Tropical Storm Barry continues to gain strength over the Gulf of Mexico and is likely to bring a dangerous storm surge, heavy rains and high wind across the north-central Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Center says.
In its most recent update Friday morning, the Center said Barry was moving west-northwest at about 5 miles per hour. Maximum sustained winds had increased to 65 miles per hour, with stronger gusts.
A turn toward the northwest is expected to begin later Friday, followed by a turn toward the north Saturday night. The storm is expected to make landfall Saturday on the central Louisiana coast as a Category 1 hurricane.
Category 1 storms have maximum sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour.
A hurricane warning is in effect along the Louisiana coast from Intracoastal City in Vermilion Parish to Grand Isle.
A tropical storm warning is in effect from the mouth of the Pearl River to Grand Isle, from Intracoastal City to Cameron, and for Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas including the New Orleans metro area. Bands of rain from Barry already are hitting the New Orleans area.
A storm surge warning is in effect for Lake Pontchartrain and from Intracoastal City to Biloxi, Mississippi.
A hurricane or tropical storm warning means hurricane or tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours. A storm surge warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline during the next 36 hours.
Tropical storm and storm surge conditions are possible as far east as the Mississippi/Alabama border, the National Hurricane Center says.