BY RICHARD TRIBOU AND TIFFINI THEISEN
ORLANDO – While Hurricane Dorian made its way closer to Florida, Tropical Storm Fernand formed in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, and Tropical Storm Gabrielle formed Wednesday morning in the far east Atlantic.
For Fernand, the government of Mexico updated its tropical storm warning for the northeast coast of Mexico from Puerto Altamira to the Mouth of the Rio Grande River.
As of 8 a.m., Tropical Storm Fernand was about 45 miles southeast of La Pesca, Mexico with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and moving west at 6 mph. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles.
It’s expected to drop 6 to 12 inches of rain with isolated pockets of 18 inches in Mexico that could cause life-threatening mudslides and flash floods, the National Hurricane Center said. South Texas and the lower Texas coast is expected to receive 2 to 4 inches of rain with isolated areas of 6 inches.
In the Atlantic, Tropical Depression 8 grew to become Tropical Storm Gabrielle overnight. As of 5 a.m., the storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was located 680 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands moving northwest at 10 mph.
In the mid-Atlantic, a trough of low pressure located several hundred miles south-southeast of Bermuda, is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms, the hurricane center added. The chance of a tropical depression forming from this storm is 50% in the next 48 hours and also 50% in the next five days.
And on the heels of Tropical Storm Gabrielle is another tropical wave projected to form between Africa and the Cape Verde Islands that could likely form into another tropical depression by late this week. The hurricane center puts chances of formation at 60% in the next five days.
After Tropical Storm Fernand and Tropical Storm Gabrielle, the next named storms would be Tropical Storm Humberto and Tropical Storm Imelda.
The hurricane season typically peaks between mid-August and late October.
In 2004, Florida saw four hurricanes strike between August and September when hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne pummeled the state in short order.