Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tropical Storm Erin comes into South Texas

Tropical moisture has been feeding much of the rain we've been seeing in South and central Texas this summer. Firtunately, so far none of this moisture has organized enough to bring the winds along with the rain.

Well now we have our first named storm to hit the Texas coast this season. Tropical Storm Erin will be coming ashore tonight bringing a bunch of rain to an area that is already saturated from record setting rainfalls in late June and July.

Early predictions indicated that Erin could developinto a minimal hurricane before she came ashore. Now the Weather Channel is predicting that Erin will remain at tropical storm strength as she reaches landfall.

The heaviest rain bands and strongest winds are all in the northeast quadrant with much less rain and wind around the rest of the center of the storm. This puts the heaviest rain coming ashore close to Victoria. As the storm comes on land natural motion known as the Coriolis Force will cause Erin to kick over towards the north and east (like we typically see when cyclones come on shore). The stronger the storm and the faster the circulation, the stronger the force to drive the strom to the right. This motion could bring the heavy rains over the Texas Hill Country which was hit with heavy rains and severe flooding and certainly does not need more rain.

The big question will be how much the storm intensifies before reaching land. Hurricane hunter aircraft reading indicate some strengthening may occur which could, of course increase the rainfall and affect the curvature of the storms path. The next few days will be quite wet for South and Central Texas.

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