Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

A single source reference on tropical weather predictions. With a traditional focus on the upper Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast we've maintained links to track all Atlantic Basin, Caribbean and eastern Pacific storm systems. We are now expanding our view to tropical storms throughout the world intending to be a comprehensive global storm tracking resource.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Typhoon Nesat aka Padring

Video courtesy of 

Officials in the Philippines have shut schools, canceled inter-island ferry service and ordered the evacuation of more than 100,000 people as a fast-moving typhoon approaches the country's east coast.

Forecasters say Typhoon Nesat will make landfall on the east coast of Luzon Tuesday and cross the island north of Manila with heavy downpours and winds of up to 215 kilometers per hour.

Disaster officials say Nesat could produce rainfall at 25 millimeters an hour, causing flash floods, landslides and storm surges in coastal areas.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimates Nesat will take 12 hours to cross the island of Luzon before it moves into the South China Sea.

NASA Earth Observatory Image (Below):

Article and Image Courtesy of NASA
Rain from Typhoon Nesat (called Pedring in the Philippines) caused widespread flooding in the Philippines on September 27 and 28, 2011.

The image, made from the Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis, which is based on data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite, shows heavy rain along the path of the storm between September 23 and September 27.

The satellite data recorded more than 350 millimeters (14 inches) of rain across broad regions. Local rainfall totals may be higher. The image also shows an area of heavy rain over Vietnam and Hainan from Tropical Storm Haitang.

According to local news reports, the heavy rain from Nesat contributed to flooding across central Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines. The affected areas included key crop-growing regions.

An estimated 33,890 tons of rice were lost, said news reports. Nesat affected nearly 350,000 people and caused 33 deaths with 41 missing as of September 29.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Typhoon Roke Skims Fukushima

Image courtesy of AP

Typhoon Roke pelted parts of Japan with as much as 40 centimeters (15.7 inches) of rain, flooding streets, disrupting transportation and killing at least three people before moving back into the Pacific on a path for the Kuril Islands.

Roke was about 362 kilometers (225 miles) north-northeast of Tokyo with winds of winds of 130 kph, the Japanese Meteorological Agency said on its website at 5 a.m. local time.

The storm brought 40-kph winds to the area around the nuclear power plant in Fukushima stricken by an earthquake and tsunami earlier this year.


Officials at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, where engineers are still struggling with small radiation leaks due to tsunami damage, expressed relief that Typhoon Roke's driving winds and rain caused no immediate problems there other than a broken security camera.

"The worst seems to be over," said Takeo Iwamoto, spokesman for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., after the storm passed just west of the plant on its way north.

But the typhoon brought new misery to the northeastern region already slammed by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, dumping up to 17 inches (42 centimeters) of rain in some areas.
Authorities warned of a high risk of mudslides in that region. Hundreds of tsunami survivors in government shelters in the Miyagi state town of Onagawa were forced to evacuate for fear of flooding.

More than 200,000 households in central Japan were without electricity late Wednesday. Police and local media reported 13 people dead or missing in southern and central regions, many of them believed swept away by rivers swollen with rains.

The storm, packing sustained winds of up to 100 mph (162 kph), made landfall in the early afternoon near the city of Hamamatsu, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) west of Tokyo. The fast-moving storm went past the capital in the evening and then headed up into the northeast, where it was losing strength.

In Tokyo, where many rush hour commuter trains were suspended, thousands of commuters trying to rush home were stuck at stations across the sprawling city.

"The hotels in the vicinity are all booked up, so I'm waiting for the bullet train to restart," Hiromu Harada, a 60-year-old businessman, said dejectedly at Tokyo Station.


At the Fukushima plant, engineers are still working to stabilize the reactors six months after three of them melted down when the tsunami disabled the plant's power and back-up generators.

Iwamoto said the storm passed without damaging the reactors' cooling systems, which are crucial to keeping them under control. However, a closed-circuit camera that shows exteriors of the reactor buildings abruptly stopped, he said.

Workers were trying to prevent pools of contaminated water from flooding and leaking outside the complex, said Junichi Matsumoto, another power company spokesman.

"The contaminated water levels have been rising, and we are watching the situation very closely to make sure it stays there," Matsumoto told reporters.


Saturday, September 03, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee stalls at the coast

Tropical Storm Lee has essentially stalled at the coast just as the eye of this storm as crossed on to land. The official forward motion for Lee is a mere 3 MPH to the north northwest. The slow forward motion of this storm is causing it to drop copious amounts of water on southern Louisiana and Mississippi. The storm's windspeed has decreased slightly with current windspeeds at 50 MPH and gusts of 70 MPH.

Lumbering Tropical Storm Lee drenches Gulf states with rain (CNN)
New Orleans (CNN) -- Slow-moving Tropical Storm Lee churned toward the Gulf Coast Saturday, dumping heavy rains over the southern parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

At one point, approximately 38,000 customers in Louisiana had lost power because of the storm, but that figure was cut to less than 12,000, Entergy reported.

