Tropical storm warning extends to Florida’s panhandle

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The next name on our tropical storm list is "Claudette". The warning also includes Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Metropolitan New Orleans to the west.

While a hurricane is unlikely to form, this storm could potentially become a tropical depression by Friday.

A stronger cold front will bring a better chance for rain and storms to our area by Monday night and Tuesday.

As of 8 a.m. the system was located 255 miles south of Morgan City, Louisiana, and 385 miles south-southwest of Mobile, Alabama, while moving north at 14 mph.

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

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Maximum sustained winds for Claudette reportedly remain at around 45 mph with higher gusts and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles east from the center.

The storm is expected to produce total rainfall of 3-6 inches (7-15 centimeters) with isolated amounts of 8 inches (20 centimeters) across the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, according to the forecast.

Storm surge could reach 2 to 3 feet from Intracoastal City to the Mississippi-Alabama border and at Vermilion Bay and Lake Borgne.

"The system is expected to produce heavy rainfall, considerable flash, urban, and small stream flooding beginning today and continuing through the weekend along the central Gulf coast, with flood impacts spreading northeastward into the Southern Appalachians", the center stated in a key message posted on its website.

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.

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