Friday, October 28, 2011

Ex-hurricane Rina is losing it

The former Hurricane Rina has weakened to a tropical depression as it moves out to sea from Mexico's Yucatan coast, the Associated Press reports.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami reports that Rina's maximum-sustained winds are down to 35 mph (55 kph).

The forecast track shows it moving away from the northeast tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and then turning south over the weekend to stay over the Caribbean.

Additional weakening is forecast in the next 48 hours and it could become a remnant low pressure area this weekend.

Rina's center is about 55 miles (90 kilometers) north-northeast of Cancun.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Force field around Florida?

Tropical Storm Rina is very near Cozumel at this hour, but any concern South Florida and the Gulf Coast of Florida had for the storm has all but dissipated now.

The latest track has it clipping the Yucatan, then basically doing a complete 180 and heading back -- as a depression, mind you -- toward the Honduras coast.

Get all the details here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rina's 11 p.m. forecast track

The latest forecast track shows Rina circling back south after clipping the Yucatan late Thursday/early Friday.

Find all the National Hurricane Center details here.

Rina could bring weekend rain, wind to South Florida; not much to Manatee County

By Daniel Chang
McClatchy Newspapers

MIAMI — Hurricane Rina awoke Wednesday in ragged shape, according to the National Hurricane Center’s latest advisory, with the storm’s eye wall losing definition and forecasters suggesting the storm will weaken significantly in the coming days.

In fact, said Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist with the National Hurricane Center in Miami-Dade, “the storm may have already peaked. We’ve got a (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Hurricane Hunter aircraft in the area right now trying to confirm that.”

But while forecasts call for Rina to shear apart by Sunday under southwesterly winds and a cold front descending from the Midwest, the storm’s future track is much less certain and South Florida remains in the dreaded “cone of uncertainty” — an area stretching about 250 miles in each direction from the storm’s center — for the coming Halloween weekend.

In Key West, where the popular Fantasy Fest celebration is scheduled to culminate this weekend in costumed parades, music and merriment, the forecast calls for stormy weather.

“Folks in extreme South Florida and particularly through the Keys should be prepared for a wet and wind-swept weekend,” Feltgen said. “It’s too early to tell exactly what impacts exactly would be felt, but it’s certainly a distinct possibility there could be tropical storm conditions.”

As for Manatee, Rina’s current track would bring just an increased chance of rain Friday and Saturday, with winds near the coast of about 15 mph to 20 mph, according to Jennifer McNatt, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Ruskin.

— Herald Night Metro Editor Brent Conklin contributed to this report.

Bradenton in Hurricane Rina's 'cone of uncertainty'

Hurricane Rina is gaining strength as she aims for Cancun and other Mexican resorts. Later this week could pose a threat to Florida.

As of 7 a.m. EDT, here's a map reflecting projected paths as generated by various computer models:

And here's another map from the National Hurricane Center, which places Bradenton just within the "cone of uncertainty":

UPDATED, 11:10 p.m. EDT -- The latest map doesn't show much change.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hurricane Rina gaining strength on path to Cancun

Rina's five-day forecast track from the 5 p.m. advisory.

CANCUN, Mexico (AP) — Mexican authorities set up emergency shelters and cruise ships shifted course on Tuesday as Hurricane Rina strengthened off the Caribbean coast, following a projected track that has it whirling through Cancun and the resort-filled Mayan Riviera, Mexico’s most popular tourist destination.

Rina’s maximum sustained winds have increased to 110 mph (175 kph), said the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami, making it a Category 2 storm. Forecasters predict it will strengthen as it nears the Mexican coast Wednesday night before rolling over the island of Cozumel, a popular dive spot and cruise-ship port, then along the coast to Cancun.

The area, dotted with Mayan ruins, also includes Playa del Carmen, another popular spot for international tourists.

Douglas Baird, 40, of Glasgow, Scotland, said he had been in Playa del Carmen for 11 days on a tour with 10 other people. He plans to stay for the five remaining days of his vacation.

“I’ll go to the bar,” he said about his plans for waiting out his first hurricane. “It won’t be a problem.”

