Tropical Storm Lee lingers off Louisiana coast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:16 AM GMT on September 04, 2011

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Tropical Storm Lee continues to bring heavy rain, moderately strong wind gusts, and tornado risk to the Gulf Coast states east of Texas. Lee is 55 miles south of Lafayette, Louisiana, and is drifting almost due north at 4 mph. Lee's central pressure dropped to 988 mb since this morning, but has maximum sustained wind speeds that have decreased to 50mph. The National Hurricane Center has extended the tropical storm warning eastward to Destin, Florida. Since this morning, New Orleans Lakefront Airport has received about another inch of rain for a storm total of 6.87 inches. Rainfall estimates from radar suggest some locations, especially close to the coast, might have already seen up to 8 inches of rain from Tropical Storm Lee. Although the New Orleans area is in a dry slot of the storm, more rain can be expected through the night in the form of isolated storms with heavy downpours. Louisiana's Jefferson Parish officials ordered a mandatory evacuation for three towns earlier today: Lafitte, Crown Point, and Barataria. Heavy rain and tidal surge pushed the water of Bayou Barataria into the surrounding low-lying areas, and officials warned that if residents didn't leave, they might become stranded for a couple of days.


Figure 1. Infrared satellite of Tropical Storm Lee captured around 6pm EDT. Source: NOAA.

Forecast for Tropical Storm Lee
Lee's forecast hasn't changed much since this morning. Dry air is being pulled in from the west, which is giving the storm a very subtropical appearance, and is mitigating intensification. Earlier today, two centers of circulation were visible in satellite and confirmed by Hurricane Hunters. The centers were rotating around each other in full Fujiwara fashion, and although they were scientifically interesting, it meant that there was no clear center of circulation, and probably helped to weaken storm. The National Hurricane Center expects that Lee will come ashore in Louisiana later this evening and linger over the region until Monday, when it will finally be pushed north by a mid-latitude wave.

Lee's tornado threat
A tornado watch is in effect for southern Louisiana and portions of Mississippi, Alabama, and the western Florida Panhandle until 10pm CDT. The forecast is for small and short-lived tornadoes, but the threat for tornado damage is still there. A PhD student at Georgia Tech (and my former group member), James Belanger, runs a skillful model to predict the number of tornadoes that a tropical cyclone could produce. The model uses variables such as the size of the storm, the maximum wind speed, and moisture. For the 2008 hurricane season, the model accurately predicted the number of tornadoes that would be spawned from a quite a few tropical cyclones, including Hurricane Dolly, Tropical Storm Edouard, Tropical Storm Fay, and Hurricane Ike. Given today's forecast track and intensity, Belanger's model is forecasting 30-40 tornadoes could be spawned from Tropical Storm Lee, mainly in the Southeast states east of and including Louisiana.

Interestingly, although the nose of dry air that's being pulled in from drought-stricken Texas (visible in the satellite image above) is acting to keep the storm weak, it's also playing a role in the number of tornadoes that could be spawned from Lee. The dry air is a crucial component for the storm to develop discrete, isolated thunderstorm cells (versus a large shield of heavy rain). The discrete cells, just like during severe weather season, are the storms that are most capable of producing a tornado.

Angela

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Quoting Matt1989:
All of this west moving just means lee will end up doing the loop. west then sw then s then se then ese the e then ene.


The NAM really likes dat solution from earlier today
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Quoting PcolaDan:

I take offense to all the political crap on here and have called out quite a few. You weren't singled out. One of many.
edit: except when it is an AGW post by Dr Masters, then all bets are off
Hey I have a good idea, how about when anyone feels the need to talk political just go to my blog.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3813
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Who thinks we wake up to cat 3 Katia?




why cat 3 lol make it a cat 5 lol


ok i dont think will wake up too that i dont even think will wake it too a cat 3 but i do think we could wake up too a 75-90mph storm
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114072
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All of this west moving just means lee will end up doing the loop. west then sw then s then se then ese the e then ene.
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00Z NAM Model is initializing!!! LINK
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79. LBAR
Katia looks like she's slowed down tremendously.
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Who thinks we wake up to cat 3 Katia?
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3813
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:


