The US National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm warning for portions of the Texas and Louisiana coast as Tropical Storm Beta tracks westwards through the Gulf of Mexico. As of 10:00 (CDT), Beta was located 395km (245mi) south of Lake Charles (Louisiana) and 495km (305mi) east-southeast of Corpus Christi (Texas). Maximum sustained winds of 95kph (60mhp) have been reported, with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 280km (175mi). Beta is expected to strengthen over the weekend before being near or at hurricane strength late on Sunday or early on Monday, September 21. It is forecast to continue moving northwest before approaching the Texas coastline early next week.
The NHC has issued the following watches and warnings:
- A storm surge warning is in effect from Port Mansfield (Texas) to Cameron (Louisiana)
- A hurricane watch is in effect from Port Aransas (Texas) to High Island (Texas)
- A tropical storm warning is in effect from Port Aransas to Intracoastal City (Louisiana)
- A tropical storm watch is in effect south of Port Aransas to the mouth of the Rio Grande and east of Intracoastal City to Morgan City (Louisiana)
Wind damage, widespread flooding, and dangerous sea conditions are expected during the passing of the storm, and significant disruptions to transportation, business, and utilities are likely in the coming days.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from late May through to the end of November, with activity typically peaking in late August and early September. Numerous tropical storms form in the Atlantic Ocean during this period, with most affecting the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the east coast of the United States. Although communities in the region are generally well prepared for adverse weather conditions during the hurricane season, severe storms bring a significant risk of flooding and infrastructural damage.
Organized tropical activity tends to peak in August and September. Storms tend to flood sections of highways and cause dirt-based roads to become temporarily impassable. More organized systems, depending on intensity, can prove catastrophic in terms of tidal surge, wind damage, flooding, and mudslides.
Those in the above areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
Copyright and Disclaimer