Beta on track for a Texas landfall Monday as a tropical storm

8:50 pm CT Sunday: Good evening folks. Matt started this post earlier, but Eric is stepping in to finish it due to a family matter. Read to the end to find out what took Matt away—and you’ll understand the lengths to which we’ll go to make sure we’ve got Houston covered in times of severe weather!

It’s been interesting to watch the evolution of Tropical Storm Beta today. The storm looked terrible this morning, had a renaissance this afternoon, and has now reverted back to mostly unimpressive, but standard tropical storm fare. You can see how it has progressed on satellite through the day, from morning thunderstorms with an exposed center to afternoon storms under a consolidated looking center to a broad, weaker looking storm this evening.

Beta’s evolution today has led to it looking fairly different at times but packing mostly the same punch as it had when the day began. Click to enlarge. (College of DuPage)

All in all Beta is who we thought it was: A moderate tropical storm fighting shear and dry air but occasionally feeling the hospitality of a warm Gulf of Mexico. We expect only slight changes, if any, in intensity over the next day or so as it nears the Texas coast and likely comes ashore on Monday.

Beta’s forecast track and intensity is very little changed this evening versus where it was 12 to 18 hours ago. The storm picked up a little forward speed today and is currently about 150 miles east-southeast of Port O’Connor and the entrance to Matagorda Bay. Beta will move generally west or west-northwest through the night and into tomorrow, eventually making landfall by around Noon tomorrow, give or take. After this the storm will eventually turn to the northeast, perhaps passing near Houston over land, or offshore. During this time it should gradually become more disorganized. It should be gone by Wednesday or Thursday. Good riddance!

Rainfall

In terms of precipitation, we’re still in the same place we’ve been for awhile with our Flood Scale. We have a Stage 2 flood alert for coastal areas south of Interstate 10, and a Stage 1 event for areas north of Interstate 10. Neither the global models or the regional models that can better model convective storms are showing really aggressive rainfall totals that would lead to significant widespread flooding this week.

Regional convective model forecast for rainfall through Tuesday morning. (NOAA)

Beta’s heaviest rains should come between Monday morning and Wednesday morning, and some of our best regional models suggest a reasonably healthy band of showers could move into Houston around sunrise tomorrow. (We’ll see). We generally expect 2 to 8 inches of total additional rainfall across the region, with higher isolated amounts, and our greatest concern is pockets that may see the majority of that rain in a couple of hours. This should generally cause street flooding, but we’ll be watching closely for trouble spots.

Wind speeds

We’ve been tracking winds this evening, and there have been some gusts near tropical storm-force along Galveston Island. We think winds will probably pick up a little bit more during the overnight hours before beginning to back off Monday morning. Most of the Houston area—and certainly locations north of Interstate 10—are unlikely to see prolonged tropical storm-force wind gusts from Beta. Here’s a look at the European model’s forecast swath of maximum wind gusts from the storm.

European model for maximum wind gusts in Houston this week. (Weather Bell)

Sustained winds will be lower. This should not be enough to cause significant electricity problems for inland areas, although we may see some power outages right along the coast.

Coastal surge

The most dramatic effect our region has seen from Beta has been rising waters along the coast due to the storm’s easterly winds and surge. We expect the highest levels to occur with high tides this evening along the coast, and again on Monday morning. Very high water levels will persist into Tuesday before really beginning to ramp down on Wednesday. We have already had reports of many low-lying roads on Bolivar Peninsula and the West End of Galveston Island becoming impassable.

Coastal flooding outlook for Galveston. (National Weather Service)

 

Our next update will come no later than 7:30am CT Monday.

Matt’s end note: I’m about to become a father for the second time, and nature called upon us this evening. I’ll be taking a break from the site for a little while for obvious reasons, but will pass along the good news when possible! Stay safe!

117 thoughts on “Beta on track for a Texas landfall Monday as a tropical storm

    1. Dan Workman

      Congratulations Matt, and thank you, Eric! Matt. It seems fitting that the forecast has to been to nature’s will! Thank you, both!

      1. Tom Swinburn

        I KNOW you wouldn’t call the newest member of the family Stormy, on account of the arrival time. Here’s hoping for an easy birth with all concerned in tremendous shape.

    1. Mark Thornton

      Ha! My thoughts exactly. Or ‘Stormzy’ which is becoming a more popular name here in the UK 😉

      Fingers crossed Matt for a safe delivery and all best wishes from here in the UK!

  1. Penny Piercy

    Congratulations to the Lanza family, and best wishes for a smooth and safe arrival for the newest little one!

  2. Robin Thompson

    Thank you so much for going above and beyond to bring these no-hype forecasts. They help more than you know. Hope all goes well for Matt’s wife and new arrival. Such exciting news!

  3. kenya

    Thank you. Congratulations on the new baby. Thank your family for loaning you to the world.♥️

  4. Hermi Woodward

    Best wishes to Matt and family! Sorry you have to go through this happy event with weather on everybody’s mind! We are confident Eric will have your back and ours!

  5. Jennifer Perry

    Thank you for being so dedicated to keeping Houston residents informed!! Congrats on the new addition Matt! I hope all goes well!!!

  6. Jody Holton

    Congratulations!! And thank you for working so hard to keep up informed in a no hype manner, much appreciated.

