Tropical storm forms in the Atlantic; rain later this week

A tropical depression in the Atlantic ocean strengthened into a storm on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service outpost in Brownsville.

According to the latest update from the agency, the storm is expected to become a hurricane by Thursday.

An update published by the station Wednesday morning stated the agency’s satellite data indicated that Tropical Depression Seven — documented approximately 1,250 miles east of the Southern Windward Islands — had developed into Tropical Storm Gonzalo.

NWS recorded Gonzalo’s wind speeds at 45 mph.

Meanwhile, weather forecasters are monitoring a disturbance entering the Gulf of Mexico.

“What we have right now in the Gulf of Mexico is a tropical disturbance. In the next 48 hours, it has a 40 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone. Through five days, it has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone,” said NWS.

“Regardless of development, we should see an increased chance of rain in South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley later on this week,” the agency added.

Local authorities are tuned in to the forecast. On Facebook, the San Benito Police Department posted a map via NWS that showed a storm system approaching the RGV with thunderstorms. The tropical disturbance, now Tropical Storm Gonzalo, can be seen off the northern coast of South America. The City of Brownsville followed suit, posting hurricane preparedness tips on social media.

As hurricane season is ongoing, authorities suggest residents have a hurricane plan in place, including basic supplies like a gallon of water per person, non-perishable food, flashlights, battery powered radios, extra batteries, first aid kits, medications, and copies of important personal documents.

More hurricane prep information is available at www.ready.gov .

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com