Tracking the Tropics: T.S. Hanna gains strength; watching Gonzalo and a tropical wave


SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is not statistically until mid-September, however, there are several systems we are watching. Two storms are named and another will have potential to organize over the next several days.

Tracking Tropical Storm Hanna

Late Thursday night, Hurricane Hunters fond that the depression in the Gulf of Mexico strengthened into Tropical Storm Hanna. This is the earliest 8th Atlantic named storm formation on record. Prior record was Harvey on August 3, 2005.

As of the 11 PM advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the center of Hanna is about 165 miles east of Corpus Christi, Texas. Maximum sustained winds are 65 mph with 75 mph gusts. The storm is moving to the west at 8 mph. Pressure has dropped to 992 mb, meaning Gonzalo will continue to strengthen.

Landfall along the Texas coast on Saturday as a category one hurricane which would be the first of the 2020 hurricane season in the Atlantic basin.

Hanna could drop 3-5 inches of rain with isolated totals up to 10 inches. Flooding will be a major concern from this system across southern Texas.

Tropical storm warnings and hurricane warnings have been issued for the Texas coast.

Tracking Tropical Storm Gonzalo

Tropical storm Gonzalo continues to move toward the Caribbean Sea and the Windward Islands. As of the 11 PM EDT National Hurricane Center advisory, sustained wind at the center are 40 mph with wind gusts of 50 mph. Movement is to the west at 17 mph. The pressure has risen a little to 1008 mb, meaning this system will continue to become weaker. Gonzalo is no longer expected to reach hurricane status.

As Gonzalo enters the central Caribbean Sea, some dry air aloft will help to weaken the system back to tropical storm status. There is no threat to the Coastal Empire or Lowcountry at this time.

Tropical storm warnings have been issued for Barbados and St. Vincent Island. Tropical storm conditions will be expect in those areas beginning Saturday morning.

Eastern Atlantic Disturbance

A tropical wave has moved off the coast of Africa and the National Hurricane Center is watching it for the possibility of developing into the season’s next tropical depression or tropical storm. At this time, there is a medium (50%) chance for developing over the next 5 days.

This system is moving westward and will be moving over the same area that Gonzalo is right now. Long term, that will mean it will take a little longer to become organized and it will also encounter some dry air aloft along with some Saharan dust.

There is no threat to the Coastal Empire or Lowcountry from this system at this time.

Major Hurricane Douglas Approaching Hawaii

Hurricane Douglas formed in the eastern Pacific Ocean and became a major hurricane, though it is now weakening as it gets closer to Hawaii. Sustained wind at the center are 115 mph making this a major category 3 hurricane. Wind gusts are even stronger at 140 mph. Movement is to the west-northwest at 20 mph. Douglas will gradually weaken as it gets closer to Hawaii.

The effects of Douglas will begin to be felt in the Hawaiian Island on Sunday. By then, this will still be a hurricane, however weakening will continue as the storm approaches Hawaii. Hurricane watches and warnings will be issued. Flooding rain is also expected and storm surge is expected along with the wind.

There is no threat to the U.S. mainland from hurricane Douglas.

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