LIVE BLOG: Hanna downgraded to a tropical depression

Severe Weather

Editor’s Note: This live blog is no longer being updated as of the evening of Sunday, July 26

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Tropical Depression Hanna is weakening and leaving flooding and damage in its wake. Hanna was officially classified as a Category 1 Hurricane Saturday morning — becoming Texas’ first of the season.

As a tropical storm, it first formed in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday night. Sustained winds will continue intensifying before landfall on the lower or middle Texas coast on Saturday.

The 2020 hurricane season is Texas’ busiest on record to date.

KXAN’s David Yeomans is on the coast and will provide updates throughout the weekend on KXAN.com and KXAN News.

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7:17 p.m. Update

Hanna was downgraded to a tropical storm and then a tropical depression Sunday, even as it left flooding in its wake. Hidalgo and Starr Counties are under a flash flood warning until 10 p.m. Sunday.

8:20 a.m. update

Our sister station KVEO reports flooding in many areas including McAllen and Mission.

A gas station in Mission, TX experienced storm damage. (Credit: City of Mission).
Nolana/Ware area in McAllen. Credit : KVEO
Nolana/Ware area in McAllen. Credit : KVEO
Nolana/Ware area in McAllen. Credit : KVEO

4:50 a.m. update

A video taken by Javier Vega at 4:00 a.m. in the city of Edinburg shows a traffic light dangling in the wind.

12:30 a.m. Sunday update

Part of the roof of Ceballos Diaz funeral home in the city of Edinburg has collapsed. Our sister station KVEO reports that this funeral home was already at capacity due to COVID-19.

Ceballos Diaz funeral home in Edinburg, Texas experienced a roof collapse from the wind and storms. Image Courtesy KVEO.
Ceballos Diaz funeral home in Edinburg, Texas experienced a roof collapse from the wind and storms. Image Courtesy KVEO.

11:50 p.m. Saturday update

Just before midnight, an overturned eighteen-wheeler on I69 near Sebastian, TX was reported as wind gusts exceeded 90 mph.

11:30 p.m. Saturday Update

The eye of Hurricane Hanna has now moved inland. Our crews were out on North Padre Island Saturday night, still experiencing tropical storm-force wind gusts around 10 p.m.

David Yeomans reported there’s no major damage on North Padre Island, and no evacuations were issued in the area.

9:30 p.m. Saturday Update

As Hanna tracks inward, more rain and winds hit the region. Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted that resources are on the way for affected areas. High-water vehicles, rescue boats, helicopters and medical teams were deployed to south Texas Saturday evening.

More videos and photos of the damage to the partially-collapsed Bob Hall Pier on Padre Island have surfaced online.

Though not nearly as severe as south Texas, some places here in Central Texas saw some rain from Hurricane Hanna too. Just west of Buda Saturday afternoon, outer bands from Hanna could be seen rolling in.

west of Buda on FM 967
Clouds from Hurricane Hanna move in west of Buda on FM 967 Saturday afternoon (Courtesy of Mike Sexton)

7 p.m. Saturday Update

David Yeomans reported minor damage and beach erosion on North Padre Island Saturday evening. He said parts of Bob Hall Pier collapsed due to a large wave. The pier is located about two miles from Whitecap Beach on North Padre.

Due to damage, a Nueces County official said beaches will be closed for a while after the storm.

The National Hurricane Center said Hanna made a second landfall at 6:15 p.m. in Kenedy County, with maximum sustained winds of 90 miles per hour. Kenedy County includes parts of Padre Island and is south of Corpus Christi.

6:30 p.m. Saturday Update

A bridge to exit South Padre Island was blocked by law enforcement just 30 minutes after the storm made landfall. Traffic was stopped momentarily to allow Texas Department of Transportation officials to do a wind measurement, KVEO reports.

cars backed up on South Padre Island
Around 30 minutes after Hanna made landfall, a bridge to exit South Padre Island was blocked off to monitor wind conditions. (KVEO Photo/Jeremiah Wilcox)

Here’s a look at what North Padre Island looked like at landfall, which was around 5 p.m.

North Padre Island around landfall Hurricane Hanna
North Padre Island around Hurricane Hanna’s landfall on July 25 (KXAN Photo/Todd Bailey)

5:05 p.m. Saturday Update

Port Mansfield sees damage as Hurricane Hanna makes landfall about 15 miles to the north on Padre Island around 5 p.m. Saturday., according to the National Hurricane Center.

It’s now a high-end Category 1 Hurricane.

2:45 p.m. Saturday Update

Our crew touched base with a Nueces County official, who says Bob Hall Pier on South Padre Island is taking some damage.

So far, there are no injuries, and they still have power in town. Right now, no evacuations are taking place, and everyone is sheltering in their homes due to COVID-19, the official said.

1:20 p.m. Saturday Update

12:30 p.m. Saturday Update

The eye of Hurricane Hanna is only 15 miles from the coast, says KXAN’s Weather Team, who are covering the storm in North Padre Island. Wind gusts are measuring at 69 miles per hour — almost a hurricane-force wind gust.

The effects of the storm continue to be felt even before it hits land, with surges swelling and water levels rising. Water levels in the North Padre Island area have already risen six feet above the baseline — and those levels can keep rising.

By the end of the afternoon, KXAN’s experts estimate, the area could have “storm surge inundation” of three to five feet. This means waters would be three to five feet above ground level.

11:35 a.m. Saturday Update

Waves continue rolling in harsher and harsher along the Texas coast. Winds thrashed at Whitecap Beach in Corpus Christi on Saturday morning.

9:30 a.m. Saturday Update

North Padre Island has already experienced damage at the coast as waves pelted various picnic tables near the water.

8:50 a.m. Saturday Update

Hanna is less than 70 miles from the Texas coast. Winds have already gotten up to 40 miles per hour.

8:05 a.m. Saturday Update

The latest data shows Hurricane Hanna likely making landfall south of Corpus Christi between Baffin Bay and Brownsville early this afternoon.

Hanna’s placement and unusually large eye could cause the storm to be more intense than even Hurricane Harvey, the KXAN Weather team reports. Wind gusts and storm surges could be stronger.

7:45 a.m. Saturday Update

Category 1 Hurricane Hanna could become a lesser Category 2 hurricane by the time it hits the Texas coast.

The KXAN Weather team, live from North Padre Island, reports that the tide has already risen five feet on Saturday morning. Hanna is expected to make landfall a bit south of the island, however, the hurricane’s unusually large eye could cause the majority of damage to happen outside of the center of landfall.

7:30 a.m. Saturday Update

7 a.m. Saturday Update

Hours away from hitting the Texas coast, likely between Corpus Christi and Brownsville, and officially became a Category 1 hurricane. According to KXAN’s Weather team, the ocean levels in North Padre Island have already risen up to four feet.

The storm is still about 100 miles east of the island.

Morning in North Padre Island, hours ahead of Hurricane Hanna’s arrival (KXAN/Todd Bailey)

11 p.m. Friday Update

David Yeomans and Todd Bailey ran into an Austin family vacationing on the beach. They said Hanna, which is expected to hit the coast as a hurricane, is affecting their plans.

7:20 p.m. Friday Update

Conditions deteriorated as rain bands moved in to the coastline Friday evening. Parts of the Texas coast are under a Hurricane Warning as Hanna is expected to strengthen.

6 p.m. Friday Update

The crew checked out a beach along North Padre Island, just off the coast of Corpus Christi. The area was mostly clear, except for a few surfers.

4:15 p.m. Friday Update

David Yeomans and Todd Bailey arrived in Corpus Christi Friday afternoon. Access roads to Whitecap Beach in Corpus Christi are blocked off ahead of the approaching tropical storm. Although the road blocks are in place, Bailey said they witnessed people still passing through.

2:30 p.m. Friday Update

David Yeomans provides an update from the road, and talks about when he made a similar trip to cover Hurricane Harvey.

1:18 p.m. Friday Update

Meteorologist David Yeomans and Photojournalist Todd Bailey are headed toward South Texas as Tropical Storm Hanna approaches. They’re a couple hours away from Corpus Christi and plan to have updates on the latest on the storm on KXAN at 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Meanwhile, back in the KXAN Weather Center, our forecasters are tracking the storm. Kristen Currie said Hanna is strengthening, with sustained winds of 50 miles an hour, and is about 230 miles off the coast of Corpus Christi. There are currently Tropical Storm Warnings in effect for the South Texas coast, from just south of Galveston to Brownsville.

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Severe Weather Definitions

Severe Thunderstorm Warning
Issued when there is evidence based on radar or a reliable spotter report that a thunderstorm is producing, or about to produce, wind gusts of 58 mph or greater, structural wind damage, and/or hail 1 inch in diameter or greater.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch
Is issued by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) when conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms over a larger-scale region. Tornadoes are not expected in such situations, but isolated tornado development cannot be ruled out.

PDS Severe Thunderstorm Watch
PDS stands for "Particularly Dangerous Situation" and is issued by the SPC when conditions are favorable for the development of high-end severe thunderstorms over a larger region.  In this situation the SPC believes multiple events of extreme severe weather with significant wind damage are likely to occur.  Citizens should alter their daily routine and listen for further updates when this watch is issued.  Tornadoes are not expected in such situations, but isolated tornado development cannot be ruled out and widespread straight-line wind damage is likely.

Tornado Warning - Observed or Radar Indicated
Issued when there is evidence based on radar or a reliable spotter report that a tornado is imminent or occurring.

Tornado Warning - Considerable
Issued when a reliable spotter reports the existence of a tornado (therefore, it is confirmed, not radar indicated) and it is doing considerable damage.

Tornado Warning - Catastrophic
Issued when a reliable spotter reports the existence of a tornado (therefore, it is confirmed, not radar indicated) and it is doing extreme damage that is considered catastrophic; complete destruction is possible.

Tornado Watch
Is issued by the Storm Prediction Center when conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes over a larger-scale region.

PDS Tornado Watch
PDS stands for "Particularly Dangerous Situation" and is issued when the SPC believes that a large outbreak of long-lived, large and violent tornadoes is likely.  This is a high-end tornado watch.  People in a PDS Tornado Watch should change their daily routines to ensure they are weather aware and prepared to take action with little notice.

Significant Weather Advisory
Issued for strong thunderstorms that are below severe levels, but still may have some adverse impacts. Usually issued for the threat of wind gusts of 40-58 mph or hail up to 1 inch in diameter.

Flash Flood Watch
Issued generally when there is the possibility of flash flooding or urban flooding over an area within the next 36 hours.

Flash Flood Warning
Issued when flash flooding is imminent, generally within the next 1 to 3 hours. Usually issued based on observed heavy rainfall (measured or radar estimated), but may also be issued for significant dam breaks that have occurred or are imminent.

Flood Watch
Issued when there is the possibility of widespread general flooding over an area within the next 36 hours.

Flood Warning for River Forecast Point
Issued when a river gauge has exceeded, or is forecast to exceed, a predetermined flood stage.

Flood Advisory
Issued when flooding is imminent or occurring, generally within the next 1 to 3 hours, but is not expected to substantially threaten life and property.

Wind Advisory
Issued when sustained winds of 30 to 39 mph are expected for 1 hour or longer.

High Wind Warning
Issued when sustained winds of 40 mph or more are expected for 1 hour or longer, or for wind gusts of 58 mph or more with no time limit. A High Wind Watch is issued when these conditions may be met 12 to 48 hours in the future.

Dense Fog Advisory
Issued when fog is expected to reduce visibilities to 1/4 mile or less.

Heat Advisory
Issued when maximum daytime heat index values are expected to reach or exceed 105°F on at least 2 consecutive days, with intermediate low temperatures of 75°F or higher.

