Tropical Storm Beta expected to strengthen into hurricane

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The Texas coast is preparing for a tropical storm forecast to strengthen into a hurricane before breaching its shores in the week ahead.

The US National Hurricane Centre said Tropical Storm Beta is brewing in the Gulf of Mexico, 290 miles east of the Rio Grande.

The system is forecast to become a hurricane on Sunday and has already triggered a hurricane watch from Port Aransas to High Island, both in Texas.

Also in effect is a storm surge watch from Port Mansfield, Texas to Cameron, Louisiana; and a tropical storm watch from south of Port Aransas to the mouth of the Rio Grande, and east of High Island to Morgan City, Louisiana.

Beta had maximum sustained winds at 60mph and was moving north at 8mph.

Forecasters were predicting up to 4ft of storm surge along parts of the Texas coast that included Baffin Bay, Corpus Christi Bay, Galveston Bay and more.

Wind, heavy rainfall and life-threatening surf and rip current conditions were also expected with the storm.

Forecasters ran out of traditional storm names on Friday, forcing the use of the Greek alphabet for only the second time since the 1950s.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Teddy remained a powerful hurricane on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds of 130mph.

Teddy was centred 650 miles south-east of Bermuda less than a week after Hurricane Paulette made landfall in the wealthy British territory.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for Bermuda.

Large swells from Teddy were forecast to impact the Lesser Antilles, the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas and Bermuda, and are expected to have an impact on the US east coast.

Parts of the Alabama coast and Florida Panhandle are still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Sally, which roared ashore on Wednesday.

At least two deaths were blamed on the system, and hundreds of thousands of people were still without power late on Friday.

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