Just a quick afternoon update to note that the forecast for Tropical Storm Barry has not changed appreciably today. While it shows some signs of getting its act together, the strongest winds remain far from the storm’s center. As of 4pm CT maximum sustained winds are 40mph.
The latest model guidance continues to suggest that either a strongish tropical storm (more likely), or possibly a weak hurricane, will move into Louisiana on Saturday. The primary threat is heavy rains, with the potential for an additional 10 to 20 inches of rainfall across already sodden areas. Of further concern is that the Mississippi River is already swollen due to drainage from flooded Midwestern areas. Finally, there is the threat of storm surge, particularly along the Atchafalaya River and Shell Beach.
In regard to Barry, the greater Houston area should remain in the clear, with only perhaps 40 to 50 percent rain chances this weekend—higher near the coast, lesser inland—and probable accumulations of 1 inch or less. Galveston will be more susceptible to higher winds and thunderstorms this weekend than, say, Katy, but the entire Houston region is likely to lie on the far periphery of Barry’s action. Tides are unlikely to be a significant problem, although rip currents could be problematic.
We’ll have a full update in the morning.