Tropical Storm Helene Forms in the Gulf

By: Bob French
By: Bob French

Tropical Storm Helene has moved inland near Tampico, Mexico, and has weakened to a tropical depression.  At 10am Saturday, the center was near 22.0N and 98.0W.  Maximum winds are near 35 mph, and continued weakening is expected with the center remaining inland.

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At 10pm Friday, the center of Tropical Storm Helene was located near 21.0N and 96.4W and moving toward the northwest at 6mph.  Maximum winds are 40mph, but some strengthening could still occur before landfall late Saturday along the coast of Mexico.  Although Helene will not impact Texas directly, tropical moisture will swing around the system into South Texas.  That could help rains become more widespread on Sunday as a weak cold front moves slowly across the region.

 

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The area of disturbed weather over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico has developed a closed circulation, and advisories have been initiated for Tropical Storm Helene.  At 4:30pm Friday, the center of Helene was located near 20.6N and 96.1W, about 160 miles southeast of Tampico, Mexico.  Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph, and some strengthening is possible.  However, Helene is expected to remain a tropical storm until landfall.  Movement is to the northwest at 7mph, and on this course, Helene should make landfall along the coast of Mexico on Sunday, well south of Texas.

Although Tropical Storm Helene is not expected to directly impact Texas, it will cause a very tropical air mass over the gulf to swing northwestward into the state.  That moisture will interact with a southward-moving cold front, leading to the development of scattered showers and thunderstorms, especially along the front.

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