Newly formed Tropical Depression 5 quickly became Tropical Storm Erin this morning as it quickly blew up last night. The good news with this quickly strengthening system is that is has extremely very little time to really get its act together. Landfall is a mere 24 hours away, but this storm could get its winds up to between 40-60 mph before landfall as a minimal tropical storm.
It looks like it will make landfall just north of Brownsville, TX as just that, a minimal tropical storm. It will quickly become just a plain old regular rainstorm once it gets over the mainland of Texas for a little while. The major concern will be with rain with Erin. She will dump some heavy rainfall amounts over parts of southern Texas and northern Mexico. Rainfall totals could very well exceed 4-6". Some parts of the southeast coast of Texas could see rainfall amounts approach 10", which would certainly deliver some flooding to the water logged state of Texas. The rains from this system will move up through the middle portion of the state by Friday and Saturday and this will give parts of Texas that do not need any more water, a good soaking of rainfall on the order of 4-8". The rich get richer.
I am still watching Tropical Storm Dean as it now has winds up to 60 mph. Its track has been all over the place the past few days, but it finally looks like we are starting to see a concensus. It looks like the Atlantic Ridge will keep the storm south of the islands of Puerto Rico and the Dominican/Haiti. It should pass very close to the southern shores of Cuba, probably as a Category 3, major, hurricane. Then it is fair game for folks in the Yucatan to everyone along the Gulf Coast from Mexico to Florida. Latest models keep taking it over the northern part of the Yucatan as a major hurricane and then spit it back out over the warm waters of the Gulf to maybe hit northern Mexico or southern Texas as T.S. Erin is doing. Obviously, Dean would have winds much higher than Erin, probably closer to Category 1 or 2 strength at this time if the Yucatan weakens it. Its still a long ways out so any specifics would be irresponsible at this time, so just keep Dean in the back of your mind for now. This will be a big topic come Sunday.
For now, enjoy our great weather. Its been a great summer.