Communities and oil refining and production facilities from Texas to Florida braced on Tuesday for potential disruptions as Tropical Storm Cindy meandered over the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, threatening to bring wind and heavy rain to the region.
The storm has triggered watches and warnings along the Texas-Louisiana coast including Galveston Bay, the entrance to the Houston Ship Channel and Sabine Pass, the site of the only active liquefied natural gas export terminal in the lower 48 states.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the biggest threat from the disturbance is the likely heavy rainfall over wide areas of the northern rim of the Gulf of Mexico.
"Rainfall of 6-12 inches is likely over part of the central Gulf Coast states with locally higher amounts of 15-20 inches possible, due to the slow-moving nature of the storm", Kottlowski said.
On Tuesday, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a statewide state of emergency in preparation for anticipated severe weather and flash flooding this week. It has maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour (75 kph) and was moving west-northwest at 21 miles per hour (33 kph). Tropical Storm Bret is also chugging through the eastern Caribbean, lashing the island nations there with rain and wind.
Trinidad and Tobago was mopping up Tuesday after being spared the full brunt of Tropical Storm Bret, the first named weather system of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season that made its way through the twin island republic late Monday night into Tuesday.
Unlike with many tropical cyclones, the forecast path or cone is not the aspect of the storm to focus on. This broad cluster of storms remains disorganized at this time, but is expected to strengthen and develop an area of circulation through Tuesday. Heavy rain is already impacting the central Gulf Coast and many areas will receive 4 to 8 inches, with some places topping a foot.
"The system could be classified as a tropical or subtropical cyclone later today", the NHC said.
A hurricane warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 36 hours. The rest of the company's operations, including deliveries from its Clovelly, Louisiana, hub, were expected to continue, according to the company's website.
Be proactive - Use the "Flag as Inappropriate" link at the upper right corner of each comment to let us know of abusive posts.