weather

National Hurricane Center

MIAMI — Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches the state.

Scott said the goal was to make sure every local, state and federal agency "has the exact same information" on the storm and preparations in order to make informed decisions. He issued the state of emergency Saturday during a media briefing in Broward County.

With about 55 percent of the continental U.S. suffering from "moderate to extreme drought" conditions the nation is withering under conditions that haven't been this bad since 1956, according to a new report from National Climatic Data Center.

The National Weather Service has issued an alert for New Orleans East and upper St. Bernard Parish, due to a cluster of strong, slow-moving thunderstorms affecting the area.

The storms, located northeast of Chalmette, are moving to the northeast at approximately 5 mph, and packing frequent lightning and wind gusts up to 35 to 45 mph, according to the Weather Service.

The National Weather Service has issued a weather alert this evening for parts of four parishes, in advance of a cluster of strong thunderstorms approaching the region.

The storms, which are moving north at about 5 mph, may produce one to two inches of rain in a short period of time, says the Weather Service. That much rain may result in the ponding of water around low-lying roadways.

The alert covers upper Jefferson, Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes, as well as New Orleans and New Orleans East.

National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Debby has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and forecasters say it will bring rain to the Gulf coast from southern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.

Forecasters said Saturday the storm has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. A tropical storm warning has been issued for part of the Louisiana coast.

The storm is moving north at 6 mph. The center of Debby is expected to be moving over the northern Gulf during the next few days.

A major, slow-moving thunderstorm is moving into the New Orleans region, according to a bulletin just issued by the National Weather Service.

The storm system, currently about two miles to the northwest of the city and moving east at 10 miles per hour, is packing frequent lightning, dime-sized hailstones, and wind gusts near 40 miles per hour. Winds of that intensity can down tree limbs and blow unsecured objects around.

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