Tropical Storm Barry expected to become a hurricane before landfall

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At 10 AM CT, the center of Tropical Storm Barry was located near latitude 28.2 North, longitude 90.4 West. Barry is moving toward the west-northwest near 5 mph. A motion toward the northwest is expected to begin later today, followed by a turn toward the north Saturday night. On the forecast track, the center of Barry will approach the central or southeastern coast of Louisiana through tonight and then make landfall over the central Louisiana coast on Saturday. After landfall, Barry is expected to move generally northward through the Mississippi Valley through Sunday.

WATCH: How will Tropical Storm impact Alabama? CBS 42 Storm Team Meteorologist Nate Harrington has an update.

Reports from Air Force Reserve and NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is forecast before landfall, and Barry is expected to be a hurricane when the center reaches the Louisiana coast. Weakening is expected after Barry moves inland.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles from the center. The NOAA automated station at the Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River recently reported sustained winds of 54 mph and a wind gust of 60 mph at an elevation of 125 ft.

The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.

Barry is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 10 to 20 inches over south-central and southeast Louisiana along with southwest Mississippi, with isolated maximum amounts of 25 inches. These rains are expected to lead to dangerous, life threatening flooding over portions of the central Gulf Coast into the Lower Mississippi Valley. Over the remainder of the Lower Mississippi Valley, total rain accumulations of 4 to 8 inches are expected, with isolated maximum amounts of 12 inches.

Hurricane conditions are expected in the Hurricane Warning area tonight or Saturday, with tropical storm conditions beginning during the next several hours. Hurricane conditions are possible within the Hurricane Watch area by tonight or Saturday morning. Tropical storm conditions are spreading across the Tropical Storm Warning area in southeastern Louisiana at this time. Tropical storm conditions are possible in the Tropical Storm Watch area by tonight or Saturday. Wind gusts to tropical-storm force in squalls are possible along portions of the coasts of Alabama and the western Florida Panhandle through Saturday night.

A couple tornadoes are possible this afternoon through tonight across southeast Louisiana, far southern Mississippi, and the Alabama coast.

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