BARRY set for landfall around Vermilion Bay
Friday 12th July 2019
Tropical storm BARRY is currently centred 130 miles due south of New Orleans. There was some uncertainty as to how far west this would go, but it has stalled in the last few hours and is barely moving but seems poised now to head toward the beach and resume its previous speed of 3-5 knots. A recent reconnaissance aircraft has reported the heaviest rain bands to the south of the centre, which is not good news from a flooding viewpoint since torrential rain is already being experienced ashore with flooding in places. Current wind speeds are 50 to 60 knots with a tropical storm windfield of 150 miles. The current hurricane severity index rating is 5 out of 50 (2 for size and 3 for intensity) and a predicted maximum, down on yesterday's, of 6 (2 for size and 4 for intensity) at landfall with winds between 55 and 65 knots. According to the intrepid aerial observers, the centre of BARRY is not well organised and as a consequence there is less (although still some) chatter of hurricane force winds. Since the worst excesses of wind and rain seem to be to the south of the centre, the brunt of squalls and rain will not reach peak along the coast until this evening. As things stand, this is not a large storm, nor is it a particularly powerful one but a slow ground speed as it creeps north will make this a substantial rainmaker. Landfall would seem to be due tomorrow morning somewhere between Morgan City and Lake Charles with the smart money on Vermilion Bay.
Disturbance Twelve is around 700 miles north-west of the mouth of the Amazon moving west at 13 knots. Aerial imagery is starting to show some meaningful rotation although not much in the way of cloud just yet. Nonetheless, this is only just slipping clear of the swirl of airborne Saharan sand, and as it starts gathering moisture it will have a development window and I would not rule out a brief transition to tropical depression or weak tropical storm strength over the coming weekend. Thereafter upper level wind shear is likely to weaken it again as it approaches the Caribbean on Monday.
Disturbance Ten has just passed the Lesser Antilles and is westbound at 13 knots, producing localised showers and thunderstorms. Ahead, upper level wind shear awaits, which will prevent development.
Stand by for landfall with rain in biblical quantities along the central coast of Louisiana.