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Large Storm System in Gulf of Mexico Moves Toward Texas

What could become the first named storm of hurricane season had wind speeds of 40 mph as of Tuesday morning and triggered a tropical storm warning on the Texas coast.

waves from Hurricane Harvey crashing onto a street on the Texas coast
Adobe Stock/eric
(TNS) — Parts of Texas have been placed under a tropical storm warning because of a large storm system in the Gulf of Mexico that’s expected to strengthen into the first named storm of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season.

Forecasters from the National Hurricane Center say the storm system is currently packing sustained winds of 40 mph — which has the strength of a tropical storm but is not yet organized enough to be classified as a tropical storm.

“The system is likely to approach the western Gulf coast late Wednesday,” the hurricane center said in a public advisory issued Tuesday morning. “Some increase in strength is likely during the next 36 hours, and the disturbance is forecast to become a tropical storm by Wednesday.”

If the system does rise to tropical storm status, it will be named Alberto, the first of 21 names on the official list of storm names that will be used for tropical storms and hurricanes during the 2024 hurricane season. The season started June 1 and runs through Nov. 30, with many forecasters from different weather agencies all predicting a highly active season.

As of Tuesday morning, the hurricane center described the storm system in the Gulf as “quite large with tropical-storm-force winds extending outward up to 290 miles to the northeast of the center.”

The hurricane center issued a tropical storm warning for the Texas coast, from Port O’Connor southward to the mouth of the Rio Grande, as well as for the northeastern coast of Mexico south of the mouth of the Rio Grande to Puerto de Altamira.

The warning means tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

Forecasters say the storm system could generate rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches across northeast Mexico into South Texas, with as much as 15 inches of rain possible.

“This rainfall will likely produce flash and urban flooding along with new and renewed river flooding,” the hurricane center advisory says. “Mudslides are also possible in areas of higher terrain across northeast Mexico.”

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