Tropical Storm Barry making a run at hurricane intensity

12:30 P.M. FRIDAY UPDATE — Tropical Storm Barry making a run at hurricane intensity before landfall overnight tonight into tomorrow morning. Max sustained winds of 65mph. Hurricane Hunters & offshore buoys reporting winds gusting over 75mph.

Looking at infrared satellite this afternoon, the system is developing intense thunderstorms on the southern half of the system. I placed a pink “X” to show you that the center is still north of all of the strong thunderstorms…which means it’s still fighting dry air and northerly wind shear. If that relaxes, the storm could intensify slightly more than forecast before landfall.

Regardless of strength, heavy rainfall, flash flooding, and storm surge will be biggest impacts with this system. Finish preparations now.

Extended discussion:

Impacts have already started with coastal flooding, windy conditions, and scattered heavy rainfall. The slow forward motion means this is going to be a longer duration event with growing impacts beginning Friday afternoon on the coast and moving inland overnight Friday through Saturday and flash flood threat through Sunday.

The key? Wherever landfall occurs…The major flooding rainfall, highest wind gusts(55-85mph gusts), power outages, coastal flooding(3-6feet), and isolated tornado threat will occur EAST of where the system comes ashore. Thus…eventual landfall location is pivotal as just a slight of 50 miles could make a drastic difference on who sees the worst impacts from Barry.

Some area will likely see far less rainfall than projected…some areas will see even more than expected. Solely based on where that heaviest rain band on the eastern side develops.

Latest HWRF pictured below remains in agreement with the latest GFS, Canadian, European, and ICON forecast models with a landfall between Vermilion Bay and Terrebonne Bay. Painting an ugly picture for catastrophic rainfall for southeast and south-central Louisiana, late overnight Friday through Sunday.

Strong tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane at landfall with primary impacts significantly weighted on the eastern side of the system.

Localized 18-22 inch rainfall amounts wherever that “feeder band” on the eastern quadrant of the storm sets up. In addition, the coastal flooding(3-6 feet), isolated tornadoes, and sporadic power outages from 55-85mph wind gusts possible. Stay tuned. More details later today.

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