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Tropical Depression Don disappoints in parched Texas

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Don weakens from a tropical storm to a tropical depression
  • It makes landfall in Texas and brings much less rain than hoped
  • National Weather Service: Don is expected to dissipate as it moves farther inland
  • Texas is suffering from the third worst drought in the state's history
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(CNN) -- The storm known as Don fizzled to a tropical depression, failing to quench the thirst of parched Texas counties.

Don weakened from a tropical storm to a tropical depression Friday night and disappointed Texans, anticipating a respite from the state's historic drought.

"We were desperately hoping for some rain that didn't come," Tiffany Sunday said in the Corpus Christi area.

Don made landfall in Texas on Friday evening.

As of late Friday, it was 40 miles (65 kilometers) south of Corpus Christi and about 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of Brownsville, near the southern tip of Texas, according to the National Weather Service.

"We're seeing a very large area of light to moderate rainfall," meteorologist Joseph Tomaselli of the National Weather Service's Brownsville office said Friday evening. "We're not seeing as much wind as forecast."

A projection map shows Don is forecast to travel west-northwest through inland Texas on Saturday morning and reach Mexico by Saturday night.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to about 35 mph (55 kph), with higher gusts, the weather service said.

"Don is forecast to dissipate in a day or so as it moves father inland," the agency said.

It is expected to drop a total of 1 to 2 inches of rain from south Texas to far northeastern Mexico, "with possible maximum amounts of 3 inches," the weather service said.

The hope for rain over a larger portion of the state dimmed as Don spun farther south than predicted. The storm also failed to strengthen before landfall.

Texas is suffering from the third-worst drought in the state's history, according to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.

CNN's Dave Hennen, Gustavo Valdes, Ivan Cabrera and Phil Gast contributed to this report.