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Up To 2 Feet Of Rain To Deluge Gulf States As Barry Brews Offshore

July 15, 2019 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

A budding tropical storm over the northern Gulf of Mexico is expected to reach hurricane strength and is likely to produce life-threatening flooding and a damaging storm surge with landfall between central Louisiana and the upper Texas coast early this weekend.

The system destined to become Tropical Storm Barry, and perhaps the Atlantic’s first hurricane of the 2019 season, will remain over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico long enough to gather enough moisture for heavy rain, enrage seas and whip up high winds. It could dump as much as two feet of rain in some places. The looming storm prompted Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards to declare a state of emergency on Wednesday.

“AccuWeather meteorologists believe this system will become a tropical depression on Thursday and Tropical Storm Barry by Friday,” AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said. “Barry will become a hurricane prior to making landfall on Saturday,” he added.

Water temperatures in the northern Gulf of Mexico are in the middle to upper 80s F.

“Right now, our greatest concern is for torrential rain that would result in life-threatening flooding,” Kottlowski said.

For that reason AccuWeather is initially designating this a level 2 storm on its RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes. The scale ranges from a 0 to a 5 with 5 having the most severe impact.

The level 2 designation is based primarily on the amount of flooding that may arise over a broad area due to a general 10-18 inches of rain and an AccuWeather StormMax™ of 24 inches. The storm is forecast to peak as a Category 1 hurricane based on the Saffir-Simpson scale with maximum sustained winds of 75-95 mph with a storm surge of 3-6 feet. The Saffir-Simpson scale rates a hurricane solely on the strength of sustained winds.

People in coastal areas near and east of landfall should be prepared to protect property from minor to moderate coastal flooding into this weekend.

“The heaviest rain is expected to fall on parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, western Tennessee, Arkansas, and northeastern Texas,” Kottlowski said.

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