Today’s rain exiting as areas east of Houston are left to clean up from another flood

Good evening. The Houston area has been mostly fortunate through this rain event so far. We’ve managed to avoid very high impact rains, though we all finally got doused this afternoon and evening. Still, rain totals, while impressive were mostly manageable, aside from pockets of street flooding.

Rain totals for the past two days over the Houston metro area through 7 PM Monday. To view and zoom around yourself, visit (Harris County Flood Control)

You can see that the highest totals for the event so far are in northeast Harris County, where over 6 inches fell in about 3 hours today just east of Huffman. All told, we’re lucky. After 13″ of rain fell in extreme southwestern Wharton County yesterday, it was Jefferson County, Liberty County, and the Lake Charles area that were hammered today.

Areas east of Houston pummeled

18.03″. That’s how much rain fell today near Fannett in Jefferson County, just off exit 838 of I-10. This is at least the third, if not fourth time this area has had houses flood — since Harvey.

Southeast Texas is vulnerable to floods, but what has happened in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area in recent years is something different, and as someone who knows several folks in that area, completely exasperating.

Radar estimated totals were north of 8 inches from Liberty into Jefferson County in East Texas. Similar totals fell locally on Lake Charles, LA as well. (RadarScope)

And if that were not enough, the Lake Charles area, which has just barely had time to move on from Hurricanes Laura and Delta was battered today as well.

The combination of 15″ of rain and debris clogged waterways and drains in the wake of the aforementioned storms has led to water in homes and businesses in Lake Charles.

Lake Charles saw 10 to 15 inches of rain or more today, causing widespread flooding in that storm weary city, in addition to a few tornado warnings. (Calcasieu Parish Police Jury)

Repetitive disasters have become a hallmark of Southeast Texas and Louisiana, and it requires folks like us continuing to call attention to it without sugar coating it as “that’s just what happens here,” the linkages to climate change, and the reality that we need to continue to implement and expand mitigation measures. Or this will continue unabated.

Right now, we have just to get through this week.

Rest of tonight

Good news. The rain is tapering off from northwest to southeast as I type this, and we do not expect much, if any new development of storms overnight.


That said, we could see a cluster of storms find its way into the area by early morning Tuesday, as one model in particular (the HRRR) believes. I do think if we were to see that happen, it would be progressive, meaning a quick 1 or 2 inches of rain and then out. Granted, the ground is now saturated, so any rain of intense magnitude will be capable of producing flash flooding. But a quick moving system would be acceptable in this pattern. Additional storms will be possible later tomorrow afternoon or evening, though to be quite honest, the details are really fuzzy still. Tuesday will require a good bit of “nowcasting,” which means watching trends and making short-fused 12 to 18 hour forecasts at a time. Eric will update you in the morning.

Rest of the week

This week is a marathon, and we’re not sprinting to the finish. Wednesday and Thursday continue to look like active days with a combination of slower moving storms and saturated soils possibly combining to cause issues. We’ll remain in a Stage 2 flood alert unless something changes.

Just to underscore: As we’ve seen the last two days, these systems are relatively unpredictable with anything more than modest lead time. They are also capable of easily producing 2 to 4 inches of rain in an hour for more than one hour, and that will cause problems. So we know the potential for considerable heavy rain and flooding exists, particularly as soils saturate through the week. We still cannot tell you exactly where and when that will occur. We’ll continue to ask for your patience as we help you navigate the rest of this week. Stay safe.

Our next post will be Eric’s usual post on Tuesday morning.

Round one of rain winding down after hammering areas between Houston & Corpus Christi

For the vast majority of the Houston area, today was pretty uneventful. Across Harris County, according to the Flood Control map, the max total was 1.64 inches along Buffalo Bayou at the Beltway. But as you went southwest along Highway 59, things escalated quite a bit. The max total in our region today was 13.47 inches (as of 3 PM) in Wharton County, just east of Ganado.

Total radar estimated rainfall today shows the 11 to 12 inches (which was actually too low) near the border of Wharton and Jackson Counties. Matagorda County and Bay City saw upwards of 3 to 5 inches or a bit more. (NOAA NSSL)

That wasn’t a typo. And a simple look at that map shows the problem and trouble with forecasting these types of events. You go from 13 inches just east of Ganado to about 5 inches in the town itself. Raise your hand if you expected 13 inches of rain in our regional neighborhood today. I sure didn’t. Neither did any weather model. But with these sorts of setups, this is exactly what can happen, and that’s one thing that makes forecasting in Southeast Texas so difficult sometimes. This is also why we’re being a little coy on details regarding this event. Because quite simply, they’re extremely difficult to predict, let alone try and communicate.

So the headline right off the bat here is that we are going to continue to tell you to expect us to activate our Space City Weather Flood Scale tomorrow. We remain unsure if it will start at Stage 1 or Stage 2, but Eric will update you in the morning on that. Likewise, the National Weather Service is holding off on Flood Watches for tomorrow given the uncertainty on how things evolve tonight. Which leads me to…


What happens tonight? Well, the radar this evening still has a good bit of rain south of Houston. But the real ridiculous 2 to 4 inch per hour stuff seems to mostly be gone or pushing offshore.

