October 26, 2020

Barry officially becomes a hurricane as he moves closer to landfall, path shifts more to west

As forecasters predicted, Tropical Storm Barry officially became Hurricane Barry Saturday morning, packing estimated sustained winds of approximately 75 mph.

The National Hurricane Center says the designation isn’t terribly important, however, because the water Barry will produce, not the wind, is the biggest concern to life and property.

Hurricane Barry is expected to dump a foot to two feet of rain across areas of Louisiana and portions of Mississippi over the next 24 to 48 hours. Forecasters say the anticipated path of the storm shifted more to the west.

At 10 a.m., the center of Hurricane Barry was located near latitude 29.6 North, longitude 92.0 West. Barry is moving toward the northwest near 6 mph (9 km/h), and a turn toward the north-northwest is expected tonight, followed by a turn toward the north on Sunday.

On the forecast track, the center of Barry will move through southern Louisiana today, into central Louisiana tonight, and into northern Louisiana on Sunday.

Maximum sustained winds are now near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts. As it moves inland, Barry is forecast to weaken below hurricane strength in the next few hours, and it is forecast to weaken to a tropical depression on Sunday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) to the east of the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km) from the center. The National Ocean Service station at Eugene Island, Louisiana recently reported sustained winds of 62 mph and a wind gust of 82 mph.