20 June 2013

Barry making landfall, and past Barrys

Shortly after an Air Force reconaissance aircraft began its probing of TD2 yesterday, it found winds to support upgrading it to a tropical storm (35kt+ winds at the surface are required), and it became the second named storm of the season: Barry.

As I mentioned on Monday, Barry is one of the original names introduced to the lists back in 1983.  The modern system of naming storms (alternating male-female) began in 1979, and there are six annual lists of names that are re-used.  So, this is Barry's sixth reincarnation!  Incidentally, the only "B" storm to get retired since 1979 is Bob in 1991... it was replaced with Bill, which will be used for the fourth time in 2015.
The tracks of Barry, all six times.  Only in its first use in 1983 did it briefly reach minimal hurricane intensity... all others topped out as tropical storms.
Today, as of 8am EDT, Barry is making landfall on the Mexican coast just north of Veracruz as a 40kt tropical storm. While heavy rains are the primary concern, tropical storm force winds extend about 80 miles from the center (mostly to the north and east).

Enhanced infrared satellite image of Tropical Storm Barry near landfall (image from 8:15am EDT).
Past track (black line), current extent of tropical storm force winds (orange shading), and tropical storm warnings (blue coastline).
Unfortunately, the radar that is close to the landfall location is still down for maintenance, so we only have satellite data and surface observations to capture the structure and motion of the storm as it makes landfall.  However, if you're desperate for radar data, there are some distant outer rainbands within range of the the Brownsville TX radar as of this update.

Now that it is mostly over land, it will quickly weaken and dissipate, though heavy rain and the resulting mudslides and flooding will remain a concern for the next couple of days in central Mexico.

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