July 12 (Reuters) - Tropical storm Barry could strengthen into a hurricane by Friday night or early Saturday when the center is near the coast of Louisiana, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
The storm, about 140 miles (220 km) south east of Morgan City, Louisiana, is packing maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (85 km per hour), the NHC said.
"Dangerous storm surge, heavy rains, and wind conditions are expected across the north-central Gulf Coast," the Miami-based weather forecaster added. (Reporting by Arpan Varghese and Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)
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