Update 1 PM August 20
Grace has strengthened as she continues the westward track through the southwestern Gulf of Mexico and is forecast to become a category 2 hurricane before making landfall with 105 mph sustained winds.
The storm is expected to produce rainfall amounts of 6 to 12 inches with isolated totals up to 18 inches over Veracruz, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, northern Queretaro, and eastern San Luis Potosi through Sunday. Heavy rainfall from Grace will result in areas of flash and urban flooding as well as mudslides.
High surf generated by Grace will affect the southern Gulf of Mexico coastline today and continue into the weekend. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
Update 2 PM August 19
Grace has weakened to a tropical storm as she moved over the Yucatan Peninsula today. Re-intensification is likely after the center reaches the Gulf of Mexico. Grace is forecast to be a hurricane when it makes its second landfall on the mainland coast of Mexico late Friday or early Saturday. Rapid weakening is expected after Grace moves inland over central Mexico.
Landfall of the system is expected to be far south of South Texas, however we will see a round of life-threatening rip currents and rough seas as well as minor coastal flooding along the Gulf-facing beaches beginning late Thursday night and continuing through Sunday.
Update 2:30 PM August 18
Grace is expected to make landfall in the eastern Yucatan Peninsula Thursday morning, move over the Yucatan Peninsula on Thursday, and move over the southwest Gulf of Mexico Thursday night or early Friday.
Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast before the center of Grace reaches the Yucatan Peninsula. Weakening will occur while the center moves over the Yucatan Peninsula on Thursday, with restrengthening expected when Grace moves over the southwest Gulf of Mexico on Friday.
Hurricane conditions are expected within the warning area in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico late Wednesday night or early Thursday, with tropical storm conditions beginning as early as this evening.
Grace is expected to produce the following rainfall amounts: Over the Cayman Islands, portions of the Yucatan Peninsula and Veracruz State of Mexico....4 to 8 inches with isolated maximum totals of 12 inches are expected through Friday night. This heavy rainfall could lead to flash and urban flooding, with mudslides possible in Veracruz.
Landfall of the system is expected to be well south of South Texas, however rough seas are likely in the Middle Texas coastal waters creating potentially life-threatening conditions with rough waves and dangerous rip currents along gulf facing beaches from Friday through the weekend.
Update 12:30 PM August 17
We've been closely monitoring the forecast path of Grace and it continues to look like it will stay south of us, making landfall in Mexico early Saturday. Although Grace took a similar track as Fred initially, steering currents are taking it west rather than turning it north as Fred did.
Grace is not expected to affect south Texas directly, but will send higher period swells to south Texas this weekend and give us a high rip current risk.
Not much change in intensity is likely through this afternoon while the circulation of Grace interacts with the island of Jamaica. Grace will be over the very high heat content waters of the northwestern Caribbean Sea with modestly low vertical shear tonight and Wednesday and strengthening is expected. Grace will likely become a hurricane tomorrow and continue to intensify before moving over the Yucatan Peninsula. The interaction with land is expected to temporarily interrupt strengthening but some reintensification is expected over the Bay of Campeche in 3-4 days.
Tropical Storm Grace is bringing heavy rain and tropical storm force winds over Jamaica today as it continues on it's westward track. 3 to 6 inches of rain with isolated maximum
totals of 10 inches are expected through Thursday over far southern Cuba, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and portions of the Yucatan Peninsula.
A general westward to west-northwestward motion is expected for the next several days. Grace is forecast to move near or over the Cayman Islands late tonight and early Wednesday, and then approach the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico late Wednesday or early Thursday.
Tropical Storm Grace became the seventh named storm of the season on Saturday but has weakened to a tropical depression. Some strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Grace is expected to become a tropical storm again by Tuesday.
Grace is moving across southern Dominican Republic and Haiti today bringing 5 to 10 inches of rain with isolated maximum totals of 15 inches expected which may lead to flash and urban flooding, and possible mudslides. This comes as Haiti recovers from Saturday’s 7.2-magnitude earthquake, which killed over 1,200 people.
Grace is then is expected to travel between Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands on Tuesday and Wednesday bringing 2 to 4 inches of rain with isolated maximum totals of 6 inches.
Grace is forecast to move across the northern Yucatan Peninsula Wednesday night and Thursday as a tropical storm then travel west through the southwestern Gulf. At this time, it is forecast to make landfall near Tampico Mexico Saturday.
At this time, it is not forecast to come to the Coastal Bend but will be closely monitored through the week.