But that is merely a name change at this point... the difference in wind speed is minimal from what it was before. The important part is that it's a very large and dangerous storm. Areas along the coasts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana are already experiencing 3-5' storm surges, and that will increase throughout the day. In many locations however, the receeding tide will help offset the encroaching surge, but not completely. Here is the latest storm surge forecast using the most current track and intensity data (this is the 10% excedance version):
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