July 24, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Bonnie weakens to depression over Gulf

Roger Erickson of the National Weather Service briefs local officials and emergency personnel on the status of then-Tropical Storm Bonnie on Friday. BY BRAD PUCKETT

Officials from across Southwest Louisiana gathered for a Friday morning briefing on Tropical Storm Bonnie, but most contingency plans were scrapped by the afternoon as the system weakened to a tropical depression.

Bonnie entered the Gulf of Mexico at about 6 p.m. with sustained winds of 35 mph and was moving in a northwestern direction at around 17 mph, according to the National Weather Service in Lake Charles.

To listen to the news conference, CLICK HERE.

Meteorologist Roger Erickson described Bonnie as having an ill-defined center. Its speed and a disturbance in the Bay of Campeche were keeping the storm from becoming more organized, Erickson said.

Bonnie is still on a path to hit the oil spill, but Accuweather forecasters expected the weak system to help break up the surface oil. They believe there is still a chance more oil could be pushed into marshes.

A weather service advisory issued late Friday said Bonnie could again become a tropical storm today as it passes through the Gulf’s warm waters.

Tropical storms have winds of between 39 and 73 mph.

Landfall is expected this evening in southeast Louisiana.

Erickson said tides in Cameron Parish are expected to be between 1 and 2 feet above normal and that the Lake Area would get about 1 inch of rain.


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