Watching Tropical Storm Beta in the Gulf

Katie Ramirez
September 19, 2020

Earlier on Friday, a tropical depression in the eastern Atlantic Ocean strengthened into Tropical Storm Wilfred, which was the last of the 21 storm names reserved for 2020.

At last report, Beta boasted winds of 95 km/h and had begun its turn westward toward the Texas coast.

Beta may still strengthen into a hurricane, though, as it approaches the Texas coast, reaching Category 1 status. Beta is forecast to bring very heavy rain to the coast of Texas from Monday through Thursday of next week.

As laden with moisture as it is, that slow pace will give it plenty of time to absolutely drench the coasts of Texas and Louisiana, with some areas possibly seeing more than 250 mm of rainfall, with lesser but still significant amounts elsewhere.

"There is an increasing risk of heavy rainfall and flooding along the Texas coast from Sunday through at least the middle of next week", the National Hurricane Center warned.

Wilfred was centred about 630 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands and was moving west-northwest near 17 miles per hour.

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Meanwhile, Hurricane Teddy remained a powerful hurricane late Friday, with maximum sustained winds at 130mph.

Forecasters were predicting up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) of storm surge along parts of the Texas coast that included Baffin Bay, Corpus Christi Bay, Galveston Bay and more.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect but Bermuda has been advised to vigilantly monitor Teddy's progress.

Satellite images of storms forming in the Atlantic Ocean. Teddy is on a path that will take it near Bermuda early next week then perhaps to Atlantic Canada or even northern New England later next week.

"The major hurricane will likely maintain its intensity, or fluctuate in strength, during the next day or so while it remains in generally favorable conditions of low wind shear, warm waters, and a fairly moist air mass", forecasters wrote. "Some slight strengthening is possible today, and weakening should start this weekend and continue into next week", the National Hurricane Center said in a public advisory Friday afternoon.

Hurricane season, like many other aspects of life, has reached peak 2020. Previously, she worked as a news writer at WSVN Channel 7 and is now a Poynter-Koch Media & Journalism fellow.

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