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Beta spurs hurricane watch for Texas, expected to strengthen

1 month 4 days 3 hours ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 September 19, 2020 8:29 AM September 19, 2020 in News - Local
By: The Associated Press
Graphic courtesy of the National Hurricane Center.

MIAMI (AP) - An exceptionally busy Atlantic hurricane season was churning along Saturday morning as the Texas coast prepared for a tropical storm that's forecast to strengthen into a hurricane before breaching its shores in the week ahead.

Tropical Storm Beta was brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, 290 miles (470 kilometers) east of the mouth of the Rio Grande, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory. The system was forecast to become a hurricane on Sunday and had already triggered a hurricane watch from Port Aransas, Texas, to High Island, Texas.

Also in effect were a storm surge watch from Port Mansfield, Texas to Cameron, Louisiana; and a tropical storm watch from south of Port Aransas to the mouth of the Rio Grande, and east of High Island to Morgan City, Louisiana.

Beta had maximum sustained winds at 60 mph (95 kph) and was moving north at 8 mph (13 kph).  

Forecasters were predicting up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) of storm surge along parts of the Texas coast that included Baffin Bay, Corpus Christi Bay, Galveston Bay and more. Wind, heavy rainfall and life-threatening surf and rip current conditions were also expected with the storm.

Forecasters ran out of traditional storm names on Friday, forcing the use of the Greek alphabet for only the second time since the 1950s.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Teddy remained a powerful hurricane Saturday, with maximum sustained winds at 125 mph (205 kph). Teddy was centered 605 miles (975 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda less than a week after Hurricane Paulette made landfall in the wealthy British territory.  

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Bermuda. Large swells from Teddy were forecast to impact the Lesser Antilles, the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas and Bermuda, and were expected to impact the U.S. East Coast.

Parts of the Alabama coast and Florida Panhandle were still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Sally, which roared ashore on Wednesday. At least two deaths were blamed on the system, and hundreds of thousands of people were still without power late Friday.

Alpha dissipated Friday night after bringing rain to Portugal. Tropical Storm Wilfred remained at sea but was not expected to impact land.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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