Barry Strengthening In The Northern Gulf
Tropical storm Barry continues to strengthen Friday morning. Sustained winds increased to 65 mph. It’s still a lopsided system, with the strongest winds on the east side of the circulation, and the strongest convection on the south side of the storm. The latest forecast from the NHC calls for Barry to become a category 1 hurricane just before landfall along the Louisiana coast. Impacts to Alabama still look relatively minimal. Rain totals between Saturday and Monday of 1-3″ appear possible, with the highest totals west. We’ll keep an eye on the potential for isolated tornadoes in any stronger convective bands, but with Barry tracking so far to the west, the stronger bands likely stay west of Alabama.
In the meantime, expect scattered showers and storms this afternoon as tropical moisture from Barry works south to north through the area in waves. Temperatures top out in the low 90s, with higher heat index temperatures. Highs may occur in the middle of the day today, with cooler temps this afternoon thanks to the rain. Tonight looks relatively dry with the majority of rain tapering off this evening. Expect a mostly cloudy sky with temps in the mid 70s Saturday morning.
Rain and storms should be fairly widespread Saturday. Waves of rain push through in waves from Barry’s outer bands. The severe weather threat (the threat for tropical tornadoes) is west of our area this weekend. That could change in future updates; We’ll monitor the situation closely this weekend. Temperatures should top out in the 80s Saturday and Sunday thanks to the rain and increased clouds.
More tropical moisture streams into central and south Alabama on Monday, with the remnants of Barry moving into Arkansas by that time. Clouds may keep temps in the 80s on Monday. By Tuesday, we’re back to a more routine summer pattern with a daily chance of showers and storms, and highs in the 90s through next Friday.