NEW YORK (Reuters) – Tropical Storm Hermine barely maintained its tropical storm status on Tuesday as 40 mile per hour winds kept lashing south Texas and the storm moved further inland about 15 miles south-southeast of San Antonio, Texas, the National Hurricane Center said.
Hermine’s path kept it away from major oil and gas installations in the Gulf of Mexico, and refineries in Texas were unaffected by the passage of the storm, operators said.
The storm was expected to weaken during the next 48 hours and become a tropical depression later Tuesday.
Thunderstorms and flooding rains, however, were expected to continue into the southern Plains and mid-Mississippi Valley before dissipating across the Ohio Valley, according to private forecaster Weather 2000.
In addition, the NHC was monitoring three other tropical systems in the Atlantic basin, including the remnants of Tropical Storm Gaston, but it was too early to tell whether any of the systems might move into the Gulf and disrupt offshore energy production.
The NHC said showers and thunderstorms associated with Gaston’s remnants remained disorganized about 120 miles southeast of Puerto Rico. There was a 20 percent chance for the system to become a tropical cyclone again during the next 48 hours, up from a 10 percent chance earlier, as it moved westward at 15 mph.
Computer models still showed the system moving westward in the Caribbean.
A weak area of low pressure about 400 miles west-northwest of the northernmost Cape Verde Islands still had a 10 percent chance to develop further as it moved westward at 10 mph, while a tropical wave approaching the Cape Verde Islands had a 20 percent chance develop into a tropical cyclone as it moved westward at 10 to 15 mph, up from 10 percent early Tuesday.
(Reporting by Eileen Moustakis; Editing by David Gregorio)