Tropical Storm Barry is nearing the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi at the worst possible time.
According to reports from NOAA, the huge amounts of rain around the central and southeast United States has caused the Mississippi River to rise close to the maximum height of the levy.
The Mississippi River in New Orleans right now (standing on the levee) https://t.co/7wmRCDjE5r— Jon Walczak (@Jon Walczak)1562765007.0
(5/4?) Oh, and this is what NOLA looks like today with our storm not even a depression yet. Just from some very dis… https://t.co/soNCEnQfWn— Scott Pecoriello (@Scott Pecoriello)1562779968.0
Since the levies are already at a high stage, the amount of rain they're anticipating means they will get so much worse.
We are going to see rain. The question is how much? And THAT depends 100% on the track of #Barry and how slow it mo… https://t.co/7tYGKMG5V9— Carrie Duncan (@Carrie Duncan)1562869768.0
That doesn't even count the storm surge expected:
Storm Surge Watch could bring 2' to 4' surge for parts of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, especailly along rivers and b… https://t.co/9Y2vGZNP1e— Carrie Duncan (@Carrie Duncan)1562870000.0
One of the biggest problems facing the Gulf is that the waters are unusually warm and well above average for this time of year. As Yale Climate Connections explained, hurricanes wind speed increases based on the temperature of the water they're passing over. When the sea water is warmer, the storms are more severe. One local meteorologist went so far as to call the warm water "jet fuel" for hurricanes.
The Gulf of Mexico is a Hot-tub with some of the warmest water in the Atlantic and well above average for this time… https://t.co/C6M4d9EL4o— Brad Panovich (@Brad Panovich)1562771205.0
#Barry is moving over very warm waters. Anything over 80° is like jet fuel for these tropical engines to grow. Buoy… https://t.co/dMdrksl4oJ— Phil Ferro (@Phil Ferro)1562869799.0
Atmospheric moisture is just as concerning:
A look at the incredible atmospheric moisture available to Potential Tropical Cyclone #Two. (aka #Barry)… https://t.co/ZV27rcQzXm— UW-Madison CIMSS (@UW-Madison CIMSS)1562815476.0
To make things worse, Barry's strength is growing quickly.
NEW: NOAA's #GOES16 shows a "sandwich loop" -- a combination of visible and infrared imagery -- of Potential Tropic… https://t.co/cKgtm6idsk— NOAA Satellites - Public Affairs (@NOAA Satellites - Public Affairs)1562855404.0
Skies are already beginning to darken on the Gulf coast, and it seems absolutely terrifying.
Waves are picking up at Pensacola Beach https://t.co/PPmdxEuip7— Kristie Henderson (@Kristie Henderson)1562864032.0
The storm currently covers an absurdly large area:
International Space Station Eyes Tropical Storm #Barry U.S. Astronaut Christina Koch, currently stationed on the In… https://t.co/2Za2UxVJ0P— NASA Atmosphere (@NASA Atmosphere)1562869280.0