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Tropical Storm Hanna nears hurricane strength as it approaches Texas

Forecasters expect the weather system to bring heavy rain, storm surges and possible tornadoes.

A lifeguard walks along a rock groin in Galveston, Texas, as waves kicked up by tropical storm Hanna wash in
A lifeguard walks along a rock groin in Galveston, Texas, as waves kicked up by tropical storm Hanna wash in
Image: Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via PA Images

TROPICAL STORM HANNA is nearly at hurricane strength as it moves toward the Texas coast.

Forecasters expect the weather system to bring heavy rain, storm surges and possible tornadoes, while a second tropical storm approaches the Caribbean.

The maximum sustained winds increased to 70mph this morning, with Hanna centred about 115 miles east-southeast of Corpus Christi and moving towards land at 9mph.

A storm surge warning of up to five feet in effect from Baffin Bay to Sargent was extended south of the bay to Port Mansfield, Texas, with people advised to protect life and property from high water.

Tornadoes were also possible today for parts of the lower to middle Texas coastal plain, forecasters said.

Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Gonzalo was still on track to move across the southern Windward Islands this afternoon or evening.

Gonzalo was moving west at nearly 18mph with maximum sustained winds at 40 mph, the National Hurricane Centre said this morning.

A tropical storm warning remained for St Vincent and the Grenadines, Tobago and Grenada and its dependencies, with the weather system expected to dissipate by tomorrow night or Monday.

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Gonzalo and Hanna broke the record for the earliest seventh and eighth Atlantic named storms, respectively, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.

The previous records were Gert on 24 July 2005, and Harvey on 3 August 2005, Klotzbach said.

Cristobal, Danielle, Edouard and Fay also set records for being the earliest named Atlantic storm for their alphabetic order.

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