Tropical Storm Beta forms in the Gulf of Mexico

Tropical depression 22 has formed into Tropical Storm Beta. It is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane by Sunday. Storm Surge and Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watches will likely be required for portions of the western Gulf coast tonight or on Saturday.


At 400 PM CDT (2100 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Beta was located near latitude 24.3 North, longitude 93.1 West. Beta is moving toward the north-northeast near 9 mph (15 km/h), and this general motion is expected through Saturday. A slow westward motion is forecast to begin late Saturday or Saturday night, and this motion will likely continue into early next week. On the forecast track, the center of Beta will approach western coast of the Gulf of Mexico Sunday night and Monday.


Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional slow strengthening is expected through the weekend, and Beta could be near hurricane strength Sunday or Sunday night.


Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1004 mb (29.65 inches).