Menu Close

Forecast: Alberto expected to drench parts of Texas and Mexico, Iran and Mongolia hold elections, and WSJ reporter’s trial starts in Russia

Celebration on the field with confetti in a stadium at night. A group gathers around the CONMEBOL Copa America stage.

Welcome to Factal Forecast, a look at the week’s biggest stories from the editors at Factal.

We publish our forward-looking note each Thursday to help you get a jump-start on the week ahead.

Tropical Storm Alberto formed in the Gulf of Mexico this week, becoming the first named storm of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season. In this week’s Factal Forecast podcast, Senior Editor Jimmy Lovaas and Editor Joe Veyera discuss the expected impacts to Texas and Mexico, with rainfall estimates anywhere from 6 to 15 inches over the coming days and a storm surge of up to four feet. 

Listen now or download on your favorite platform.

Week of June 21-28
A Look Ahead

June 20 – Copa America starts  

The United States is set to welcome 16 of the Americas’ top national soccer teams for a three-week tournament that begins Thursday in Atlanta.

What’s happened so far 
In January 2023, the FIFA groups that organize the Copa America tournament chose the United States to host after Ecuador withdrew. The decision was made in part to help the U.S. prepare for hosting the 2026 World Cup. Fourteen U.S. cities, including three in Texas and two in California, will host the 32 matches with the final being at the Miami Dolphins’ stadium in Florida.

The impact 
Soccer fans from all around the Western Hemisphere will be traveling to the United States to watch their national team play in the biggest competition until the World Cup. Argentina’s Minister of Security says she has given a list to the U.S. of known violent soccer fans from her country as part of an agreement to keep the matches safe. It will also give law enforcement an opportunity to see how a tournament will play out on U.S. soil before the biggest one yet in 2026.

June 24 – Brazil environmental agency strike  

Federal employees working on environmental issues across 14 states of Brazil plan to join a strike starting Monday over salary increases and career structuring, potentially affecting the country’s oil output and conservation of the Amazon rainforest.

What’s happened so far 
A partial strike has been ongoing already at Brazil’s environmental agencies Ibama and ICMBio, where they have suspended field work and prolonged procedures for environmental licensing since January. Other union members across the country just voted to join the strike earlier this week, with some striking starting on June 24 and others on July 1.

The impact 
The strike is expected to leave affected agencies with only the minimum staffing for essential activities. Oil lobby groups have already expressed their displeasure, alleging that the partial strike has already reduced the country’s output by around 80,000 barrels per day. The expansion of the strike could also affect protection of the Amazon rainforest, which Ibama employees oversee. 

What Factal will be watching for during Paris 2024

As with any major global event, Factal editors will be closely monitoring the potential for disruptions throughout the Games, amid concerns over everything from cyber attacks and terrorism to protests and extreme weather. Read more on our blog.

June 26 – Start of the RIMPAC exercise around Hawaiian Islands  

On Wednesday, the U.S. Pacific Fleet will begin its large-scale RIMPAC naval exercises in and around the Hawaiian islands. 

What’s happened so far 
The theme of this year’s exercise is “Partners: Integrated and Prepared,” and it will include approximately 25,000 personnel from 28 countries aside from the United States. The drills, the world’s largest naval exercise, will continue around the Hawaiian Islands until Aug. 2, and more than 40 surface warships from around the globe will participate.

The impact 
Some Hawaiian community activists have called for the exercise to be canceled on environmental grounds, and pro-Palestinian groups are advocating for countries to boycott due to Israel’s inclusion, so protests before and during the exercise are likely. As tensions steadily rise on the China-Taiwan front, RIMPAC will stand as a show of force in the Pacific military sphere. 

June 26 – Start date for Evan Gershkovich’s trial  

The trial for detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich will begin in Russia on Wednesday.

What’s happened so far 
Gershkovich, an American national working for the Wall Street Journal, was detained in Yekaterinburg, Russia, in March 2023 under espionage charges. While he and The Wall Street Journal have continuously denied the charges of attempting to gather intelligence on Russian tank production, his trial is now set to begin behind closed doors in a regional court in Yekaterinburg. 

The impact 
Gershkovich, who is the first American journalist detained in Russia since the Cold War, faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, though of course it remains a likelihood that Russia will seek to use Gershkovich as a bargaining chip to exchange for a detained Russian. Earlier this week, the Kremlin confirmed such talks were already underway with American officials, leaving the possibility of a guilty verdict in the show trial all but certain.

June 27 – First U.S. presidential debate  

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will meet in Atlanta on Thursday for the first debate of the 2024 presidential election.

What’s happened so far 
Biden and Trump have agreed to two debates so far, with Trump’s campaign pushing for additional showdowns that seem unlikely. CNN will broadcast and moderate Thursday’s debate at an Atlanta studio with no live audience. The candidates have agreed to a strict set of rules, including muted microphones during the other candidate’s allotted time, and no props or extensive notes, with the goal of keeping interruptions to a minimum. The debate’s 15 percent polling cutoff has also excluded third party candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The impact 
Current polling indexes show Biden and Trump virtually tied both nationally and in crucial battleground states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Arizona. While surveys indicate 60 percent of Americans plan on watching the first debate, data from the aftermath of 2020’s debates showed only small shifts in public sentiment. ABC is scheduled to host a second debate at an undetermined location on Sept. 10. Vice President Kamala Harris has also agreed to debate Trump’s vice presidential pick on either July 23 or Aug. 13. 

June 28 – Iran presidential election  

Iranian voters are set to pick one out of six pro-government candidates on Friday to serve as their next president after the death of President Ebrahim Raisi in a helicopter crash last month.

