Though Tropical Storm Barry at one point looked like it was targeting the Texas Gulf Coast, updated tracks show the tropical cyclone making landfall on the southern coast of Louisiana.
As of Thursday afternoon, National Weather Service meteorologist Jimmy Fowler said the impact in Bryan-College Station likely would be “minimal.”
That does not mean the threat is 100% eliminated; a westward shift could bring the storm’s effects closer.
“We’re still monitoring it pretty closely to make sure that the bulk of the impacts will not be impacting our region,” Fowler said.
Even though the cyclone has been declared a tropical storm and could become a Category 1 hurricane before it reaches land Saturday morning, it is still disorganized, he said.
That disorganization makes it a little more difficult to predict, as the forecast models cannot pinpoint the storm’s location as easily.
“Typically when we have the really strong, more discreet sort of tropical systems, our forecast confidence actually increases,” he said.
Though the probability of a last-minute change in direction decreases the closer the storm gets to land, it is not necessarily out of the realm of possibility, Fowler said. He encouraged people to continue watching the storm.
The current forecast for Bryan-College Station shows a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday — after 1 p.m., primarily — and Monday.
Temperatures in the area will remain in the mid- to upper-90s, with lows in the mid-70s.
“We’ll still have the occasional pop-up, isolated scattered thunderstorm, but looking at the rain over the next couple of days, even with this system moving through, the current forecast guidance only gives y’all around upwards of [quarter-inch to a half-inch] of rain over the next several days,” Fowler said.
For those who have family or friends in the southern area of Louisiana or are planning to travel there, Fowler said, the biggest threat will be rain due to the slower speed of the storm.
“Louisiana’s going to be getting a pretty decent amount of rain, and they already have been getting a lot of rain recently, so it’s just kind of really piling on,” he said.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who declared an emergency earlier in the week as the storm brewed in the Gulf of Mexico, warned that the storm’s blow could form a dangerous combination with the already-high Mississippi River, which has been swelled by heavy rain and snowmelt upriver this spring.
“There are three ways that Louisiana can flood: storm surge, high rivers and rain,” Edwards said. “We’re going to have all three.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.