|Tropical Storm Barry||Winds: 35 kt|
|Pressure: 1005 mbar|
|Advisory 3 / 10:00 AM CDT Thu July 11 2019|
An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft has been investigating the system in the Gulf of Mexico this morning, and found SFMR surface winds of 36 kt roughly 115 nautical miles south of the center amid a roughly 20 mile wide band of gale-force winds. Another region of much higher SFMR winds, as high as 52 kt, was observed in the southeastern quadrant, but these winds are likely contaminated and unrepresentative of the circulation. Nonetheless, gale-force winds are evident. On this basis, the system has been designated as Tropical Storm Barry, the 2nd named storm of the 2019 Atlantic season.
Satellite images this morning show that Barry's circulation remains broad and organized, with high-resolution mesoscale visible imagery illustrative of a gyre with embedded mesovorticies rotating about a common center. These mesovorticies are not Earth-relative and thus do not emerge in the reconnaissance data, but their existence points to Two's disheleved structure. Convection has certainly increased since last night but remains displaced in an arc-shaped band stretching across the circulation's southern semicircle... the gale-force surface winds were observed within this band. Emergent banding appears to be in progress, particularly in the southeastern quadrant, but these are also displaced far from the center of circulation.
The steering flows in the northern Gulf of Mexico could hardly be more complex, complicated further by the broad nature of Barry's circulation. A ridge over the Bahamas, a second ridge over the Four Corners region, and a shortwave trough digging southward into the Ohio River Valley all have Barry at their fringes. The Bahamas ridge is more pronounced at the mid-levels of the atmosphere while the Four Corners ridge is more pronounced at the upper-levels, suggesting that a stronger, deeper system will increase zonal tendency storm's forecast track. Short-term motion--most likely to the west or slightly south of west--will largely be dictated by local processes related to convection and Barry's circulation aloft, but generally the trough's approach should gradually increase induce poleward motion Despite the short distance from land, the track guidance spread encompasses a wide stretch of coast from the Texas-Louisiana border to Mississippi. The current track forecast calls for a landfall near Morgan City in two days, which is west of the core of statistical guidance but near the consensus of dynamical ensembles.
Ground-based rawinsondes show a rather moist environment along the coast characterized by PWATs in excess of 2 inches and relative humidity values generally above 70%. Sea surface temperatures are certainly more than sufficient and widely in excess of 30C with pockets of high oceanic heat content throughout Barry's moisture fetch. The primary environmental inhibitor this morning is the presence of northerly wind shear, particularly on the eastern half of the circulation as a result of an upper-level ridge over the lower Mississippi Valley. However, attentuation of this shear is anticipated later today as upper-level winds lessen over the circulation, providing a better opportunity for convective latent heat release to produce a better aligned anticyclone atop Barry's circulation. Statistical metrics all support intensification, but the questions of how much and how fast are largely contingent on whether the circulation can coalesce. Despite dispalcement of convection expected throughout today, winds are nonetheless are expected to continue to increase. An opportunity for increased intensification presents itself tomorrow with better upper-level conditions up until landfall. The current intensity forecast remains higher than most statistical guidance.
INIT 11/1500Z 35 KT 40 MPH
12H 12/0000Z 40 KT 45 MPH
24H 12/1200Z 50 KT 60 MPH
36H 13/0000Z 65 KT 75 MPH...NEAR LANDFALL
48H 13/1200Z 75 KT 85 MPH...AT LANDFALL
72H 14/1200Z 45 KT 50 MPH...INLAND
96H 15/1200Z 25 KT 30 MPH...INLAND120H 16/1200Z 25 KT 30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW