Barry to get stronger, may or may not become hurricane

Landfall expected Saturday near New Iberia

The official forecast calls for Tropical Storm Barry to gain some strength in the Gulf of Mexico over the next couple of days.

"Barry has become a little better organized," Senior Hurricane Specialist Jack Beven said at the National Hurricane Center.

He says the storm is expected to get near hurricane strength, but may or may not get there before coming ashore.

"There is a significant chance that Barry will be a hurricane when it makes landfall."

The center of Barry is forecast to make that landfall on the central Louisiana coast near New Iberia.

Before that happens, the storm is expected to send a lot of rain ashore across much of Louisiana.

"The slow movement of Barry will result in a long duration heavy rainfall and flood threat along the central Gulf Coast and inland through the lower Mississippi Valley through the weekend into early next week."

Beven says flash flooding and river flooding will become increasingly likely.

He expects the worst of it to be along and east of the track.  That would put Baton Rouge and Louisiana on the wet side of the storm.

Tropical storm force winds are expected the move into Louisiana tomorrow.

"Residents in these areas should rush their preparations to completion, as tropical storm conditions are expected to arrive in the warning area by Friday morning."

RAINFALL:

  • Barry is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches over southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi, with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches. Over the remainder of the Lower Mississippi Valley, total rain accumulations of 4 to 8 inches are expected, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches.

STORM SURGE:  

  • The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide...

Mouth of the Atchafalaya River to Shell Beach...3 to 6 ft
Shell Beach to the Mississippi/Alabama border...2 to 4 ft
Intracoastal City to the Mouth of the Atchafalaya River...2 to 4 ft
Lake Pontchartrain...2 to 4 ft

WIND:  

  • Hurricane conditions are expected in the Hurricane Warning area by Friday night or Saturday morning, with tropical storm conditions expected by Friday morning.  Hurricane conditions are possible within the Hurricane Watch area by Friday night or Saturday morning.  Tropical Storm conditions are expected to spread across the Tropical Storm Warning area starting late tonight, with tropical storm conditions possible in the Tropical Storm Watch area by Friday night or Saturday.

TORNADOES:  

  • A few tornadoes are possible Friday late morning through Friday night across southeast Louisiana, far southern Mississippi, and the Alabama coast.

A Hurricane Warning is now in effect for the coast of Louisiana from Intracoastal City to Grand Isle.

A Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect for Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas including metropolitan New Orleans.

A Tropical Storm Warning is now in effect for the Louisiana coast west of Intracoastal City to Cameron.

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Lake Pontchartrain.

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