Cancun Tourism Director Maximo Garcia said the city alone now has about 22,000 tourists even in the pre-holiday low season. Quintana Roo state, where Cancun is located, has some 83,000 hotel rooms, most in the Mayan Riviera-Cancun area.

Laura Valles, a receptionist at the Hotel Jashita in coastal Tulum, said four of its 15 guests moved inland to hotels at the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, some 90 miles (150 kilometers) west, and others were still deciding what to do.

“We are letting those with a reservation know they will have to change their dates,” Valles said.

Yassir Espinoza, a clerk at the small Plaza Azul hotel in Cozumel, said tourists were being warned of the impending storm.

“We told them if there is a hurricane there won’t be any electricity or water for at least three days,” she said.

In Cancun’s hotel zone, a string of pickup trucks hauled small boats and jet skis away from marinas, while workers at shopping malls began boarding up windows.

At least eight cruise ships were changing itineraries away from the storm’s path, said Carnival Cruise Lines spokesman Vance Gulliksen.

Three cruise ships from the company Norwegian and one from Royal Caribbean have canceled their Friday port of call in the area, said Hiram Toledo, Quintana Roo port administrator.

The area was badly damaged by Hurricane Wilma in 2005, when Cancun’s famous white-sand beaches were largely washed away. Insurance officials estimated total damage at $3 billion.

State officials said they were readying more than 1,100 shelters that could handle nearly 200,000 people, though so far there was no word of any planned evacuations.

The hurricane was centered about 275 miles (440 kilometers) southeast of Cozumel Tuesday afternoon and was moving west-northwest at near 3 mph (6 kph), the Hurricane Center said.

Forecasters said Rina was likely to strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of about 115 mph (185 kph) by night.

The forecast track shows it curving east toward Cuba by the weekend, but senior hurricane specialist Michael Brennan at the hurricane center said it could also move toward southern Florida.

The center said the storm could produce as much as 16 inches (40 centimeters) of rain over at least parts of the eastern Yucatan Peninsula while raising water levels by as much as 5 to 7 feet (about a meter) in places.

The rainfall particularly worries authorities in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco, where about 300,000 people are still flooded following eight days of heavy rains.

In Central America, which was affected earlier by Rina’s outer bands, fishermen on Monday found a Nicaraguan navy boat that had gone missing with 29 people aboard. It had been used to evacuate an island.


Associated Press writers Adriana Gomez Licon and Olga R. Rodriguez in Mexico City contributed to this story.

Hurricane Rina is a Catgeory 2 storm; Florida may be at risk

The National Hurricane Center this morning declared Hurricane Rina, currently in the western Caribbean, a Category 2 storm.

Here's the latest map showing where she might be heading:

Yes, that blue line crosses right over South Florida.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Florida in line for some tropical weather

Florida’s quiet hurricane season is in line to get a little bit of a jolt this weekend.

Here’s what we know:

* A stationary front is sitting right now to the southeast of Florida in the Caribbean.

* Some computer models are in agreement that a tropical low will form along that front over the coming days somewhere in western Caribbean.

* A bunch of rain is likely to soak Florida.

* The low could intensify into a tropical depression or storm.

* The National Hurricane Center is saying nothing on a possible storm as of this point.

“As of now (5 p.m. Wednesday), nothing has formed, so it’s hard to say. That’s why the Hurricane Center has not been talking about it,” said Tyler Fleming, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Ruskin.

Read the rest of the story here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tropical Storm Ophelia forms

Tropical Storm Ophelia formed Tuesday night far out in the open Atlantic.

The storm has sustained winds of 40 mph, and some strengthening is expected over the next day or two.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

at halftime, it's an unusual hurricane season

By the most common measure, hurricane season has been running at near-record pace.

 With 14 named storms at the halfway point of the six-month season, it will only take one more to push this year into a tie for the tenth busiest on record. And if the second half proves anything like the first, 2011 could even wind up approaching the all-time record of 28 in 2005.

 By broader measures, however, the tropics have been somewhat tepid — Hurricane Irene’s deadly and damaging march up the East Coast not withstanding.

To put it simply, storm season so far has been about quantity, not quality, so far. Only three storms, Irene, Emily and Katia, have grown into hurricanes. A key index called ACE — for accumulated cyclone energy, a measure that combines the intensity and longevity of storms — sits at just 20 to 30 percent above average.

 “The distribution has been very unusual this year,’’ said Phil Klotzbach, a researcher who along with colleague William Gray produces Colorado State University’s closely watched long-term forecasts. The tally to date: Three hurricanes, two of them major, and a lot of fairly weak tropical storms, including — as Klotzbach put it — “two-short-lived pieces of garbage.’’ That would be Franklin and Jose.

For more of this Miami Herald story, see Friday's Bradenton Herald.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Depression forms in Gulf

Tropical Depression 13 has formed over the central Gulf of Mexico, according to an 8 p.m. Thursday advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

Forecasts have it becoming Tropical Storm Lee on Friday. It is expected to approach the coast of Louisiana on Saturday.

Rainfall totals of 10-15 inches are expected over southern parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama through Sunday, with possible isolated amounts of 20 inches.

Find the particulars here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Katia now a hurricane

Katia become the second hurricane of the Atlantic storm season, the National Hurricane Center reported in its 11 p.m. advisory Wednesday.

The storm has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph and could hit major hurricane strength come the weekend.

Here are all the particulars from the hurricane center.

Katia, far right, already looks impressive.

As Katia churns, new potential trouble emerges in Caribbean

As Tropical Storm Katia churns across the Atlantic toward hurricane status and an uncertain proximity to Florida, another potential trouble spot has emerged in the Caribbean Sea.

The National Hurricane Center reports that a tropical wave, made up "disorganized cloudiness and showers," has developed in the northwestern Caribbean Sea and adjacent land areas. It was expected to move west-northwestward across the northern portion of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and into the southern Gulf of Mexico during the next day or two.

That said, the Hurricane Center said there was only a 10 percent, or "low", chance of the system developing into a tropical storm within the next two days.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

11 p.m. Irene update

From the latest National Hurricane Center advisory:


Irene is maintaining its maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. Pressure is up slightly to 954 mb.

A wind gust of 67 mph was recently reported at Cape Hatteras, N.C., and one of 52 mph was reported at Philadelphia International Airport.

Here's the full advisory with links to maps and such.

9 p.m. Irene update from the National Weather Service

At this hour:

• Hurricane Irene is lashing Virginia’s Tidewater region and the southern Delmarva peninsula with heavy rains and hurricane-force gusts.

• Despite being over land for much of the day, Irene still has maximum sustained winds of 80 mph.

• This is a huge storm. Rain from it currently extends from Maine all the way south to North Carolina. Tropical storm-force winds still extend up to 290 miles from the center of circulation, while hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 85 miles.
• Irene is picking up the pace on her forward speed, now booking north-northeast at 16 mph.

• Central pressure still remains a significantly low 951 mb.

• The storm is expected to maintain hurricane strength as it moves up the coast and through Long Island. A drop in strength is expected after its center strikes New England.

• A wind gust of 76 mph was recently reported at the Williamsburg-Jamestown, Va., airport.

• A storm surge of about 5 feet has been observed at Oregon Inlet, N.C.

• A storm surge of 4 feet has occurred thus far at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.

• Rainfall totals of 10-14 inches have already occurred over a large portion of eastern North Carolina and extreme southeastern Virginia.

• The highest rainfall total of 14.0 inches was reported at Bunyan, N.C.

• Isolated maximum amounts of 20 inches are still possible throughout the storm area.

• Isolated tornadoes are possible along the coasts of Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey through tonight.

Friday, August 26, 2011

11 p.m. Irene update: Closing in on Outer Banks

Details as Hurricane Irene makes its way toward a U.S. landfall:

* Irene is a Cat. 2 with 100 mph winds and pressure of 951 mb.

* It's eased up on forward speed to 13 mph, heading north-northeast.

* It is 140 miles south of Cape Lookout, N.C.

* The forecast track now has Irene clipping the Outer Banks, then staying out over the ocean until slamming into Long Island at the Nassau-Suffolk county line.

* No strengthening is expected before landfall with North Carolina, although a decrease in strength is likely before another landfall up the Eastern Seaboard.

