Monday, September 6, 2010

Hermine nears Northern Mexico Coast, expect small surge in South Texas

Tropical Storm Hermine is approaching the coast of Northern Mexico this evening. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 60 MPH, with some slight intensification still possible.

As Hermine is forecast to produce tropical storm force winds along the extreme South Texas Coast (see latest National Weather Service forecast for South Padre Island, Texas), this system will likely produce a small U.S. storm surge. As mentioned earlier this season, tropical systems that make landfall in Northern Mexico generally produce peak U.S. storm surges near South Padre Island, Texas. The peak U.S. surge in this case will likely be small, probably between 2 and 4 feet, as discussed in this morning's post that compared Tropical Storm Hermine to Tropical Storm Arlene (1993).

The satellite image included in this blog post shows that most of Hermine's activity is still over the open water of the Gulf of Mexico. The wind speed at Brownsville/ South Padre Island Airport as of 6PM CDT was only 10 MPH from the NE, which explains why surge levels are still relatively low. As of 6:30PM CDT the surge levels at both the South Padre Island Coast Guard Station and Port Isabel, Texas, were between 1 and 1.5 feet. Expect wind speeds, rain and surge heights to increase as squalls move onshore later this evening.

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