FORT SMITH – The National Weather Service forecast office in Tulsa says that the remnants of a tropical system that will soak Louisiana this weekend could make their way to Western Arkansas and Eastern Oklahoma. If the current trend continues, the area could see heavy rainfall from the system as early as Monday.
But, the weather service also says that these forecasts can change as quickly as they are issued.
“A tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico will track toward our area by early next week. This is the latest forecast cone of uncertainty from the National Hurricane Center,” the Tulsa forecast office said Wednesday. “As you can see there is still great uncertainty in the track. A small shift will make a big difference to our forecasts.”
As of 10:00 PM Wednesday night, the National Hurricane Center indicated that the current system in the Gulf has a 60% chance of becoming a two day tropical cyclone event. Meteorologists say that if the storm does indeed produce sustained winds of 39 MPH, it will upgrade to what they will name Tropical Storm Barry. Some early discussions have not dismissed the idea of the system turning into a category one hurricane as it is makes landfall in Southern Louisiana.
Some maps have tropical storm force winds arriving in Arkansas as early as 8:00 AM on Saturday morning.
Ahead of the storm, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has already declared a state of emergency, as tropical storm force winds are expected to arrive in Baton Rouge and Lafayette as early as tonight. A representative of the National Weather Service forecast office in Slidell told the Baton Rouge Advocate that he expects between six and ten inches of rain to fall in Baton Rouge as the storm moves through.
South of us, the National Weather Service office in Shreveport is warning residents that standing water could once again be on the rise as the storm moves inland.
“A potential for flooding may arise as a tropical system develops along the Gulf Coast and then moves inland during this weekend,” Forecasters said. “This system will then move over parts of our region late this weekend through early next week and keep us wet through the middle of the month.”
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