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As Tropical Storm Alberto approaches, Texas prepares for up to ten inches of rain.

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TEXAS, CORPUS CHRISTI — Tropical Storm Alberto, the first named storm of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, developed on Wednesday from a massive storm system that was sweeping across the Gulf of Mexico. Areas of Mexico may receive up to 20 inches of rain, while parts of Texas are expected to receive nearly a foot of rain.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a tropical storm warning for the Texas coast from San Luis Pass south to the mouth of the Rio Grande River. In response, Governor Greg Abbott issued a disaster declaration for 51 counties and activated three platoons of the Texas National Guard, including more than 40 personnel, 20 vehicles, and Chinook helicopters.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Corpus Christi issued a warning, stating that “multiple hazards will be felt over South Texas through Thursday due to the large extent and slow movement of this system.”

Several Dangers Anticipated

The NWS listed a number of dangers that Alberto brought with him, such as rip currents, flash floods, river and coastal flooding, and wind gusts that were faster than fifty miles per hour. As the storm came on Wednesday, excessive water had already forced the closure of many Corpus Christi roadways. There were many water-related advisories shown on the state Transportation Department’s online highway condition map throughout the whole region.

Social media footage showed flooding from coastal villages south of Galveston, Texas, to the town of Reynosa, which is bordering Mexico. In addition, the NWS issued a tornado warning for the storm-affected coastal parts of south Texas on Wednesday night, which was in effect until Thursday morning. The alert extended as far inland as Laredo.

The Effect of Alberto on Mexico

Up to 20 inches of rain are likely over the higher terrain of the Mexican states of Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas. Alberto is predicted to generate rainfall totals of 5 to 10 inches throughout northeastern Mexico and into South Texas. Along with significant flash and urban floods, the storm is expected to cause fresh and renewed river flooding. In northeastern Mexico, mudslides can also occur in higher terrain locations.

In order to prepare for the storm’s impact, Coahuila Governor Manolo Jiménez Salinas declared collaboration with the Mexican army and national guard.

Present Situation and Prognosis

Tropical Storm Alberto’s core was located 305 miles southeast of Brownsville, Texas, as of 5 p.m. EDT. The NHC reported that the storm was producing maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was traveling west at 9 mph. Before making landfall early on Thursday, a little strengthening is predicted around the northeastern coast of Mexico. Alberto is predicted to rapidly diminish as it advances inland, and by Thursday night, it should have passed over Mexico.

Life-Dangersing Surf Situations

The NHC issued a warning that tornadoes might occur in several areas of Southeast and Deep South Texas through Thursday. Up to four feet of storm surge could hit the Texas coast, and through Friday, swells from Alberto are expected to create “life-threatening surf and rip current conditions” throughout the Texas and northern Mexico coasts.

“Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves,” the National Hurricane Center said.

A Busy Hurricane Season Is Anticipated

Up to 25 named storms might occur during a “extraordinary” hurricane season, according to federal forecasts. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has never forecasted as many storms in a preseason outlook.

At a press conference in Washington, D.C., National Weather Service director Ken Graham stated, “Everything is in place for an active season.” The Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be “extraordinary,” with an 85% probability of being above average, according to NOAA director Rick Spinrad.

Extra Weather-Related Concerns

Alberto is affecting Texas, but east of the Bahamas, a group of showers and thunderstorms is aimed towards South Carolina, the eastern coast of Florida, and southern Alabama. This might provide much-needed rainfall to the area. Along the Southeast coast, 1-2 inches of rain are possible from late Thursday to Saturday. This system would be called Beryl if it were to intensify into a tropical storm.

According to AccuWeather Meteorologist Andrew Kienzle, “this feature can bring high seas, gusty winds, areas of heavy rain and thunderstorms to the Southeast coast regardless of development.”

East and Midwest Record Heat

A large portion of the country is currently experiencing heat waves never seen before. On Wednesday, more than 90 million Americans—mostly in the Northeast and Upper Midwest—were subject to extreme heat watches, warnings, or advisories. The NWS issued a warning that records might drop from Maine to Michigan. In certain places, the heat may continue, with “some monthly records possible.”

Governor Kathy Hochul posted on social media that “it is dangerously hot out there, New York.” “If you need help staying cool today, find a cooling center near you.”

Weekend highs in Washington, D.C., might go close to 100 degrees. On Wednesday, Caribou, Maine, which has records going back to 1939, was already hitting new benchmarks. “At Caribou, the heat index is currently 103F,” the NWS stated on social media. “That’s an unofficial all-time record.”

Residents of Texas are advised to be aware and ready for the extreme weather conditions that are anticipated over the next few days as they brace for Tropical Storm Alberto.

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