The National Hurricane Center has now extended the tropical storm watch down from Port Mansfield, TX (from last night) to Brownsville, TX. A tropical watch means tropical storm force conditions (winds, seas, and precipitation) are possible within the next 48 hours.
Tropical Storm Don’s location and information:
Location: 29.0N 89.9W
About 545mi ESE of Corpus Christi, TX
About 495mi ESE of Brownsville, TX
Max sustained winds: 40 mph, 65 km/hr
Present movement: WNW or 300 degrees at 10 mph, 17 km/hr
Minimum Central Pressure: 1000mb, 29.53 in.
Don continues to move towards the Texas coast. According to water vapor imagery, Don will continue to move into drier air, which may slow it down or deform the storm a little bit. Mid-level wind shear will be at a minimum ahead of Don, and sea surface temperatures (SST) are plenty warm for development. Therefore, the only criteria that will hinder any fast development will be the subsiding air out ahead of it. Forecast models are still in disagreement on intensity and location of this storm. Many dynamical forecasting models still do not have this storm at tropical storm strength, or if they do, they have it dissipating quickly before making landfall. The majority of the statistical, tropical models, on the other hand, do show strengthening a little. For now, I am leaning towards the tropical models, unless I see otherwise in the next few hours. Perhaps the reason for the confusion of the forecast tracks are: being unable to locate a storm center and determining the area and strength of the mid-level ridge.
I will continue updating my blog throughout the day.