(WKBN) — Tropical Storm Harold formed in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, which makes it the fourth named storm in the past couple of days. The difference between Harold and the other storms is that Harold will actually impact the United States over the next 24-48 hours.
Currently, Harold is located over the western Gulf of Mexico with maximum sustained wind gusts of 45 miles per hour.
Harold will make landfall this afternoon with wind gusts around 50 miles per hour, heavy rain and lightning. Harold will then push into the arid regions of Texas and Mexico, which will cause the storm to weaken significantly over the next 24-48 hours.
The rainfall will actually be beneficial to south Texas, which is experiencing areas of extreme drought and exceptional drought. South Texas is forecast to receive anywhere between 1-3″ of rain, but some locations could pick up as much as 6″ as the storm moves through.
The tropical activity in the Atlantic has increased significantly over the past few days. Just yesterday, there were four named storms: Emily, Franklin, Gert and Harold. Thankfully, Gert and Emily were weak storms that have already dissipated for the most part.
Tropical Storm Franklin is currently forecast to make landfall in Hispaniola early Wednesday morning with maximum wind gusts of 65 miles per hour, heavy rainfall and lightning.
Franklin will then turn to the west and continue to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane by Saturday. Then, the future of Franklin becomes uncertain. Forecast models over a few days out must be taken with a grain of salt; however, it is important to attempt to forecast the future path of the storm.
The graphic below is known as a “spaghetti model.” This map shows multiple forecast tracks from different weather forecast models. It is called a spaghetti model because all of the different tracks look like spaghetti noodles.
Most of the models show Franklin meandering in the Atlantic before taking a track off to the north and east. Currently, the storm is still not forecast to make landfall in the U.S., but if the storm tracked similarly to the models above, then it would definitely cause rough seas over the area.
The Storm Team 27 meteorologists will continue to keep you posted on any tropical activity through the rest of the season.