HOUSTON -- Tropical Storm Debby has remained nearly stationary during the past several hours and little movement is expected Saturday night, according to the National Hurricane Center.
It’s currently located about 220 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River. A slow northward motion is forecast to begin by Sunday morning, followed by a gradual westward turn by Sunday night or Monday morning. However, there is some forecast uncertainty and change is possible.
Outer rainbands are currently affecting portions of west and south Florida. Maximum sustained winds are as fast as 50 miles per hour.
A storm warning was issued for parts of the Louisiana coast from the mouth of the Pearl River westward to Morgan City. That means tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
The storm is the first to enter the Gulf of Mexico in the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Workers were evacuated from offshore oil rigs Saturday. Some floodgates in Louisiana have already been closed as a precaution.
The National Hurricane Center says everyone on the Gulf Coast of the U.S. should monitor the progress of this storm through the weekend.
Debby marks the first time in history that four named Atlantic storms have developed before July 1.