Forecasters were expecting good news from Tropical Storm Hanna, which could bring much-needed rain to the parched Southeast with little risk of damage.
The storm formed out of a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico and was expected to make landfall today along the northern Gulf Coast.
It was expected to reach shore anywhere from the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, and once over land to turn northeast into Alabama and Georgia, said Jack Beven, a forecaster with the National Hurricane Center in Miami.
The storm had sustained winds of near 45 mph. It was expected to strengthen but not reach hurricane intensity--74 mph or greater--before hitting land.
Hanna could bring 4 to 8 inches of rain, with isolated tornadoes possible, Beven said. A storm surge of 2 to 4 feet was predicted, and warnings or watches were posted in the Gulf from Grand Isle, La., to the Suwanee River in Florida.