Friday, July 29, 2011

Tropical Storm Don Update - 1pm Friday

At 1pm CDT, the center of Tropical Storm Don was located about 145 miles Southeast of Corpus Christi, TX. Movement was West/Northwest at 15 mph.  Maximum sustained winds were 50 mph, and the minimum central pressure was 29.65 inches of mercury.

Radar imagery from Brownsville, TX (which is located at the center of the image below) shows that heavier showers and thunderstorms are currently about 30-40 miles offshore of the Southern end of South Padre Island... and moving Westward.  Scattered, less intense, showers and thunderstorms are already moving inland to the North up toward Corpus Christi.

Most tropical systems produce the heaviest rainfall to the "right" of the center.  In this particular case, a band of stronger Northerly winds above the surface level are causing the heavier precipitation to focus to the "left" of the center.  This will tend to carry the heaviest, most widespread rainfall to the South of the Corpus Christi area this afternoon and evening.

Showers, thunderstorms and gradually the wind will be on the increase across the middle and lower Texas coast throughout the remainder of the afternoon and especially into this evening.  Tropical storm force winds currently extend outward about 105 miles from the center of Don.  With that in mind, and taking the current movement into consideration, tropical storm force winds (likely on the order of 45-55 mph with higher gusts) can be expected to develop along the coast between Brownsville and Corpus Christi by early evening.  The center of the storm is forecast to make landfall about 30-40 miles South of Corpus Christi by Midnight.

Isolated tornadoes are also possible with thunderstorms that form in association with Don this afternoon and evening.  Tropically induced tornadoes are typically fairly weak and short-lived.

At this time, it does not appear as though Don will strengthen to hurricane force prior to making landfall, however high-end tropical storm force winds can be expected along the affected portions of the Texas coast:

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