During the last couple of days there’s been a fair amount of hype about the potential for a tropical depression, or storm, to develop in the Gulf of Mexico. As of this afternoon the National Hurricane Center predicts there is a 60 percent chance an area of low pressure near the Yucatan Peninsula does just that.
Oh, hi, tropical system in the western Caribbean Sea. (NOAA)
We have not focused on this system for two simple reasons. First of all, Houston has been dealing with its own super soaker for the last several days, quite apart from this tropical system. Secondly, regardless of whether it develops, this mess is moving toward Florida and will have little to no effect on Texas weather.
After a stormy Thursday, though certainly one that could have been worse for Houston, I’m hopeful for a more optimistic situation today (though not one where rain chances magically disappear unfortunately). A Flash Flood Watch remains posted into Saturday evening, so we’ve got another day and change to stay on guard. Let’s break it down. Read More…
Anyone watching a radar this afternoon will have seen a line of thunderstorms moving toward Houston from central Texas. While these storms have weakened somewhat, and should continue to do so, they are strong enough to produce moderate to heavy rains as they move eastward. A flood advisory is now in effect for the Brenham area.
The radar at 7pm CT shows showers moving in from the west. (Intellicast)
Most of the Houston area has remained shower-free this morning, but we’re becoming concerned about a boundary between warmer (to the south) and cooler air masses that has set up a bit to the north of Interstate 10 today. Its position at 11:45am CT is shown below.
Approximate position of boundary at 11:45am CT. (Intellicast)
We’ve seen storms form north of this boundary today, including over already hard-hit areas of southwestern Montgomery County, and this should continue. That’s because there’s an ample flow of moisture and warmth coming from the south-southwest which is helping to feed storm development. As the day progresses we could see this boundary sag further south, bringing some heavier storms into the central Houston metropolitan area.
There is a lot of uncertainty in the forecast, but even a few more inches of rain across northern Harris, southern Montgomery, Waller and Grimes county would prove very troubling. And the prospect of heavier rains moving southward into the central Harris County area later this afternoon to start off the Memorial Day weekend isn’t particularly appealing either. We’ll be keeping a close eye on developments for you.
Posted by Eric Berger at 11:55am CT on Friday
Very heavy rains that developed over the Brazos Valley earlier today have moved ever so slowly eastward, into Montgomery, Washington, Waller and San Jacinto counties this evening. As of 6:30pm CT some areas in these counties have received in excess of 6 inches of rain in the last couple of hours. For example, a location along Lake Creek between The Woodlands and Conroe picked up 6 inches between 4:30pm and 6:30pm. With heavy rains like these watersheds will fill up quickly. This is a serious flooding situation.
Unfortunately there’s a long line of storms stretching from north of Houston all the way to Austin. Based upon radar trends and short-term model forecasts it appears this line of storms will progress slowly to the east, likely through Montgomery County and northern Harris County for at least the next few hours.
The radar at 6:45pm CT Thursday didn’t offer much solace for waterlogged areas. (Intellicast)