Tropical storm warning issued for Louisiana’s Gulf Coast

Tropics Update: Tropical Storm Bret has formed off the northern coast of South America and continues to head west.

Two tropical systems developing to our south could become hurricanes as early as this afternoon.

This method of naming also allows the NHC to issue tropical storm watches and warnings before a storm is named. The maximum sustained winds were recorded at 40 miles per hour with higher gusts.

A tropical storm watch is in effect from west of Intracoastal City to High Island, Texas, according to the Miami Herald.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect across Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, and the east coast of Venezuela.

At best, this system could strengthen into a Tropical Storm but the real threat will be flooding.

In addition to the Gulf storm, tropical development is possible near the equator over the central Atlantic early this week. If warranted, the National Hurricane Center will send a plane Monday afternoon.

Forecasters say the system is expected to be near the Louisiana coast by Wednesday, with some strengthening possible.

While the system has sustained winds near 40 miles per hour, it lacks a defined center. A hurricane hunter aircraft Monday flew into it and Tropical Storm Bret, newly named as it moves into the southern Caribbean Sea, its first flight of the tropical season.

While not a closed low at the moment, this system is already producing winds of tropical storm force along with very heavy rain on the eastern side.

Heavy rain is expected along the Gulf Coast this week.

“Before the storm develops, it’s pretty hard to determine where the system will move”, said Nikki Hathaway, meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Houston-Galveston office.