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Hurricane Barry (2019)

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Hurricane Barry
Category 1 hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
Barry 2019-07-13 1600Z.jpg
Hurricane Barry making landfall in Louisiana at peak intensity on July 13
FormedJuly 11, 2019
DissipatedJuly 19, 2019
(Remnant low after July 15)
Highest winds1-minute sustained: 75 mph (120 km/h)
Lowest pressure991 mbar (hPa); 29.26 inHg
Fatalities1 total
Damage≥ $500 million (2019 USD)
Areas affectedMidwestern United States, Southeastern United States, Gulf Coast of the United States, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Great Lakes region, Northeastern United States
Part of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season

Hurricane Barry was the fourth recorded storm to make landfall at hurricane strength on the state of Louisiana in the month of July, the others being Bob in 1979, Danny in 1997, and Cindy in 2005.[1] The second named storm and first hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, Barry began as a mesoscale convective vortex over the midwestern United States on July 4.[2] The system emerged into the Gulf of Mexico on July 10 and was classified as a potential tropical cyclone later that day. It developed into a tropical storm on the next day, becoming the second named storm of the season. On July 13, Barry attained maximum 1-minute sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h), with a minimum central pressure of 991 millibars (29.3 inHg), becoming the first hurricane of the season. Later that day, Barry made landfall on Marsh Island and Intracoastal City, Louisiana both times as a Category 1 hurricane, subsequently weakening to tropical storm status.[3] Late on July 15, Barry degenerated into a remnant low over northern Arkansas,[4] before dissipating on July 19.[5] One indirect fatality has been attributed to Barry, and damages are currently estimated at $500–900 million (2019 USD).[6]

Meteorological history

Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

The origins of Barry can be traced to a mesoscale convective vortex that formed over the Midwestern United States on July 4.[2] Forecast models indicated the potential for this disturbance to interact with a trough of low pressure over the Southeastern United States, triggering the formation of a propitious low-pressure area over the Gulf of Mexico. On July 5, the Climate Prediction Center noted this possibility in their two-week forecast.[7] The following day, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) highlighted a low likelihood of tropical cyclogenesis while the initial disturbance was still centered well-inland over Tennessee, anticipating that the weather system would track into the northern Gulf of Mexico.[8] Over the next few days, the system drifted southeastward towards Georgia, and by July 8, the NHC assessed a high probability of a tropical cyclone developing.[9] On July 9, the system developed a broad area of low pressure over the eastern Florida Panhandle.[10] A day later, on July 10, the broad low-pressure system emerged from the Florida Panhandle into Apalachee Bay in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, attended by widespread showers and thunderstorms;[11][12] concurrently, the NHC forecasted a high likelihood of tropical cyclone development within two days, noting a favorable environment and widespread convection, or thunderstorms, associated with the low.[11]

With a large ridge over the central and western United States, the weather system moved west-southwestward. On July 10, the NHC initiated advisories on the weather system as Potential Tropical Cyclone Two, due to its threat of producing tropical storm force winds over the United States within a few days. At that time, the low pressure area was experiencing some northerly wind shear, which was expected to decrease. The NHC described the atmospheric conditions, including water temperatures of over 86 °F (30 °C), as "ideal for intensification".[13] Based on reports from the Hurricane Hunters, the NHC upgraded the system to Tropical Storm Barry at 15:00 UTC on July 11, while located about 95 mi (150 km) southeast of the Mississippi Delta. Over time, the storm's convection organized into a large rainband south of an elongated circulation,[14] with little thunderstorms near the center initially.[15] Despite the asymmetric structure of the storm, Barry gradually intensified.[16]

