Tropical Storm Isaias likely to form in Atlantic; warnings issued for Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands by Doyle Rice, USA TODAY The hyperactive 2020 Atlantic hurricane season shows no signs of slowing down.A weather system swirling in the central Atlantic will likely become the season’s next tropical storm, forecasters said Tuesday, with the National Hurricane Center giving the system a 90% chance of development within the next two days. Tropical storm warnings have been hoisted in both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands for the system, which the hurricane center has dubbed „Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine.” This means tropical storm conditions are likely there within the next 36 hours.On the forecast track, the system is expected to move through the Leeward Islands on Wednesday, near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday night and near or over Hispaniola on Thursday, the hurricane center said. The forecast track of what’s expected to become Tropical Storm Isaias shows the system moving directly over Puerto Rico later this week.The storm could dump as much as 10 inches of rain across the northern Leeward Islands, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. „This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides,” the hurricane center warned.Tropical storm warnings were also in place for several other Caribbean islands, including Antigua, Barbuda, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Montserrat. Portions of the Dominican Republic were also under a tropical storm warning. Although it could affect Florida later in the week or over the weekend, its track and intensity forecast remain highly uncertain: „It cannot be stressed enough that since the system is still in the formative stage, greater than average uncertainty exists regarding both the short-term and longer-term track and intensity forecasts,” the hurricane center said.It’s too early to say how the system could affect the U.S., said Weather Underground co-founder Jeff Masters, who writes for Yale Climate Connections. He added, though, that „it’s definitely something Florida should be keeping an eye on.”As of late Tuesday afternoon, the disturbance was 435 miles east-southeast of the Leeward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. It was moving west-northwest at 23 mph.USA TODAY hurricane tracker: Track all of the current tropical storms and hurricanesIf it gets a name, it would become Tropical Storm Isaias (pronounced (ees-ah-EE-ahs), the ninth named storm of the season. The current record for earliest ‘I’ named storm in the Atlantic basin is Irene on Aug. 7, 2005, according to Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach.It has been an early and active start to the 2020 Atlantic basin tropical season, so much so that five of the first eight named storms this season are new record holders for the earliest-named storm for their letter, AccuWeather said.Gonzalo and Hanna became the earliest G- and H-named storms on record in the Atlantic basin when they reached tropical storm strength last week. Hanna ultimately became a hurricane, the first in the Atlantic basin this season, and made landfall in Southern Texas on Saturday evening, AccuWeather said.Contributing: Cheryl McCloud, Treasure Coast NewspapersHurricane season 2020: Hurricane season off to historically fast start: What does that mean for the rest of the year?Hurricane names: From Arthur to Wilfred, here’s the list of hurricane names for the 2020 seasonThis article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tropical Storm Isaias likely to form in Atlantic; Puerto Rico in path
Three days after Hurricane Hanna crashed into southern Texas and the Rio Grande Valley last Saturday with torrential rainfall and 90-mph winds, much of the region remains underwater and without electricity. As of Tuesday morning, 50,000 customers across southern Texas still had no electricity.
— City of McAllen, TX (@CityofMcAllen) July 28, 2020
Eight to 15 inches of rainfall flooded areas from Corpus Christi to Brownsville, and westward to the Texas-Mexico border.
Some sections of Interstate 2 are still covered with high water between Harlingen and Pharr. Many secondary routes are still closed due to the flooding as of Tuesday morning, disrupting freight flows across southern Texas, as well as between the region and Mexico.
As recently as Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as state and local agencies in Texas, continued to rescue people who were stuck in the floodwaters.
In the McAllen area, the Hidalgo County Courthouse and all county offices were closed Monday because of flooding and power outages, according to KVEO-TV. However, the county tweeted Monday evening that the courthouse would reopen the next day.
Padre Island National Seashore was damaged on both sides of the island and will remain closed until further notice.
Hanna’s storm surge flooded Corpus Christi’s North Beach area and topped the seawall in other parts of downtown.
According to KIII-TV, flooding damaged the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi. The animals are safe, a spokeswoman told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. A dock was destroyed where a research vessel was moored.
Water also entered the lower level of the Art Museum of South Texas, flooding classrooms and labs.
„We’re dealing with around 3 inches of water on our lower level,” the museum’s marketing coordinator Kirby Tello told KRIS-TV. „But all of our permanent collection is in the vault on our second level. And so, none of our artwork has been damaged.”
Hurricane Hanna damage at a boat dock in Corpus Christi, Texas. (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard District 8, taken July 27, 2020)
At Corpus Christi’s Marina del Sol, boats sank and piers were badly damaged by the storm.
Three people had to be rescued from a sailboat sinking in Marina del Sol late Saturday. A water rescue team from Texas A&M Task Force 1 used two inflatable Zodiac boats to reach the endangered sailboat as 65-mph winds roiled the waters. Two people in their 80s and the 40-year-old owner were in the sailboat.
The Bob Hall Pier, one of the most popular features on Padre Island, lost its concrete walkway and its T-head in the storm surge.
Even though the storm is long gone, National Weather Service (NWS) flood warnings and flash flood watches remain in place across southern Texas due to the return of scattered showers and thunderstorms Tuesday. Fortunately, rain chances decrease after Tuesday.
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