* Hurricane-force winds extend 90 miles from the center of circulation. Tropical storm-force winds extend out 290 miles.

Get a good glimpse of where Irene is at right now here.

Video: First look at damage in Bahamas

Thursday, August 25, 2011

11 p.m. Irene update: Pressure down; now heading north

Highlights of the 11 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

* The central pressure has dropped again, this time down to 942 mb.

* Winds remain same at 115 mph. Some strengthening possible Friday.

* Forward speed direction is now north, still at 14 mph.

* Irene's impact has a tremendous reach. Tropical storm-force winds extend 290 miles out from the center of circulation. Hurricane-force winds extend 80 miles from the center.

All hurricane center details here.

Hurricane Irene leaving Bahamas in its wake

The GOES-13 satellite captures Hurricane Irene moving through the Bahamas at 10:02 a.m. Thursday. Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project

As of 8 p.m., Hurricane Irene is pulling away from the Bahamas, and all signs point to strengthening as its central pressure has dropped to 946 mb from 950 mb at the 5 p.m. update.

Maximum sustained winds remain at 115 mph. Forward movement is still north-northwest at 14 mph.

The forecast cone is tightening, meaning forecasters are becoming even more certain of its path.

The forecast right now puts landfall just west of Morehead City, N.C., at around 2 p.m. Saturday, then skirting up the coast, mostly inland through North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey and smack into New York City on Sunday afternoon.

Get National Hurricane Center details and maps here.

And check out this cool tracking website here.

8 p.m. forecast track

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hurricane Irene still a potential threat to Bradenton

Being as Bradenton and the rest of Tampa Bay is still in Hurricane Irene's "cone of uncertainty," it is too early to breathe easy. But slowly, various computer models keep moving the project path of the the storm -- which slammed Puerto Rico early Monday morning -- to the east of the region.

Here's what the latest models, including two that are much too close to us for comfort, show:

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Video: An in-depth look at Irene

A YouTube video posted by "xtremeweathertracker" gives a closer look at the details of Tropical Storm Irene (then Invest 97L). It gives a good sense of the factors playing into the storm's possible path.

Tropical Storm Irene forms; Florida in five-day forecast cone

Tropical Storm Irene has formed Saturday night east of the Leeward Islands and early indicators have Florida as a potential target late next week.

With maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, Irene’s center was 215 miles east-southeast of Guadeloupe at 7 p.m., according to a special advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as several other islands in the region. Hurricane conditions could occur in the Dominican Republic late Monday.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 120 miles from the center of circulation.

Any potential strike on Florida will hinge on Irene's trek through the Caribbean, and whether it stays south over water or crosses over land masses such as the mountainous Hispaniola.

Florida residents are advised to monitor Irene's track over the coming days.

Find more maps and particulars on Irene here.

Irene just right of center Saturday night.

Tropical Storm Harvey makes landfall over Belize

MIAMI (AP) -- Tropical Storm Harvey has made landfall over Belize and is expected to move into northern Guatemala later Saturday.

At 5 p.m., Harvey had winds of 50 mph, was center 45 miles west-southwest of Belize City and was moving west-northwest at about 13 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Harvey is expected to start weakening now that it's moving over land. The storm is expected to bring as much as 6 inches of rain to parts of Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Forecasters say flash floods and mudslides are possible.
Tropical storm warnings were still in effect for coastal Belize south of Belize City.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Harvey picking up steam

Tropical Storm Harvey has ratcheted up in strength Friday night as it skirts along the northern coast of Honduras with winds now up to 60 mph, according to the 11 p.m. advisory from the NHC.

A landfall, possibly at hurricane strength, is expected to come somewhere along the coast of Belize.

Get the latest maps here.

Find a video forecast here.

Tropical Storm Harvey forms; new waves looming

Tropical Storm Harvey formed Friday off Honduras but the system Florida ought to keep an eye on next week trails 2,500 miles behind in the Atlantic Ocean.

Harvey became the eighth named storm of a season just entering its traditional peak period, with two more waves looming that the National Hurricane Center gave a medium chance of developing.

Harvey posed a threat to Central America, where it was expected to brush the Honduran coast before making landfall in Belize sometime Saturday. Forecasters said the storm could bring winds of up to 40 mph and three to five inches of rain across Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and Mexico, potentially enough to trigger flooding and mudslides.

