UPDATE @ 11:45 a.m. (July 11):
A tropical depression that formed in the Gulf of Mexico has strengthened to a tropical storm.
Tropical Storm Barry was measured with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph at 11 a.m. Thursday. Barry continues to move west at 5 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm is expected to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall along the Gulf Coast this weekend.
Main threats from the storm continue to winds up to 85 mph, rainfall totals between 6 and 12 inches, with some spots as high at 18 inches, and life-threatening storm surge.
We’ll continue to update this story as new details become available.
FIRST REPORT (July 10):
A strong area of low pressure continues to gain strength in the Gulf of Mexico tonight.
At this point it's considered a Potential Tropical Cyclone, but will likely become a Tropical Storm within the next 24 hours.
This storm is expected to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall along the Gulf Coast by the weekend. At this point the center of the storm is projected to pass over areas just south of Lake Charles, Louisiana, sometime Saturday afternoon, but storm impacts will be felt before then.
Hurricane and storm surge watches have already been issued along the southern coast of Louisiana.