What’s happened so far 
To make it to the ballot, the candidates had to be cleared by a vetting committee to ensure their loyalty to the system headed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Among them, two conservatives have emerged as frontrunners: Parliament Speaker Mohammad Ghalibaf and former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili. Lawmaker Masoud Pezeshkian is seen as a potential reformist, lacking his competitors’ strong ties to the country’s top security force. The snap election was called following the May 19 helicopter crash that killed Raisi and multiple other senior officials, an incident Iranian investigators attributed to bad weather.

The impact 
The vote isn’t expected to impact the decades-old confrontation between the West Asian nation and Western nations seeking to curb its regional influence and limit its nuclear capabilities, since the 85-year-old Khamenei will continue to have final say over all foreign policy decisions. The exercise, however, has the potential to impact the country economically. In the first of multiple televised debates, the candidates promised voters to work to ease Western sanctions that have restricted oil exports, driven down the value of the local currency and caused inflation to spike. Iranian government opposition groups haven’t indicated a change in their stance to boycott elections, as they did most recently in March’s parliamentary polls that solidified control of conservatives.

June 28 – Mongolian parliamentary election  

Mongolians will vote Friday in the county’s first election since a constitutional amendment in 2023 increased the number of parliamentary seats from 76 to 126. The election has been overshadowed by the killing of an opposition politician and the issues of corruption, economic growth and social protection are expected to be key in the public vote.

What’s happened so far 
An election campaigner for the ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) beat an opposition politician to death on June 15. The Democratic Party identified the victim as B. Bayanmunkh, a governor of Sant Sum in central Mongolia, and demanded Prime Minister Oyun-Erden Luvsannamsrai resign and withdraw candidates from Sant Soum. 

The impact 
The murder of the opposition politician and the subsequent investigation are unlikely to seriously derail the election. The ruling center-left MMP currently dominates the Mongolian parliament, occupying 61 of the 76 seats, and is expected to remain in government, according to recent polls. The increase in the number of parliamentary seats, however, will likely mean greater opportunities for smaller parties to gain seats.

Subscribe to the Factal Forecast

* indicates required

What Else Matters

Gif of satellite imagery of the cyclone for Tropical Storm Alberto moving towards northern Mexico
Tropical Storm Alberto moves inland over Mexico. (GIF: NOAA)

First named storm of Atlantic hurricane season forms in the Gulf 

Coastal areas of south Texas and northeastern Mexico were under tropical storm warnings on Wednesday ahead of the expected landfall of Tropical Storm Alberto. 

Watch for: Heavy rainfall, flooding, and high winds are expected through Thursday, with forecasters also warning of a potential storm surge of 2 to 4 feet along the upper Texas coast, including Houston, if peak surge coincides with high tide. NOAA also predicts a moderate risk of flash flooding for Laredo and Corpus Christi, while life-threatening flooding and mudslides are likely in areas of higher terrain across Mexico’s Coahuila, Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon states, including Monterrey. NOAA has forecast an above-normal range of 17 to 25 named storms this season with eight to 13 hurricanes. 

Kenya finance bill 

Protests broke out in Kenya this week over proposed tax increases included in a controversial finance bill in Parliament. Treasury officials said the taxes are critical for raising revenue and limiting borrowing with the country’s economy burdened by high debt, according to The New York Times. Angry demonstrators voicing concerns that the hikes would drive up the already-high cost of living were met by police with water cannons and tear gas. A coalition of Kenyan human rights groups said more than 200 people were arrested, including journalists and some of their own staff who were observing the protests. 

Watch for: While Kenya’s government has responded to the protests by scrapping some of the proposed  tax hikes, including a 16 percent value-added tax on bread and a 2.5 percent motor vehicle tax, President William Ruto has maintained that Kenyans are actually undertaxed.   Opposition lawmakers have said they won’t support the bill and there’s no indication that protests won’t resume if the bill goes into effect with other taxes still attached. Parliament is expected to vote on the bill June 24, according to the Associated Press. 

Extended Outlook

What’s on our radar in the coming weeks…

June 21-28 

June 22

  • Chad presidential runoff

June 24

  • Netanyahu speaks at US Congress

June 26

  • Possible last day of water from Mexico City’s Cutzamala system
  • RIMPAC exercise around Hawaiian Islands
  • BBC Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer debate
  • NBA draft

June 27

  • CNN Biden-Trump electoral debate

June 28

  • Iran presidential election

June 29-July 5

June 29

  • Mauritania elections

June 30

  • Deadline for Pakistan to pass necessary legislation to receive IMF loan’
  • EU to end military mission to Niger
  • NYC Pride march
  • WSJ reporter pre-trial detention in Moscow expires
  • First round of French National Assembly elections

July 1

  • China to restrict exports on aviation, aerospace equipment
  • Uber, Lyft services set to leave Minneapolis

July 2

  • Russian detention of US soldier expires 

July 4

  • UK general election

July 6-12 

July 7

  • Second round of French National Assembly elections 

July 9

  • NATO Summit in Washington, D.C.

July 11

  • Trump sentencing

July 13-19 

July 14 

  • Arrival of the Olympic flame in Paris

July 15

  • Rwanda general elections
  • Republican National Convention in Milwaukee

July 18

  • Ukrainian government to start notifying citizens for conscription

Thanks for reading! If you want the Factal Forecast in your inbox, you can sign up for free.

Top photo: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and the president of the South American Football Confederation during the Copa América 2019 awards ceremony. (Photo: Carolina Antunes / PR)

Factal gives companies the facts they need in real time to protect people, avoid disruptions and drive automation when the unexpected happens.

Try Factal for free or talk with our sales team ( for a demo.