By the morning of July 13, the thunderstorms moved closer to the center of circulation, as upper-level outflow expanded in all directions.[17] The NHC estimated that Barry attained Category 1 hurricane status by 12:00 UTC that day, concluding that Barry was producing a small area of hurricane-force winds based on observations from the Hurricane Hunters, Doppler radar wind estimates of 75 mph (121 km/h), and recorded sustained winds of 72 mph (116 km/h) at Eugene Island oil field.[18] Simultaneously, the storm reached its peak intensity, with a minimum central pressure of 991 millibars (29.3 inHg).[19] At 18:00 UTC that day, Barry made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane on Intracoastal City, Louisiana, before weakening to tropical storm status.[3][20] This made Barry the fourth tropical cyclone recorded making landfall as a hurricane on Louisiana in the month of July.[1] Barry progressed farther inland over the next day, weakening into a tropical depression at 21:00 UTC on July 14 over northwestern Louisiana. At that time, the NHC passed on the responsibility for issuing advisories on the storm to the Weather Prediction Center (WPC).[21] At 21:00 UTC on July 15, Barry degenerated into a remnant low over northern Arkansas.[4] During the next several days, Barry's remnant moved eastward while gradually weakening, with the WPC issuing their final advisory on the storm at 21:00 UTC on July 17.[22] Early on July 19, Barry's remnant was absorbed into another frontal system off the coast of New Jersey.[5]

Preparations

People in a conference room.
The U.S. National Guard meeting with FEMA to coordinate response efforts on July 12

On July 10, the NHC began issuing various warnings and watches, including a hurricane watch for the Louisiana coast from Cameron to the Mississippi River Delta, a tropical storm watch from the Mississippi Delta to the mouth of the Pearl River, and a storm surge watch from the mouth of the Pearl River to Morgan City, Louisiana.[23] After the disturbance became Tropical Storm Barry on July 11, the NHC issued a tropical storm warning from the mouth of the Pearl River to Morgan City, and a tropical storm watch eastward to the Mississippi/Alabama border, including the New Orleans metro area, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas. The agency also issued a storm surge warning from the mouth of the Atchafalaya River to Shell Beach, Louisiana.[24]

Due to United States Army Corps of Engineers fears that levees would be overtopped in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana by storm surge atop elevated streams, a mandatory evacuation was ordered for the parish effective on the morning of July 11. The evacuation order affected approximately 8,000–10,000 residents.[25] An evacuation order was also issued for low-lying areas of Jefferson Parish;[26] the mayor of Grand Isle also issued a mandatory evacuation. Due to the storm threat, the Carnival Valor changed its disembarking point from New Orleans to Mobile, Alabama.[27] Royal Dutch Shell evacuated non-essential personnel from its offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.[28] On the afternoon of July 11, the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning for coastal Louisiana between Intracoastal City to Grand Isle, Louisiana.[29] Curfews were enacted in several Louisiana communities across five parishes on July 12.[30] New Orleans mayor LaToya Cantrell urged residents to "shelter in place" but did not order evacuations, citing a Category 3 hurricane as the threshold.[31]

Mississippi governor Phil Bryant declared a state of emergency on July 12, allocating state resources for storm relief and activating the state's emergency operations center.[32] The Mississippi Urban Search and Rescue Task Force dispatched two 12-person water rescue crews to Pike County and Camp Shelby to assist local emergency units.[33]

Impacts

Alabama

Torrential rainfall overwhelmed sewer systems in Alabama, with over 80,000 gallons of water spilling into the streets of Mobile County. The storm resulted in the closure of popular beaches, including those in Orange Beach and Gulf Shores.[34]

Arkansas

Following up to 8 inches (20 cm) of rainfall, the National Weather Service issued a rare flash flood emergency (although several others were issued in the path of the storm) at 5 a.m. CDT on July 16, for southern Pike and southern Clark counties, which was soon expanded to include all of Southwestern Arkansas. Clark County Humane Society in Arkadelphia was drenched in flood waters, putting several people at risk of drowning and hypothermia. A woman was rescued from fast-moving floodwaters in the same area.[35]

Florida

Multiple beaches issued warnings to the public to stay out of the water in order to avoid rip currents and dangerous swimming conditions; however, there were still many calls of swimmers in distress. In Panama City Beach multiple people formed a human chain in an effort to save swimmers who had gotten caught in a rip current caused by the storm, with a 67-year-old man reported to be found dead in the waters.[36]

Louisiana

While Barry was in its formative stages, it dropped 6 to 9 in (150 to 230 mm) of rainfall across the New Orleans area, causing flooding.[37] An expansive thunderstorm inundated streets and businesses over a six-hour period on the morning of July 10.[38] Portions of the French Quarter were flooded and public transportation was disrupted. The impacts were exacerbated by an elevated Mississippi River amid a prolonged period exceeding flood stage.[39] Officials declared a flash flood emergency in New Orleans, as flooded streets forced businesses and government buildings to close.[40][39]