Lee, which is lumbering north-northwest at 4 miles per hour, is expected to cross the Louisiana coast Saturday evening and then move slowly across the southern part of the state on Sunday.

"We have severe weather warnings and tornado warnings in effect for parts of the state and residents everywhere need to use extreme caution," Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said. "Tropical Storm Lee is moving slowly, as expected, and we are already seeing flooded roads and other effects from rising water levels throughout South Louisiana."


Parts of southern Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama could see 10 to 15 inches of rain through Sunday night, with isolated totals of up to 20 inches, forecasters said.

The very heavy rains are expected to cause flooding in low lying areas abd spread into Alabama and Georgia over the next 24 hours.

Tropical Storm Lee hits Louisiana, Mississippi with heavy rain, gusty winds (WJLA)

JEAN LAFITTE, La. (AP) - Bands of heavy rain and strong wind gusts from Tropical Storm Lee knocked out power to thousands in Louisiana and Mississippi on Saturday and prompted evacuations in bayou towns like Jean Lafitte, where water was lapping at the front doors of some homes.

The sluggish storm stalled just offshore for several hours before resuming its slow march northward late in the afternoon. Landfall was expected later in the day, and the storm threatened to dump more than a foot of rain across the Gulf Coast and into the Southeast in coming days. No injuries were reported, but there were scattered instances of water entering low-lying homes and businesses in Louisiana.

To the east, coffers were suffering at many coastal businesses that depend on a strong Labor Day weekend. Alabama beaches that would normally be packed were largely empty, and rough seas closed the Port of Mobile. Mississippi's coastal casinos, however, were open and reporting brisk business.


The center of the slow-moving storm was about 55 miles (90 kilometers) south-southwest of Lafayette, La., Saturday evening, spinning intermittent bands of stormy weather, alternating with light rain and occasional sunshine. It was moving north-northwest at about 4 mph (6 kph) in the late afternoon.

Its maximum sustained winds dropped to 50 mph (75 kph), and their intensity was expected to decrease further by Sunday. Tropical storm warnings stretched from the Louisiana-Texas state line to Destin, Fla.

The National Weather Service in Slidell said parts of New Orleans received between 6 and 8 inches of rain between Thursday morning and Saturday afternoon, and that coastal Mississippi points reported more than 6 inches. Officials in some suburban and rural areas of southeast Louisiana reported more than 10 inches.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee forms on Louisiana Gulf Coast

Graphic courtesy of Weather Underground

Tropical Storm Lee has formed in the Gulf of Mexico just south of New Orleans and is already making its way on shore. Tropical Storm warnings are already in place along the coast from Sabine Pass, TX to Pascagoula, MS.

Tropical Storm Lee could hit as near-hurricane with 20 inches of rain (Christian Science Monitor)
The storm center is expected to close in on the southeastern coast of Louisiana this weekend at near-hurricane strength, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

It is currently is projected to dump 10 to 15 inches of rain on southern portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, with isolated pockets getting up to 20 inches.

Forecasters say they expect a storm surge of 2 to 4 feet along the coasts affected by the storm's on-shore winds.

The potential for large rainfall totals stems from the significant amounts of moisture feeding the storm and from its glacial pace, forecasters say. The storm system is moving at a lethargic 2 miles an hour. (By contrast, hurricane Katia, currently in the Atlantic, is traveling a bit more smartly along its path at some 15 miles an hour.)

Moisture bands from TS Lee are already coming ashore Friday afternoon and slowly moving to the north and east.

Radar graphic courtesy of Weather Underground

The slow moving is expected to dump close to two feet of water on draught parched lands in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Heavy thunderstorms are predicted as far as north Georgia by Monday.

Tropical Storm Lee's biggest threat is flooding, Gov. Bobby Jindal warns
The main threat from Tropical Storm Lee is flooding caused by heavy rainfall, Gov. Bobby Jindal said Friday, though higher tides accompanying the storm already have prompted voluntary evacuation recommendations for Grand Isle and lower Lafourche Parish.

"Flooding is our primary concern," because of the slow-moving nature of the storm, Jindal told reporters at a news conference at the state's Emergency Operations Center in Baton Rouge, with heavy rain expected to fall on south Louisiana through Tuesday. He said that in some areas, tornadoes may also be reported.

"We expect it to drop a significant amount of rain totaling 10 to 15 inches in some areas and up to 20 inches in isolated areas" in the next few days, Jindal said . He said there is a remote chance the system could develop into a Category 1 hurricane before it blows through the area..

"Tides could be 2 to 5 feet higher than normal," he said. Sustained winds could be 25 to 35 miles an hour with some gusts 40 to 50 miles an hour, Jindal said.

The governor said that as of midday, southernmost parts of two parishes had called for a voluntary evacuation of low-lying areas: the Grand Isle community of Jefferson Parish and the area of Lafourche Parish south of the Golden Meadow floodgates. He said about 25,000 feet of "tiger dams" owned by Jefferson Parish were being deployed to the Lafitte area in anticipation of flooding there.

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