Forecasters also were watching a large tropical wave 800 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. The wave was moving from dry air into an area more conducive to development, center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said.

“Most of the computer models have latched on to this and are spinning it up,’’ he said.

It could strengthen over the weekend and impact Puerto Rico by Monday and, potentially, the Dominican Republic and Haiti Tuesday or Wednesday. From there, several models steer it generally toward Florida and the East Coast.

But Feltgen stressed that forecasts out five days or more can change dramatically. Just two weeks ago, for instance, Tropical Storm Emily broke apart as it crossed Hispaniola.

Computer models also suggested a second broad low pressure system off the African coast posed less of a threat, with its path potentially heading more northwest into the open Atlantic.

-- Curtis Morgan, Miami Herald

Tropical depression forms in western Caribbean

A tropical depression has formed in the western Caribbean, according to the 11 p.m. Thursday advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The system is about 80 miles east-northeast of the Nicaragua/Honduras border. Maximum sustained winds are 35 mph. Potential strengthening into a tropical storm could occur Friday.

Find the forecast maps here.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Tropical Storm Gert strengthens in Atlantic Ocean

U.S. forecasters say Tropical Storm Gert has strengthened in the Atlantic Ocean and could approach Bermuda Sunday night or early Monday.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday that a tropical storm warning has been issued for Bermuda, though Gert's center was still about 255 miles (410 kilometers) from the islands.

Gert was moving north-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph) and had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (72 kph). It could get stronger as it makes its way toward Bermuda.

Forecasters say Gert is projected to remain well away from the U.S. East Coast.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Emily breaks apart over Hispaniola; 20 inches of rain possible in isolated areas

Emily is the big mass just to the left of center.

Former Tropical Storm Emily has broken apart after causing floods and damaging hundreds of homes in Haiti.

National Hurricane Center forecasters in Miami said late Thursday afternoon that the storm is now a low pressure system that is dumping rains over Hispaniola. All watches and warnings have been canceled.

Strong winds whipped through palm trees in the capital of Haiti, while heavier rains fell further north, damaging homes, as well as a cholera treatment center. But there were no reports of deaths.

Although Emily has weakened, it is still capable of producing total rainfall amounts of 6 to 12 inches, with isolated amounts of 20 inches possible over the Dominican Republic and Haiti, according to the hurricane center's 5 p.m. advisory. These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches are expected across eastern Cuba, the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Forecasters are monitoring the system for redevelopment.

For now, Florida isn't in Emily's cone -- but keep watching

For now, South Florida remains out of the cone for Tropical Storm Emily but forecasters say the slow-moving system should be closely monitored. Here's the latest full report.

Tropical Storm Emily bearing down on Haiti

Here's the 11 a.m. update on Tropical Storm Emily from The National Hurricane Center:


Emily's winds were holding steady at 50 mph, but the center expects some weakening in the next 24 hours as the storm hits the high terrain of Haiti and Eastern Cuba. The winds extend outward up to 115 miles.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, Guantanamo and Holguin in Eastern Cuba. To see the effects so far, check out this photo gallery.

The projected path still has South Florida in its target.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Where is Emily going?

Here are the latest computer models, thanks to Weather Underground.

Haiti, Dominican Republic await rain wrath of Emily

Tropical Storm Emily is still moving westward with sustained winds of 50 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center's 11 p.m. advisory.

Heavy rains are expected to slam Hispaniola on Thursday. The Dominican Republic and Haiti could see isolated amounts of 10 inches of rain in spots. Flash flooding and massive landslides are feared in mountainous regions.

Find the latest maps and charts here.

Read the latest Associated Press story here.

11 p.m. advisory forecast track for Emily

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Emily watch: Haiti, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic in line for heavy rains, mudslides

Tropical Storm Emily, which continues to move west at this hour with winds of 50 mph, could bring torrential rains and possibly life-threatening flash floods and mudslides to regions of Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Haiti over the coming days, according to the National Hurricane Center's 8 p.m. advisory.

