Category: Hurricane Harvey

A lot of stuff to get to today. We’ll go through the forecast first, and then jump into the National Hurricane Center’s final report on Hurricane Harvey, released yesterday.

Today & Saturday

We’re thinking today will be a rather uneventful weather day. We should see a good deal of cloud cover around, with limited (if any) sunshine. Temperatures are starting the day much warmer (around 50° in most spots, roughly 15° milder than yesterday at this time), and they’ll likely finish warmer than yesterday too. We should manage about mid-60s this afternoon.

In terms of rain, the bulk of today should be dry, but there could be some sprinkles or showers.

Things do change tonight as onshore flow continues, driving in ample moisture. A weak disturbance passes offshore, and this combination will lead to increasing rain chances as the night goes on. The best chance for the most shower activity will be south and east of US-59. The general rule of thumb will be that the closer to the coast you get, the better rain chances will be. Saturday will see shower chances continue in the region, but I think they’ll be highest both in the early morning and later afternoon. And once again, they’ll be highest south and east of Houston. Still, have an umbrella handy Saturday. It will be warm again, with highs near 70 degrees.

Total rainfall tonight and tomorrow will be highest well south and east of Houston. (Weather Bell/WPC)

Generally, we’re only expecting about a half inch or less in and around Houston. Some coastal locations could see upwards of three-quarters of an inch or so of rain. Higher amounts will be possible as you move toward Beaumont-Port Arthur and Lake Charles. Also, watch for some patchy dense fog along the coast (or even in some inland spots) later today through Saturday night.

Sunday into next week

A cold front will pass through the area Saturday night without much punch. You’ll notice it more Sunday with lowering humidity and gradually decreasing clouds. Expect temperatures to top off near 65° or so on Sunday. Sunday night will be chilly, with lows back into the 40s in the area. Monday and Tuesday continue to look splendid, with highs in the low-60s and lows in the 40s. We’ll see a warm up with increasing clouds and minor rain chances after Wednesday.

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Houston may face yet another winter storm this week

Posted by Eric Berger at 7:40 AM

After a clear and cold weekend, our concerns once again turn to the possibility of a winter storm in Houston—the third time we’ve worried about this kind of thing during the winter of 2017-2018. Fortunately, I’m also pretty confident this is the last time we’ll have to worry about this for this winter.

MLK Day

Fortunately, the inclement weather will hold off for today, allowing for pretty nice conditions across the region for the celebration of MLK Day. We can expect to see high temperatures in the low 60s, with partly sunny skies. Some scattered showers are possible later this afternoon and evening, as temperatures fall to around 50 degrees.

Tuesday

Everything changes on Tuesday as a strong cold front blows into Houston between midnight Monday, and sunrise on Tuesday. Light rain should follow behind this front. We’re not concerned about accumulations, with only a tenth or two of an inch of precipitation for most areas. But we are definitely concerned about the potential for rain turning into a wintry mix north and west of Houston on Tuesday morning (i.e. in the Brazos Valley and the Piney Woods regions), and moving southward into the Houston area later on Tuesday.

GFS model for precipitation from 6am to noon Tuesday. Rain for southern half of Houston, with mostly sleet (ice pellets) to the north. (Weather Bell)

Expect temperatures to fall throughout the day on Tuesday as very cold air advects into the region behind the front. For Houston, we’re primarily concerned about precipitation that lingers into the afternoon and evening on Tuesday, when temperatures fall below freezing. Although the precipitation (rain, sleet, snow?) will be light, you’re going to want to check the weather and road conditions before venturing out on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. Overall I’m not too concerned as something like light sleet shouldn’t cause major problems. But we’re nonetheless watching this closely because of its trouble-making potential, and we’ll keep you updated. A winter weather advisory is in effect from 3am Tuesday until 6am Wednesday for the entire metro area.

GFS model for precipitation from noon to 6pm Tuesday shows sleet over most of Houston, with snow up north. (Weather Bell)

The other big story for Tuesday night is low temperatures. Right now I expect we’ll see low 20s for inland areas, mid-20s for central parts of the Houston area, and upper-20s for the coast. Obviously you should take similar precautions as to what you did for the cold snap right at the beginning of the new year.

