All eyes are on the Gulf of Mexico. The first hurricane of the Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to slam into the Louisiana coast on Saturday and could bring heavy rain to the ArkLaTex on Sunday.
As of 10 a.m. CDT, Tropical Storm Barry has developed and is expected to strengthen into a category 1 hurricane before making landfall along the Louisiana Gulf Coast on Saturday. Here’s the very latest forecast track of Barry from the National Hurricane Center.
This tropical system will likely make landfall somewhere along the Louisiana coast on Saturday. HURRICANE WATCHES extend from the mouth of the Mississippi to Cameron, LA.
This system will bring storm surge, heavy rainfall and strong to damaging winds to the central Gulf Coast.
The latest rainfall forecast from the Weather Prediction Center show parts of SE LA, which includes Baton Rouge and New Orleans, could see 10-20″ of rain through Tuesday morning. This system won’t be in hurry and could produce a long period of heavy rainfall to parts of the central Gulf Coast and inland to the lower Mississippi Valley through early next week. Flash flooding and river flooding will be a major concern, especially along and east of the center of the track.
The rainfall forecast from the WPC keeps the heaviest rain east of the most of the ArkLaTex. With tropical systems, there can be a short distance between several inches of rain and nothing.
The weekend forecast in the ArkLaTex will highly depend on the exact track of the tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico.
If the center of circulation passes east of the ArkLaTex, the heaviest rain and worst conditions will likely stay east of the area. If the center of circulation passes west of the ArkLaTex, the heaviest rain and worst conditions will likely impact most of the area. If the center of circulation passes through the area, only parts of the ArkLaTex will experience heavy rain, strong winds and the potential of severe weather.
Right now, all scenarios will be possible and Sunday will be the day that will be impacted the most by this system.
The very latest runs of the EURO and American forecast models show the center of circulation staying east of the ArkLaTex, which is a good thing. The EURO shows the center of circulation staying just east of the area. If the EURO is right, the heaviest rain, strong winds and threat of severe weather will likely develop east of the area. However, rain will still be possible on the west side of the system. The American model pushes the system much farther east, which would mean a much lower impact on the ArkLaTex.
The EURO shows the heaviest rainfall falling just east of the ArkLaTex, while the GFS doesn’t show any heavy rain near the ArkLaTex.
Keep in mind, this system is still developing so the exact forecast track is still unknown. There is still the potential this system could bring heavy rain into the ArkLaTex this weekend.
The KSLA First Alert Weather Team will be your FIRST ALERT on when this system develops and if it will impact the ArkLaTex this weekend. Here’s how you can stay weather aware: