Monday, July 21, 2008

Hurricane Dolly May Hit Texas

Tropical Storm Dolly headed on Monday for the southern Texas coast where it might become a hurricane later this week, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

The storm, with winds of nearly 50 mph (85 kph), emerged from the Yucatan Peninsula over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A hurricane watch was issued for the southern portion of the Texas coast.

The watch, which means hurricane conditions can be expected within 36 hours, was issued from Brownsville north to Port O'Connor, the hurricane center said.

Dolly dumped rain on popular tourists resorts on Mexico's Caribbean coast overnight but caused no damage.

The United States has got off lightly for the past two Atlantic hurricane seasons, with just one hurricane -- Humberto in November 2007 -- making landfall in the United States.

But it was pummeled in 2004 and 2005, when a series of powerful hurricanes, including Katrina, ravaged Florida and the U.S. Gulf Coast.

About Dolly

The name Dolly has been used for seven tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean.

1953's Hurricane Dolly - strong storm that lost intensity rapidly, passed over Bermuda but caused minor damage.

1954's Hurricane Dolly - small storm that remained far from land.

1968's Hurricane Dolly - moved parallel about 125 miles off the East Coast of the United States but did not hit land.

1974's Tropical Storm Dolly - weak storm that did not strike land.

1996's Hurricane Dolly - formed in Caribbean, made landfall at Quintana Roo, Mexico and again at Tamaulipas, Mexico, killing fourteen and destroying hundreds of homes.

2002's Tropical Storm Dolly - formed west of Africa and tracked northwest, never threatened land.

2008's Tropical Storm Dolly - a currently active tropical storm