July 8, 2010

Tropical depression closing in on Texas

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Update: Tropical Depression 2 made landfall near South Padre Island, Texas, at about 11:15 a.m. today.

Original blog:

Tropical Depression 2, closing in on southern Texas, appears too disorganized to intensify into a tropical storm prior to landfall.

According to the National Hurricane Center’s 11 a.m. advisory, the system was in the Gulf of Mexico 30 miles northeast of Brownsville, Texas, moving northwest at 15 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.

Little change in strength is expected before it stumbles ashore, hurricane specialists Richard Pasch and Robbie Berg said.

Even so, that region can expect heavy rains and possibly tornadoes today, they said.


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Tropical Depression 2 aims toward Texas-Mexico border

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Tropical Depression 2 is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Bonnie before hitting near the Texas-Mexico border later today.

At 8 a.m., the poorly organized system was in the Gulf of Mexico about 80 miles southeast of Brownsville, Texas, moving northwest at 15 mph with sustained winds of 35 mph. It emerged on Wednesday night.

If the forecast track holds, TD-2 would make landfall about 150 miles north of where the core of Hurricane Alex struck last week.

It was not expected to grow very strong; its winds were projected to be about 40 mph when it moves inland. But it could produce up to 8 inches of rain in that region, which is already waterlogged from Alex.


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July 7, 2010

Tropical depression on verge of forming in Gulf

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A tropical depression appears to be forming in the western Gulf of Mexico this evening.

It poses no threat to South Florida whatsoever.

Rather, the system, 290 miles southeast of the Texas-Mexico border, is expected to bring heavy rains to that region over the next few days. Hurricane Alex struck the same area last week.

According to the National Hurricane Center's 8 p.m. advisory, the system has gotten significantly better organized over the past few hours, and forecasters expect it to be a depression either by 11 p.m. or on Thursday morning. They gave it an 80 percent chance of developing.


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Tropical disturbance in Gulf could soon become a depression

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The tropical disturbance in the western Gulf of Mexico could become a tropical depression before it moves inland near the Texas-Mexico border on Thursday, the National Hurricane Center said.

As of 2 p.m. today, the system was about 300 miles southeast of the border, moving northwest at 10 to 15 mph and steadily gaining organization.

Forecasters gave it a 50 percent chance of developing.

Potentially, it could make landfall in the same vicinity as Hurricane Alex, which struck near La Pesca, Mexico, a week ago.

However, it’s unlikely this disturbance will grow into a hurricane; it probably won't be over water long enough to do so.


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More sun, less rain today

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We should see more sun and less rain today.

The forecast calls for partly cloudy skies with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 80s, lows in the upper 70s.

Tropical update: In its 8 a.m. tropical outlook, the National Hurricane Center said a disturbance drifting into the Gulf of Mexico has a 40 percent chance of developing into a depression or storm before it moves inland over Mexico or Texas in the next day or two.


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July 6, 2010

More heavy rain possible today

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Expect more rain today and it could be heavy in some areas.

The forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies with a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly in the afternoon.

The rain, stemming from tropical moisture being pulled up from the Caribbean, has helped cool our temperatures a bit.

Highs are predicted to be in the upper 80s, lows in the upper 70s. The chance of rain decreases on Wednesday.

Tropical update: A disturbance over the Yucatan still has potential to become a depression or storm, as it is moving northwest toward the Gulf of Mexico.

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As of 8 a.m. today, the wave was given a 30 percent chance of development.

The disturbance in the northern Gulf remains on the hurricane center's radar, even though it was given a near zero chance of developing and is moving onshore in Louisiana.

The area has been creating rough weather in the oil spill area, hampering clean-up operations.


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July 5, 2010

Tropical picture brightens

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Tropically speaking, things certainly look brighter this afternoon than they did Sunday night, when the National Hurricane Center was tracking four waves.

As of 2 p.m. today, there were only two tropical areas on the center’s radar.

One of those, the disturbance in the northern Gulf, was given a near zero chance of developing.

The other, the wave in the northwestern Caribbean, still could become a depression or a storm, the hurricane center said. However, for now, the odds of development have been reduced from 50 percent on Sunday night to 30 percent.


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Hurricane center monitoring three tropical waves

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Three tropical blobs have popped up on the National Hurricane Center’s radar.

As of 8 a.m. today:

-- A wave in the eastern Caribbean was given a 10 percent chance of developing over the next two days.

Because it’s to our southeast and moving northwest, it’s the only one that South Florida needs to keep an eye on. For now, forecasters say winds are not conducive for development.

-- A wave in the northwestern Caribbean was given a 40 percent chance of developing over the next two days.

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Like Hurricane Alex, it is expected to cross over the Yucatan and emerge in the Gulf of Mexico. From there, models aim it generally toward Texas.

-- A wave in the northern Gulf of Mexico was given a 10 percent of developing. It is expected to move inland either tonight or Tuesday.

Today’s forecast: Mostly cloudy with a 70 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms mainly in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 80s, lows in the mid 70s. The rain chance decreases on Tuesday.


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July 4, 2010

Tropical wave might follow in footsteps of Hurricane Alex

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It almost looks like Alex all over again.

A tropical wave in the northwestern Caribbean is beginning to gain organization and conditions appear favorable for it to continue strengthening, the National Hurricane Center said on Sunday.

The wave is in the same area where Hurricane Alex first started to get its act together as a tropical disturbance, and models aim it on a similar path, over the Yucatan toward either mainland Mexico or Texas.

Alex struck northeastern Mexico as a Category 2 system with 100 mph winds on Wednesday.

For now, the hurricane center gives the disturbance a 30 percent chance of developing over the next two days. Don’t be surprised to see the odds increase. Considering it’s over very warm water, it potentially could become a hurricane, too.

The next tropical storm will be named Bonnie.

The hurricane center also is monitoring a non-tropical area of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi, giving it a 10 percent chance of developing over the next two days.


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July 2, 2010

Not many tropical storms hit South Florida in July

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Tropically speaking, July is a quiet month for South Florida; only four tropical storms have scraped this region, no hurricanes.

That’s because storms tend to form in the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico and track toward other states, such as Texas or the Carolinas.

Keep in mind that’s history.

Reality says stay alert, particularly this season, which is expected to be busy.

We’ve already seen the first hurricane and, on average, the first hurricane doesn't surface until Aug. 10.

Here are the July storms that have impacted this area, according to the National Weather Service:

July 2, 1878 – A tropical storm developed over the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall near Naples. Then it moved northeast across Florida.

July 30, 1899 – A tropical storm moved across the upper Keys, bringing rough weather to South Florida.

July 28, 1936 – A tropical storm developed over the Bahamas and moved northwest across southern Miami-Dade County and Mainland Monroe County.

July 23, 1985 – Tropical Storm Bob developed over the Gulf of Mexico and made landfall near Naples. The storm then moved across Florida.


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