NEW YORK • Three separate storms – two in the Atlantic Ocean and one in the Pacific – have prompted a series of weather warnings and watches for some islands in the Caribbean and parts of Texas and Hawaii in the US.
Tropical Storm Hanna, in the Gulf of Mexico, continued to strengthen on Friday afternoon.
It was expected to become a Category 1 hurricane, with winds of about 122kmh, when it was set to make landfall yesterday afternoon, the National Hurricane Centre said.
A hurricane warning was also issued for parts of the Central Texas coast, from Port Mansfield to Mesquite Bay.
Officials expected storm conditions to reach the Texas coast by yesterday morning.
The centre also warned of a “life-threatening storm surge” along parts of the Texas coast, and heavy rain across southern Texas and north-eastern Mexico that could result in flooding.
“The primary threat from this is going to be rainfall,” meteorologist Dennis Feltgen, who is also spokesman for the centre, said on Friday.
The day before, Texas Governor Greg Abbott placed numerous resources on standby in anticipation of the storm’s arrival.
By Friday, he had started urging residents to heed guidance from local officials and to prepare for the storm.
Meanwhile, Douglas, a Category 3 hurricane, had crossed over from the eastern Pacific Ocean to the central Pacific Ocean on Friday, Mr Feltgen said.
The storm was still on track to approach Hawaii, he said.
According to the National Hurricane Centre, maximum sustained winds were around 185kmh, with higher gusts on Friday night.
Hawaii Governor David Ige issued a pre-landfall emergency proclamation last Thursday, which authorised the spending of state funds for quick and efficient disaster relief.
Mr Feltgen said: “The good news is that the storm is going to gradually weaken today, through the weekend, because it will be tracking over some cooler water.”
Douglas was still expected to be at or near hurricane strength when it approached closer to the eastern end of the Hawaiian islands by yesterday evening or today, he added.
“And we don’t just focus on the wind. You have to look at the water impacts on this thing as well,” Mr Feltgen said.
“Very heavy rainfall. They could be looking at some flash flooding and tremendously rough surf.”
Separately, Tropical Storm Gonzalo continued moving towards the Windward Islands in the Caribbean on Friday afternoon, the National Hurricane Centre said.
Mr Feltgen said it appeared that Gonzalo would not reach hurricane strength, noting that the storm’s winds had decreased to 72kmh.
The government of Barbados had cancelled its hurricane watch for the island, the centre said, but a tropical storm warning remained in effect for the area.
Tobago and Grenada were under a tropical storm warning.