The treacherous weather system headed toward Louisiana intensified Thursday to become Tropical Storm Barry, the National Hurricane Center said.
As of 5 p.m. ET, Barry was hurling sustained winds of 40 mph and was moving west at 5 mph.
The storm is expected to make landfall Saturday morning along the Louisiana coast.
The tropical system already spawned its first Tornado Warning and Flash Flood Emergency, both in the New Orleans area on Wednesday.
Hurricane Watches have been issued for parts of the Louisiana coastline, and mandatory evacuations were ordered southeast of New Orleans on Thursday.