National Hurricane Center map on Atlantic Coast storms. Credit: NHC.
The National Hurricane Center is currently tracking two tropical storms Monday morning, while a disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico threatens to become a Tropical Depression.
Tropical Storm Franklin is seeing a sustained wind speed of 50 mph in the southern Caribbean. An NHC advisory early Monday morning said that heavy rainfall from the storm is expected in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti later this week, which it warned could bring flooding and mudslides.
An advisory at 11 a.m. Monday said Franklin is currently slowing down over the Carribean Sea. The NHC projects the storm to curve west after a landfall in Hispaniola, which is expected very late on Tuesday.
In an update Monday morning, Jamie Rhome, deputy director of the National Hurricane Center, warned of up to fifteen inches of rain in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which are under a Tropical Storm Warning.
“The biggest threat for this particular storm will be potential heavy rainfall, flash flooding and mudslides,” Rhome said, during a Monday morning living stream.
As of Monday morning, there is no watch or warning for Puerto Rico. The island is still recovering from Hurricane Maria, the monstrous Category Five storm that devastated the island in 2017. Maria killed nearly 3,000 people in Puerto Rico and caused an estimated $90 billion between the island and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to a 2023 NHC report.
Tropical Storm Gert is moving west with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, but the NHC doesn’t currently project either to make landfall. The NHC expects Gert to dissipate within three days.
The storm closest to Florida is “Potential Tropical Cyclone 9” in the Gulf of Mexico. The NHC issued a Tropical Storm Warning for portions of south Texas at 10 a.m. CDT, warning of possible flooding, and had put the odds of cyclone formation – designation of a tropical depression or more powerful storm – at 80%.
“Environmental conditions appear conducive for development of this system,” a Monday advisory said. “And a tropical depression or tropical storm is likely to form before it reaches the western Gulf of Mexico coastline on Tuesday.”
Rhome said the storm system is forecast to reach tropical storm status by the time it hits the southern coast of Texas Tuesday morning. While he said there is “no chance at this point” of the storm developing into a hurricane, and noted that the rainfall levels and flash flood potential were minimal, Rhome still advised Texans in affected areas to avoid the roads and and beaches.
Meanwhile, former Hurricane Hilary made landfall over the southwest coast over the weekend.
This is an ongoing story. Check with the Florida Phoenix for updates.
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