Tropical Storm Barry continues to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Hurricane Center reported in its 10 a.m. update.
The slow-moving storm system is expected to come ashore Saturday as a Category 1 hurricane. “Whether it’s a hurricane or a tropical storm, it’s going to be hazardous,” said NHC Director Ken Graham in his 7 a.m. update. Landfall is predicted on the central coast of Louisiana.
A tropical storm warning remains in effect for New Orleans. That means that tropical storm conditions — with sustained winds from 39 to 73 mph — are expected in the area within the next 36 hours. Barry’s winds were measured this morning at 65 miles per hour.
Barry’s most serious danger is still from flooding, Graham said. From 10 to 20 inches of rain are expected, with the heaviest rains beginning tonight and continuing through Sunday morning. The water in Lake Pontchartrain could rise 3 to 5 feet, the NHC predicts.