Category: Tropical weather

It is difficult to take too much pleasure out of Houston’s weather for today, and the foreseeable future—and it will be sublime after our long, muggy summer—with an intensifying hurricane bearing down on the Florida Panhandle. Unfortunately, Michael strengthened overnight into a 145-mph, Category 4 hurricane overnight. Moreover, its central pressure continues to fall this morning, indicating further strengthening is possible before a landfall later today near Panama City.

Zoomed in forecast track map for Hurricane Michael. (National Hurricane Center)

This is the most devastating storm that northwestern Florida has ever seen. Wind damage will be extensive, with even inland areas such as Tallahassee likely seeing sustained hurricane-force winds, and storm surge to the right of Michael’s landfall will be highly significant. Please heed all warnings from the National Hurricane Center.

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Tropical Storm Michael has formed in the northern Caribbean Sea, and it will move into the Gulf of Mexico and threaten the United States during the coming week. As we have said for several days now, the storm will have no direct effects on Texas—although we will be the beneficiary of some drier air on its back side later this week.

However, Michael now appears likely to become a hurricane, and so I wanted to post for those traveling east this week, or those with family or friends along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast. The models are in good agreement about the track of Michael, and a landfall along the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday seems most likely.

Track model forecast for Michael as of Sunday morning. (NCAR)

The bigger question in regard to Michael is intensity. At present, Michael is a minimal 40-mph tropical storm. However, as it moves away from the Yucatan peninsula, it will have an open ocean instead of land interactions, warmer waters, and lower wind shear. All of this is a recipe for intensification. The official forecast brings Michael to an 80-mph, Category 1 hurricane, but there is a fair amount of uncertainty. The bottom line is that, by Tuesday, coastal interests in Alabama and Florida need to be prepared for a landfalling hurricane—especially popular resorts in the Destin area. This storm will bring the threat of intense winds near its center, a surge to its east, and heavy rainfall.

We’ll be back in the morning with a full forecast for the Houston area. The next two weeks … look pretty amazing.

The 2018 Texas hurricane season is probably over

Posted by Eric Berger at 6:48 AM

We’ve reached Sept. 24th, the date after which it is quite rare for Texas to get struck by a hurricane. And as we’ll discuss below, with a few caveats, we expect that Texas is done with hurricanes this year as well. But first, let’s get to a wet forecast.

Monday

After Saturday night’s surprising cold front passage, Houston enjoyed drier conditions on Sunday, and that should be the case today as well as most of the moisture remains to the east of the region, off the coast and over Louisiana.

Greater moisture levels (precipitable water) are east of the Houston region on Monday. (Weather Bell)

As a result, we can probably expect partly sunny skies today, with high temperatures near 90 degrees, and only some isolated showers and thunderstorms this afternoon. The (slightly) drier air ushered into the region by Saturday’s weak front will probably hang around through most of day and this evening before being washed away by returning Gulf of Mexico moisture.

Tuesday

Gulf moisture should begin returning Monday night and Tuesday, and while this won’t have too much of an effect on temperatures, we should see rain chances creep back up to the 30 to 40 percent range, with a corresponding increase in humidity.

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Dreary, unsettled weather returns to Houston

Posted by Matt Lanza at 6:14 AM

After a few days off, unsettled weather returned on Thursday, bringing some folks over three inches of rain. Others saw nothing at all, but everyone is likely in line to see at least some rain over the next couple days.

Today

Radar isn’t too active this morning with a few scattered showers — mostly light or occasionally moderate rain.

Radar shows a smattering of showers or lighter rains across the area this morning. (College of DuPage)

As we go into the rest of today, look for scattered downpours and thunderstorms to blossom from later this morning into this afternoon. Like yesterday, we could see locally heavy rainfall in the most persistent storms. Rain amounts will again vary wildly, with some folks seeing little to no rain, while others could see two to four inches in a relatively short time, along with some localized street flooding.

Saturday & Sunday

Unfortunately, the specifics surrounding the forecast this weekend are going to be difficult to lay out. If you’ve lived in Southeast Texas for any length of time, you know that our rain often follows a pattern of feast or famine: Neighborhoods that get soaked may be adjacent to dry neighborhoods. Trying to predict where and when it’s going to rain this weekend is impossible to do more than a few hours in advance, but we know that both Saturday and Sunday carry high chances that it will rain for a period of time during the morning or afternoon hours.

Specific rain amounts will vary significantly from place to place through Sunday evening. On average, expect an inch or two, with some places seeing more and others less. (NWS)

Total rainfall should add up to about an inch to two inches on average across the region by Sunday evening. Some folks will see less than that. Others may see three, four, or five inches of rain or even a little more with some street flooding. If you have outdoor plans this weekend, include an umbrella and an indoor backup if possible. Where the heaviest ultimately falls will depend on how far south a cold front can push, along with other small-scale processes in the atmosphere.

If there’s good news in all this, it’s that our six day string of 90°+ weather should end. We’ll see high temperatures in the mid-80s, with lows in the mid-70s. Yes, it will be unpleasantly humid, but at least it won’t be obscenely hot for later September.

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