Tropical Storm Don is expected to hit the Gulf Coast of Texas early Saturday morning between Brownsville and Corpus Christi. While most would fret over the thought of a tropical storm, residents of South Texas are thanking the rain gods from bringing the storm their way.
South Texas is the most drought-plagued area of the United States right now.
"Some parts of Texas are more than 15 inches below average. This storm will likely not be a drought-buster, but could at least put a dent in and around where the storm makes landfall," CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said Thursday. If Don "does not intensify into a hurricane, this is likely a good thing."
The Houston/Galveston office of the National Weather Service said that if the current forecast does not change, locally heavy rainfall could begin "as early as Friday morning across portions of the upper Texas coastal waters and then inland by Friday night.
"Rainfall totals are expected to average 1 to 3 inches, mainly Friday afternoon through Saturday morning. The fast movement of the storm and the recent severe drought should result in a low risk of flooding."
The area has been under water restrictions for some time now. Corpus Christi, Texas resident Aubrey Carter, 87, has watered her grass at her designated time of 3 a.m. lately and is welcoming the storm. "We are looking forward to Don coming because the drought has been so severe and everybody needs rain," she told CNN.
Not only will it drench South Texas, but it could cool off the heat-plagued plains states, which have seen record-breaking triple digit numbers this past week.
Blogger Jerry Wofford on tulsaworld.com referred to Don Thursday as, "our newest friend that was just born Wednesday near the Yucatan Peninsula."
The National Hurricane Center described Don as "a small tropical cyclone" with tropical storm-force winds extending 45 miles (72 kilometers). Maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph (64 kph) with higher gusts.
"Some strengthening is possible during the next 48 hours," the weather service said.
A tropical storm watch was in effect for the Texas coast, from the mouth of the Rio Grande northward to west of San Luis Pass. A watch means tropical storm conditions are possible within the area, generally within 48 hours.