The National Hurricane Center says that Tropical Storm Barry is officially here, and it’s expected to become a full blown hurricane by this Friday.
Barry is currently maintaining maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, and moving west at 5 mph, just 150 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, said the National Hurricane Center in its 11 a.m. advisory Thursday.
The storm is now projected to gain strength and become a hurricane by Friday, June 12, which will make it the first hurricane of the 2019 season.
"There is a danger of life-threatening storm surge inundation along the coast of southern and southeastern Louisiana, where a storm-surge warning has been issued,'' the hurricane center said.
Tropical Storm Barry has formed in the north-central Gulf of Mexico. The forecast keeps any significant impacts from wind, rain, & storm surge well west of our region, however, there will be an increased risk for rip currents along area beaches the next several days. #flwx #Barry pic.twitter.com/vKR80DNC5m— NWS Tampa Bay (@NWSTampaBay) July 11, 2019
So far, Barry doesn’t seem it will be much of a threat to Florida, though residents in the Panhandle should monitor the progress of this system, says forecasters.
A tropical storm warning and hurricane watch have been issued for the Louisiana coastline.
"The slow movement of this system will result in a long-duration heavy rainfall threat along the central Gulf Coast and inland through the lower Mississippi Valley through the weekend and potentially into early next week,'' the hurricane center said. "Flash flooding and river flooding will become increasingly likely, some of which may be significant, especially along and east of the track of the system.''
Hurricane season officially began June 1, and Barry would follow Subtropical Storm Andrea as the season’s second named storm.
The Tampa Bay area should expect a high risk of rip currents this weekend, says the NHC.