Tropical development likely, details still a question mark

Tropical development likely, details still a question mark

The National Hurricane Center predicts Tropical Storm Barry will form in the Gulf of Mexico by Thursday and strengthen to a hurricane by Saturday, when it's expected to make landfall in Louisiana.

Residents along the Gulf Coast should begin bracing for heavy rainfall and a possible damaging storm surge as the formation of a tropical storm - the second named system of the Atlantic hurricane season - is increasingly looking like a certainty late this week.

A potential tropical cyclone is not a tropical depression, which has a closed low-level center of circulation, or a tropical storm, which has a closed low-level circulation with sustained winds of at least 39 miles per hour.

Massive floods have inundated the streets of downtown New Orleans as heavy thunderstorms hit the region on Wednesday.


A lot of New Orleans was underwater this morning (and a lot of it still is). However, should the system come back inland to North America, it is possible that sometime next week remaining moisture or rain could get tied up in a weather system that would head our way. Clogged drains should be reported to 311.

Even a relatively weak, slow-moving tropical storm, on its eastern side, can pump a significant amount of water northward from the Gulf of Mexico.

Parts of the southeastern Louisiana coast were already experiencing heavy rains and flooding, the NHC said.

New Orleans is protected to a river level of 20 feet (6.1 meters), but it was forecast to rise above flood stage to 19 feet (5.8 meters) by Friday, the National Weather Service said.


"Another concern is for wind associated with the storm", Kottlowski said. The current track has a hurricane making landfall anywhere in between Houston to Morgan City on Saturday morning or evening.

Some oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico have been evacuated. If winds are too sheared (too much change in direction and speed with height) it would act to prevent the potential storm from becoming organized.

Tropical systems are occasional visitors to the U.S.in July: The most recent July hurricane to hit the continental USA was Hurricane Arthur in North Carolina in 2014, according to Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach.

Lacy said that such preparations are normal during hurricane season. This means that Tropical Storm conditions are likely in the area within the next 48 hours.


This storm is drifting west-southwest away from Florida and is forecast to make landfall somewhere on the Louisiana or Texas coast as Hurricane Barry.

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