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Tropical Storm Bill Makes Landfall In Texas

Tropical Storm Bill hit the coast of Texas just before noon local time on Tuesday, bringing high winds and heavy rains to the already-soaked state..

Bill made landfall on Matagorda island, south of Houston, according to the National Weather Service. Maximum sustained winds were recorded at 60 mph.

The weather service issued a tropical storm warning for the Houston-Galveston region. An advisory stated that rain and thunderstorms were predicted throughout the day. Flash-flood watches have also been issued for the region.

Texas set the record for wettest single month in May. As we reported Monday, "the state recorded 8.81 inches of rain, crushing the previous record of 6.66 inches."

The Washington Post noted: "The tropical disturbance in the Gulf has been very slow to organize into a fully-formed tropical cyclone, though the lack of an impressive appearance on satellite does not diminish the flooding threat."

The Post says the storm system is expected to bring rain to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and the Washington, D.C., area later this week. It adds:

"In terms of climatology, June is actually not an uncommon month for tropical cyclone landfalls on and near the Texas coast. Since 1851, there have been 26 landfalls, from tropical depressions up to a category 4 hurricane."

The Associated Press talked to Marshall Sheperd, the director of atmospheric sciences at the University of Georgia, about how current conditions left by the previous storm could strengthen the storm:

"While tropical storms usually gather power from the warm waters of the ocean and then weaken once they move over land, NASA-funded research has shown some storms can actually strengthen over land by drawing from the evaporation of abundant soil moisture, Sheperd said. The phenomenon is known as the 'brown ocean' effect."

You can read more about flooding in Texas here.

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