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Tropical Storm Beta slowly moving toward Texas coast; Wilfred now a tropical depression

By Paola PĂ©rez, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in Weather News

ORLANDO, Fla. - The National Hurricane Center continues to monitor several storms across the Atlantic basin Sunday, including Hurricane Teddy, Tropical Storm Beta and now Tropical Depression Wilfred.

Tropical Storm Beta, named using the Greek alphabet, continues to slowly churn in the northwestern Gulf Coast toward Texas. This slow motion is expected to "produce a long duration rainfall event from the middle Texas coast to southern Louisiana," according to the National Hurricane Center.

As of 11 a.m. Sunday, TS Beta was located about 180 miles southeast Galveston, Texas, and about 225 miles east-southeast of Port O'Connor, Texas, with sustained winds of 60 mph. It's moving west-northwest at 3 mph.

Several warnings in NHC forecasters' key messages on the storms include the danger of life-threatening storm surge along portions of the Texas and Louisiana coasts, and tropical-storm-force winds along portions of the northwestern Gulf Coast.

Tropical Storm Beta currently has tropical-storm-force winds extending out 195 miles. Increasing swells will affect the Texas and Mexico Gulf Coast over the weekend, and are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions, forecasters said.

The NHC issued numerous Storm Surge Warnings in effect for coastal parts of Texas such as Port Aransas to High Island, Texas - including Copano Bay, Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay, Matagorda Bay, and Galveston Bay.

 

"A slightly faster motion toward the west-northwest is forecast to occur during the next couple of days, followed by a slow down and a turn to the north and northeast Monday night and Tuesday," forecasters said. "On the forecast track, the center of Beta will move toward the coast of Texas and will likely move inland Monday or Monday night, and remain close to the coast of southeastern Texas on Tuesday."

The NHC originally projected Beta to grow at or near hurricane strength over the weekend. A Storm Surge Warning remains in effect from Port Aransas, Texas to Wildlife Refuge, La., as well as a Tropical Storm Warning from Port Aransas to Morgan City, La., and a Tropical Storm Watch from Baffin Bay to Port Aransas, Texas.

"Little change in strength is forecast during the next couple of days before Beta reaches the Texas coast. Weakening is anticipated once Beta moves inland," forecasters said.

Beta formed out of Tropical Depression 22 on Friday.

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