Lee update: Heavy rains expected all day
As of 7 a.m. CDT Lee continued to strengthen as the meandering tropical storm inches closer to landfall on the southern Louisiana coast.
Lee was located at 29.4 north latitude, 92.0 west longitude, or about 15 miles south, southeast of Intracoastal City or 45 miles south of New Iberia as of the 7 a.m. check. The storm is moving north, northwest at 7 miles per hour.
Tropical Storm Lee has maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Alabama/Florida border westward to Sabine Pass, Texas; this includes the city of New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. Meanwhile a tropical storm watch is in effect for the Alabama/Florida border eastward to Destin, Fla.
Lee's movement has been expected to become erratic this weekend and the National Hurricane Center expects that erratic motion toward the north, northwest is still expected within the next 24 hours. After the movement, Lee is projected to make a gradual turn toward the northeast.
Forecasters expect Lee's center to cross the Louisiana coast line Saturday morning or early afternoon. It will then move slowly across Southern Louisiana throughout the remainder of Saturday and on Sunday.
Lee may slightly strengthen a little more before most of the storm is landfall by Saturday afternoon.
Tropical storm-force winds continue to extend outward up to 200 miles. Those winds are mainly southeast through northeast of the center of the storm.
Tropical Storm Lee is still expected to produce a lot of rain with total rain accumulations of 10-15 inches over southern Mississippi and southern Alabama through Sunday night. Some areas could possibly see up to 20 inches of rain. These heavy rains are expected to cause extensive flooding.
Isolated tornadoes are possible through Saturday night over portions of the state that are expected to be hardest hit. Southeastern Louisiana along with southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and the most western part of the Florida panhandle have the greatest possibility.