Teddy becomes post-tropical cyclone near Nova Scotia; Beta weakens over Texas

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By Joe Mario Pedersen, Richard Tribou and David Harris Orlando Sentinel (TNS)

ORLANDO, Fla. — The National Hurricane Center had a crowded spate of systems to keep track of Tuesday with a post-tropical cyclone, tropical storm and depression all swirling throughout the Atlantic Ocean.

First, Beta, which was downgraded into a tropical depression Tuesday morning, further weakened with sustained winds of 30 mph by the evening.

Beta made landfall over Texas as a tropical storm late Monday night in the southern end of Matagorda Peninsula.

The storm sluggishly moved through the Texas coast Tuesday at 5 mph bringing heavy rainfall with the threat of flash flooding. It is expected to travel northeast through Louisiana by Thursday. The storm was 40 miles north of Port O’Connor, Texas, and 35 miles north-northwest of Matagorda, Texas, as of Tuesday evening.

When Beta moved inland, that made it nine named storms to make landfall in the United States — the 2020 total ties the record with 1916 season for most landfalls in the country at this point of the year, said Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach.

Heavy rain is expected to affect a large area of the Texas and Louisiana coast, with about 5 to 10 inches forecast as Beta slowly makes its way northwest. When Beta moves further inland it is forecast to affect a large area of Arkansas bringing 2 to 4 inches of rain.

The storm is also bringing life-threatening storm surge, up to 2 to 4 feet, throughout the Texas and Louisiana coastline over the next couple of days.

Beta is expected to slowly weaken as it speeds up into the northeast United States through the week and should dissipate by the weekend.

Next, Post-Tropical Cyclone Teddy lost its hurricane status Tuesday night after briefly garnering Category 2 hurricane strength Tuesday morning. As of 8 p.m., Teddy’s maximum sustained winds weakened to 85 mph, and the storm was making its way through the northern Atlantic at 18 mph.

Teddy is a “ginormous” storm with hurricane-force winds reaching 125 miles from its center, and its tropical-storm-force winds stretch even further to an impressive 540 miles.

Forecasters expect Teddy to bring heavy rain, strong winds and destructive waves to Nova Scotia by early Wednesday. The storm was 190 miles south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, as of the 8 p.m. update. While Teddy is expected to weaken into a post-tropical cyclone by the time it reaches Nova Scotia, it’s still expected to be a powerful and dangerous storm.

The most dangerous aspect of the storm will be large swells and rip currents, which could reach Bermuda, the Leeward Islands, the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas, the east coast of the United States and Atlantic Canada during the next few days

It is expected to be extratropical or post-tropical by Thursday.

In the far east Atlantic, what had once been a strong Hurricane Paulette that made a direct hit on Bermuda before moving into colder waters and becoming a post-tropical cyclone is back. Tropical Storm Paulette reformed as it migrated back south into warmer waters, with the NHC issuing advisories again late Monday, two weeks after the system originally formed.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Paulette was located about 390 miles east-southeast of the Azores islands with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph moving east at 12 mph.

“An eastward to east-northeastward motion is forecast through Wednesday,” forecasters said. “A decrease in the forward motion along with turns to the southeast then south are expected Wednesday night through Thursday.”

The NHC was monitoring a system near Cuba that could bring rain to South Florida on Thursday and Friday. But it stopped tracking the system on Tuesday night as it is not predicted to develop into a tropical depression or storm.

The next system to develop will receive the Greek letter Gamma as its designation.

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.

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