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Hanna, taking dead aim on the Texas coast, became the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season on Saturday and was expected to strike the coast by the early evening, the National Hurricane Center said.
It barreled through the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Douglas continued to churn toward Hawaii in the Pacific with a threat of heavy rain and hurricane-strength winds starting Sunday. Meanwhile, a weakening Tropical Storm Gonzalo was expected to dissipate in the Caribbean by Monday.
While 2020 has been crushing records for earliest named storms in the Atlantic – including Cristobal, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, and now Hanna – hurricane experts note that the storms so far have been weak and short-lived.
But the peak of hurricane season is still weeks away, and long-range forecasts for the rest of the year indicate an active season is likely. In fact, forecasters from the federal government predicted that up to 19 named storms would form, of which six to 10 would be hurricanes.
USA TODAY hurricane tracker: Track all of the current tropical storms and hurricanes
Here’s a look at each storm and what to know this weekend:
Hanna gains hurricane strength as it nears Texas coast
Tropical Storm Hanna morphed into Hurricane Hanna on Saturday — the Atlantic’s first of the season — as it churned toward the Texas coast for expected landfall Saturday, bringing the threat of a dangerous storm surge before weakening quickly inland, forecasters said.
A hurricane warning was in effect from Port Mansfield to Mesquite Bay, Texas.
Hanna is expected to produce 6 to 12 inches of rain with isolated maximum totals of 18 inches through Sunday night in south Texas, the National Hurricane Center said. “This rain may result in life-threatening flash flooding, rapid rises on small streams, and isolated minor to moderate river flooding,” the center warned.
Along the coast, swells from the storm were forecast to “cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” the hurricane center said.
Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday that resources were on standby across the state in anticipation of the storm.
As of 8 a.m. EST Saturday, the center of Hanna was located about 100 miles east southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, the hurricane center said. It had maximum sustained winds around 75 mph and was moving west-northwest at 9 mph.
Hanna broke the record as the earliest eighth Atlantic named storm; The previous record was Harvey on Aug. 3, 2005, Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach tweeted.
Hawaii braces for Hurricane Douglas
Though still hundreds of miles from Hawaii, the state was bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Douglas, which was expected to move across the island chain on Sunday.
Hawaii Gov. David Ige issued a state of emergency as the storm approached.
At 8 a.m. EST Saturday, Hurricane Douglas was 485 miles east of Hilo and packing maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, making it a Category 2 storm. It’s expected to weaken as it passes over cooler water but meteorologists warn that strong winds, heavy rainfall and dangerous surf could afflict the entire state beginning Sunday.
Douglas is forecast to be near hurricane strength when it approaches the Hawaiian Islands, the hurricane center said.
Local authorities in Hawaii were urging most people to shelter at home if they can. John Cummings, the public information officer for Honolulu Emergency Management, said that going to a city-run shelter should be a last resort.
Read this: A busy hurricane season and the coronavirus pandemic ‘is a cataclysmic scenario’
Tropical Storm Gonzalo loses bid as Atlantic’s first hurricane of the season
Tropical Storm Gonzalo weakened as it moved toward the Windward Islands of the Caribbean on Saturday, losing prospects of becoming the Atlantic’s first hurricane of the season, the hurricane center said.
As of 8 a.m EST Saturday, Gonzalo was about 100 miles east of Trinidad, packing sustained winds of 40 mph as the storm moved to the west at 18 mph.
The system is expected to dissipate by Sunday night or Monday after moving over the southeastern Caribbean Sea, according to the center.
Gonzalo is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 1 to 3 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 5 inches in Barbados and the Windward Islands through Sunday night, the NHC said.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Hurricane season 2020: It’s off to a 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 season
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