Editor’s note: This is an informational article about tropical storms happening at time of publish in the Atlantic. Jump to mention of the Abilene area.
ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – As we inch closer to the peak of hurricane season, the Atlantic activity is ramping up quickly. On the one side of the US, Tropical Storm Hilary brought flash flooding to Southern California. On the other side, five tropical systems are brewing.
Hilary was officially a Hurricane then was downgraded to a tropical storm Sunday morning shortly before landfall by the National Weather Service. The storm went on to produce the wettest day ever in August for San Diego, Los Angelos, and other southern California areas.
It was the first time ever that the National Hurricane Center issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Southern California. That led to California’s Governor Gavin Newsom declaring a state of emergency ahead of the storm.
Moving closer to home, here is the latest on now what is called Tropical Depression Nine. The cyclone is currently located in the western portion of the Gulf of Mexico just south of Louisiana heading towards southern Texas. More strengthening is expected, but due to the limited time over water, rapid intensification is unlikely.
It is expected to produce heavy rainfall which can lead to flash, urban, and coastal flooding. Winds could reach up to 40mph near the heart of the system. This cyclone isn’t expected to have much impact here in the Abilene area, or the Big Country for that matter. You may expect an increase in cloud coverage and gusty winds up to 30 miles per hour.
Any shower and thunderstorm activity associated with this system will generally remain south of a Sterling City to Mason line, with the best rain chances Tuesday night into Wednesday across the northern Edwards Plateau. An isolated shower in our area is slim but not impossible.
As for the rest of the Atlantic Ocean, there are three storm systems behind one another. Tropical Storm Franklin currently in the Caribbean Sea, impacting Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.
Trailing behind Franklin is Tropical Depression Gert, which began to fizzle out as of Monday morning. It seems to be struggling against strong upper-level winds and a very dry surrounding environment.
There was a third tropical storm following Gert named Emily. Emily has now weakened into a post-tropical cyclone, taking a more northerly path, and has no current impact to land.
Finally, just off the coast of Africa is a new tropical disturbance with a 40% chance of forming into a tropical depression through the next 48 hours, a 70% chance through the next week.
Here’s a look at the current Atlantic storm situation:
With the peak of hurricane season approaching around September 10, we can expect Atlantic and Pacific oceans to remain active as they are currently. Hurricane season officially ends November 30.