Latest NHC Update Shows Grace Tracking Toward Texas
According to the 8PM EDT update from from the National Hurricane Center on Sunday, 8/15/2021, Tropical Depression Grace is now expected to track more westerly toward the Texas Coast. Earlier, forecasters predicted Grace would follow Fred’s path toward the Florida Panhandle. However, even if Grace remains on the new track, it would not reach the Texas Coast until Friday night.
Topical storm force winds could arrive almost a day earlier.
Watches and Warnings Already Up for Islands
NHC advises that there is a risk of flash, urban and small stream flooding for islands in the Caribbean.
Forecast Uncertainty Higher than Usual
NHC also advises that forecast uncertainty remains much higher than usual for Grace.
Present movement is directly west (270 degrees) at 15 mph with sustained winds of 35 mph.
Forecaster predict the storm will dump 3-6 inches over Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Four to eight inches could fall on the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Possible Threat to Texas Later This Week
If Grace survives land interaction, it could threaten Texas later this week. It’s important to remember that the storm has an equal chance of hitting any area the cone. The cone does not represent the expected width of the storm and dangerous winds could extend well outside the cone.
NOAA shows sea surface temperatures in the Caribbean and Gulf to be 1-2 degrees Centigrade higher than average. One degree Centigrade = 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Higher sea surface temperatures generally favor stronger storms, though they are by no means the only factor to consider.
Stay tuned for updates. And don’t wait until the last minute to begin preparations.
Posted by Bob Rehak at 7:30 PM CDT on 8/15/2021
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