Just making landfall a few hours ago in the United States, Tropical Storm Barry is an odd-looking storm, to say the least, but is an equally dangerous system.
In fact, Barry reached hurricane strength as it approached Louisiana, only to eventually weaken a bit, sustaining speeds of 96km/h.
So what makes it so odd? Using NASA's Aqua satellite, the infrared imagery showed researchers that the storm looks nothing like a typical tropical storm. Barry is asymmetric and elongated with its strongest storms south of its stretched-out center of circulation.
You are probably very familiar with annular tropical storms. You see them every season and they tend to bear similar characteristics. Usually shaped like a tire or donut, these storms feature a normal to large, symmetric eye surrounded by a thick and uniform ring of intense convection, often having a relative lack of discrete rainbands, bearing asymmetric appearance, not symmetric in general.
As mentioned before, Tropical Storm Barry is different with its rare and unique asymmetrical shape. Nevertheless, the Aqua-spotted storm is already causing plenty of problems for the residents in Louisiana and the surrounding region.
Flooding on Jean Lafitte Blvd. (LA45) pic.twitter.com/W5uaKxQWNe— Paul Dudley (@Pauldudleynews) July 13, 2019
For the uninitiated, NASA's Aqua satellite is a NASA Earth Science satellite mission named for the large amount of information that the mission is collecting about the Earth's water cycle.
The satellite collects information regarding the evaporation from the oceans, water vapor in the atmosphere, clouds, precipitation, soil moisture, sea ice, land ice, and snow cover on the land and ice. And, of course, Aqua plays a role in NASA's understanding of tropical storms.
Tropical Storm Barry
At the moment, the storm system is crawling north-west at a speed of about 7 kph. Officials have already warned of potentially life-threatening floods, with President Donald Trump declaring a federal state of emergency in Louisiana before the storm hits.
Watch 8.6 million gallons of water a minute flow in slow mo at one of the biggest pumping stations in the world. All 11 of its pumps were turned on to handle #TropicalStormBarry rains near #NewOrleans Video by Chris Granger #hurricane #water #barry #Louisiana pic.twitter.com/SogXbr7PoX— Chris Granger (@chris_granger) July 13, 2019
Thousands have already been evacuated from the areas at the most risk of flooding. Even more so, there are more than 150,000 households in Louisiana that are already without power.
Recently the National Hurricane Center released a series of key messages to residents on Barry's warpath, with updates available at National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service (via Twitter):
Tropical Storm #Barry moving farther inland over Louisiana. The main threat is now heavy rain and the potential for flooding from Louisiana to the Lower Mississippi Valley. Visit https://t.co/tW4KeGdBFb and https://t.co/I0JpfvGwl6 @NWSWPC pic.twitter.com/MN7bbtZSxs— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) July 14, 2019
At the moment, there have already been reported floods and damage to the region. This story is developing.