The National Hurricane Center is predicting Tropical Storm Barry will be a hurricane when it comes ashore along the Louisiana coast early Saturday morning.
But unless the storm gains enough strength to begin moving faster, the Teche Area will still suffer from the slow-moving storm's heavy rainfall as it passes through the region.
In its 4 p.m. update, the center put the center of the storm approximately 70 miles south-southeast of Morgan City with a slightly faster speed to the west-northwest of 6 mph, up from 5 mph at its 1 p.m. update. The direction has also moved slightly more northward, from 290 degrees earlier to 300 degrees at the 4 p.m. update.
The updated forecast graphic shows the storm track slightly, but not much, westward from its 10 a.m. plot. According to the narrative of the forecast, Barry should begin a harder turn toward the northwest during the next several hours, followed by a turn toward the north Saturday night or Sunday. The wind speed of 65 mph with higher gusts remains unchanged from the 1 p.m. intermediate update.
The advisory also states that Barry will bring a dangerous storm surge, heavy rains, and wind conditions across the north-central Gulf coast. The current track of the storm shows it dropping life-threatening rainfall of 15 to 20 inches -- with locally higher amounts possible -- over St. Mary, Iberia, and lower St. Martin parishes as it moves ashore. The latest advice predicts people will be trapped in homes in those areas due to flooding from the rains expected to drench the region during the slow-moving storm.
A storm surge of more than 3 feet is expected in coastal sections of Vermilion, Iberia, and St. Mary parishes, including Intracoastal City, Delcambre, Cypremort Point, and Burns Point.
The current forecast said damaging winds will cause scattered to numerous power outages, blow down trees, and damage homes and businesses across south central Louisiana and parts of central Louisiana.
Isolated tornadoes are possible along the path of this storm in south central and central Louisiana.
The next partial National Hurricane Center update is expected at 7 p.m., with a full update at 10 p.m.