Rio Grande Valley and northern Mexico receive a gift from the tropics: a rainy weekend
Some communities in the region saw some much-needed rain this weekend, thanks to a wave of tropical weather that bathed northeastern Mexico and deep South Texas.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) tracked a system called Potential Tropical Cyclone 4 throughout the weekend.
Initial expectations that it could strengthen into Tropical Storm Danielle steadily faded as Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft sent into the tempest consistently reported the lack of further development. Satellite imagery agreed with those evaluations.
Forecasters expected the storm, also called Invest 99L, to move ashore on Saturday afternoon or evening south of Brownsville and then push into the Valley.
Nevertheless, a tropical storm warning remained in effect through Sunday morning for both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, from Port Mansfield to Brownsville, and from there to Boca de Catan in Mexico.
The NHC explained that a warning means "that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next 12 to 24 hours."
🔴🔄Potencial de Ciclón Tropical Cuatro se acerca a la costa centro-norte de Tamaulipas, donde estará ingresando esta tarde-noche— 🌧Meteorología México🌧 (@InfoMeteoro) August 20, 2022
⛈️Lluvias dispersas y fuertes con viento arrachado se presentarían, extendiendo eventos aislados a Nuevo León. pic.twitter.com/6jxyXXGcbW
The NHC weather update added that rainfall in that area could range between one to three inches, with isolated areas receiving up to five inches "along the eastern coast of Mexico from the northern portions of the state of Veracruz across the state of Tamaulipas to Nuevo Leon through today."
So far, the only threat to South Texas was a wet weekend.
"Right now, the biggest threat to South Texas is going to be a marginal risk of excessive rainfall," said Eric Forinash, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Corpus Christi. "
He added that parts of South Texas may see one to three inches of rain, with the possibility of localized flash flooding in some areas.
7AM Tropical Update: PTC #Four is moving NW towards the NE Mexico Coast, could develop into a Tropical Storm before making landfall late this afternoon. S TX has a marginal risk of excessive rainfall through tonight & a HIGH rip current risk tonight & Sunday. Stay informed! #txwx pic.twitter.com/0BMVP3M3wl— NWS Corpus Christi (@NWSCorpus) August 20, 2022
Updates also warned of flooding from a storm surge of one to two feet above standard tide levels in the affected coastal areas of northern Mexico and deep South Texas.
The dangers from high winds and rip currents would also pose a threat to coastal communities.
"After moving inland," the NHC explained, "quick weakening is expected and the disturbance is forecast to dissipate by Sunday night over southern Texas."
Rain chances continue tonight as deep tropical moisture spreads across the region. Expect muggy conditions to accompany lows dipping into the mid 70s to low 80s. Also, a Small Craft Advisory will be in effect from this evening through Sunday morning.#txwx #stxwx pic.twitter.com/jbNNtq7H7V— NWS Corpus Christi (@NWSCorpus) August 20, 2022
The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season has been relatively quiet so far. But forecasters still expect an above-normal season, according to an annual mid-season update issued in early August by the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center.
It called for 14-20 named storms, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes. Of those, three to five could become major hurricanes.
So far, the Atlantic season has seen at least three named storms — Alex, Bonnie and Colin — and no hurricanes. However, Bonnie crossed Central America, entered the Pacific and strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane. But it quickly weakened as it moved north.
An average hurricane season produces 14 named storms, of which seven become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
Brian Kirkpatrick contributed to this report.