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Tropical Storm Nicholas Forms over Southwest Gulf of Mexico

Tropical Storm Nicholas formed over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday morning. At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Nicholas was located at latitude 20.5°N and longitude 94.8°W which put it about 405 miles (645 km) south-southeast of the Mouth of the Rio Grande River. Nicholas was moving toward the north-northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h). The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were’ wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h). The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb.

A Tropical Storm Warning was issued for the portion of the coast from Barra el Mezquital, Mexico to Port Aransas, Texas. A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for the portion of the coast from Port Aransas to High Island, Texas.

An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter reconnaissance plane found sustained winds of tropical storm force in a low pressure system over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday morning and the National Hurricane Center designated the system as Tropical Storm Nicholas. The circulation around Tropical Storm Nicholas was still organizing. Thunderstorms began to form near the center of Nicholas. Thunderstorms were also developing in bands revolving around the center of circulation. Winds to tropical storm force extended out 100 miles (160 km) in the northeastern quadrant of Tropical Storm Nicholas. The winds in the other parts of the circulation were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Nicholas will move through an environment favorable for intensification during the next 24 hours. Nicholas will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperatures are near 30˚C. It will move between and upper level low over northern Mexico and an upper level ridge over the northwestern Caribbean Sea. The upper low and ridge will produce south-southwesterly winds that will blow toward the top of Nicholas’ circulation. Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification. The upper level winds are forecast to weaken on Monday and Tropical Storm Nicholas could strengthen more quickly when that occurs. There is a chance that Nicholas could intensify to a hurricane on Monday.

Tropical Storm Nicholas will move around the western side of a high pressure system that extends over the Gulf of Mexico. The high will steer Nicholas toward the north-northwest during the next 24 hours. On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Nicholas will approach the coast near the Mouth of the Rio Grande River on Monday. Nicholas will bring gusty winds and locally heavy rain to coastal areas of northern Mexico and southern Texas on Monday. Tropical Storm Nicholas could also cause a storm surge of up to 7 feet (2 meters) along portions of the coast.

TD 22 Strengthens to Tropical Storm Beta

Former Tropical Depression Twentytwo strengthened into Tropical Storm Beta over the western Gulf of Mexico on Friday afternoon.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropcial Storm Beta was located at latitude 24.3°N and longitude 93.1°W which put it about 280 miles (450 km) east-southeast of the Mouth of the Rio Grande River.  Beta was moving toward the north-northeast at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

Even though Tropical Storm Beta strengthened on Friday, the circulation was asymmetrical.  An upper level trough over Texas was producing south-southwesterly winds which were blowing toward the top of Beta.  Those winds were causing moderate vertical wind shear.  Because of the wind shear, the stronger thunderstorms were occurring in bands on the northern side of Tropical Storm Beta.  Bands in the southern half of the tropical storm consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 100 miles (160 km) on the northern side of Beta.  Winds in the southern half of the circulation were blowing at less than tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Beta will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next several days.  Beta will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  The upper level trough over Texas will weaken and gradually move away from Tropical Storm Beta.  When the trough moves away from Beta, the wind shear will decrease and Beta will be able to intensify more easily.  There is a chance Tropical Storm Beta could intensify into a hurricane in two or three days.

The steering pattern around Tropical Storm Beta will be complex.  The upper level trough over Texas is likely to steer Beta toward the north during the next 12 to 24 hours.  Then a large cool high pressure system over the eastern U.S.  will block Tropical Storm Beta from moving any farther to the north.  The high will steer Beta to the west.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Beta could approach the coast of Texas by the end of the weekend.  Beta could move more toward the northeast when the high pressure system starts to shift toward the east early next week.

Elsewhere, Hurricane Teddy continued to move toward Bermuda, Subtropical Storm Alpha made landfall in Portugal and Tropical Storm Wilfred developed over the eastern Atlantic Ocean.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Teddy was located at latitude 23.1°N and longitude 57.0°W which put it about 795 miles (1275 km) southeast of Bermuda.  Teddy was moving toward the northwest at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 150 m.p.h. (240 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 951 mb.

A Tropical Storm Watch was issued for Bermuda.

