The second tropical storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season formed in the Gulf of Mexico, with Texas forecast to face the brunt of the storm as it makes landfall over the weekend.
The National Hurricane Center upgraded tropical depression eight to Tropical Storm Hanna on Thursday, moving westward toward the southeastern coast of Texas. Tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued all along the Texas coastline, which is expected to get its first taste of the storm later Friday.
“We expect the system to make landfall as a solid tropical storm along the central Texas coast sometime during the day on Saturday,” meteorologist Alex Sosnowski told AccuWeather.
Friday tracking has the heart of the storm making landfall in southern Texas around 1 p.m. Saturday, with Corpus Christi being the biggest city in its projected path. Heavy rain and winds are the chief concerns for anyone living along the coastline, with some areas projected to receive over 10 inches of rain.
“Hanna is expected to produce heavy rains across portions of southern Texas,” the National Hurricane Center said. “These rains could result in flash flooding and isolated minor to moderate river flooding.”
Another concern is that Hanna will continue growing before it makes landfall on Saturday. The relatively slow movement of the storm has allowed it to build more concentrated thunderstorms and allow Hanna to sustain itself through at least Monday, at which time it will have moved over northern Mexico.
Winds advisories are also in effect, with some tornado watches already issued in some communities. Wind speeds within the storm were averaging around 35 to 40 mph as of 7 a.m. Friday, but forecasts have winds reaching upwards of 60 mph in some parts of the storm by the time it hits Texas. While tornadoes are not going to be numerous, some outlets have warned locals to be prepared.
“There can be some gusty thunderstorms and perhaps a couple of tornadoes or waterspouts around the time of landfall at the close of the week,” Sosnowski said.