Former Midwest rainmaker likely to become tropical storm, drench the Gulf Coast

ST. LOUIS, MO – The Midwest has been very wet this Spring and Summer, leading to devastating flooding. Now some of the rain we’ve seen may lead to others to feel the blow of Mother Nature’s fury.  Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are closely watching for the second tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season to develop in the coming days. The energy for that storm’s development is coming from the same low pressure system that brought rain to the St. Louis region over the Fourth of July holiday.

That storm system has stalled out over the northeast corner of the Gulf of Mexico.  The thunderstorms it is creating look likely to organize into a tropical cyclone within the next few days and move westward, feeding on the Gulf’s warm waters. The NHC is telling residents of the Gulf Coast to keep an eye on the system it will likely produce very heavy rain from Texas to the Florida Panhandle.

While not unheard of, the origins of this potential tropical system are uncommon.  Most tropical storms in the Atlantic start off the coast of Africa or in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean Sea.

If it strengthens enough and becomes a named storm, it would be Tropical Storm Barry.  A rotating, organized system of clouds and thunderstorms becomes a tropical depression when it reaches sustained winds of 25 mph. It is classified with a number. A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph is considered a tropical storm and then it receives a name. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed is at least 74 mph.

This storm will impact those with vacation plans along the Gulf Coast over the next week. While the initial heavy rain threat is for the Gulf Coast, this storm may come back to bite the area where it was born. Early forecasts show the remnants of the tropical system bringing rain to the Bi-State region sometime next week.

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