Posted by Eric Berger at 5:27 PM
At 5 pm CT on Saturday Hurricane Hanna made landfall along Padre Island, with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. For Houston, our forecast remains unchanged. We will see periods of at-times heavy rainfall, but it should be intermittent enough that the worst impact we anticipate is some brief street flooding. Heavy rains should be more scattered on Sunday and backing off further on Monday. The rest of this post will focus on South Texas, where Hanna’s rainfall potential is much more serious.
Radar image of Hanna shortly after landfall. (RadarScope)
The rapid intensification of Hanna over the last 24 hours has helped drive a storm surge of 4 to 6 feet into locations near Port Aransas and Corpus Christi. The storm’s strongest winds have come in the largely unpopulated area between Corpus Christi and South Padre Island; and as Hanna moves inland its winds should continue to die down. Looking ahead, inland rainfall and the resulting flooding will almost certainly be the biggest concern.
Torrential rainfall continues to fall across South Texas, and this is likely to continue from now through Sunday. Hanna is moving, but it is only sliding slowly to the southwest at about 8 mph. For the next 24 hours to 36 hours, before Hanna moves into Mexico, away from the Gulf of Mexico, and begins to dissipate, the storm will be capable of tapping the warm Gulf waters to produce heavy rainfall.
NOAA rainfall accumulation forecast between Saturday evening and Monday evening. (Pivotal Weather)
Some high resolution modeling suggests that an additional 6 to 12 inches of rainfall may fall in locations such as Hidalgo and Cameron counties during this time period. And with these kinds of widespread totals we can probably expect some locations to receive as much as 15 inches of additional rainfall. This will lead to significant flooding problems in a region of the state already strained by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Posted by Matt Lanza at 6:02 AM
After a disappointing end to the Astros season, we could use a little sunshine around here to perk us back up a bit. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of great news looking ahead. We just offer thoughts on the forecast; we don’t control the weather. But we apologize nonetheless.
Today will be another day of clouds and perhaps a couple sunny breaks in spots if you’re lucky. For those of you that missed warmer temperatures, you’ll be seeing some of those return today too. We crested into the 70s in Houston early yesterday afternoon, and we are already running about 10 degrees warmer than yesterday morning (mid-60s). So we’ll probably push the upper-70s today.
Radar as of 5:30 this morning showed heavy rain in spots from Matagorda Bay south to Corpus Christi Bay. (College of DuPage)
There will be a chance of showers and storms virtually anywhere at anytime, but as radar shows, the heaviest rains are likely to stay south of Houston. The Matagorda Bay region has seen the steadiest rains, but so far most places have only seen a quarter to a half-inch or so. As we go into this afternoon, the focus for the best rain or storm chances may shift to west or north of Houston.
Our next cold front is in line to cross through the area later Saturday afternoon or evening. Expect a mild, somewhat muggy Saturday morning, with AM lows in the 70s south and east of Houston and mid-to upper-60s north and west. We’ll probably have scattered showers tonight into Saturday morning across the region. Not everyone will see rain though. As the front approaches during the afternoon, we will have another shot at some showers. I am not too impressed by the dynamics of this cold front as it approaches our area, so I am not terribly worried about any significant weather as it passes by. Rain chances will trend toward zero on Saturday night finally.
Most of the Houston area is expected to see a half-inch or less of rain this weekend. By Sunday evening, some areas toward Central Texas or down around Matagorda Bay may see over an inch of rain. (NWS Houston)
Expect temperatures ahead of the front to peak in the mid-to upper-70s south and east. Areas that see an earlier passage of the front north and west of Houston may not get much past the low-70s.
Posted by Matt Lanza at 6:47 AM
Houston’s got some nicer weather coming for a few days this weekend before we get a little more unsettled next week. I want to go more in depth on the potential for a pattern change starting in mid-November, so there’s a pretty detailed section on that below. Let’s jump in.
Rest of Today
We’re starting off warm again this morning across the region. Galveston is likely to at least tie their record for warmest morning low for this date (74° in 2000).
Another extremely warm morning in Southeast Texas for November. (NOAA)
Expect a mild afternoon with high temps in the low 80s. Scattered showers on Monday focused west of I-45, and then yesterday, they focused mainly between Houston and Lake Charles. Today? There is an organized line of weakening thunderstorms southeast of Dallas this morning, but I don’t quite think those will make it here. Best chance for some steadier rain though would be northwest of a Conroe to Hempstead line this morning. The air over Southeast Texas is pretty stable, so while there will likely be some isolated to scattered showers and storms this afternoon, especially north or west of the city. I’m guessing most of us will stay dry, but your best bet today is to carry an umbrella as an insurance policy, knowing there’s probably a good chance you won’t need it. Read More…
Posted by Eric Berger at 11:43 AM
Long time readers of mine will be familiar with the date of Sept. 24th, the point at which the historical chance of a hurricane striking Texas falls very nearly to zero. Just three hurricanes have struck Texas after that date in the last 160 years, the most recent being Hurricane Jerry, in 1989. (The storm’s landfall, on Oct. 16, is the latest a hurricane has ever hit Texas. It had 85-mph winds and came ashore along Galveston Island).
I’ve waited a few days later this year to make an “end of season” post because I wanted to follow the evolution of Hurricane Matthew (which now, clearly, will not come into the Gulf of Mexico), and because the upper-atmosphere pattern still has a September feel about it. What I mean by this is that the fast-flowing jet stream in the upper levels of the atmosphere really hasn’t dug that far south yet, bringing with it strong wind currents that are hostile to hurricane formation and intensification.
This GFS model forecast for upper-level winds next Thursday morning shows that the jet stream isn’t far enough south to provide really strong upper-level winds along the Texas coast. (Weather Bell)