I know right! I have not had rain on my sidewalk in 4 months!!!
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I'll take a Cat 1 right now...no measurable rain in many months...
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The wind is really picking up here too. I think the center of circulation (at least of the western CofC) is getting closer to us.
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Quoting PensacolaBuoy:


Careful! I was living in New Orleans in 1998 when Hurricane Georges approached the city. I had friends over for a hurricane party and was grilling salmon (trying to empty the freezer before we lost power). The very first drops of rain from the very first outer band landed on my hot gas grill, and the hot glass window on front of the grill exploded. Got glass all over the fish! I have always maintained that I had the very first property damage in the United States from that storm.


Bragging rights!! that is funny!
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Thanks Angela

Bayou Cane LA
Last time i checked my Stratus Gauge at 7:00 pm Centreal 9.02 inchs, rain light at the moment gives drainage time to work no street flooding at present.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Blog all messed up for me right now cause of someones post, i cant stand that!

"Someone leave you in charge of who can say what? I think I must have missed that memo.LOL."

Thats not what i ment and i should have said it that way, but what i ment is that people dont tend to listen. Plus I never said you could'nt.

"So in other words you'll post political garbage whenever you feel like it and don't bother you?"

It would not bother me at all. But sence you take obvious offence to it i will stop cause i like your posts.

I take offense to all the political crap on here and have called out quite a few. You weren't singled out. One of many.
edit: except when it is an AGW post by Dr Masters, then all bets are off
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Quoting CaribBoy:


So where does he go?




where evere the storm wants to go and right now it wants too head for TX
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114072
Thanks Angela.

Well, when I left for work today, the double CoC had just shown up on visible sat and I have regretted not saving it all day. Looking at the Lake Charles radar, Lee hasn't moved but what.. twenty miles in ten hours, and west at that. I am VERY pleased for our Texas friends who are finally getting a little rain.. may it continue. I am a little shocked that the storm rain totals are as low as they are. I guess I expected more precip over the delta.

off to find that sat loop with the dancing eyes...
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img src="">

PROOF!!!
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Quoting Tazmanian:
lee is not following the nhc track lol


So where does he go?
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Quoting HoustonTxGal:
HOLD EVERYTHING!!!! There are small wet drops on my grill out back!! did a bird just fly over? nope, there is a strange liquid substance on my grill!? very little but still liquid none the less. Could it be???? dare I say it????? RAIN


Careful! I was living in New Orleans in 1998 when Hurricane Georges approached the city. I had friends over for a hurricane party and was grilling salmon (trying to empty the freezer before we lost power). The very first drops of rain from the very first outer band landed on my hot gas grill, and the hot glass window on front of the grill exploded. Got glass all over the fish! I have always maintained that I had the very first property damage in the United States from that storm.
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lee is not following the nhc track lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114072
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
There's still birds in Texas? By now I'd think all there's left of birds are little piles of feathers on the side of the street.

LoL!
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5521
Quoting HoustonTxGal:
HOLD EVERYTHING!!!! There are small wet drops on my grill out back!! did a bird just fly over? nope, there is a strange liquid substance on my grill!? very little but still liquid none the less. Could it be???? dare I say it????? RAIN


Disclaimer: If you look up as per my previous post, no claim may be made against the author in the event a bird decides to, uhhh, well, you know, have a nature call, at the same time.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
There's still birds in Texas? By now I'd think all there's left of birds are little piles of feathers on the side of the street.



Yes, they were all taking baths in my front yard today! At least the ones that are left anyway!!
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
There's still birds in Texas? By now I'd think all there's left of birds are little piles of feathers on the side of the street.
Lol.We've been seeing lot's of rain in D.C latley....no lot's of it.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15738
Quoting jadedANDcynical:
Still not much more than a light sprinkling here in Texas City. Wind is making itself known and scaring my 6 year old. The other four are oblivious.

One more time, everyone in Texas...PULL!

Maybe if everyone goes outside and inhales to the east and exhales to the west we can steer him toward us.


