The 10:00 a.m. advisory shifts the projected path slightly more to the west than earlier with no change in wind speed. The storm could be upgraded to a named tropical storm later today.
The projected path now takes the storm’s center near Sabine Pass by late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning with some additional slight adjustments to the eventual track still likely with perhaps a bit more of a shift to the west into Southeast Texas still possible. This would put Southwest Louisiana in the cross hairs of the strongest tropical-storm-force winds by tomorrow evening, sustained at 40-45 mph with gusts in excess of 50-60 mph as the storm makes landfall.
Storm surge still does not look to be significant with coastal areas likely experiencing a water rise of 1 to 3 feet as the storm comes ashore tomorrow night which would not result in significant inundation from storm surge flooding. On the other hand, flash flooding for coastal and inland areas is a greater concern in the heavier rain bands that could set up over our area Wednesday through Friday.
As of right now, the forecast calls for widespread rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches, but that amount could easily double if some of the heavier rain bands train over the same areas for any length of time putting some areas at risk of seeing over 10 inches of rainfall by Friday.
The strongest wind gusts will begin to depart the area by Thursday afternoon as the storm’s center moves farther inland away from SW Louisiana by Thursday night.
As of now, the main impacts to Southwest Louisiana will be the heavy rain threat that could lead to flash flooding Wednesday through Friday, and the secondary threat will be the gusty winds associated with the land falling storm Wednesday night through Thursday morning.
Wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph could result in some sporadic power outages along with spotty roof and tree damage.
Be sure to continue to check our forecast for updates through this week. And this is a great reminder that we are in hurricane season and you should already have a plan in place for what you would do if a tropical system were to threaten our area. If you don’t have a plan in place, then now would be a good time to make one; even if you don’t need it for this particular system.
Stay tuned to KPLC for continuous tropical weather updates throughout the next few days.
-First Alert Meteorologist Ben Terry