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Gulf disturbance upgraded, named Tropical Storm Bill

Disturbance moving into Gulf of Mexico, heading for Texas

HOUSTON – A system over the Gulf of Mexico has been upgraded and named Tropical Storm Bill.

Most recent tracks say the storm has 50 mph winds taking it closer to Freeport on Tuesday.

Heavy rainfall will be the biggest issue for southeast Texas for the next 2-3 days. Six to eight inches is likely for many areas.

The low is expected to move toward the northwest at about 12 mph, reaching the Texas coast on Tuesday. Until a center actually forms in the Gulf, there is much uncertainty where landfall of the center of the low might be. Computer model forecasts from Sunday morning showcased the most likely landfall in the vicinity of Matagorda Bay.

High pressure over the eastern Gulf and the forecast for low end tropical storm winds means that most of the adverse weather will be to the east of where the center makes landfall.  Periods of very heavy rain from the storm should occur late Monday through Tuesday as the system crosses the coast. 4 to 7 inches of rain is expected across much of the Southeast Texas area from this disturbance with a few spots getting in excess of 10 inches.

As the system moves inland, the coast will have a good chance of more heavy rain on Wednesday. Anticipate that there will be significant flooding where the heaviest rain occurs.

Based on wind forecasts of up to tropical storm intensity, coastal communities could see rises of tides by one to two feet and minor beach erosion from rough waves.

On Monday, coastal Galveston County issued a voluntary evacuation for the Bolivar Peninsula, which sits in the Galveston Bay. Potential rainfall could flood roads on the peninsula, making it harder to leave later, or for emergency responders to reach them.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also announced on Monday that a special operations center is on alert as the tropical system develops.

"Any additional rainfall will exacerbate already saturated grounds, which could quickly lead to dangerous flash flooding and extended river flooding," he said in a statement.

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A portion of this story comes courtesy our sister station in Houston, KPRC.