Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center finally had enough evidence that the area of disturbed weather in the southwest Gulf of Mexico had enough tropical characteristics to give it a name. Tropical Storm Bill was named last night at the Hurricane Center's 10pm update. Not much else has changed about the system other than the fact we now have an easier way to refer to it.

The forecast for Bill is much the same as forecasters have been suggesting over the past several days before the system was named. The center of circulation should cross the Central Texas Gulf Coast near Corpus Christi during the day today. The primary threat from Bill will be coastal flooding and very heavy downpours.

What can Southwest Louisiana expect from Bill? We should experience breezy conditions especially along the coast. There will also be an increase in tides and coastal flood warnings have been posted from St. Mary Parish westward to Cameron Parish. Residents along Louisiana's coast can expect normal tides to run two feet higher than normal over the next 24 hours.

Flash Flood Watches have also been posted for many parishes in southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas. An additional 2 to 3 inches of rain could fall in those areas in a short period of time. This additional rainfall will interact with already swollen streams, creeks, and rivers. Plus the onshore flow of wind will tend to back up drainage into the Gulf of Mexico exacerbating the problem even more.