Hanna Becomes First Hurricane of 2020 Atlantic Season as It Heads to Texas Coast

Hanna Becomes First Hurricane of 2020 Atlantic Season as It Heads to Texas Coast
Hanna strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane and is expected to make landfall in southern Texas on July 25, 2020. (CNN Weather)

MIAMI—Tropical Storm Hanna was upgraded to a hurricane Saturday, moving toward the Texas coast and threatening to bring heavy rain, storm surge and possible tornadoes, all while another tropical storm approaches the Caribbean.

Hanna is the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its Saturday morning update. The storm is forecasted to make landfall in Texas on Saturday afternoon or evening.

Maximum sustained winds had increased to 75 mph (120 kph). The storm was centered about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, and was moving west at 9 mph (15 kph).

A storm surge warning in effect from Baffin Bay to Sargent was extended south of the bay to Port Mansfield, Texas. Storm surge up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) was forecast for that area. People were advised to protect life and property from high water.

Tornadoes were also possible Saturday for parts of the lower to middle Texas coastal plain, forecasters said. A hurricane warning remained in effect for Port Mansfield to Mesquite Bay, and a tropical storm warning was still in effect from Barra el Mezquital, Mexico, to Port Mansfield, Texas, and from Mesquite Bay to High Island, Texas.

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A surfer catches a barrel ride, as swell waves approach the coast of South Padre Island, due to Tropical Storm Hanna approaching the Texas Gulf Coast, Texas, on July 24, 2020. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP)
Tropical Weather
Galveston Island Beach Patrol lifeguard Matthew Herdrich walks along the rock groin at 39th Street in Galveston, Texas, as waves kicked up by Tropical Storm Hanna wash over it, on July 24, 2020. (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Forecasters said Hanna could bring 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters) of rain through Sunday night— with isolated totals of 18 inches (46 centimeters)—in addition to coastal swells that could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Gonzalo was still on track to move across the southern Windward Islands on Saturday afternoon or evening. Gonzalo was moving west near 18 mph (30 kph) with maximum sustained winds at 40 mph (65 kph), the National Hurricane Center said Saturday morning.

Gonzalo is forecast to bring 1 to 3 inches (3 to 8 centimeters) of rain, with isolated totals of 5 inches (13 centimeters). A tropical storm warning was in effect for Tobago and Grenada and its dependencies. The storm was expected to dissipate by Sunday night or Monday, forecasters said.

Gonzalo and Hanna broke the record for the earliest seventh and eighth Atlantic named storms, respectively, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach. The previous records were Gert on July 24, 2005, and Harvey on Aug. 3, 2005, Klotzbach said.

Cristobal, Danielle, Edouard and Fay also set records for being the earliest named Atlantic storm for their alphabetic order.

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