As of 10:30 Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service in Lake Charles has updated the situation with Tropical Cyclone #2 in the Gulf of Mexico, which is expected to hit South Louisiana some time Saturday as a hurricane.
According to Donald Jones, Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lake Charles, the National Hurricane Center is now tracking the storm to hit somewhere between Cameron and the Vermilion Parish line. That would put Southwest Louisiana — including Lake Charles and Sulphur — in the direct path of what will become named-storm Barry when it reaches tropical storm force winds some time today or tonight.
“We are looking at the formation of a hurricane some time on Thursday or early Friday, which is not good news considering it will form at its strongest right before making landfall,” Jones said. “There are still so many uncertainties but if it indeeds becomes a hurricane we could start feeling tropical force winds as early as Friday.”
The latest model released by the NHC predicts heavy rainfall for all or most of Louisiana, with as much as 10 to 15 inches falling on the center or eastern side of the storm. There could be as much as 20 inches of rainfall in some areas, according to NWS-LC meteorologist Roger Erickson.
Erickson said there is “a high probability (60 to 70 percent) for tropical storm force winds from southeast Texas, extending across south central, central, and southwest Louisiana.” Tropical storm force winds are anywhere from 40 to 70 mph.
Strong wind gusts 75 to 100 mph are expected, mainly along and south of Interstate-10 in southwest and south central Louisiana, depending on the exact location of landfall.
The National Hurricane Center will be updating the storm at 1 p.m. today.
Also on Wednesday morning, the Calcasieu Parish School Board announced that all schools and facilities will be closed on Friday, July 12, due to expected severe weather.