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article imageTropics heating up with three storm systems threatening U.S.

By Karen Graham     Jul 23, 2020 in Environment
Hurricane Douglas in the Pacific Ocean threatens the Hawaiian Islands. Meanwhile, Tropical Depression Eight is spinning about 415 miles from Port O'Connor, Texas. And in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Gonzalo is expected to become a hurricane by Friday.
Even as tropical storms have been breaking records right and left for which one is the earliest in the season, thankfully, they have so far, been weak and short-lived. That being said, we will take a closer look at what is ahead for the U.S.
Hurricane Douglas churns toward Hawaii
Hurricane Douglas is moving along to the west0-northwest as a Category 3 Hurricane at 20 mph (31 kph), with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph (195 kph). The storm has a minimum central pressure of 964 Mb or 28.47 inchers.
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National Hurricane Center
Douglas's present motion is expected to continue for the next several days when it will gradually decrease in forward speed and make a slight turn toward the west. Some strengthening is possible today before a gradual weakening starts on Friday and continues through the weekend.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles (150 km). By the time the storm reaches Hawaii, it will either be at hurricane or near-hurricane strength, according to USA Today.
Tropical Storm Gonzalo may be first Hurricane of Atlantic Season
Tropical Storm Gonzalo is tracking toward the Lesser Antilles in the Atlantic. The storm is about 850 miles (1.370 kilometers) east of the Southern Windward Islands, moving to the west at 14 mph (22 kph). Gonzalo is packing maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (95 kph), with a minimum central pressure of 1,000 Mb or 29.53 inches.
As of Thursday afternoon, a Hurricane Watch was in effect for Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Some re-strengthening is possible during the next couple of days, and there is still a chance that Gonzalo could become a hurricane, however, its intensity forecast is still very uncertain.
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National Hurricane Center
Tropical Depression Eight Expected to Become a Tropical Storm
Tropical Depression Eight is tracking through the Gulf of Mexico and is likely to become a tropical storm before it slides inland over Texas by Saturday, according to Weather.com.
Looking at the National Hurricane Center's 4:00 p.m. update, Number 8 is located about 385 miles east-southeast pf Port O'Conner, Texas. The tropical depression is packing maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 kph) and is moving to the west-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph). Its minimum central pressure is 1,006 Mb or 29.71 inches.
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National Hurricane Center
With the latest update comes new tropical storm warnings 0 issued for a portion of the Texas coast from Port Mansfield to San Luis Pass. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
Because observations have indicated a strengthening of the thunderstorms associated with this system, Tropical Depression 8 is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Hanna before it reaches the coast either late Friday or Saturday.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, in a prepared statement said: "As this Tropical Depression approaches the Lone Star State, we are taking the necessary precautions to keep Texans safe, These resources I have rostered will help our communities respond to the severe weather and possible flash floods caused by this Tropical Depression. Throughout the weekend, Texans should heed the guidance from local officials and remain vigilant against this severe weather to keep themselves and their loved ones safe."
The lower third of Texas can expect one to three inches of rain, while some locations could see over 3 inches of rain, from the lower to middle Texas coast and parts of south-central Texas, according to the National Hurricane Center. Residents can expect areas of high surf, rip currents and possibly some minor coastal flooding from this system.
More about Tropical storms, Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, Triple Threat
 
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