MIAMI -- A tropical storm warning was issued Thursday for parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama as a potential tropical cyclone advanced toward the northern Gulf Coast.
The warning extends from Intracoastal City, La., to the Alabama-Florida border, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
Heavy rainfall and flooding will likely be the most significant threat, with the storm reaching the coast beginning today, forecasters said.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards late Thursday issued a state of emergency because of the potential threat. The move is an administrative step that authorizes the use of state resources to aid in storm response efforts, the governor's office said.
As of Thursday evening, the storm was about 475 miles south of Morgan City, La., with maximum sustained winds of 30 mph.
The storm is expected to produce total rainfall of 3-6 inches with isolated amounts of 8 inches across the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, according to the forecast.
Rainfall totals of 4-8 inches with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches are possible beginning today and continuing through the weekend from the Central Gulf Coast northeastward into the Southern Appalachians.
The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline, the hurricane center said. The water could reach heights of several feet.
Meteorologists expect the 2021 Atlanta hurricane season to be busy, but not as busy as the record-breaking 2020 season.