Barry's biggest impacts just miss New Orleans

The center of what was Hurricane Barry is now moving through Arkansas, bringing rain to nine states.

Barry had little impact in New Orleans, but to either side rain fell at rates that would have left the city under water had it fallen here.

"We lucked out," WWL TV Meteorologist Dave Nussbaum said.

He says while Barry only brought one to four inches of rain to the New Orleans area, it dumped eight to twelve inches on Baton Rouge.  Biloxi and Mobile also had far more rain that New Orleans.

Nussbaum explained that if those higher totals has fallen over Southeast Louisiana, New Orleans could well have had widespread flooding.

Why didn't we see the kind of widespread deluge that was forecast?

Nussbaum says three factors kept Barry from dumping the kind of flooding rains that were feared.

First, he explained, "It was the dry air wrapping around that northern part of Barry."

Nussbaum says that created breaks in the rain and left some areas able to go long periods to dry out before more showers.

Secondly, "The windshear was so strong aloft, which was expected to relax and weaken, it didn't."

That shear consistently blew apart some of the strong cells before they came ashore over New Orleans.

Thirdly, he says, Barry was never able to get its act together.

"It was just so poorly organized," Nussbaum explained.

That led to Barry never seeing the rain and storms circulating around the center.  So, the rain was not constant or falling for as long over the same areas.

"This was just a mess situation from the get go."