Re-formed Tropical Storm Fred could bring modest wind, rain to New Orleans' eastern flank


Tropical Storm Fred, which fell apart Saturday but regained tropical strength over the eastern Gulf of Mexico early Sunday, could bring strong wind and heavy rain to the far eastern fringe of the New Orleans metropolitan area early Monday.

The somewhat strengthened storm is still expected to largely miss the area. Landfall is expected Monday afternoon or evening in the western Florida panhandle, near the Alabama border, according to National Hurricane Center guidance released Sunday morning. While Fred has reorganized and is gaining strength over water, it's still expected to pack maximum winds of only about 52 mph by the time it makes landfill.

The only areas of the metro area that are at risk of receiving tropical-storm-force winds, defined as 39 mph or more, are lower Plaquemines Parish, near the mouth of the Mississippi River, and eastern St. Bernard Parish, according to the National Hurricane Center. 

Tropical Storm Grace is moving northwest over the northeastern Caribbean Sea on a forecast track that will bring it into the Gulf of Mexico by…

The earliest such winds could arrive as soon as midnight in lower Plaquemines, and perhaps 4 a.m. Monday in eastern St. Bernard Parish. The center predicts the winds' likeliest arrival time is a bit later, however: perhaps 6 a.m. Monday in lower Plaquemines Parish and 10 a.m. or so in eastern St. Bernard.

Those same areas could get as much as a half-inch of rain over the next 48 hours, according to the National Weather Service.

For now, the NHC's maps do not show any part of St. Tammany or Orleans parishes being threatened with tropical winds.

As Fred churns toward landfall, Tropical Storm Grace is moving northwest over the northeastern Caribbean Sea on a track that is expected to bring it into the Gulf by Thursday morning, the National Hurricane Center said. It is too early to tell whether the storm will affect Louisiana.