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Post-Harvey week in review: December 18, 2017

Posted by Matt Lanza at 1:49 PM

It’s another Monday, so it’s time for another week in review of articles about Harvey-related issues in Texas. If you missed previous recaps, they are here:

Post-Harvey week in review: December 11, 2017
Post-Harvey week in review: December 4, 2017
Post-Harvey week in review: November 27, 2017
Post-Harvey week in review: November 20, 2017

Just as a note: With Christmas and New Years upcoming on Mondays, we’ll table this feature until next year. Look for this to resume in early 2018.

Reads of the week

The Houston Chronicle’s “Developing Storm” series. Parts one and two are linked in last week’s post. The next three parts are linked below. There should be two more coming soon. These are very much worth your time to read, as they’re educational, informative, and, at times, maddening.

Part 3: What’s in Houston’s worst flood zones? Development worth $13.5 billion (Houston Chronicle): Since 2008, 1,400 structures worth $4.2 billion have been built on floodway parcels in Harris County. Part 3 of the Chronicle’s seven part series examines the differences between floodways and floodplains and how Houston’s regulations have evolved (or haven’t) despite our experience with frequent floods over the years.

Part 4: Harvey overwhelmed some levee systems. Future storms could do worse (Houston Chronicle): Levee systems protecting subdivisions in Fort Bend County probably performed as they were supposed to, but that didn’t prevent over 100 homes from being flooded during Harvey. And by no means do levees guarantee future protection from flooding.

Part 5: Officials patched and prayed while pressure built on Houston’s dams (Houston Chronicle): Addicks and Barker Dams have done enormous service to Houston. Learn about their history and learn how much trouble Houston would be in if they were to fail.

Flooding fact sheets

Continuing on the idea of educating and informing Houston residents: The Greater Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium has published fact sheets to help people in the Houston area better understand terms, technicalities, and flooding risks. Four of them are linked below.

Flood warning systems 
What is a floodplain? 
How to assess flood damage 
What are detention basins?

(Space City Weather is brought to you this month by the Law Office of Murray Newman) Read More…

Post-Harvey week in review: December 11, 2017

Posted by Matt Lanza at 10:00 AM

Welcome back to our weekly Monday wrap-up of Harvey and flooding-related news you may have missed over the last seven days. Let us know if we missed anything in the comments. Previous recaps are here:

Post-Harvey week in review: December 4, 2017
Post-Harvey week in review: November 27, 2017
Post-Harvey week in review: November 20, 2017

Reads of the Week

Sunk Costs – Back-to-back record flooding along the Brazos River has forced people in Richmond to make an excruciating choice: Stay or go? (Texas Observer): The Brazos River at Richmond has seen four of its 10 highest crests on record since May of 2015. Some residents have flooded multiple times, and they now grapple with the question of where to go from here.

Developing Storm Part 1: Nature ruled, man reacted. Hurricane Harvey was Houston’s reckoning (Houston Chronicle): A multi-part series from the Chronicle began last week, and it aims to discuss the storm in the context of it not being exclusively a *natural* disaster. It’s worth reading. The first part discusses the reactions and decisions that had to be made in the heat of battle.

Developing Storm Part 2: Build, flood, rebuild: flood insurance’s expensive cycle (Houston Chronicle): Part two of the Chronicle series talks about the history of the National Flood Insurance Program. It discusses in depth how Congress has failed to act to make NFIP more fiscally viable.

Surveys & Symposiums

Survey: Harvey’s wrath affected 66 percent of Texans in its path (Corpus Christi Caller-Times): Two-thirds of people surveyed in counties affected by Harvey report that they have some sort of damage from the storm. They also report that help hasn’t quite been adequate to this point.

Report: An uneven recovery after Harvey threatens to leave people behind (Rice Kinder Institute): Almost half of people from Harris County that responded to an Episcopal Health Foundation and Kaiser Family Foundation survey lost income from Harvey. Seventeen percent of people from 24 counties surveyed are now suffering a new or worsening health condition. Harvey’s damage has stretched people and resources thin and has led to cascading impacts that will continue to be felt in the region and threatens to leave vulnerable and lower-income populations behind.

Where do we go from here? Houston-area leaders grapple with Harvey aftermath (Houston Chronicle): The Houston Chronicle held a symposium last week to discuss Houston after Harvey. Here are some highlights from that event.

(Space City Weather is brought to you this month by the Law Office of Murray Newman) Read More…