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Disturbance could bring rain to Florida later in week; Tropical Depression Beta weakening over Texas

By Joe Mario Pedersen, Richard Tribou and David Harris, Orlando Sentinel on

Published in Weather News

ORLANDO, Fla. - The National Hurricane Center had a crowded spate of systems to keep track of Tuesday with a disturbance that could impact South Florida later this week, along with a hurricane, tropical storm and depression all swirling throughout the Atlantic Ocean.

First, the NHC is monitoring a system with odds of becoming the next tropical depression or tropical storm, a weak frontal system associated with an area of showers and thunderstorms hanging over Cuba.

The disturbance is forecast to continue moving toward central and western Cuba, and then move back toward Florida Thursday through Saturday, the NHC said in its 2 p.m. update. The system has a 10% chance of developing in the next five days, but could produce locally heavy rainfall in the Florida Keys and South Florida on Thursday and Friday.

If the system develops, it will receive the Greek letter Gamma as its designation.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Beta, which was downgraded into a tropical depression Tuesday morning, further weakened with sustained winds of 30 mph by the evening.

Beta made landfall over Texas as a tropical storm late Monday night the southern end of Matagorda Peninsula.

 

Beta sluggishly moved Tuesday through the Texas coast at 5 mph bringing heavy rainfall with the threat of flash flooding. It is expected to travel northeast through Louisiana by Thursday. The storm is 40 miles north of Port O'Connor, Texas, and 35 miles north-northwest of Matagorda, Texas.

When Beta moved inland, that made it nine named storms to make landfall in the United States - the 2020 total ties the record with 1916 season for most landfalls in the country at this point of the year, said Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach.

Heavy rain is expected to affect a large area of the Texas and Louisiana coast, with about 5 to 10 inches forecast as Beta slowly makes its way northwest. When Beta moves further inland it is forecast to affect a large area of Arkansas bringing 2 to 4 inches of rain.

The storm is also bringing life-threatening storm surge, up to 2 to 4 feet, throughout the Texas and Louisiana coastline over the next couple of days.

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(c)2020 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.), Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
 

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