Watch these forecasts from the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service.
New Orleans faces a triple threat of flooding from Barry, which was upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane shortly before making landfall on Saturday.
Already flooded from torrential rain Wednesday, the city now faces more heavy rain, a surge in sea level as the storm comes ashore, and flooding from the Mississippi River, which is still swollen after record flooding earlier this year upstream.
“Look, there are three ways that Louisiana floods: storm surge, high rivers, and rain,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday. “We’re going to have all three.”
This map shows the anticipated track and the likelihood of hurricane-force winds from Barry. The cone around the most likely track indicates the uncertainty on the forecast — there’s a roughly two-thirds chance that the eye of the storm will keep within those bounds.
But wind isn’t the main concern with this storm. A much bigger problem will be the rain that the storm dumps on the coast when it makes landfall.
This map shows predicted rainfall over the coming week. Parts of Louisiana could face more than 10 inches of rain, exceeding the downpour that happened Wednesday.
Use this map to track the immediate threat of rainfall over the next 24 hours. From Saturday onward, the National Weather Service is predicting a high risk of flash flooding in and around New Orleans.
Heavy rain will also further swell the Mississippi River. The NWS was predicting that at New Orleans, the river level will rise to 2 feet above its designated flood stage Saturday. But later on Friday, it reduced that forecast to at or around the flood stage level.
One huge question for New Orleans is whether the city’s system of levees, infamously breached in 2005 by Hurricane Katrina, will withstand rising water from the river and the sea. Barry could bring a storm surge of up to 3 feet.
This map shows storm surge and warnings and watches issued by the National Hurricane Center. As always, obey evacuation orders from local officials. See here for more information on the storm.
This post has been updated to reflect forecast information as Tropical Storm Barry came ashore.
Further updated to reflect the change to hurricane status, shortly before the storm made landfall.