Hilarious! Here at the ranch in Centerville, we're helping all we can. Rain is as far east as Houston county, coming our way!
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Could the front coming down from the NW be pulling Lee towards it? Hitting the extreme TX panhandle right now it appears...
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Quoting HoustonTxGal:


I'm in Spring, north of H-town


I think the rain is there...yahooooo! Everything will be nice and drenched by morning :)
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Quoting HoustonTxGal:


Darn, you are right, it must be evaporating before it hits my house! DARN IT ALL!! lol


Give it some time, the band is just coming over Spring now.
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Quoting Pirate999:


I don't believe you.....


small round wet spots on my sidewalk... is this a sign??
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I'm confused....NOAA has Lee going North, yet it is moving west? If that is the case I wish they would change their cone.
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Quoting HoustonTxGal:
HOLD EVERYTHING!!!! There are small wet drops on my grill out back!! did a bird just fly over? nope, there is a strange liquid substance on my grill!? very little but still liquid none the less. Could it be???? dare I say it????? RAIN
There's still birds in Texas? By now I'd think all there's left of birds are little piles of feathers on the side of the street.
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Quoting HoustonTxGal:
HOLD EVERYTHING!!!! There are small wet drops on my grill out back!! did a bird just fly over? nope, there is a strange liquid substance on my grill!? very little but still liquid none the less. Could it be???? dare I say it????? RAIN


I don't believe you.....
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Lee is moving SW, no doubt...Brian Norcross said it himself also.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30291
Quoting EastTexasWxGal:
It has been RAINING here in East Texas for about 4 hours! This is the most rain we have had for many, many MONTHS! It is light and gentle, but steady, just what we need. It looks like it may continue for another 4 hours or so on the radar, but the forecast says only 30% chance. I hope the radar is right :)

Thank you, Lee!

Not sure if Lee has moved west or just expanded its moisture around the center. But look at the water vapor loop and you can see moisture slowly moving west.
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Quoting hurricanerunaway:


Are you "in" Houston or in a surrounding area?


I'm in Spring, north of H-town
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HOLD EVERYTHING!!!! There are small wet drops on my grill out back!! did a bird just fly over? nope, there is a strange liquid substance on my grill!? very little but still liquid none the less. Could it be???? dare I say it????? RAIN
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so...I wrote earlier this morning that the models had come into better agreement on katia (except for the UKMET)...and then this afternoon, that all went to heck...but now the latest runs are out, and they are all in much better agreement again. Wonder how much longer things will flip-flop?
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Quoting HoustonTxGal:


Darn, you are right, it must be evaporating before it hits my house! DARN IT ALL!! lol


That isn't rain yet, just ground clutter. Still slowly heading your way...lol.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30291
Quoting HoustonTxGal:


Darn, you are right, it must be evaporating before it hits my house! DARN IT ALL!! lol


Are you "in" Houston or in a surrounding area?
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Still not much more than a light sprinkling here in Texas City. Wind is making itself known and scaring my 6 year old. The other four are oblivious.

One more time, everyone in Texas...PULL!

Maybe if everyone goes outside and inhales to the east and exhales to the west we can steer him toward us.
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Quoting EastTexasWxGal:
It has been RAINING here in East Texas for about 4 hours! This is the most rain we have had for many, many MONTHS! It is light and gentle, but steady, just what we need. It looks like it may continue for another 4 hours or so on the radar, but the forecast says only 30% chance. I hope the radar is right :)

Thank you, Lee!


Glad you are getting rain!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30291
26. HoustonTxGal 1:28 AM GMT on September 04, 2011

GFDL

takes Lee southwest into texas
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Quoting whipster:


Link Here's what is happening right above your head :)


Darn, you are right, it must be evaporating before it hits my house! DARN IT ALL!! lol
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It has been RAINING here in East Texas for about 4 hours! This is the most rain we have had for many, many MONTHS! It is light and gentle, but steady, just what we need. It looks like it may continue for another 4 hours or so on the radar, but the forecast says only 30% chance. I hope the radar is right :)

Thank you, Lee!
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Quoting owntime:
Thanks Dr. Masters, we have been getting some light rain near Dayton, Texas. We will take what we can get.


dr m did not update that lol

Lol, yeah I saw that and tried to edit, Lol.

Thanks
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.