Scott Martin: Barry moves onshore later today; rain for Alabama

WHAT’S UP WITH BARRY: As of 4 a.m., Barry remained a tropical storm with sustained winds maxing out at 65 mph, but the National Hurricane Center still expects some strengthening to occur and Barry to become a hurricane before the center moves onshore later this morning or just past midday. Pressure has remained at 993 mb for several hours now, and movement is to the west-northwest at 5 mph. The center was around 55 miles southwest of Morgan City, Louisiana, and about 165 west of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

A Hurricane Warning remains in effect from Intracoastal City to Grand Isle. Tropical Storm Warnings are up from the mouth of the Pearl River to Grand Isle, from Intracoastal City to Cameron, and for Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas, which includes metropolitan New Orleans.

Storm Surge warnings are up from Intracoastal City to Biloxi and for Lake Pontchartrain. Storm Surge Watches are up from Biloxi to the Mississippi-Alabama border.

With the latest forecast track there has been a small shift westward, with the center now expected to move through the west-central parts of Louisiana and the west-central parts of Arkansas throughout the weekend and into the beginning of next week.

Of course, there is a slight risk of severe weather today across the southern parts of Mississippi and the eastern parts of Louisiana, with a marginal risk that stretches over to include extreme southwestern Alabama and the western edge of the Florida Panhandle. Tornadoes will be possible on the northeast quadrant of Barry, especially if there is good destabilization of the boundary layer.

Tropical-storm-force winds are already affecting the Louisiana coastline, and there is a chance that southwestern Alabama could see some of those winds throughout the day today. A Wind Advisory is up for Mobile and Baldwin counties until this evening for the potential of sustained winds of 25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph.

A Flash Flood Watch is also up for Choctaw, Washington, Mobile and Baldwin counties, as there is the potential of 3-6 inches of rainfall associated with Barry.

No storm surge is expected along the Alabama Gulf Coast and the Florida Panhandle, but dangerous rip currents continue because of the large waves generated by Barry. The rip current threat remains high throughout the weekend and at least through Tuesday. Double red flags are up from Dauphin Island to Panama City Beach, meaning the waters are closed to the public because of very rough surf and rip currents.

For central Alabama, we do not expect any widespread flooding throughout the event, but there may be some localized flash flooding in urban and other poor drainage locations. Expected rainfall amounts from now until Tuesday morning look to be roughly from one-half inch to near 3 inches along the Alabama-Mississippi state line. But with high quantitative precipitation forecast values, we could see some of these storms dump plenty of rain. Up in Black Creek, we got a report of 4.28 inches on Friday with nearly all of that coming in one thunderstorm.

TODAY: Barry will move onshore, possibly as a minimal hurricane or strong tropical storm, around midday. Central Alabama will have numerous to widespread tropical showers and thunderstorms throughout the day, with most of the activity coming during the late morning through the afternoon and early evening, and especially over west and southwest Alabama. Highs will be in the mid-80s to the lower 90s. Rain will dissipate for much of the state as we get into late night and overnight, but scattered to numerous showers and storms will remain possible over southwest Alabama. Lows will be in the lower to mid-70s.

A SUNDAY SOAKER IN STORE: On Sunday, we’ll continue to have numerous to widespread showers and storms across much of the state, with the greatest coverage over the western parts. Afternoon highs will be in the 80s.

WET AT TIMES ON MONDAY: We’ll continue to keep a good chance of showers and storms on Monday as the remnants of Barry will move into southern Missouri late in the day. Higher coverage will remain in west and northwest Alabama, but chances are elevated for all of the state. Highs will be in the upper 70s to the upper 80s.

TYPICAL SUMMERTIME WEATHER RETURNS: With the remnants of Barry continuing to push farther away, we’ll get back to a more normal summertime pattern for Alabama. We’ll have partly to mostly sunny skies each day with the daily risk of isolated to scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Highs will start off in the mid-80s to the lower 90s on Tuesday but will be back up into the lower to mid-90s by Thursday and Friday.

For more weather news and information from James Spann, Scott Martin and other members of the James Spann team, visit AlabamaWx.

Related Stories