Wet weekend forecast while season’s first hurricane strenghtens

Published 4:13 pm Thursday, August 20, 2015

By Sherry Koonce

The News staff writer

Hurricane Danny on Thursday churned up enough strength to be declared the first hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic season, while local weather conditions remained relatively unchanged to usher in a wet and potentially stormy weekend.

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Danny remains about 1,000 miles east of the Eastern Caribbean Islands, and at this time does not look like it is pose a threat to the U.S.

“At this point there is no indication it is heading this way and the environment is not very favorable for a tropical system to maintain itself,” Tim Humphrey, National Weather Service meteorologist from the Lake Charles office said Thursday.

Danny’s maximum sustained winds increased to 75 mph Thursday with additional strengthening expected during the next two days.

Danny is characterized as a small storm with hurricane-force winds only extending outward up to 10 miles from the center, the U.S. National Hurricane Center reported.

Though its too soon to tell, the current forecast has Danny heading more toward the Puerto Rico area, Humphrey said.

The existence of dry air and wind shear in the area combined with Danny likely going over land will make it difficult for Danny to maintain itself even if the hurricane were headed this way, Humphrey said.

While it is unlikely Danny will make its way to Southeast Texas, daily rounds of showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue in the forecast at least through the weekend, and likely into next week.

A 40 percent chance of rain exists Friday and Friday night. By Saturday rainfall chances decrease to 30 percent and will remain at that level through Tuesday, according to NWS data.

Chance of rain is predicted to decrease to 20 percent by Wednesday.

Current rainfall is the result of a weakened area of high pressure over the past week and a half that allowed a series of low-pressure areas to move onshore from the gulf.

Weekend temperatures will be in the low to mid-90s Friday and Saturday. By Monday mercury will begin to rise, returning to more normal late summer temperatures, Humphrey said.

The most rain seen this last week was along and south of the Interstate 10 corridor, where 3 to 6 inches fell, the NWS reported.

E-mail: sherry.koonce@panews.com

Twitter: skooncePANews