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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Hermine reaches Central Texas as a tropical storm

Tropical storm Hermine remained a tropical storm as it moved into Texas today. As of this afternoon, the center of the storm was clearly visible on radar and windspeeds were still above the 39 MPH required to classify the system as a tropical storm.

Heavy rain, thunder and lightning covered much of the area from Galveston to Texarkana and Dallas to San Antonio. Rainfall may be excessive and record setting in many areas and flooding is a concern for the next couple of days.

Flash flood watches, warnings issued across Central Texas(News 8 Austin)
Though all coastal tropical storm warnings were discontinued Tuesday afternoon, Central Texas has at least another day to soak up the damp spin-off.

Around 6 p.m. Tuesday, a tornado warning was issued for eastern Travis County and part of Williamson and Burnet counties. The NWS reported a funnel cloud was spotted just south of Manor, but there were no other reports of a tornado. The warning was canceled around 7 p.m.

--snip--

Tropical Storm Hermine made landfall Monday, causing more than 30,000 electrical outages in the Brownsville-Harlingen area, as it moved over the Rio Grande and into South Texas. Expected to weaken into tropical depression by Tuesday night, Hermine moved between San Antonio and Austin Tuesday afternoon, shedding heavy rain and high wind gusts in the area.

The National Weather Service advises that heavy rains could cause flash flooding, and notes that isolated tornadoes are possible over portions of southeast and central Texas Tuesday. McLennan County is one of the areas under tornado watch.

"Hermine is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches with possible isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches, from the middle Texas coast northward through Central Texas, and over central and eastern Oklahoma," according a NWS public advisory."

Rain totals may exceed 2 to 3 inches in some areas. Portions west of Austin could see as much as 5 to 7 inches of rain, and areas from west Travis County to Burnet County could very well see the worst of it, starting at sunset Tuesday and ending at sunrise Wednesday.
A tornado watch has been in place from the coast into the Hill Country essentially covering a rectangle that was bisected by IH-45.

Tornado watch issued for much of Dallas-Fort Worth(Dallas Morning News)
Rainfall totals exceeded 2 inches in many locations today — about what Dallas-Fort Worth can expect in an entire September — with chances for more heavy storms lingering Wednesday and much of the day Thursday.

A tornado watch is in place until 8 p.m. tonight for the following counties: Collin, Dallas, Denton, Hunt, Kaufman , Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise.

Hermine came ashore near the Texas-Mexico border on Monday and took a northerly swing that carried the center of the storm over San Antonio, just west of Austin and up into the Hill Country. That track should take the heart of the storm well west of the Dallas area Wednesday.

"We see it heading toward Abilene, and driving copious amounts of moisture along both sides of the Interstate 35 corridor,” said Joe Harris, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. “It means rain, chances of tornadoes, and gusty winds into Thursday.”
Around 5 pm CDT Hermine finally started to break apart and was downgraded to a tropical depression. The storm is spreading its energy and rainband across the eastern half of the state. Rainfall as high as 8 inches is possible in teh northern areas of Texas, through the central portion of Oklahoma and into Kansas.

Graphic courtesy of The Weather Channel

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