91.5 West. It had maximum sustained winds near 35 mph (55 kmh) and was creeping to the northwest at 2 mph (4 kmh). Minimum central pressure was near 1005 millibars.

At 11 a.m. TD13 was nearly stationary south of the Louisiana coast and peppering it with rainbands, dropping heavy rainfall. Flooding is a serious threat this weekend across the northern Gulf of Mexico. Isolated tornadoes are possible over portions of southern Louisiana tonight.

The system is forecast to head northward and make landfall in Louisiana over the weekend as Tropical Storm Lee.

The Atlantic Ocean is doing its best to remind everyone that we're nearing the peak of hurricane season with triple tropical trouble.

For updates over the weekend, visit NASA's Hurricane page on Facebook and Twitter: NASAHurricane.

Text credit: Rob Gutro, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.