Excessive Heat Warning
Issued when maximum daytime heat index values are expected to reach or exceed 110°F on at least two consecutive days, with intermediate low temperatures of 75°F or higher. An Excessive Heat Watch is issued when these conditions may be met 12 to 48 hours in the future.

Frost Advisory
Issued when nighttime minimum temperatures are expected to range from 33°F to 36°F in the growing season.

Freeze Warning
Issued when nighttime minimum temperatures are expected to reach 32°F or lower in the growing season. They are usually issued to highlight the first few freezes of the fall, or unusually late freezes in the spring. A Freeze Watch is issued when these conditions may be met 12 to 48 hours in the future.

Air Stagnation Advisory
Issued only at the request of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), whenever atmospheric conditions are stable enough to cause air pollutants to accumulate in a given area.

Blowing Dust Advisory
Issued when blowing dust is expected to reduce visibility to between 1/4 and 1 mile, generally with winds of 25 mph or greater.

Dust Storm Warning
Issued when blowing dust is expected to reduce visibility frequently to 1/4 mile or less, generally with winds of 25 mph or more.

Dense Smoke Advisory
Issued when smoke is expected to reduce visibility to 1/4 mile or less.

Fire Weather Watch
Issued when dry vegetation and conditions favoring extreme fire danger are expected 12 to 72 hours in the future.

Red Flag Warning
Issued when dry vegetation and conditions favoring extreme fire danger are expected, generally within 24 hours.

Snow Advisory
Issued when accumulating snow of 2 to 4 inches is expected. An advisory may still be warranted if lesser accumulations will produce travel difficulties, especially early in the winter season.

Blowing Snow Advisory
Issued when blowing snow is expected to occasionally reduce visibilities to 1/4 mile or less with winds generally 25 to 34 mph. The event should last at least 3 hours.

Snow and Blowing Snow Advisory
Issued when winds of 25 to 34 mph are expected to be accompanied by falling snow and blowing snow, occasionally reducing the visibility to 1/4 mile or less. The event should last at least 3 hours.

Freezing Rain/Drizzle Advisory
Issued for freezing rain when ice accumulations are expected to cause travel problems, but not exceed 1/4".

Sleet Advisory
Issued for accumulating sleet of 1/4" to 1". Because sleet usually occurs with other precipitation types, a winter weather advisory will almost always be used in such cases.

Winter Weather Advisory
Issued for a winter weather event in which there is more than one hazard present, but all precipitation is expected to remain below warning criteria. For example, it would be issued if 2 inches of snow were expected with a small amount of sleet mixing in at times.

Wind Chill Advisory
Issued when wind chill values will reach -5°F to -19°F, with wind speeds around 10 mph or more.

Wind Chill Warning
Issued when wind chill values will reach -20°F or colder, with wind speeds around 10 mph or more. A Wind Chill Watch is issued when these conditions may be met 12 to 48 hours in the future.

Ice Storm Warning
Issued when a period of freezing rain is expected to produce ice accumulations of 1/4" or greater, or cause significant disruptions to travel or utilities.

Heavy Sleet Warning
Issued when a period of sleet is expected to produce ice accumulations of 1" or greater, or cause significant disruptions to travel or utilities.

Heavy Snow Warning
Issued when snow is expected to accumulate 4 inches or more in 12 hours, or 6 inches or more in 24 hours.

Winter Storm Warning
Issued for a winter weather event in which there is more than one hazard present, and one of the warning criteria listed above is expected to be met. For example, it would be issued if 5 inches of snow were expected in 12 hours, with some sleet mixing in at times. It is commonly issued for heavy snow with strong winds of 25-34 mph that will cause blowing and drifting of the snow. A Winter Storm Watch is issued when these conditions may be met 12 to 48 hours in the future.

Blizzard Warning
Issued for sustained wind or frequent gusts greater than or equal to 35 mph accompanied by falling and/or blowing snow, frequently reducing visibility to less than 1/4 mile for three hours or more. A Blizzard Watch is issued when these conditions may be met 12 to 48 hours in the future.

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