On September 2, 2011, Tropical Depression Thirteen strengthened into Tropical Storm Lee over the Gulf of Mexico, and the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned of heavy rain across southeastern and south-central Louisiana.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image at 11:35 Central Daylight Time (CDT) on September 2. Lee extends from the Yucatán Peninsula across the Gulf of Mexico and over southern Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
At 1:00 p.m. CDT on September 2, the NHC stated that a tropical storm warning was in effect for Pascagoula, Mississippi, westward to Sabine Pass, Texas. The area facing tropical storm conditions included the city of New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. The NHC forecast that the storm would continue its slow, potentially erratic motion toward the north or northwest over the next day. The same day, The Times-Picayune reported that heavy rain would pose the biggest threat to New Orleans over the next five days.