SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The first hurricane of the season is expected to develop by Friday and make landfall somewhere from SE Texas to SE Louisiana on Saturday.
Conditions will become favorable for developing into a strong cat. 1 hurricane as it will be moving over extremely warm water in the Gulf. It is now labeled a Potential Tropical Cyclone 2 but will likely be called tropical storm Barry by noon on Thursday.
The reliable models, EURO and GFS take it into south central LA, while a couple of other models take it to SE Texas. There is some potential for the latter forecast as high pressure located over Florida may not weaken and it could stay on a more westerly course and make landfall into the Texas. Time will tell.
The biggest concern right now it the potential for heavy rainfall over LA and TX. Some isolated areas could get nearly 20 inches of rainfall during the whole event. RIght now landfall looks to be in the afternoon on Saturday.
For the Suncoast we can expect wave action generated from the storm to keep the risk of rip currents up along the Suncoast beaches through Thursday night and possible right on through Friday.
Look for partly cloudy skies here on Thursday with a good chance for a few scattered storms. Now we remain in a very moist environment which mean the storms which do develop will produce some heavy rain at times. The rain chance on Thursday at 60%.
Friday expect partly cloudy skies with a 40% chance for scattered showers and thunderstorms mainly in the afternoon and evening. Highs on both Thursday and Friday will be near 90.
Over the weekend some slightly drier air moves in and our rain chances drop down to 30% on Saturday with generally mostly sunny skies. The highs will be in the low 90′s with a heat index or feels like temperature in the low 100′s.