The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a Tropical Storm Watch for most of the Texas Coast and has now officially given the area of low pressure the designation of Tropical Depression #8.
Throughout the day we saw gradual strengthening of the area of low pressure and not all of the models predicted that right off the bat. It is currently located on the East Central Gulf of Mexico where earlier in the day we see a good amount of thunderstorm activity pop up just north of the center of what little circulation there has been.
Speaking of circulation, it is still pretty broad and weak with not very strong winds, only topping out around 30 MPH at last look. Air Force Reserve Recon aircraft flew into the system late today and found some areas of development, but nothing significant to speak of. Right now, they still are giving us a pretty vanilla forecast and the European model did have it taking a more southerly track into Corpus Christi early on in the weekend. The GFS had it going a little higher, more towards Houston.
Earlier I talked about the thunderstorms that were firing off to the north of the center, what we saw today is that they would build and the collapse, build back up and collapse. That isn’t uncommon for storms that we see this time of year and with a system that is this disorganized we aren’t shocked by that at all. In fact, that is actually a good thing because while a storm can develop like that, it generally takes a little bit more time to happen. So, with three or so days before a landfall we will just have to watch it, but most of the data suggests that TD 8 will become a Tropical Storm a little bit before landfall.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
Well, just be prepared. Let’s assume that this thing becomes a Tropical Storm and it hit Corpus Christi. What you will see is equivalent to a pretty good thunderstorm and plenty of rain. We are talking anywhere between 2 and 6 inches of rain over a fairly short period of time.
Remember, “Turn around, Don’t Drown.”
Second, be ready in case the lights go out and it could likely happen. Charge your phones, make sure have batteries for flashlights, fill up your water bottles just in case and make sure that you have some non-perishable food items handy. Peanut butter, granola, cookies, tuna fish, crackers, canned beans, canned fruit, and basic canned items like that are GREAT to have on hand in case you can’t cook for a day or so. Just be prepared.
Reality is that even if it is a Tropical Storm, the truth is that you likely would not even notice a difference between this and a spring storm system. Most people would just sleep right through it anyway. But be prepared for the worst case. It is like they say during a wilderness survival: “When you think you have enough wood, get twice that much.” Same thing here applies. Make sure that you have enough to get you by.
Just keep in mind that it is dangerous and deadly and regardless of where it hits, this is a good practice run for the future.
STAY WEATHER AWARE!