NEW ORLEANS, La. - After being named a tropical storm early Saturday morning, Claudette was downgraded to a tropical depression by the afternoon.
Saturday morning, the National Hurricane Center identified a ‘well-defined center’ of circulation. By Saturday afternoon, it was 80 miles (130 kilometers) north-northwest of Mobile, Alabama, with sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph). It was moving north-northeast at 14 mph (22 kph). Most of the heavy weather was happening far to the north and east of the center.
Claudette is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flash flooding across portions of the Florida panhandle, Alabama and Georgia Saturday night and into the Carolinas on Sunday. Tropical storm conditions are possible along the North Carolina coast Sunday night and Monday where a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect.
Authorities in Alabama say a suspected tornado spurred by Tropical Storm Claudette demolished or badly damaged at least 50 homes in a small town just north of the Florida border. However, there were no immediate reports of serious injuries or deaths.
FOX 13 meteorologist Tony Sadiku says some remnant moisture from the system could increase rain chances for the Bay Area area early next week.