Beachgoers heading to the Gulf Coast this week could be greeted by the first tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.
“A tropical depression is expected to form by Thursday from a broad area of low pressure moving slowly westward over the northern Gulf of Mexico,” the National Hurricane Center said.
If that happens, we’ll see the first tropical depression of the 2019 season. And since such storms get names, this one would be “Barry.”
So what would spawn Barry? “Low pressure is expected to drop out of the Southeast into the Gulf of Mexico, where conditions are likely to be favorable for development,” CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.
It’s too early to pinpoint exactly where the storm would strike the worst, or how badly. But a “general westward movement is expected as the system most likely tracks toward the Louisiana or Upper Texas coast over the weekend,” Hennen said.
High tides and strong winds also threaten southeast Louisiana or coastal Mississippi, especially if the system develops quickly and gains strength, the National Weather Service’s New Orleans office said.
But what if the tropical depression doesn’t happen? Coastal cities will still get hammered.
“Even if the system doesn’t fully develop, very heavy rains are forecast along the Gulf Coast region, with up to 10 to 15 inches of rain possible along the future path of the storm,” Hennen said.