Travel Alert September 2020: Tropical Storm Beta Affects Texas Gulf Coast

If the gulf coast of Texas is in your travel plans over the next couple of days, you may want to consider delaying your travel — or, at least, keep yourself updated as to the latest information pertaining to the weather — due to Tropical Storm Beta, whose landfall is expected to occur as soon as later tonight, Monday, September 21, 2020.

Travel Alert September 2020: Tropical Storm Beta Affects Texas Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Beta

Source: National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States.

Maximum sustained winds of Tropical Storm Beta — which is currently centered approximately 20 miles southeast of Port O’Connor in Texas and is moving northwest at five miles per hour — are 45 miles per hour, which means that this storm is classified as a tropical storm; and it is not expected to strengthen prior to landfall along the gulf coast of Texas.

After landfall, Tropical Storm Beta is then expected to take a strange turn along the gulf coasts of both Texas and Louisiana before finally venturing inland towards Mississippi and Tennessee while immediately affecting portions of Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and Alabama. The possibility exists that more landfalls by this storm may technically occur as it meanders along the coast.

Precipitation from the outer bands of this storm are already occurring from Big Lake in Texas all the way to Panama City in Florida, which is almost 950 miles east — and as far north as McAlester in Oklahoma.

A tropical storm warning is in effect from Port Aransas in Texas to Morgan City in Louisiana; while a storm surge watch is in effect for Texas from Port Aransas to Sabine Pass — which includes Copano Bay, Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay, Matagorda Bay, and Galveston Bay, where up to four feet of storm surge is possible.

No hurricane warnings are currently in effect.

Greg Abbott — who is the current governor of Texas — has issued a disaster declaration for 29 counties in Texas because of Tropical Storm Beta.

Up to 15 inches of rain is expected in the aforementioned portions of Texas — as well as winds of up to 50 miles per hour, rough surf, significant flooding, and even a possible tornado.

Flight Waivers, Delays and Cancellations

If you are traveling to or from the gulf coast of Texas over the next couple of days, expect delays and cancellations of flights. Keep up to date on the latest information pertaining to this tropical weather system which may adversely affect your travel plans. Better yet, postponing or canceling your trip might be a better option — no matter which mode of travel you plan on taking.

If you have a flight scheduled, your flight may be delayed or canceled — and you may be eligible for a waiver of a fee to change your itinerary.

Here is one airline which has issued travel alerts — or is at least monitoring the storm — as a result of this tropical weather system:


The year 2005 was the most active year in recorded history in terms of 27 total named tropical systems, with Tropical Storm Zeta as the last storm of that season. Only five more named storms are needed for the year 2020 to break that record.

I personally believe that the National Weather Service of the United States and other official weather authorities should consider using the letters Q, U, X, Y, and Z to name tropical systems — especially with the inclusion of names which are not common in the United States. Quincy, Ursula, Xavier, Yvonne, and Zachary all come immediately to my mind to name storms which usually do not require those letters during a typical season. Only once the entire alphabet has been exhausted should the characters of the Greek alphabet be used.

Anyway, I digress: even though only Southwest Airlines has officially posted a travel alert for Tropical Storm Beta, that does not mean that other airlines which serve the gulf coast of Texas will not be affected as well.

Be sure to contact your airline or transportation provider for the latest information pertaining to your travels — if they are adversely affected — and please: travel safely.

Source: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce of the United States.

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