Hermine prompts hurricane watches in Mexico, Texas
Miami (AFP) Sept 6, 2010
Tropical Storm Hermine pushed north in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, strengthening as it headed toward the US-Mexico border area and threatening storm surges and mudslides, forecasters said.
Hermine, the eighth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, was packing sustained winds of 60 miles (95 kilometers) per hour at 2100 GMT after picking up strength during the day, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
The storm was expected to make landfall later Monday or early Tuesday along the coast of northeastern Mexico or southern Texas, forecasters from the Miami-based NHC said.
The Mexican government issued a hurricane watch from Rio San Fernando to the mouth of the Rio Grande, which is on the US border. The watch extends as far north as Baffin Bay, Texas.
Although Hermine's top winds were below hurricane strength, the NHC warned that the storm "could approach hurricane strength prior to landfall." Tropical storm warnings were in effect on both sides of the border.
Forecasters said the system would dump between four to eight inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of rain on northeastern Mexico and south Texas, with up to 12 inches possible.
"These rainfall amounts may cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides, especially over the higher terrain of northeastern Mexico," the center said.
It warned a storm surge of two to four feet (up to 1.2 meters) was also possible.
"Isolated tornadoes are possible along the lower and middle Texas coast beginning this evening and continuing overnight."
Hermine's eye was 70 miles (110 kilometers) northeast of La Pesca, Mexico and 100 miles (165 kilometers) southeast of Brownsville, Texas. The storm was moving north at 15 miles (24 kilometers) an hour.
The track calls for the storm to move up into central Texas on Wednesday and Thursday.
Hermine is the latest storm to form after Hurricane Earl, which gained category four status at its height, whipped up heavy winds along the east coast of the United States and Canada.
Earl weakened dramatically after making landfall in Canada on Saturday as a category one hurricane but Nova Scotia Power said 80,000 homes were without electricity on Sunday.
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Downgraded to a post-tropical storm, Earl whimpered away from the Canadian coast on Sunday but still managed to knock out power to nearly one million people in the northeast of the country. The storm was about 190 kilometers (120 miles) off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, moving northeast, the Canadian Hurricane Centre said, suggesting it would weaken and be absorbed by a larger depr ... read more
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