Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tropical Storm Don Entering the Gulf of Mexico - With Eyes on Texas

As alluded to in my last post on the subject, Hurricane Hunter aircraft found a closed circulation and strong enough winds within the former Tropical Wave off of the Yucatan Peninsula to initiate advisories on the system as "Tropical Storm Don" during the last hour.

At 4pm CDT, the center of Don was located 120 miles North of Cozumel, Mexico, or about 755 miles East/Southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas.  Present movement of the system is toward the West/Northwest at 12 mph.  Maximum sustained winds were estimated at 40 mph, and the minimum central pressure was 29.56 inches of mercury.

The initial National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast track projects that Don will impact the coastline of Texas on Friday night or during the pre-dawn hours of Saturday morning (and is still forecast to be a Tropical Storm at that time):

I would like to caution all readers (and especially readers that are residents along the Texas Coast) that this is the very first projection issued by the NHC since the Hurricane Hunter aircraft passed through the system a short time ago.  The computer forecast models have not yet had any of the aircraft observations fed into them, so we'll have a much better idea as to the future track and especially the potential intensity of this system later tonight and Thursday morning, once those models have been run with that data.  It is still possible that Don will strengthen to Hurricane force prior to making landfall - so please do not let your guard down!

If you live along the Texas Coast, please start making preparations for a possible Tropical Storm or Hurricane on Friday night or Saturday morning.  Review preparedness tips and listen to NOAA Weather Radio (the folks at RadioShack will even help you program yours if you don't know how) or another reliable local source of weather information for later statements, watches and likely warnings.

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