Tropical Storm Claudette Forms Near New Orleans, U.S. Says

Tropical Storm Claudette has formed southwest of New Orleans and threatens the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coastline from Louisiana to Florida with heavy rain.

Claudette, 2021’s third storm and first to hit the U.S., had winds of 45 miles (72 kilometers) per hour as it moved onto Louisiana slightly southwest of New Orleans, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 5 a.m. in New York. The storm’s structure is a bit warped, so most of its heavy rain will occur east of its center.

“Claudette is expected to produce heavy rainfall and life-threatening flash flooding across coastal Mississippi and Alabama and the far wester Florida panhandle through the afternoon,” the hurricane center said.

Claudette wasn’t expected to have a great impact on U.S. energy resources in the region. The U.S. Gulf is home to about 16% of the nation’s crude oil production and 2% of its natural gas output. In addition, about 48% of its refining capacity is along the coast.

The storm was set to weaken as it crosses the South, bringing as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain, with isolated spots receiving up to 15 inches. It could, if conditions are right, regenerate Tuesday south of Long Island as it sweeps into the Atlantic. There is a chance it could make a second landfall in Canada’s Maritime Provinces later in the week.

Meanwhile, forecasters are also watching Tropical Storm Dolores in the Pacific. It is expected to bring heavy rain and 45-mph winds to Mexico’s west coast later Saturday. It was about 90 miles southwest of Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico at 5 a.m.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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