The heaviest rain is slowly working its way to the coast and offshore south of Houston this evening, as of about 5 PM. (RadarScope)

There are some blobs of heavier showers east of Houston. And truth be told, that is the area I want us to watch closest tonight. One model in particular has been indicating that storms are going blow up after 3 or 4 AM along some lingering boundaries from today’s storms. And that would occur closer to Port Arthur or between Baytown and the Beaumont/Port Arthur area. So I would think that if we see heavy rain blow up again overnight, that would be the region to watch.


Monday’s forecast will entirely dependent on what happens late tonight, so I’m just going to leave it at: There’s a good chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms tomorrow. Heavy rain is definitely possible. But the details are still very sketchy, and modeling disagrees on exactly who is at highest risk across Texas tomorrow. That said, we should see a little less chaotic weather tomorrow across the state than we have seen today (though the Panhandle will be at risk for some big storms).

Beyond tomorrow

Eric did a great job this morning summing up what I’d call the “known unknowns” of the forecast over the next several days. And to be honest, after digesting the models, not much has changed. That’s not terribly surprising. As I alluded to above, these types of patterns are notorious for being full of capricious details, and I fully expect certain modeled outcomes today to become outdated before too long.

The NWS forecast from Monday through late in the week calls for about 6 to 10 inches on average, with higher amounts very possible over smaller areas, much like occurred today. (NWS Houston)

The National Weather Service outlook for total rain the rest of the week is above. I would view this as an “average” outcome. On average, your backyard could see as little as 3 or 4 inches of additional rain, but more likely closer to 6 or 8 inches. And some places could see much more than that. Suffice to say, this forecast is challenging, and we’ll keep you posted throughout as things evolve. You’ll want to stay plugged into the forecast. Our next update will be our usual Monday morning update from Eric.

One more nice day before humidity returns and Houston moves into a wetter pattern

Well, we sure hope you got to enjoy the weather yesterday and hopefully today too. Mid-May fronts with cool, comfortable air masses feel like a rare treat. Our morning low of 62° at Bush Airport this morning is the coolest morning this late in the season since May 25, 2017 (60°). The humidity returns later today, tonight, and Saturday, and then rain chances will follow. Our area looks poised to enter into a prolonged unsettled weather pattern for at least least a week or so. Let’s walk through the forecast.


Really, we will just have a nice day ahead today. Look for some sun after these morning clouds in spots dissipate. There will still be a fair number of clouds though this afternoon, and highs will be around 80° or in the low-80s, give or take.


Saturday morning will start a bit warmer and a bit more humid than today or Thursday began. Morning lows will be in the 60s, if not 70° or so in most places. Look for a mix of clouds and maybe a bit of sun. If you have the option to choose between weekend days for outdoor plans, we would strongly suggest going with Saturday. While there will be a chance for some showers, mainly west or southwest of Houston, those chances are not especially high or long lasting. It will be warm and turn increasingly humid, with highs in the 80s.

Sunday into Monday

The forecast for Sunday is very challenging. This is mainly due to timing. The last couple days have seen the start time of rain slip in models from Saturday night to Sunday morning to now Sunday afternoon. What we know is that a disturbance is going to cross through our region, and it will likely bring most of us a period or two of showers and thunderstorms on Sunday through Monday.

We may have one area of rain Sunday morning and afternoon move into the area from the west. Rain may then taper off late on Sunday afternoon before another round fires up either Sunday night or Monday morning into afternoon. The exact timing is tricky, but we know most folks will see at least a little rain. You can see from the animation below how precipitable water or how much moisture is available in the atmosphere increases sharply through Sunday morning and afternoon, which will turn a slight rain chance into a fairly healthy one.

The amount of available moisture in the atmosphere steadily increases on Sunday from southwest to northeast across the area, meaning rain chances will build through the day. (Weather Bell)

Look for highs near 80° or in the low to mid-80s depending on exactly when it rains. Lows will be in the upper-60s to low-70s.

How much rain to expect Sunday and Monday? Always a difficult question to answer, but right now we could see a half-inch to inch on average with some localized places perhaps seeing as much as 2 to 3 inches of rain or even a bit more. Where those bullseyes occur is difficult to predict more than 12-18 hours out, so I won’t speculate on that this morning.

Rest of next week

The rest of next week will feature Texas under the influence of a pattern with lots of moisture around and several disturbances and a dreaded upper low passing across the state. That is a classic spring combination for periods of rain and thunderstorms. Why do I say “dreaded?” Because upper lows are notorious fickle and difficult to forecast. As the saying in meteorology goes “upper low, forecaster’s woe.”

