Hanna Roars Into Southern Texas as a Hurricane Today

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Hanna to become a hurricane shortly…system is an over-achiever striking Baffin Bay area 3-4PM today.

Fig. 1: Morning satellite view of the Gulf of Mexico and Climate Impact Company forecast track for Tropical Storm Hanna.

Discussion: At 5AM EDT Tropical Storm Hanna was located at 27.0N/95.8W or 115 miles east-southeast of Corpus Christi, TX moving west at 9 mph with top wind 70 mph and pressure 988 MB. An upgrade to a category 1 hurricane is imminent – Hanna looks to already be at that intensity based on the surface pressure. The over-achieving low surface pressure will continue to the coast. Climate Impact Company indicates 985 MB at landfall 3-4PM in the Baffin Bay area. Its possible surface pressure could be closer to 980 MB in which case Hanna could reach borderline category 2 intensity. NOAA/NHC indicates 80 mph wind speeds at landfall near Baffin Bay this afternoon, CIC indicates 85 mph wind (and concern a stronger scenario is possible).

Given the intensifying nature of Hanna approaching the coast the intensity of this storm will be quite high well inland. Hanna is still a tropical storm tomorrow morning once reaching northeast Mexico before dissipating Sunday over the Mexico mountain areas.

Hurricane warnings have expanded and are now in effect from Port Mansfield to Mesquite Bay, TX. A storm surge warning is in effect from Port Mansfield to Sargent, TX.

The tropical storm warning extends south into coastal Northeast Mexico and farther north across Galveston Bay.

On approach and at landfall hurricane force wind will affect the Corpus Christi area south to Baffin Bay. Tropical storm force wind will affect the central Texas to northeast Mexico coast. The peak storm surge is 3-5 feet for Baffin Bay to Sargent, TX which includes the Corpus Christi area.

The rainfall forecast is 6-12 in. across southern Texas with high spots of 18 in. The heavy rain pattern extends to northeast Mexico.

Widespread flooding both from ocean rise and heavy rainfall along the path of Hanna is expected. Corpus Christi to Baffin Bay are in the right front quadrant of inland-moving Hanna putting those locations in the face of the strongest wind (80-85 mph with higher gusts at the coast). The high wind continues (from the south) once Hanna is just inland in this area.

A showery/thundery pattern stays in effect for the Texas/Louisiana coast for days after Hanna has gone inland later today.

Fig. 2: The NOAA/NHC forecast track for Tropical Storm Hanna. The 3-5 foot storm surge warning is in the hurricane warning zone.

Fig. 3-4: NOAA/NHC hurricane and tropical storm force wind profile forecast.

Fig. 5: NOAA/NHC rainfall outlook caused by Hanna.

Fig. 6: Tropical cyclone models and their max wind speed forecast for Hanna.