The system that drifted into the Gulf of Mexico and is now threatening the state of Louisiana is now officially Tropical Storm Barry.
As of the 11 a.m. Thursday advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Barry officially formed. The system has maximum sustained winds of 40 miles an hour and is move west at just five miles an hour.
Previously, the storm has been referred to as "Potential Tropical Cyclone 2," because it lacked certain characteristics to define it as a tropical cyclone. But now that threshold has been reached.
The current consensus track from the National Hurricane Center has Barry moving into the Louisiana coastline sometime Saturday. Tropical storm warnings are in effect starting in Mississippi, while a hurricane watch is in effect for the mouth of the Mississippi River and parts of the Louisiana shoreline.
The storm still may develop into a hurricane, but the greatest threat from the storm will be the potential for devastating flooding. Some models are suggesting areas near and west of New Orleans could receive in excess of 15 inches of rain. Flooding could extend up into Mississippi and Arkansas.
The state of Louisiana has already declared a state of emergency in advance of the storm.
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