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Tropical Storm Hanna and Hurricane Douglas continued to churn toward U.S. shores Friday, both threatening a weekend impact of heavy rain and wind. Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Gonzalo was taking aim on the Caribbean.
While 2020 has been crushing records for earliest named storms in the Atlantic – including Cristobal, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, and now Hanna – hurricane experts noted 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 as we head into the weekend:
Tropical Storm Hanna nearing Texas coast
Tropical Storm Hanna was predicted to hit the south Texas coast Saturday afternoon, forecasters said, potentially as a Category 1 hurricane.
Hanna is expected to produce 4 to 8 inches of rain with isolated maximum totals of 12 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 midday Friday, the center of Hanna was located about 230 miles east of Corpus Christi, Texas, the hurricane center said. It had maximum sustained winds around 50 mph and was moving west-northwest at 9 mph.
Hanna broke the record as the earliest eighth Atlantic named storm, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach. The previous record was Harvey on Aug. 3, 2005, 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 for Hawaii as the storm approached.
Early Friday, Hurricane Douglas was 895 miles southeast of Hilo and packing maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, making it a Category 3 storm. It’s expected to weaken as it passes over cooler water but meteorologists warn 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.
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Tropical Storm Gonzalo may become Atlantic’s first hurricane of the season
Tropical Storm Gonzalo was taking aim on the Windward Islands of the Caribbean, with the storm expected to impact the region Saturday, the hurricane center said.
As of midday Friday, Gonzalo’s winds were sustained at 45 mph as the storm moved to the west at 15 mph.
Gonzalo still has a small chance at becoming the Atlantic’s first hurricane of the season prior to reaching the Windward Islands, and a hurricane watch is in effect for Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, AccuWeather said.
However, “time may be running out for the tiny storm to become a hurricane,” AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
Even if the storm doesn’t become a hurricane, Gonzalo is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 5 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 7 inches in Barbados and the Windward Islands through Sunday night, the hurricane center said.
After passing through the Windward Islands, the storm is expected to weaken further as it moves into the Caribbean Sea.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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