Hurricane Dolly Already Making Landfall; Tornado Reported in South Texas

Tropical Storm Dolly strengthened into a Category One Hurricane with 85 mph maximum sustained winds and may get even stronger before her eye makes landfall this morning (July 23, 2008). Dolly's center will be along the coast near the Texas/Mexico border around midday today, according to the National Hurricane Center, but she's already generated one tornado in south Texas this morning.

At 7:00 a.m. EDT, tropical storm force winds were already affecting coastal Texas and northeastern Mexico. The center of hurricane Dolly was located near latitude 25.8 north and longitude 96.6 west or about 55 miles (90 km) east of Brownsville, Texas.

Dolly is moving toward the northwest near 8 mph (13 km/hr) and northwestward to west-northwestward motion with a slight decrease in forward speed is expected today. Minimum central pressure is 972 millibars.

Where are the Warnings and Watches?

A hurricane warning remains in effect for the coast of Texas from Brownsville to Corpus Christi and for the northeastern coast of Mexico from Rio San Fernando northward to the border between Mexico and the U.S. Tropical Storm Warnings are posted for areas north and south of the hurricane warning area.

What Weather Conditions Are Expected?

At 8:00 a.m. EDT, the city of Brownsville, Texas was under a Flood Watch, Hurricane Wind Warning, Tornado Watch, and already a Tornado Warning.

At 7:04 a.m. CDT, The National Weather Service doppler radar indicated a tornado 7 miles north of Harlingen Valley Airport and moving southwest at 46 mph.

In the warning areas, Dolly is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 6 to 10 inches, with isolated amounts of 15 inches over portions of south Texas and northeastern Mexico over the next few days. These rains will likely cause widespread flooding across portions of south Texas and northeast Mexico.

Coastal flooding is another problem. Dolly's storm surge along the coasts will range from 4 to 6 feet above normal tide levels. There will also be large and dangerous battering waves near and north of the center's landfall point.

As with any land-falling hurricane, isolated tornadoes are also possible. Portions of south Texas and northern Mexico may experience isolated tornadoes today and tonight.

For Current Radar out of Brownsville, Texas, visit:

What Does This NASA Satellite Image Show?

This infrared image of Dolly was created by data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), an instrument that flies aboard NASA's Aqua satellite. The image was created on July 22 at 19:05 UTC (3:05 p.m. EDT) and Dolly was located in the Gulf of Mexico headed toward the Texas/Mexico border. Dolly is seen to the left side of this image.

The AIRS images show the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of the Earth in cloud-free regions. The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up the top of Dolly. The AIRS data creates an accurate 3-D map of atmospheric temperature, water vapor and clouds, all of which are helpful to forecasters.

The infrared signal of the AIRS instrument does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the ocean waters, revealing warmer temperatures in orange and red.

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