Louisiana gov declares state of emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Barry

Muriel Hammond
July 11, 2019

Floodwaters swamped streets in New Orleans' French Quarter on Wednesday and prompted a tornado warning in the area amid concerns that even worse weather is on the way to Louisiana and other states along the Gulf of Mexico.

If it does, U.S. authorities will call it Tropical Storm Barry, and eventually Hurricane Barry if it gets stronger.

The storm surge, or rise in ocean water above normally dry land when Barry comes ashore, could push several feet of ocean water up the mouth of the Mississippi River, elevating the river level to these record-challenging heights.

The US city of New Orleans is under a storm-surge along with a stretch of Louisiana coast as a tropical storm formed in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the region with potentially life-threatening rains.

In the span of three hours on Wednesday, the weather event had already dumped 4 to 7 inches of rain on New Orleans, causing widespread flash flooding.

John Bel Edwards warned that there could be "a considerable amount of overtopping" of levees in Plaquemines Parish, which is southeast of New Orleans and includes numerous city's suburbs.

Given the westward, slow-moving nature of the storm, a general 2 to 8 inches of rain is likely from the Florida Panhandle to the upper part of the Texas coast.

Highs the next few days will remain on either side of 90, then warm into the 90s as rain chances come down. Clogged drains should be reported to 311.

The system will have the potential to produce heavy rainfall in Southwest Louisiana this weekend.

"No one should take this storm lightly", Gov. Edwards said.

Overall Thursday through Saturday look wet with the potential for rain flooding issues. Most offshore oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico are in the north-central and western portion of the basin. And if they strengthen to 74 miles per hour, we'd have a hurricane.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs through November 30.

Kottlowski has been warning since early April that the Gulf of Mexico, as well as areas east of Bermuda and off the southeastern coast of the United States, need to be watched closely for early season development due to water temperatures running above normal.

The center upgraded the chance that the tropical depression forms within the next 48 hours from 50% to 70%.

The first tropical system to slam the USA this year is expected to make landfall as a hurricane.

A tropical storm getting its beginnings in Missouri may seem odd, but Space City Weather meteorologist Matt Lanza told Earther in a Twitter direct message that it "happens more often than people would assume".

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