Tropical Storm Barry Brings Wind and Water to Central Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Barry brought wind and water to the central Gulf Coast on Saturday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Barry was located at latitude 31.0°N and longitude 93.0°W which put it about 35 miles (55 km) southwest of Alexandria, Louisiana.  Barry was moving toward the north-northwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were still in effect for the portion of the coast from Grand Isle to Cameron, Louisiana, and for New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas.  Several weather stations on the coast of Louisiana were still reporting sustained winds to tropical storm force on Saturday night.

Tropical Storm Barry strengthened into a hurricane prior to making landfall near Intracoastal City, Louisiana on Saturday afternoon.  Then an upper level ridge centered over Texas strengthened after Barry became a hurricane.  The ridge produced north-northeasterly winds at 25 m.p.h. (40 km/h) which blew over the top of former Hurricane Barry.  Those winds created strong vertical wind shear and they blew the top of the circulation south of the lower part of the circulation.  By Saturday night the lower level circulation was over southwestern Louisiana and the top of the circulation was over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico.  Since the lower part of the circulation did not extend as high in the atmosphere, rain near the center of Tropical Storm Barry was relatively light.  Heavier rain fell in bands on the eastern side of Barry.  Heavy rain caused localized flooding in the area around Mobile, Alabama and along the coast of Mississippi.

Tropical Storm Barry did cause minor wind damage over portions of southern Louisiana.  There were reports of downed trees and widespread power outages.  The wind pushed water toward the coast in the eastern half of the circulation and Barry generated a storm surge of 6 feet (2 meters) in several locations.  There was also a rise in the water level along the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

Tropical Storm Barry is forecast to move northward over western Louisiana on Sunday.  The water level along the coast should gradually decrease while Barry moves farther inland and weakens.  Rainfall could increase in bands in the eastern side of the circulation on Sunday where the wind will transport moist air from the Gulf of Mexico over Louisiana and Mississippi.  Flash Flood Watches continue for parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama.