MIAMI (AP) — Tropical storm warnings have been issued for a stretch of the lower Texas Gulf Coast and part of Mexico’s northeast shoreline amid forecasts that an offshore disturbance would become a tropical storm in coming hours.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft found top sustained winds reaching near 35 mph (55 kph) with higher gusts in the system. It was located in the Gulf about 400 miles (640 kilometers) south-southeast of the mouth of the Rio Grande river.
The center said slow strengthening is expected and the disturbance was expected to become a tropical storm by sometime Saturday. It said the system is moving to the northwest at 14 mph (22 kph) amid forecasts of an eventual weekend landfall in northeast Mexico, the Miami advisory said.
Mexico’s government issued a tropical storm warning for its Gulf coast from Boca de Catan northward to the mouth of the Rio Grande amid forecasts of eventual landfall in northeast Mexico. A tropical storm warning also is in effect for the lower Texas coast from Port Mansfield south to the mouth of the Rio Grande.
Forecasters said the potential tropical cyclone could produce total rain of 3 to 6 inches with isolated totals 8 inches along parts of Mexico’s eastern coast from northern sections of the state of Veracruz across the state of Tamaulipas.
Rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches (2.5 cms to 7.5 cms) with isolated higher amounts are possible across far south Texas, the hurricane center advisory said. It said the rainfall may produce life threatening flash flooding and mudslides and extend into far south Texas.