At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Subtropical Storm Alpha was located at latitude 40.8°N and longitude 8.4°W which put it about 120 miles (195 km) north-northeast of Lisbon, Portugal.  Alpha was moving toward the northeast at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 998 mb.

At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Wilfred was located at latitude 12.5°N and longitude 34.4°W which put it about 735 miles (1185 km) west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.  Wilfred was moving toward the west-northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1008 mb

Hurricane Hanna Makes Landfall on Padre Island

The center of Hurricane Hanna officially made landfall on Padre Island 15 miles (25 km) north of Port Mansfield, Texas at 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday.  At 6:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Hurricane Hanna was located at latitude 26.8°N and longitude 97.4°W which put it 15 miles (25 km) north of Port Mansfield, Texas.  Hanna was moving toward the west-southwest at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (150 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 973 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Port Mansfield to Port Aransas, Texas.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Barra el Mezquital, Mexico to Port Mansfield and from Port Aransas to Port O’Connor, Texas.

Hurricane Hanna strengthened during Saturday and the maximum sustained wind speed at the time of landfall was 90 m.p.h. (150 km/h).  The minimum pressure decreased to 973 mb during the day.  A circular eye with a diameter of 35 miles (55 km) developed at the center of circulation.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 30 miles (50 km) from the center of Hanna.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 90 miles from the center of circulation.  A storm surge of up to 6 feet (2 meters) was occurring along the coast of Texas north of where the center made landfall.  There were reports of minor wind damage in Port Mansfield.

Hurricane Hanna will move south of a strengthening high pressure system over the southern U.S.  The high will steer Hanna toward the west-southwest during the next two days.  On its anticipated track the core of Hurricane Hanna will pass north of Brownsville, McAllen and Harlingen, Texas.  The center of Hanna will pass near Monterrey, Mexico on Sunday.  Hurricane Hanna will weaken gradually while it moves inland.  Hanna will drop heavy rain over South Texas and northeast Mexico.  Flash floods will likely occur in parts of the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Hanna Strengthens to a Hurricane Near South Texas

Former Tropical Storm Hanna strengthened into a hurricane near the coast of South Texas on Saturday morning.  At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Hurricane Hanna was located at latitude 27.1°N and longitude 96.0°W which put it about 100 miles (160 km) east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas.  Hanna was moving toward the west at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (150 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 982 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Port Mansfield to Mesquite Bay, Texas.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Barra de Mezquital, Mexico to Port Mansfield and from Mesquite Bay to High Island, Texas.

A NOAA aircraft detected winds to hurricane force in former Tropical Storm Hanna on Saturday morning and the National Hurricane Center upgraded Hanna to a hurricane.  The circulation around Hurricane Hanna was well organized.  A circular eye with a diameter of 25 miles (40 km) was at the center of circulation.  The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hanna.  Storms near the core were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the hurricane.  Winds to hurricane force extended out 25 miles (40 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out 90 miles (150 km) from the center.

Hurricane Hanna will move through an environment favorable for strengthening during the next few hours.  Hanna will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Hanna will continue to intensify until it makes landfall on the coast of South Texas.

Hurricane Hanna will move south of a high pressure system that stretches across the southern U.S.  The high will steer Hanna a little to the south of due west.  On its anticipated track the center of Hurricane Hanna will make landfall on Padre Island later today.  The northern part of the eyewall will pass near Corpus Christi and that city could experience winds to hurricane force.  The southern part of the eyewall will pass near Port Mansfield which could also experience hurricane force winds.  The core of Hanna will pass north of Brownsville, but Brownsville, Harlingen and Mcallen could all experience winds to tropical storm force.

Easterly winds will blow water toward the coast of South Texas and they will cause a significant storm surge.  The storm surge could reach 6 to 9 feet (2 to 3 meters) near and just to the north of where the center makes landfall.  Hurricane Hanna will also drop heavy rain over South Texas.  Isolated locations could receive over a foot (0.3 meters) of rain and flash flooding is likely.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Gonazalo was quickly nearing Trinidad.  At 8:00 a.m. EDT on Saturday  the center of Tropical Storm Gonzalo was located at latitude 10.3°N and longitude 59.8°W which put it about 100 miles (160 km) east of Trinidad.  Gonzalo was moving toward the west at 18 m.p.h. (30 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1009 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect  for Tobago and Grenada.