Tropical Storm Don Bringing Much-Needed Rain to Texas

Posted July 29th, 2011 at 8:30 pm (UTC-5)
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A tropical storm warning was in effect for parts of Texas as Tropical Storm Don approached the coast of the southwestern U.S. state, bringing with it much-needed rain.

Storm warnings had been posted from the mouth of the Rio Grande to Port O'Connor as the weather system swirled in the Gulf of Mexico, moving toward the west-northwest. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said in its latest report that Don was 85 kilometers southeast of Corpus Christi, with 85 kilometer-per-hour winds.

The center of the storm was expected to come ashore near Baffin Bay and move inland across southern Texas. Don was expected to weaken over land and dissipate by Sunday.

Normally, U.S. officials worry about the vast damage that can be caused by tropical storms, and more powerful hurricanes with winds of 120 kilometers an hour or more.

But this time, Texas officials say they are looking for Don to produce much-needed rain. Forecasters expect the system could produce up to 15 centimeters of rain in some areas. That could alleviate water rationing regulations, and provide water for parched lawns and drought-rutted farmlands. The officials say they do not expect to have to order residents near the Gulf of Mexico shoreline to evacuate.

Texas has had months of drought and parts of the state have an annual rain shortage of about 38 centimeters.