The Magnolia area may expect to receive a glancing blow from Tropical Storm Barry, although the storm’s impact may be much greater in Southeast Arkansas.

The National Hurricane Center predicts that the storm may reach hurricane strength late Friday or early Saturday before crossing the southeast Louisiana coast. The New Orleans area, which is already suffering from flooding, may receive 6-10 inches of additional rain with 10-20 inches possible.

Friday morning’s NHC advisory suggests that the Magnolia area may receive up to 2 inches of rain. However, Union, Ashley, Chicot, Bradley, Drew and Desha counties can expect 2-6 inches of rain and tropical storm-strength winds by early Saturday morning.

South Arkansas remains soggy from rainfall during the late spring and summer.

The real threat to the Magnolia area will be sustained winds that may damage the power grid.

Sustained winds from a tropical storm are more than 39 mph. Barry’s center of circulation is expected to be near Alexandria, LA, about 1 a.m. Sunday, and north of Camden by 1 a.m. Monday. By that time, the storm should have weakened into a tropical depression with sustained winds of less than 39 mph.

Winds in tropical cyclones are generally strongest in their northeastern quadrants, which will be moving away from the Magnolia area but which will impact southeastern Arkansas and regions along the Mississippi River.

At 4 a.m. Friday, Barry’s center of circulation was about 95 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River. It had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.

A hurricane warning was in effect from Intracoastal City to Grand Isle. A tropical storm warning was in effect from the mouth of the Pearl River to Grand Isle, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas including metropolitan New Orleans, and from Intracoastal City to Cameron, LA.

Barry is moving toward the west-northwest near 5 mph.

A track toward the northwest is expected to begin later today, followed by a turn toward the north on Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Barry will be near or over the central or southeastern coast of Louisiana tonight or Saturday, and then move inland into the Lower Mississippi Valley on Sunday.

Data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft, a few hours ago, indicate that the maximum sustained winds remain near 50 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is expected during the next day or so, and Barry could become a hurricane tonight or early Saturday when the center is near the Louisiana coast.

Weakening is expected after Barry moves inland.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles to the east of the center.

CLICK HERE for more information from the National Hurricane Center.

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