Tropical Storm Lee could hit as near-hurricane with 20 inches of rain
Tropical storm Lee is expected to form from what is now tropical depression 13. It could hit the Gulf coast over Labor Day weekend. Warnings for tropical storm Lee stretch from Sabine Pass, Texas, to Pascagoula, Miss.
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
IN PICTURES: Hurricane Irene
Forecasters say they expect a storm surge of 2 to 4 feet along the coasts affected by the storm's on-shore winds.
The potential for large rainfall totals stems from the significant amounts of moisture feeding the storm and from its glacial pace, forecasters say. The storm system is moving at a lethargic 2 miles an hour. (By contrast, hurricane Katia, currently in the Atlantic, is traveling a bit more smartly along its path at some 15 miles an hour.)
Along the Gulf Coast, emergency managers are gearing up for tropical depression 13.
If the storm behaves as currently forecast, it will bring badly needed water to a drought-parched portion of the country.
Along with Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama also are enduring drought conditions that range from severe in eastern Alabama and Southern Mississippi to exceptional in western Louisiana.