Gulf storm could be­come trop­i­cal storm Barry as soon as Thurs­day

The Bradenton Herald - - Front Page - BY ALEX HAR­RIS ahar­[email protected]­ami­her­ald.com

Coastal Louisiana and maybe Texas could see the sec­ond named storm of the sea­son – Barry – as soon as Satur­day, the Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter pre­dicts.

The lat­est mod­els show that the dis­tur­bance over Ge­or­gia from ear­lier this week has reached the Gulf of Mex­ico, where the hur­ri­cane cen­ter gives it a 100% chance of be­com­ing a trop­i­cal cy­clone in the next 48 hours as of 5 p.m. When the po­ten­tial trop­i­cal cy­clone reaches 40 mph – it’s cur­rently chug­ging along at 30 mph – it’ll of­fi­cially be named Barry.

That may hap­pen Thurs­day, with the storm pos­si­bly up­grad­ing to a trop­i­cal sys­tem later the same day, said NHC Se­nior Hur­ri­cane Spe­cial­ist Stacy Ste­wart. He said the storm could make land­fall as Cat­e­gory 1 or stronger some­time

Satur­day.

Trop­i­cal storm and storm surge watches are in ef­fect for parts of the east­ern Louisiana coast.

The above av­er­age tem­per­a­tures of the Gulf are strength­en­ing the po­ten­tial sys­tem. The Gulf is a toasty 86 to 90 de­grees, about 3 de­grees higher than nor­mal. Hot wa­ter puts more mois­ture in the air, which fu­els hur­ri­cane for­ma­tion.

“That’s just like throw­ing gaso­line on a fire,” Ste­wart said.

An Air Force plane is scouting out the storm Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, he said. A NOAA air­craft will fol­low in the evening .

“We know it’s broad but some­times there’s some specifics in the de­tail there we can’t ob­tain from satel­lite images,” he said.

Na­tional Hur­ri­cane Cen­ter

The above-av­er­age tem­per­a­tures of the Gulf are strength­en­ing the po­ten­tial sys­tem.

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