BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Tropical Storm Hanna continues to slowly get better organized and the Hurricane Hunters found that maximum winds have increased to 45 mph as of 10 a.m. Friday.
In case you missed it, the upgraded tropical storm status Thursday night made Hanna the earliest 8th named storm on record, surpassing Harvey, which developed Aug. 3, 2017.
The official forecast shows Hanna making landfall along the central or southern Texas coast by Saturday afternoon as a strong tropical storm, but minimal hurricane status is not completely out of the question.
Even as Hanna tracks farther away from Louisiana, a broad fetch of moisture on its eastern side will continue to stream into the local area.
Showers and thunderstorms are likely Friday, with just about everybody expected to get rain at some point. The potential for some locally heavy rainfall is also a bit higher Friday, especially for areas closer to the coast. Clouds and rains should keep highs in the mid to upper 80s for most.
The rainy pattern continues through the weekend, with rain chances of 70% to 80%. As previously discussed, a second disturbance tracking toward the northern Gulf Coast by Sunday will help keep the rainy pattern going even as Hanna moves into northern Mexico.
The somewhat rainy pattern looks to persist through at least the mid part of next week, with seven-day rain totals expected to average 2″ to 5″ locally.
Elsewhere in the tropics, Gonzalo remains a tropical storm as of Friday morning and the window on it potentially becoming a hurricane may be closing.
In fact, the official forecast no longer shows it reaching hurricane strength at any point. The good news is we now have increased confidence that Gonzalo will eventually dissipate after moving into the Caribbean.
On the heels of Gonzalo, another strong tropical wave has emerged from Africa and the National Hurricane Center gives that one a 30% chance of development as of Friday morning. This system may be one to watch, with some of our guidance showing the potential for a strengthening storm moving into the Caribbean next week.
And finally, it’s worth mentioning Hurricane Douglas in the Central Pacific. Douglas is a major Category 3 hurricane with winds of 120 mph as of Friday morning.
While expected to weaken some, it could reach the Hawaiian Islands as a hurricane by the weekend. Hurricane landfalls in Hawaii are quite rare, with the last being Iniki in 1992.
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