  7. Mary Morgan

    Congratulations, Matt and family! Baby pictures would be a welcome change from twirly things in the Gulf. Thank you for all you and Eric do. It’s SO appreciated!

  8. Judith

    Congratulations Matt! How exciting! I guess the storm brought on labor. Just don’t name it Beta. lol

  9. Teri Brockway

    Congratulations, Matt! You’ll have many years of celebrating this child’s birthday in the midst of hurricane season!

  10. Mary Ann Salch Murphy

    I knew it! Congratulations to you and your wife! Thank you for keeping me calm and for convincing my precious children that I don’t need to evacuate every time.
    M. A. in Galveston

    PS I wore your t-shirt when I walked this morning.

  11. Anita

    Aww, congrats to the Lanza family on their new addition! Thanks to both Eric and Matt for keeping us informed this busy hurricane season…is it over yet???

  12. Jane Harrison

    Congrats to Matt & family!👍🏼 THANKS again to you 2 Guys for keeping us informed and calm during this storm.👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

  13. mike van etta

    Congrats on the newest member of the family! Will pray for all of you and especially for your wife and the baby.

  14. Michelle

    Congratulations Matt, and thank you for your commitment to our city.
    Would you recommend for people to stay home Monday? Should schools close?

  15. Stephanie

    Congratulations Matt! Though you bless us with all of your hard work, being a father is the most important job of all! Enjoy your family!

  16. Catherine Bailey

    Storms bring babies – the best blessings of the weather! Early congratulations to Matt and his family! Thank you both for your continued dedication to our Houston community!

  17. Ana L,

    Congratulations to you and your family Matt! Thank you for all of your hard work.
    Our daughter was born 15 years ago during Rita, September 21st.
    God blessings to your new baby.

  18. Clay

    Keep in mind as well that we are in the middle of the Fall Equinox and so tides are exceptionally high this week.

  19. Larissa Lindsay

    Congrats Matt on the new family member. Wishing your wife an easy delivery and all of you a healthy baby.

  20. Linda

    Congratulations and praying for healthy delivery! My first grand baby was born the week “Laura” arrived and when I jokingly suggested that be the babies middle name, it did not go over well. I won’t make that mistake again 😉.

  21. Lenore

    Congratulations to Matt and family on the impending arrival of Baby Lanza!!! And thanks to both Eric and Matt for keeping us updated on Beta’s moves!

  22. Heidi Rothschild

    Congratulations, Matt! Thanks for everything you and Eric do to keep us reliably informed.

  23. Brice

    Congratulations, Matt!
    I trust that new Lanza will arrive safely and that everybody’s well.
    Thanks so much to you and Eric for keeping us well-informed.

  24. CJEO

    Best wishes to the whole Lanza family! Thank you and Eric for your incredible dedication to and excellent work for our community. What a tremendous role model you both are for your families.

  25. Margaret Hulse

    Best wishes and prayers for everything to go smoothly. Enjoy your time with the new little Lanza and the family.

  26. Jason L

    Thanks for all you guys do. Best of luck Matt. Many blessings to your family and future addition to the family. Cheers

  27. Vicki Schutter

    Didn’t they have a baby just a few months ago? But seriously, my most enthusiastic congratulations to Matr and his wife!

  28. Ginny

    Congratulations Matt and Family; so happy for you all! It will be so nice to report on a welcome arrival, rather than tropical storms and hurricanes! Let us know all the details! Thank you, Eric, for stepping in and completing Matt’s report. You and Matt are my go-to weather source; I trust you both completely. Thanks so much for providing this wonderful service; it’s meant so much to me since my brother Mike introduced me to Space City Weather during Harvey.

  29. Vicki H

    Congratulations Matt !

    Our church choir director introduced us to Space City Weather several weeks ago and we have all been SOOO impressed. I have read every single post and have so appreciated your obvious deep knowledge and your writing style. Let us know if there is anything we can do to promote your ongoing funding relationship with Reliant.
    ,

  30. Lizzie Lizard

    Wow, congratulations Matt! Best wishes for a safe and healthy delivery. Look forward to hearing more.

  31. Tosha

    If I may, I’d like to enter my choices for the child’s name…
    Boy- Beta Max (for al you 80’s kids)
    Girl- Bettina or Betanya

    Happy Labor Day to mom! Matt, make sure she gets the best meal after all this is over!

  32. Susan

    Congratulations! All the best you each and all of you….and as a grandparent…you just made a bunch of people very, very happy.

  33. Tera Rush

    Congratulations 🎉 Prayers and blessings over your growing family. Thank y’all for your dedication!

  34. Kevin Sayre

    Congratulations to Mom and Daddy!! We appreciate you! Always grateful for your honest forecasts, Eric and Matt!

  35. Constance

    CONGRATULATIONS MATT!!! Go be with your family, we got this!! So glad that you all can support new life during a very turbulent and troubled year. Best wishes to your partner and your new child!!!!!

  36. Peter VanNess

    Congrats to Matt. Praying for the forecasted good news to be per the normal routine, accurate, efficient, painless, to the point and with a resulting calm.

  37. Carla Raymond

    Congratulations Matt! Hope delivery is over and Mom and Baby Lanza are doing fine👍 Blessings to you and family. Thank you for your excellent forecasts and dedication, Matt! Thank you Eric for stepping up to help and your excellent forecasts and dedication! Blessings to you. Family is stronger than any storm or virus, eh🤗

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