Tropical stroms are often dangerous, and this one may be, but it could also bring benefits.
This may be one of those occasions where a tropical storm could be more good news than bad. Though Edouard may come close to or achieve category 1 hurricane status before making landfall on the Texas coast tomorrow, it may be a net plus if it does not strengthen significantly.
-News that Edouard is not expected to become a major hurricane, and that damage to oil facilities may not be extensive sent crude oil process tumbling $4 a barrel at one point today.
-Edouard is expected to bring some 6 inch rain totals to parts of central Texas over the next 72 hours. This is in an area that has been in extreme drought, and may ease drought conditions in parts of Texas this week.
-While atmospheric conditions (less shear aloft) and ocean water temperatures (84 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit) are favorable for Edouard to strengthen, it appears Edouard will run out of water and make landfall before it can become a major hurricane.
One trend to watch is if Edouard continues to slow down, it may have more time to strengthen. Hurricane intensity is notorius for changing rapidly if storms have enough time over open warm water to rev up. We will have to keep an eye on Edouard to see if it goes through a rapid intensification before reaching the coast.
Southern regions of the U.S. depend on rainfall from tropical storms during the late summer months. Let’s hope Edouard makes minimal headlines, and brings maximum benefit to Texas this week.