A storm forming in the Gulf of Mexico is likely to eventually become Hurricane Barry in the coming days, which could impact travel throughout the region.
According to Accuweather.com, the weather system is expected to become a tropical depression early Thursday when it reaches maximum sustained winds of at least 39 miles per hour, and it will continue to intensify in the coming days before reaching hurricane status.
The National Hurricane Center said the storm system is moving slowly, which will allow it to gain strength as it remains over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The storm is expected to become the first hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic season Friday night into Saturday.
Our latest, complete forecast on what will eventually become #Tropical Storm #Barry, including the threats from rainfall #flooding, storm surge, winds, even tornadoes. https://t.co/kPzy1IMTLkpic.twitter.com/4Ad9EIwAJa
Heavy thunderstorms are already assaulting coastal towns along the Gulf of Mexico, including New Orleans, which is experiencing heavy flooding. With Barry expected to make landfall this weekend, the region is issuing tornado and flood warnings.
As for travelers heading to or from the region this weekend, Delta Air Lines is monitoring the situation, and while no cancellations have been announced yet, flights could be impacted from eastern Texas to New Orleans in the coming days.
Southwest Airlines is also preparing to waive change fees due to potential delays and cancellations caused by the storm system, with cities such as New Orleans, Panama City Beach and Pensacola the most likely to be impacted.
In addition, Carnival Cruise Line announced the Carnival Valor would not be able to return to New Orleans Thursday due to the storm. The ship will dock in Mobile, Alabama, instead and passengers will be bussed back to Louisiana.
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