Tropical Storm Barry dropped locally heavy rainfall along its path, peaking at 23.43 in (595 mm) near Ragley, Louisiana.[41] Waterspouts were reported on Lake Pontchartrain.[40] One tornado struck the Gentilly neighborhood in New Orleans, damaging two homes.[31] A tide station in Amereda Pass recorded a storm surge of nearly 7 ft (2.1 m). On the southern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, storm surge exceeded 3 ft (0.91 m), while its northern shores expected tides 3 to 5 ft (0.91 to 1.52 m) above normal. Flooding also occurred on the banks of the Atchafalaya River in Morgan City, Louisiana.[42] The Lower Dularge East Levee in Terrebonne Parish was overtopped, prompting a mandatory evacuation for nearby areas.[43] On the afternoon of July 12, Louisiana Highway 1 south of Golden Meadow—the only thoroughfare leading out of Grand Isle and Port Fourchon—was closed after seawater began to inundate portions of the road.[44]

In a 24-hour span, 28 parishes issued emergency declarations with another 14 finalizing such declarations. After declaring a state of emergency and deploying search and rescue assets,[45] Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards requested a federal disaster declaration for the entire state on July 11, citing the potential for widespread flooding;[46] the request was granted later that day.[47]

As Barry moved ashore the Louisiana coast on July 13, Entergy and Cleco, the two major electricity companies in southern Louisiana, reported the loss of power to over 114,000 customers. Power lines knocked down by fallen trees in the Metairie area cut power to 5,140 electricity customers in the New Orleans metropolitan area. The most widespread power outages occurred where wind speeds were highest in Lafourche Parish and Terrebonne Parish, as well as eastern Baton Rouge; over 39,000 lost power in these areas.[48] All electricity customers in Grand Isle lost power, and a total of 4,300 customers were affected by power outages as Barry's initial rainbands swept across coastal Louisiana.[49]

Mississippi

Five people were rescued 23 mi (37 km) southwest of Gulfport, Mississippi after their ship ran aground.[50] Over land, rainbands brought heavy downpours and occasionally triggered tornado warnings. High winds and saturated soils led to fallen trees. Flooded roadways were closed in the Biloxi area.[51]

Southern Ontario

More than 60 mm (2.4 in) of rain fell in Toronto on July 17, as the post-tropical cyclone moved just south of the area, resulting in street-level flash flooding and the blockage of a ramp to Ontario Highway 401, where several cars were submerged.[52] Toronto recorded the highest daily rainfall total in the month of July since 2013.[53] The storm also produced a funnel cloud in Oro-Medonte.[52]

