TD22 could become Wilfred by Friday evening

Storm not expected to reach hurricane force; expected to hit Mexican coast

Today it is called Tropical Depression 22 -- TD 22 for short. Friday it may be called Tropical Storm Wilfred. If that happens, the storm will become the earliest 21st named storm since they started being given names back in the mid-1950s.

In fact, this "W" storm would jump ahead of 2005's Vince (Oct. 8) and monster storm Wilma (Oct. 15), putting the 2020 hurricane season almost a month ahead of the previous record-setting 2005 season.

TD 22 is about 230 miles east of Tampico, Mexico, and 330 miles southeast of the mouth of the Rio Grande. It is no hurry to get wherever it's going, moving northeast at 5 mph with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.

Projections call for it to reach tropical storm status around 7 p.m. Friday, still at sea. It is still too early to tell where Wilfred-to-be might go after that. A current forecast has it taking a due east bend around Saturday evening and heading toward the Texas-Mexico border between Matamoros, Mexico, and Harlingen, Texas, next Thursday. However, that forecasted cone could put the storm as far east as Bay City, just west of Houston -- and that's assuming it doesn't decide to keep going straight to central Gulf Coast instead of turning to the west. It might also go much farther south on the Mexican Gulf Coast.

Forecasts do not expect the storm to get much stronger than a tropical storm with 69 mph sustained winds and 92 mph gusts. One weather report said the storm slow to almost a halt, just meandering around in the western Gulf for a few days. If that happens, the storm could become known as "Wandering Wilfred." If it does stall, it will begin moving early next week.

U.S. weather watchers are hoping the storm stays away from the Texas coast for two reasons. First, it would bring heavy rainfall to the Texas coastal communities. Second, shearing winds might cut off a piece of the storm and be carried toward states that just got hammered by Sally. The additional tropical rainfall would worsen flooding problems in the Southeast states.

The main event at this time is Category 4 Hurricane Teddy, almost 1,100 miles south of Bermuda with winds of 138.mph. He is expected to still be a Cat 3 storm with 115 mph when it passes near Bermuda Monday. Latest forecasts indicate the storm could go more to the west and possibly hit the coast of upper New England, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. There is also the possibility Teddy's path will take it more to the east and it will go into the Atlantic, like Paulette did.

Vicky is now a tropical depression, far away off the coast of Africa and Sally has been reduced to a tropical rainstorm in Georgia and South Carolina.


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