Rainy weekend ahead as Gulf storm organizes, forecasters say

Rainy weekend ahead as Gulf storm organizes, forecasters say

"Once the system is over water, environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for tropical cyclone formation", the advisory reads.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of tropical weather that could dump as much as 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain in the state over the coming days.

Parts of the southeastern Louisiana coast were already experiencing heavy rains and flooding, the NHC said.

The Army Corps of Engineers, which operates the flood control system, said it was "closely monitoring" the situation.

Regardless of the classification this system develops into, Louisiana and MS are forecast to see very heavy rain - more than a foot in some places, Brink said.

This map shows the preliminary forecast track of a storm system developing in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

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The Mississippi River is predicted to crest at 20 feet on Saturday, which, as meteorologist Eric Holthaus pointed out, is the height of New Orleans' levees.

People in coastal areas should be prepared to protect property from minor to moderate coastal flooding later this week and this weekend. Storm surge is expected to be between three and five feet, and the storm is predicted to bring rainfall of at least 18 inches.

"The most recent July tropical storm landfall was Tropical Storm Emily in Florida in 2017", he said. If Barry tracks well west of New Orleans, close to the border of Louisiana and Texas, the flood risk would decrease. Isolated tornadoes and rip currents are also likely.

While hurricanes can form in near-coast areas of the United States, often the most powerful hurricanes are spawned in the Cabo Verde manner and can travel thousands of miles to the west and reach the Caribbean and North America. As the low enters the Gulf it will provide structure and rotation to a broad area of thunderstorms that have been increasing in strength and frequency over the last few days.

"This weekend looks to carry the most significant flooding threat for southern Louisiana, as what is expected to be Hurricane Barry by that time makes landfall in southwestern Louisiana", Sojda said. The flow with this feature would work against the westward movement of the low, tending to slow it down over the northern Gulf, or perhaps shift it back toward the Florida Peninsula.

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