First tropical storm watch of the season issued for South Texas and Mexico


The National Weather Service (NWS) issued its first tropical storm watch of the year for parts of southern Texas on Monday, as a storm develops in the southern Gulf of Mexico with the potential to bring dangerous rains and flooding to the gulf coast in the coming days.

Potential Tropical Cyclone One is currently in the Bay of Campeche off the coast of Mexico and is forecast to move north into the gulf before breaking west near the U.S.-Mexico border. Forecasters believe the storm will make landfall Wednesday evening to Thursday morning.

The system had 40mph winds as of Monday afternoon. If it becomes a tropical storm, as forecast, it would be named Tropical Storm Alberto.

AccuWeather hurricane forecaster Alex DaSilva said current conditions in the gulf are “nearly ideal” for tropical storms.

“Water temperatures are very impressive. It’s basically bathtub water across most of the Atlantic Basin, and it’s just going to continue to get warmer,” he said in a statement. “That area and coastline is shaped like a bowl, that can actually help to induce spin. We have seen a lot of tropical development in that area over the years.”

The average date for the first tropical storm of the year is June 20, DeSilva said.

A coastal flood watch was also issued for the entire Texas coast and an advisory in Louisiana and Mississippi. Forecasters noted that coastal Texas cities could see between 8–12 inches of rain this week, while parts of northern Mexico could see multiple feet.

The Weather Prediction Center warned of “incredible amounts of moisture” in the gulf, which could “easily” develop into flash flood conditions from Texas to Louisiana. The center said Houston, San Antonio and Corpus Christi each have a “moderate” chance of flash flooding this week, at least 40 percent likely.

The watch marked the first of what will be many in what forecasters predict to be a “hyperactive” hurricane season. 

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