Emily is expected to produce 4 to 6 inches of rain throughout those countries through Thursday, including isolated amounts of 10 inches.

Emily sits about 165 miles south of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and has a forward speed of 14 mph. A gradual turn to the northwest is expected during the next 24 to 48 hours.

Tropical storm-force winds extend 105 miles out from the center.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. A tropical storm watch is in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, southeast Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos.

On the forecast track, the center of Emily will move across Hispaniola late Wednesday and into the southeastern Bahamas on Thursday.

The predicted path also has Emily's center well off the Atlantic coast of central Florida at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Bradenton possibly in Emily's way -- but just barely

With each update from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Emily appears to be less of a threat to the Tampa Bay region.

With all things tropical, the projections could change but as of 11 a.m. EDT Tuesday, this was the Hurricane's latest projection on where the storm may be heading. Note that the Bradenton area is on the western limit of the "cone of uncertainty."

But remember, it may be too early to determine exactly where Emily is going, as this map showing projections of various computer models indicates:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Is Tropical Storm Emily coming to Florida? UPDATED

Tropical Storm Emily has formed southeast of Puerto Rico, and a couple of early projection maps suggest it might be smart for Floridians to pay attention.

UPDATED, 10:55 p.m. EDT -- This looks better for Florida:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Next up? Soon-to-be Emily

The area in the red circle is what will soon be Tropical Storm Emily.

Showers and thunderstorms associated with a large low pressure system located about 900 miles east of the Lesser Antilles continue to show signs of organization, according to a 2 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

Environmental conditions appear favorable for a tropical depression to form over the next couple of days. It would be called Emily.

This system has a high chance (80 percent) of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours as it moves west-northwestward at 15 to 20 mph.

Stay tuned. Another update will be out around 8 p.m.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Don makes landfall, downgraded to tropical depression

Tropical Storm Don has fizzled fast upon landfall tonight on the Texas coast near Baffin Bay.

According to the 11 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Don has been downgraded to a tropical depression with winds of 35 mph.

Rainfall totals are expected to be 1 to 2 inches with isolated areas hitting 3 inches.

No strengthening expected before Don makes landfall

The center of Tropical Storm Don will make landfall on the Texas coast near Baffin Bay in the coming hours. Further strengthening is no longer anticipated, according to an 8 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The storm's center is about 50 miles south-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas. Don has winds of 50 mph and it is moving west-northwest at 16 mph.

Tropical Storm Don closes in on Texas coast

Tropical Storm Don on Friday afternoon.
 Rainbands are spreading onshore as Tropical Storm Don zeroes in on a Texas coast landfall tonight.

According to the 5 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Don still has maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and is moving west-northwest at 16 mph. The storm's center is about 95 miles to the southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Find the latest maps and charts here.

Tropical storm-force winds extend 105 miles from the center, mainly to the north and east.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the Texas coast, from the mouth of the Rio Grande to Matagorda.

Forecasters say some strengthening is still possible before landfall. Storm surge of 1 to 2 feet is expected, and rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are predicted, with isolated totals hitting up to 6 inches.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Tropical wave being watched out in Atlantic

As Tropical Storm Don churns toward the Texas coast, the National Hurricane Center has identified a new spot of interest far out in the Atlantic.

A large tropical wave about midway between Africa and the Lesser Antilles is moving westward near 20 mph. Environmental conditions appear favorable for some slow development over the next few days. For now, the system has a low chance (20 percent) of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours.

Stay tuned.

Don's winds up to 50 mph; not expected to hit hurricane strength before landfall

Tropical Storm Don is not expected to become a hurricane prior to its expected landfall along the Texas coast.

In its 11 p.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center in Miami says Don's maximum sustained winds increased slightly to 50 mph. Only slight strengthening is forecast before the storm makes landfall on the Texas coast late Friday or Saturday.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the coast from the mouth of the Rio Grande to San Luis Pass.
The storm is centered about 370 miles southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, and is moving west-northwest at 14 mph. Tropical storm-force winds extend 100 miles out from the center.


Don on track for Texas landfall Friday night, early Saturday

Tropical Storm Don continues to hustle northwestward toward the Texas coast, according to the National Hurricane Center's 5 p.m. advisory.

