13 July 2019

Barry becomes season's first hurricane as it makes landfall in central Louisiana

On Saturday morning, Barry was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane (with peak sustained winds of 75mph) just before it made landfall south of Lafayette. Dangerous storm surge of 6-8 feet is occurring east of the center (Morgan City area), and heavy rain is just making its way onshore... fortunately, the storm remained lopsided and the majority of the rain is still south of the center. But it is not over; now that it's onshore, the rain will be too!

Again, the classification of the storm (tropical storm, Category 1 hurricane, etc) *only* pertains to the peak sustained wind speed found somewhere in the storm -- it does not tell you anything about the size of the wind field, the amount of rain it will produce, or the depth and extent of the storm surge.  You can find a few long, updating radar loops covering Hurricane Barry's landfall at http://bmcnoldy.rsmas.miami.edu/tropics/radar/

As you can see, rainfall remains a major concern today and in the coming couple of days as Barry moves inland. The graphic below shows the flask flood risk from Saturday through Tuesday morning:

This event fits within what we expect from climatology: the Gulf of Mexico is a favored region for tropical cyclone formation during July.

Barry is the 8th hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana in the past two decades... the other recent hits include Lili (2002, Cat1), Cindy (2005, Cat1), Katrina (2005, Cat3), Rita (2005, Cat3), Gustav (2008, Cat2), Isaac (2012, Cat1), and Nate (2017, Cat1).

Tracks of the seven hurricanes to make landfall in Louisiana from 1999-2018.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, an easterly wave left the African coast back on July 8th and continues to maintain a minimal amount of organization. The National Hurricane Center is giving it just a 10% chance of becoming a tropical depression by Thursday. It, in whatever condition, would reach the Lesser Antilles around Monday-Tuesday. At this point, it's very likely to be nothing more than a tropical breeze.

10 July 2019

A hurricane is forecast to strike Louisiana on Saturday

The National Hurricane Hurricane has initiated advisories on "Potential Tropical Cyclone Two" as of Wednesday morning. It has a very high chance of becoming Tropical Storm Barry, and could even be Hurricane Barry by the time it makes landfall on Saturday. Get the full scoop in today's update, available on the Capital Weather Gang blog:

A hurricane is forecast to strike Louisiana on Saturday