ORLANDO, Fla. — The National Hurricane Center remains attentive to several storm systems in the Atlantic including still-large Hurricane Teddy, a new tropical system with odds of development over South Florida and Tropical Storm Beta migrating toward Texas.
First, Hurricane Teddy was gradually losing tropical characteristics Monday, giving up 20 mph of maximum sustained wind speed while doubling its forward movement.
Tropical storm wind gusts and big waves battered Bermuda on Monday as the storm spun just east of the wealthy British territory, sparing it a direct hit.
Hurricane Teddy was generating large swells across the U.S. Atlantic coast and northern Caribbean, with officials in Puerto Rico reporting two drownings and the rescue of one boogie boarder.
Bermuda discontinued a tropical storm warning Monday evening, while residents were warned of the storm’s approach in Lower East Pubnico to Main-a-Dieu Nova Scotia, Canada.
It was the second time in a week that the island had braced for a hurricane, Hurricane Paulette made landfall in Bermuda on Sept. 14 as a Category 1 storm and then strengthened into a Category 2, knocking down trees and leaving thousands without power.
Although Teddy has lost some of its defined structure as a result of passing through cold waters upwelled by Hurricane Paulette, the storm is expected to gain some strength by Wednesday night.
Teddy, which earlier in the week had 140 mph winds and was the season’s second major hurricane, still has hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 70 miles from its center and tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 230 miles.
Next, as Tropical Storm Beta neared the Texas coast Monday, the biggest unknown was how much rainfall it could produce in areas that have already seen their share of damaging weather during a busy hurricane season.
Beta’s winds were weakening as it got closer to making landfall sometime Monday evening and the storm was not expected to strengthen into a hurricane. But its path along the Texas coast over the next couple of days once it gets inland could produce bands of showers with heavy rainfall, forecasters said. Rain from Beta was already coming down Monday in the Houston area.
Beta has maximum sustained winds of 45 mph, and is moving northwest at 5 mph. The storm was about 25 miles southeast of Port O’Connor, Texas, Monday evening.
Beta is forecast to dump heavy rain on the southwestern corner of Louisiana three weeks after the same area got pounded by Hurricane Laura. The rainfall and storm surge prompted Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards to declare a state of emergency.
In Lake Charles, Mayor Nic Hunter worried that Beta’s rainfall could set back efforts in his community to recover after Laura, which damaged about 95% of the city’s 30,000 structures. Hunter said the worry of another storm was “an emotional and mental toll for a lot of our citizens.”
Beta would be the ninth named storm to make landfall in the continental U.S. this year. That would tie a record set in 1916, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.
The NHC is also monitoring two systems with odds of becoming the next tropical depression or tropical storm including a weak frontal system associated with an area of showers and thunderstorms hanging over South Florida.
The disturbance is forecast to move south toward Cuba, and then turn around Thursday back toward Florida into the weekend. If it does and becomes a tropical storm, it will receive the Greek letter Gamma as its name.
Post-tropical cyclone Paulette is the second system the NHC is monitoring as a small area of showers and thunderstorms is not far to the northeast of its center of circulation.
Forecasters anticipate some development from the system to either regain its tropical status or a subtropical classification Monday or Tuesday. The system is moving east between 10 to 15 mph, and has a 60% chance of developing over the next two to five days as it moves past the Azores.
The hurricane season officially runs from June 1-Nov. 30, but 2020 saw two storms form before June 1, and still has more than 10 weeks to go.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.