Hurricane Barry is the prospective name for potential tropical cyclone two, currently developing in the Gulf of Mexico. The tropical disturbance is brewing just off the southeastern US, near the states of Texas and Louisiana. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a warning for wind and rainfall in the US and predicted the storm could reach “hurricane strength” by this weekend. Experts warn fallout from the disaster could “change the course of American history”.
The NOAA set out a marine forecast for the looming storm Barry, predicting it will make landfall by Thursday evening.
If it makes landfall tonight, Barry will be a tropical storm packing winds of 28mph.
However, on Friday the storm could intensify to “hurricane strength” with winds of 63mph.
Louisiana, specifically New Orleans, is most at risk from the potential storm.
READ MORE: NOAA releases cyclone Barry warning
The city is already underwater, after midweek storms unleashed half a foot of rain on New Orleans, forcing officials to declare a flash flood warning.
Some residents spotted tornadoes forming in the city, which fused with water to create a water spout.
Experts are worried the storm could force more pressure on the Mississippi river, as levees (embankments) are already under strain from flash floods.
Louisiana is now amidst a state of emergency, as Governor John Bel Edwards warned of another 10 to 16 inches of water this weekend.
READ MORE: What cyclone category is Barry?
Meteorologist Eric Holthaus wrote in The New Republic if the storm was able to breach the river levee, it could cause disaster.
He said: “A river levee breach would be an entirely different type of flooding disaster than what occurred during Hurricane Katrina, but possibly no less devastating.
“Depending on where exactly a breach occurred, it may not be possible to return the Mississippi River to its previous state.
“This would cripple America’s agricultural and petrochemical industries, deal a potentially fatal blow to New Orleans, and change the course of American history.”
READ MORE: Will New Orleans be flooded?
Meteorologists are still unsure exactly what path the storm will take, but Louisiana’s Governor warned the storm could remain in New Orleans through the weekend into next week.
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.”