Gulf States Likely To Be Impacted By Tropical Cyclone

An area of low pressure that has moved into the Gulf of Mexico could become a tropical depression or storm in a few days

The storm system is expected to enter the Gulf of Mexico today (July 9), and could become a tropical depression Wednesday or Thursday while continuing to move west, forecasters with the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

The next name that will be used for the next tropical cyclone will be Barry.

The US city of New Orleans is under a storm-surge along with a stretch of Louisiana coast as a tropical storm formed in the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the region with potentially life-threatening rains.

Once it becomes more intense, the weather system could push the already swollen Mississippi River precariously close to the tops of levees that protect New Orleans, forecasters said.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell closed the city hall and urged non-essential employees to stay home, while the city's airport reported numerous flight delays.

Heaviest rain totals looks to be across south central and southeast Louisiana with more than 7 inches possible. Right along the coast south of Louisiana, water temperatures are now approaching 32ºC - more than ample fuel for a healthy storm.

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Scattered showers and storms will again take many of us through the evening commute over the next few days before drier air moves down the peninsula and lowers rain chances this weekend. The city is protected to a height of 20 feet. The heavy rain that created the flooding in New Orleans later tracked to the southwest, prompting an additional flash flood emergency for Jefferson Parish. "In addition, this disturbance has the potential to produce very heavy rainfall from the Upper Texas Coast to the Florida Panhandle".

"Another concern is for wind associated with the storm", Kottlowski said. Confidence is high that a tropical depression will develop and strengthen into a tropical storm! While that storm relatively weak, it was still responsible for six deaths along the coast, five of them victims who drowned in rip currents along the Florida and Alabama coasts.

The threat of a hurricane by the weekend - the first of the Atlantic season if it materializes - prompted a flurry of bad weather alerts.

"There are a number of petroleum rigs and refineries along the central and western Gulf coast, and there may be considerable risk if this storm ramps up, develops to its full potential and travels in that direction", Sosnowski said.

The storm will make landfall on the coast at Texas or Louisiana.

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