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Barry To Drench Parts of the Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Barry Forecast Cone

Tropical Storm Barry is intensifying as it moves slowly toward the Louisiana Gulf coast.

Barry was located 100 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River, according to the advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center at 11 am Friday. The warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico should encourage the system to intensify, but dry air high above the storm and wind shear have prevented rapid strengthening so far. Forecasters expect Barry to be near hurricane intensity as it makes landfall Saturday morning along the Louisiana coast.

Meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center say 3 to 6 feet of storm surge is possible along the coast of south-central Louisiana, along with tropical storm and hurricane force winds as the storm makes landfall. Of greater concern is the amount and duration of rain. Widespread amounts of 10 to 20 inches, with a few locations receiving more than 25 inches of rain, would be enough to trigger dangerous, life-threatening flooding mainly over Louisiana and Mississippi. It is not possible to specify precisely where the greatest rain will fall, but the New Orleans area has already received over 6 inches of rain in the days before Barry’s arrival.

Minimal effects are anticipated over South Carolina based on the latest forecast track. The vast majority of the computer models keep the rain from Barry over Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, western Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky from Sunday through Tuesday as the storm tracks inland.

A weak front that is helping to turn Barry north will stall near South Carolina’s northern border. The front will be the primary culprit for scattered mainly afternoon thunderstorms. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center says the northern part of state, from the Greenville-Spartanburg areas to Columbia, Rock Hill, and Myrtle Beach could see storms strong enough to produce isolated wind damage from a couple of the thunderstorms Friday afternoon.