Floods and tornadoes: Tropical storm Beta approaches the USA
More than 10 million people are in the storm warning area as Tropical Storm Beta approaches land. Writes about it CNN.
The outer boundaries of Tropical Storm Beta will affect the Texas coast.
Official landfalls are expected very late Monday, September 21, or early Tuesday, September 22, but Texans must prepare for tropical storm weather from late Sunday through early Monday.
Stormy weather is already being felt in areas of the southwest coast of Louisiana.
Storm surge warning also applies from Port Aransas, TX to the Rockefeller Wildlife Sanctuary in Louisiana, where storm surges of 2 to 4 feet (0,6-1,2 m) are possible.
"Individuals in these areas must take all necessary measures to protect life and property from rising water and the possibility of other hazardous conditions," said the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
Here is a video of the end of the 61st Pier breaking off and floating away shortly after 10pm tonight.
- NWS Houston (@NWSHouston) September 21, 2020
Flooding can happen without warning
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards urged residents to prepare for the storm.
“Prepare for heavy rains and the threat of storm surges and flooding in parts of the state due to tropical storm Beta,” Edwards said.
The Texas Operations Center triggered a Level II threat declaration and enhanced response conditions. Governor Greg Abbott urged residents to listen to local government advice.
Texas officials warn that rains, flash floods and occasional tornadoes can happen with little or no warning.
“We will continue to monitor the storm closely and work with officials to ensure the safety of Texas residents,” Abbott said.
A total of 8 to 12 inches (20-30 cm) of rain is forecast, with occasional rainfall up to 20 inches (50 cm) from the mid-Texas coast to southern Louisiana until Thursday, September 24.
In Galveston, Texas, authorities said severe flooding could occur on Monday, September 21, during high tide morning.
- Robert Phillips (@bamajackhole) September 20, 2020
Voluntary evacuation has been announced for several parts of the county, including residents west of the Galveston Waterfront and Jamaica Beach.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city will be "very closely" watching the storm, and what happens on Monday will determine what officials will recommend to residents.
"Whether or not we ask people to stay at home, whether testing centers close, it will depend on what we see," Turner said.
Beta travels at a dangerously slow 6 miles (9,6 km) per hour northwest.
The storm has sustained winds at 60 mph (96,5 km per hour), approximately 120 miles (193 km) southeast of Galveston.
But at such a slow pace, the storm is still dangerous.
By comparison, the average person walks 3-4 miles per hour. Hurricane Sally hit the shore at 3 miles per hour. Florence came ashore at 6 mph and Harvey at 7, but both storms slowed down very quickly after reaching land and caused severe flooding.
Beta is battling strong wind shear and dry air in the Gulf of Mexico, which is holding back the storm's intensification.
The presence of a "high wind shear" environment prevents the storm from intensifying. The atmospheric environment with "low shear" is favorable for further development and enhancement.
The shift also makes the storm very asymmetric, with most of the rain and strongest winds occurring north and northeast of center.
- Mark Sudduth (@hurricanetrack) September 20, 2020
Historic Atlantic hurricane season
Beta is named after the second letter of the Greek alphabet.
NHC ran out of names for the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season and only started using the Greek alphabet for the second time in human history.
Another time was in 2005, when the season brought so many storms that it ran out of 21 titles.
Atlantic hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30. With two months left, 2020 could easily surpass the record set in 2005.
There have been nearly double the average number of storms this season, with 23 storms named so far. The average hurricane season is 12.
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