Here’s what we know: The chance of rain will be high each day next week. But, it will not rain all day or perhaps even every day everywhere. More likely we’ll have a day with widespread, heavy thunderstorms separated by a day or two of more isolated or scattered activity. As of today, it appears that Sunday into Monday and later Tuesday into Wednesday have the highest odds of more widespread storms. But I’ve dealt with enough upper lows to tell you that this could easily move around, hence why we’re just blanketing each day next week with a rain chance. We’d expect rain chances to tail off a bit by next weekend.

The NOAA forecast of rainfall for the next week calls for about 1 to 3 inches on average, with highest amounts north. There will almost certainly be areas around Houston that see more than 3 inches of rain over the next week. (Pivotal Weather)

So how much rain should we expect next week? Well, it’s probably going to vary, widely. Some areas may see an inch or two, while other areas could easily see 4 to 6 inches of rain or even some more by Friday. On average, we would say about 1 to 3 inches should be expected. We don’t think those bigger ticket rainfall amounts will be especially widespread, and we don’t expect major flooding issues right now. But this is the type of forecast we’ll want to watch closely. If necessary, Eric and I will break out the flood scale, but it’s much too soon for that.

Meanwhile, we’ll do our best to try and isolate those heavier periods of rainfall that make travel difficult for you, and if we gain some confidence in those or rain amounts, we’ll also update this weekend.

Humidity returns to Houston this weekend ahead of unsettled weather next week

We’ve had some stellar May weather to close out this week, and today will be no exception. But look for changes this weekend, leading to some unsettled weather next week.

Drought update

So, some good news! The rains of last weekend did a number on drought across Texas. About 20 percent of the state exited drought completely, with about 45 percent remaining there today.

Drought is still prevalent in Texas, but the rains of last weekend took a big bite out of it, especially in eastern Texas. (US Drought Monitor)

Locally, that change was even more stark. We went from about 45 percent of the region in drought last week to less than 10 percent now in drought.

Use the slider to see last week’s drought map (slide right) versus this week’s map (slight left) in the Houston National Weather Service coverage area. (US Drought Monitor)

Overall, last weekend’s rains did not completely end drought concerns, and there are still some localized pockets that didn’t get quite a lot of rain last weekend. But it did put a dent in the drought. The hope is that next week’s unsettled weather will do some more, although as of today it appears that the bulk of next week’s rain may fall in areas that are not in serious need of rain. More on that below.


Look for another winner today with sunshine and some passing high clouds. High temperatures will top off in the mid-80s, with perhaps a couple upper-80s peppered in there too. Humidity remains fairly low, though it will subtly increase later in the day.


Tomorrow should still be a fairly decent day. Any outdoor plans should be fine, though I wouldn’t exactly be shocked to see an isolated shower west of the city. We should have some fog in a few spots early, clearing to sun and clouds with morning lows in the 60s again warming into the mid-80s. Humidity will be noticeably higher tomorrow. A southerly breeze will also pick up a bit, so if you’re out on the Gulf or Galveston Bay, be ready for some 20-25 mph wind gusts building as the day goes on.

Mother’s Day

As noted in yesterday’s post, the Sunday forecast is a trickier one. However, while we can’t entirely rule out some more widespread, heavier showers, those seem more likely to stay comfortably north of the Houston area through late afternoon or evening, between Huntsville and Dallas. If you will be traveling to or from Dallas on Sunday, do keep that in mind, particularly in the afternoon or toward evening. But for the majority of our area: Clouds, some sun and just a slight shower chance. There may be some light rain, drizzle, or mist in the morning hours. It will end up warm to hot and humid, with morning lows in the 70s and highs in the mid to upper-80s, along with a steady southeast breeze. I think storm chances may increase a little bit on Sunday evening, but details are still a bit uncertain.

Monday through Wednesday

As we discussed yesterday as well, next week’s forecast is dependent on the orientation of a stalled out cold front near or north of us, as well as the timing of any disturbances rippling by overhead. We know that there will probably be at least scattered thunderstorms next week. We know it may not rain each day and certainly not everywhere each day, but we know that the chances are probably better than 50 percent at times.

The rainfall forecast from NWS next week looks fairly healthy, but there will likely be some areas that get less than advertised here and some that perhaps see a bit more, especially north of Houston. (Weather Bell)

While we could see some locally heavy rain in this type of weather pattern, the most likely areas to see that will be north of I-10, because of course. On average, I would expect about a quarter to half-inch of rain south of I-10 Monday through Wednesday, a half-inch to inch or so in the city, and 1 to 3 inches north of the city. But amounts may vary considerably, with some places merely seeing a tenth of an inch or so and others perhaps seeing as much as 4 or 5 inches. Serious flooding is not expected to be a concern.

Late next week

That stalled out front is likely to push offshore late next week, ending rain chances and ushering in offshore winds to allow humidity to drop again for a couple days. Expect lows in the 60s and highs in the 80s, but those mornings will hopefully feel nice. “Hopefully” is carrying a lot of weight in that sentence, but most reliable model data does support lower humidity and slightly cooler temperatures late next week.

Unless it appears that the weather will change significantly this weekend, look for Eric to be back in the saddle for our next post on Monday morning!