Tropical Storm Barry has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is taking aim for Louisiana, the National Hurricane Center said Thursday morning. New Orleans is now included in the tropical storm watch area.
Hurricane forecasters are warning South Louisiana residents to prepare for heavy rain, storm surge and other hurricane conditions. The severe weather from the storm is expected to reach New Orleans by Friday night.
Barry is expected to make landfall as a weak hurricane Saturday morning in Louisiana.
As of 10 a.m. Thursday, the system was 95 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and 200 miles southeast of Morgan City. It is moving west at 7 mph.
It has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, and additional strengthening is expected. The National Hurricane Center said Barry could become a hurricane late Friday or early Saturday as it nears the coast of Louisiana.