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b Lam, Linda (July 14, 2019). "The Long, Strange Trip to Becoming Hurricane Barry". The Weather Company. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Beven, Jack (July 13, 2019). Tropical Storm Barry Discussion Number 13 (Report). Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Burke, Patrick; Gallina, Gregg (July 15, 2019). Post-Tropical Cyclone Barry Advisory Number 22 (Report). Weather Prediction Center. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  5. ^ a b "WPC surface analysis valid for 07/19/2019 at 06 UTC". NOAA's National Weather Service. July 19, 2019. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  6. ^ Matthew Lerner (July 19, 2019). Hurricane Barry loss estimates reach $900M (Report). Business Insurance. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  7. ^ Morgan, Leigh (July 5, 2019). "Could Midwest storms help spawn a tropical storm in the Gulf next week?". AL.com. Birmingham, Alabama: Alabama Media Group. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  8. ^ Blake, Eric S. (July 6, 2019). "Two-Day Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook". NHC Graphical Outlook Archive. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
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  10. ^ Stewart, Stacy R. (July 9, 2019). "Two-Day Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook". NHC Graphical Outlook Archive. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  11. ^ a b Stewart, Stacy R. (July 9, 2019). "Two-Day Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook". NHC Graphical Outlook Archive. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  12. ^ Cangialosi, John P. (July 10, 2019). "Two-Day Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook". NHC Graphical Outlook Archive. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  13. ^ Stewart, Stacy R. (July 10, 2019). Potential Tropical Cyclone Two Discussion Number 1 (Report). Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  14. ^ Beven, Beven (July 11, 2019). Tropical Storm Barry Discussion Number 5 (Report). Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
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  17. ^ Daniel P., Brown (July 13, 2019). Tropical Storm Barry Discussion Number 11 (Report). Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
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  22. ^ Brann (July 17, 2019). Post-Tropical Cyclone Barry Advisory Number 30 (Report). Weather Prediction Center. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
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  30. ^ KATC News (July 12, 2019). "Curfews set for Acadiana". KATC. Acadiana, Louisiana: The E.W. Scripps Co. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
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  33. ^ Jackson, Ann (July 12, 2019). "State agencies are positioning resources ahead of Tropical Storm Barry's arrival". WLBT. Jackson, Mississippi: WLBT.com. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
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  35. ^ Brackett, Ron (July 16, 2019). "Barry Impacts: Flooding Swamps Arkansas Police Station and Animal Shelter; Washes Out Highways". weather.com. The Weather Company. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  36. ^ Adams, Char (July 15, 2019). "Good Samaritans Form Human Chain to Rescue Swimmers from Rip Current in Florida". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
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  39. ^ a b Breslin, Sam (July 10, 2019). "New Orleans Flash Flood Emergency: Streets Inundated, City Offices Closed". The Weather Channel. Atlanta, Georgia: TWC Product and Technology LLC. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  40. ^ a b Livingston, Ian (July 10, 2019). "New Orleans just faced a flash flood emergency, and Barry could bring more severe flooding Saturday, testing levees". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 10, 2019. (subscription required)
  41. ^ Lamers (July 16, 2019). Post-Tropical Cyclone Barry Advisory Number 25 (Report). Weather Prediction Center. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  42. ^ "Barry making landfall as hurricane, poised to dump up to 2 feet of rain inland". Archived from the original on July 13, 2019. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  43. ^ Sledge, Matt (July 13, 2019). "Overtopped levee in Terrebonne prompts partial evacuation; people, cat rescued from cut off island". New Orleans, Louisiana: NOLA.com. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  44. ^ "La. 1 closed south of Golden Meadow". GateHouse Media, LLC. Houma, Louisiana: HoumaToday.com. July 12, 2019. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  45. ^ McWhriter, Cameron; Calfas, Jennifer (July 11, 2019). "Tropical Storm Barry Brews, Forcing Evacuations". The Wall Street Journal. New York, New York: Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Retrieved July 11, 2019. (subscription required)
  46. ^ "Gov. Edwards Request Federal Emergency Declaration in Advance of Tropical Storm Barry" (PDF) (Letter). Letter to Trump, Donald J. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Office of the Governor of Louisiana. July 11, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.CS1 maint: others (link)
  47. ^ Mumphrey, Nicole (July 12, 2019). "President Trump approves emergency declaration for Louisiana ahead TS Barry". FOX 8. New Orleans, Louisiana: FOX8Live.com. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  48. ^ Mcauley, Anthony; Haselle, Della (July 13, 2019). "As Hurricane Barry rolls in, over 114,000 Louisiana customers without power, some areas inaccessible". New Orleans, Louisiana: NOLA.com. Retrieved July 13, 2019.
  49. ^ Brennan, Sean (July 12, 2019). "Outages: Grand Isle power knocked as storm nears, thousands without power in Jefferson, Terrebonne parishes". WWL-TV. New Orleans, Louisiana: WWL-TV. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  50. ^ Beveridge, Lici (July 12, 2019). "Coast Guard aircrew rescues 5 people in Gulf as Tropical Storm Barry gathers steam". Clarion Ledger. Jackson, Mississippi: ClarionLedger.com. Mississippi Clarion Ledger. Retrieved July 12, 2019. (subscription required)
  51. ^ Johnson, Annie (July 13, 2019). "Areas of South Mississippi seeing impacts of Hurricane Barry". www.wlox.com. WLOX. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
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  53. ^ Hamilton, Tyler (July 17, 2019). "Toronto just had its rainiest July day in over half a decade". Pelmorex Media. The Weather Network. Retrieved July 17, 2019.

External links