Don has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph and is moving along at 16 mph. It is about 425 miles east-southeast of Corpus Christi and 395 miles east of Brownsville.

Some slow strengthening is possible over the next 36 hours.

A tropical storm warning (tropical storm conditions expected within 36 hours) is in effect from Port Mansfield to San Luis Pass. A tropical storm watch (tropical storm conditions possible within 48 hours) is in effect south of Port Mansfield to the mouth of the Rio Grande.

The center of Don is expected to make landfall along the Texas coast Friday night or early Saturday morning. Find the latest maps and tracks here.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 85 miles from the center.

Don is forecast to bring a storm surge of 1 to 2 feet, mainly along the immediate coast near and to the northeast of where the center makes landfall. Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and damaging waves.
Don is expected to produce rain accumulations of 3 to 5 inches from the central Texas coast westward into south central Texas, with possible isolated maximum amounts of 7 inches.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

11 p.m. update: Don stays on course toward Texas

In its 11 p.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm watch for the Texas coast from Port Mansfield northward to just west of San Luis Pass.

Tropical Storm Don has changed little since the 5 p.m. update. The system has winds of 40 mph and has stayed steady on its west-northwest track at a speed of 12 mph.

Its center of circulation is about 675 miles east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas. Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center.

Some strengthening is forecast over the next 48 hours. An Air Force reconnaissance plane is scheduled to check Don at daybreak.

A tropical storm watch means tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours.

Find forecast maps and charts for Don here.

Tropical Storm Don forms in Caribbean; Texas in crosshairs

Tropical Storm Don has formed over the southern Gulf of Mexico, according to a 5 p.m. advisory by the National Hurricane Center. Its projected track takes it into southern Texas.

The storm, about 120 miles north of Cozumel, Mexico, has maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. It is moving west-northwest at 12 mph. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect at this time, but the northwestern Gulf coast should monitor Don's progress.

Tropical depression or storm likely to form near Mexico.

There is an almost 100 percent chance that a tropical depression or tropical storm will form about 90 miles north of Cancun, Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center.   

The Hurricane Center reported at 2 p.m. EDT that an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft was en route to the area. 

"Interests in the central and western Gulf of Mexico should monitor this system as it moves west-northwestward at about 15 mph," the Hurricane Center said.   

The latest computer models have the system heading toward the northwest and landing somewhere along the Texas Gulf coast.

Tropical wave in Caribbean could develop

Showers and thunderstorms associated with a tropical wave over the northwestern Caribbean Sea just to the south of extreme western Cuba continue to show signs of organization, the National Hurricane Center reported Thursday night in an 8 p.m. advisory.

Surface observations, however, indicate the system does not have a closed circulation at this time. Slow development of this system is possible over the coming days as it moves toward the west-northwest near 15 mph.

The system has a 40 percent of becoming a tropical cyclone over the next 48 hours.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hurricane Dora reaches Cat. 4 strength off Mexico

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) -- Hurricane Dora rapidly grew into a Category 4 storm off Mexico's Pacific coast Wednesday while keeping out to sea and threatening coastal areas only with rain and tropical storm-strength winds.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said late Wednesday that the storm's top sustained winds had reached 135 mph. It said Dora's center was about 220 miles south-southwest of Lazaro Cardenas and moving west-northwest at 15 mph.

The fourth hurricane of the eastern Pacific season was forecast to stay offshore as it moved parallel to the coast for the next day or so. It could strengthen more before weakening begins Friday, forecasters said.

Mexican authorities issued a tropical storm watch from Lazaro Cardenas to Cabo Corrientes, meaning tropical storm conditions were possible within 12 to 24 hours.

The hurricane's outer bands brought rains to much of Mexico's southern coast, including the resort city of Acapulco. Police walked the beaches advising swimmers about the risk of strong waves.

In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Cindy formed well out to sea and posed no threat to land. Its center was 800 miles east-northeast of Bermuda.

Tropical Storm Bret was forecast to weaken to a tropical depression by Thursday as it moved northeast away from the Bahamas and well off the U.S. Atlantic coast.

Bret's maximum sustained winds were 40 mph. Its center was about 235 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and 455 miles west of Bermuda.