HOUSTON -

Hurricane hunters confirmed Friday morning that winds had increased to tropical storm strength and we now have Ingrid in the Gulf of Mexico. 

It was nearly stationary just off the coast near Veracruz and not expected to move very much Friday. A slow northward movement is expected Saturday then a turn to the northwest with a landfall along the northeast Mexican Gulf coast probably on Sunday. 

Wind shear has been stronger than I expected over Ingrid since Thursday evening, which may be preventing the storm from being better organized.  However, surface pressures are low, the water is quite warm, and should the wind shear reduce as forecast over the weekend, Ingrid could intensify further. While forecast to be a tropical storm through landfall, it is possible the storm could approach hurricane strength.

Ingrid’s slow movement through the weekend should produce rainfall in excess of a foot in areas along the Mexican coast. With the heavy rainfall in this same region since late August saturating the soil and filling rivers, severe flooding and mudslides are likely. After landfall the heavy rain threat will spread into the mountains of northeast Mexico.  South Texas could see some heavy rainfall also.

For the upper Texas coast – increasing waves and tides running one to two feet above normal are expected over the weekend into early next week. Our rain chances should increase after Ingrid makes landfall and the tropical moisture spreads north and east.