It might sound bad, but a tropical system heading right for your doorstep isn't always the worst thing. Take Texas for example. Right now they're mired in the middle of one of the worst droughts they've ever seen. Areas such as Austin, Houston and Dallas haven't had any real rain in months. Could it be that "Don" is coming to the rescue?
Taking a look at Don as I'm writing this on Thursday morning, it does seem like there could be more positives that come out of this storm than negatives. The system is relatively small, quite weak in terms of wind speed, yet it does have a good core of thunderstorms like nearly all tropical systems. The other thing that is clear is that it's making a B-Line for the Texas coast. Exactly where remains to be seen, but anywhere from Brownsville to Corpus Christi should see a hit from Don.
The Texas coast will see rain and some wind from the system. If the strengthening before landfall is minimal, the wind or any associated surge should not be intense enough to cause any real lasting damage to the beach communities. With that being said, there should be a wide area that sees multiple inches of rainfall. This rainfall band could stretch far and wide - not just along the coast, but far inland as well toward San Antonio where they need it the most.
We've been in a pretty bad drought ourselves here in North Carolina, but nothing compared to what they've seen in Texas. Right now 75% of the state is classified under an "Exceptional Drought", the most severe category from the U.S. Drought Monitor. Even though our drought has been bad, damaging, and painful -- 0% of North Carolina falls under the "Exceptional Drought" category at this time.
Bottom line -- Texas needs rain any way they can get it. If it's for a large area in the state to get lots of rain, without much damage it's a good deal for them!
In fact, a weak tropical system like Don wouldn't be the worst thing for us here in the Carolinas either. Although we all know that we have to be careful what we wish for!
By: Tim Buckley