Tropical Storm Barry was named on Wednesday morning and has slowly been growing in intensity. In spite of looking very ragged throughout much of the day, it continues to hold its own. Late on Thursday night, if you were to cut the system in half, the northern tier was rain and cloud free, while much of the downpours were to the south.
Where are the strongest winds?
Another indicator that Barry is not looking too good, is the wind field. All of the tropical storm force winds can be found only on the eastern half of the system. A healthy system would have the center completely wrapped with wind.
Where’s it headed?
The storm is surrounded by high pressure systems both east and west. Its only escape is to travel north. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting Barry to move into Louisiana and then travel north. While they show it as a tropical storm at landfall, there is still a chance it could become a cat 1 just before going onshore.
One of the reasons why the storm may get stronger is all the hot water in the Gulf. This is like jet fuel to tropical engines. Louisiana should monitor closely.
Something else in the Tropics
As we look out into the Atlantic Basin, we can see three waves. The furthest east has caught the eye of the National Hurricane Center.
NHC is giving it a 10% chance that it could grow over the next 5 days in the area highlighted. However, by the weekend it will move into an area inhospitable for systems to organize at the moment, so we do not expect much from this wave.
For Friday, Saharan dust is expected to move in and dry us out. (Can’t completely rule out a wayward downpour). This will make for Hazy skies. Remember this dust is an irritant so if you suffer from respiratory issues, you may want to limit your outdoor activities.
By Saturday, most of the haze starts to move away. Just enough lingering moisture for an isolated storm.