US weather forecasters with the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Agency (NOAA) warned of incoming severe weather. Currently a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico, a storm system is expected to move into the US coast at Louisiana and Texas. The system is predicted to strengthen as it comes, with the potential to reach hurricane level.
Will storm Barry become a hurricane?
The Gulf of Mexico disturbance could soon become one of the first named storms of the US hurricane season.
If it does, US authorities will call it Tropical Storm Barry, and eventually Hurricane Barry if it gets stronger.
Whether it eventually becomes a hurricane or not remains to be seen, but the NOAA has released a storm forecast which warns it might.
READ MORE: Where will hurricane Barry hit?
The NOAA currently believes the storm could intensify to hurricane strength later this week.
Today, tropical storm Barry will bring down scattered showers and some isolated thunderstorms.
By Thursday Barry could become a tropical storm, with strong winds up to 28mph.
By Friday, the NOAA estimates Barry could bring hurricane conditions, with winds up to 63mph.
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The storm will make landfall on the coast at Texas or Louisiana.
The National Hurricane Centre NHC) in Louisiana warned there is a threat of “damaging winds and [a] deadly storm surge”.
New Orleans has already seen heavy rain this week, prompting further alarm from city officials.
On Wednesday the city saw up to half a foot of rain which resulted in a flash flood warning, and some residents spotted tornadoes forming in the area.
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Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards warned the state could see a further 10 to 16 inches of rain this weekend.
He said in a press conference: ”We’re not sure yet of the exact track of the storm, or the strength of the potential tropical system once it makes landfall.
“However we’re confident that there will be widespread heavy rainfall and coastal flooding.
“We could have heavy rain not just over the weekend but into next week.”