BETA BRINGS FLOODING THREAT TO THE TEXAS AND LOUISIANA COAST
Lopsided Tropical Storm Beta is in a fairly hostile atmospheric environment in the northwestern Gulf, but it will still pump a lot of tropical moisture over the Texas and Louisiana coast.
Upper-level winds are pushing Beta’s moisture to the north, and dry air is wrapping into the circulation. These factors should keep Beta from getting terribly strong before the center of circulation moves over or near the Texas coast tomorrow night or early Tuesday. It’s another one of these creepy crawly storms, so the exact landfall point – if it occurs – is uncertain. But Beta looks less likely to put on a burst of intensity like Sally did last week.
Beta’s winds are forecast to peak just at or below hurricane strength, so it won’t be nothing, but the biggest threat is from the rainfall due to the slow forward speed.
In addition, a cold front is draped across the northern Gulf. The push of tropical moisture may interact with the front to produce an extended period of rain from the central Texas coast, past the Houston area, and across the Louisiana coast. A widespread foot of rain with some areas getting 20 inches is forecast.
This is related to the unseasonably strong front that will move through South Florida tomorrow bringing the first northern air of the year. It will be quite windy on the east coast of the state after the front goes through.
In addition to the rain, the Texas coast is very vulnerable to storm surge. Beta is forecast to push the Gulf water 2 to 4 feet above normal high tide where the winds are onshore.
The center of Tropical Storm Beta’s circulation is forecast to slowly approach the central Texas coast late tomorrow or early on Tuesday.
Just ahead of the coming front and cooler air, a Small Disturbance has developed off the Central Florida coast. There’s a very slight chance it could develop a circulation before it gets pushed over the Florida peninsula. Its main effect is expected to be some extra rain at the coast ahead of the front, which will produce a fairly dramatic period of clouds and rain itself.
The change will be very noticeable in South Florida tomorrow.
In the Atlantic, National Hurricane Center forecasters are now confident that the worst of Hurricane Teddy will miss Bermuda to the east. They will still get strong northerly winds over the island when the storm passes by tonight and tomorrow, but likely at less than hurricane strength.
Teddy is forecast to evolve into a large and powerful winter-type storm after it passes Bermuda and moves into the North Atlantic. An unusual weather pattern is forecast to pull the storm back toward the coast instead of letting it head out to sea. Atlantic Canada – especially Nova Scotia and Newfoundland – will get the impacts.
The effect on the U.S. will be dangerous surf and some local coastal flooding from a combination of the swells from Teddy plus the King tides.
Farther east, the storm that was Paulette before it transitioned into a winter-type system is moving now over somewhat warmer water. It’s likely to once again become Tropical or Subtropical Storm Paulette, but it’s forecast to stay on the other side of the Atlantic.
Tropical Storm Wilfred is on its last legs. It should die out soon in the middle of the ocean.
There are no other obvious systems that are threatening to develop. Once Beta and Teddy are off the board in the next few days, things look calm for a while.
We are nearing the end of the Cape Verde season, when storms develop near Africa. Now, we start to look for development in the Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico. In terms of numbers, October is only slightly behind September in the number of hurricanes that have historically affected South Florida. There is a mini peak in activity in mid-October when we’re most likely to see a named storm develop in October.
For now, however, no new threats are expected in the tropics this week.