Tropical Storm Beta continued to churn slowly westward in the western Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, and the National Hurricane Center warned it could get stronger.
And it’s not going anywhere soon. The latest forecast track shows Beta hugging the Texas and Louisiana coasts practically all week as both a hurricane and a tropical storm.
That is raising concerns about heavy rainfall along parts of the coast, and the hurricane center warned that “there is an increasing risk of significant rainfall and flooding” in Texas and Louisiana from Sunday through the middle of next week.
As of Saturday Beta is expected to be more of a problem for Texas and Louisiana and not Alabama, but showers associated with the deep moisture from the storm persisted across parts of south Alabama all day Saturday.
There’s a chance Alabama will see more rain from Beta, but not until late next week, and there is a lot of uncertainty about where the heaviest rain could fall.
Beta, which became a tropical storm on Friday, had top winds of 60 mph as of Saturday night and is forecast to be near hurricane strength when it approaches the Texas coast on Monday or Tuesday, according to the hurricane center.
Hurricane-force winds begin at 74 mph.
As of 7 p.m. CDT Saturday, Beta was located about 330 miles east-southeast of Corpus Christi, Texas, and was not moving at all, according to the hurricane center.
A storm surge warning was issued for parts of Texas on Saturday, and a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch were also in effect for parts of Texas and Louisiana.
The official forecast path takes Beta slowly toward the Texas coast, then turns the storm to the north and shows its center running near — or over — the coast into Louisiana.
Hurricane conditions will be possible along the Texas coast by late Monday, forecasters said.
Here’s a look at watches and warnings as of Saturday night:
*A Storm Surge Warning is in effect from Port Aransas to High Island, Texas, including Copano Bay, Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay, Matagorda Bay and Galveston Bay.
* A Storm Surge Watch is in effect from Baffin Bay to Port Aransas, Texas, including Baffin Bay and Corpus Christi Bay as well as High Island, Texas, to Cameron, La., including Sabine Lake and Lake Calcasieu.
* A Hurricane Watch is in effect from Port Aransas to High Island in Texas.
* A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Port Aransas, Texas, to Intracoastal City, La.
* A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from south of Port Aransas, Texas, to the mouth of the Rio Grande as well as from east of Intracoastal City to Morgan City, La.
ELSEWHERE IN THE ATLANTIC
The hurricane center also continued to track powerful Hurricane Teddy in the central Atlantic on Saturday.
The center of Teddy is forecast to pass to the east of Bermuda, but a tropical storm warning is in effect for the island.
Teddy was a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds on Saturday.
Also out there is Tropical Storm Wilfred, or “woeful Wilfred,” as the hurricane center called it on Saturday.
Wilfred, which formed on Friday (along with Subtropical Storm Alpha and Beta), had winds of 40 mph and is forecast to become a remnant low in a few days.
Forecasters are also watching the remnants of Hurricane Paulette, which were located near the Azores in the northeast Atlantic on Saturday.
There’s a chance Paulette could pull a 2020 and re-strengthen into a tropical or subtropical depression or storm next week while not moving much.
It had a 60 percent chance of becoming a depression or storm in the next five days, up from 50 percent earlier today.