MIAMI — Tropical Storm Barry is strengthening as it approaches the coast of Louisiana, with winds now up to 70 mph.
Barry strengthened into a tropical storm Thursday morning and is expected to be a Category 1 hurricane when the center reaches the coast, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). After making landfall, the storm is expected to weaken after it moves inland.
Maximum sustained winds are currently at 70 mph, which is nearing the 74 mph required to be classified as a Category 1.
A hurricane warning has been issued for parts of the Louisiana Coast. The Hurricane Center says Barry could bring a dangerous storm surge, heavy rains and damaging winds across the north-central Gulf Coast.
Barry is moving west-northwest at about 5 mph and is about 50 miles west-south-west of Morgan City Louisiana, according to NHC's Saturday morning update.
Tropical Storm Barry: The Latest
- Maximum Sustained Winds: 70 MPH
- Location: 50 miles from Morgan City, Louisiana
- Hurricane Warning: Intracoastal City, Louisiana to Grand Isle, Louisiana
- Tropical Storm Warning: Mouth of Pearl River, Louisiana to Grand Isle, Louisiana. Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas, Louisiana, including metropolitan New Orleans. Intracoastal City, Louisiana to Cameron, Louisiana.
- Storm Surge Warning: Intracoastal City, Louisiana to Biloxi, Louisiana
- Hurricane Watch: Mouth of the Mississippi River to Grand Isle, Intracoastal City to Cameron
New Orleans officials asked people to keep at least three days of supplies on hand and to keep their neighborhood storm drains clear so water can move quickly.
The system won't have any direct impact on the Tampa Bay area.
Barry is the second named Atlantic storm of the year. The first named storm of the season, Subtropical Storm Andrea, formed in the Atlantic Ocean back in May but quickly died out.