The second largest American state is about to be rocked by a hurricane. Hurricane Hanna has officially formed in the Gulf of Mexico this morning, with the National Hurricane Center establishing the first hurricane of 2020 as Category 1 with sustained winds of 75 mph around the eyewall, and its center roughly 100 miles east-southeast of Corpus Christi. According to the NCH, Hanna is strengthening in the south-central region of the U.S. and is expected to make landfall Saturday evening.
Per CNN, conditions along the southwestern Gulf coast are expected to deteriorate through Saturday with the bulk of threats bringing serious tides and a storm surge with excessive rainfall. Storm surges can be up to 5 feet in some areas, including Corpus Christi Bay. The network goes on to add heavy rain ranging between 6 to 12 inches is expected in the south, with the Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas feeling similar effects through Sunday night. Additionally, the upper coasts of Texas and Louisiana are expected to feel 3 to 5 inches of rain.
While June to November is often regarded as the hurricane season, Hurricane Hanna's arrival is relatively early for this time of year, first forming in May. According to CNN, the Atlantic's first hurricane does not often form until two weeks into August. However, Hanna is making progress with its wind fields to become the first hurricane to hit Texas in the month of July since Hurricane Dolly in 2008.
Wow! This is what it looks like near the center of Hurricane Hanna. This is the camera view from Buoy 42019 at 710 am. Winds of 41 knots gusting to 52 knots with seas of 21 feet and wave period of 10 seconds between waves. pic.twitter.com/CaHrM6vOGN— NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) July 25, 2020
There are flood alerts in place for the borders of Mexico and Texas, stretching across to southwestern Louisiana as Hanna could potentially bring more than 12 inches of rain locally to parts of South Texas throughout the weekend.
"On the forecast track, the center of Hanna should make landfall along the Texas coast within the hurricane warning area this afternoon or early this evening," an advisory from the NCH stated. "A gradual turn toward the west-southwest is expected by tonight and that motion should continue through Sunday."
HAPPENING NOW - As #HurricaneHanna threatens the Texas coastline we're already getting a look at storm surge along the beach and moving inland. Here's what was seen in Corpus Christi just moments ago! #WeatherNation pic.twitter.com/KaiRFhvLhR— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) July 25, 2020
In addition to Hanna, there are two separate storm systems threatening the U.S. and the Caribbean this weekend. CNN reports Hurricane Douglas in the Pacific Ocean and Tropical Storm Gonzalo in the Atlantic are taking a turn with their storm paths. While Douglas is approaching Hawaii, its forecast is expected to weaken before it reaches the island chain this weekend. As of this writing, Douglas peaked as a Category 4 storm on Friday but was downgraded to a Category 3 storm, sustaining winds of 115 mph. However, Tropical Storm Gonzalo will travel through the southern Windward Islands on Saturday, delivering heavy rain and steady winds to the islands.