Heavy showers possible today, and assessing Maria’s damage

Houston has about another week or 10 days of summer-like weather before we finally transition into a fall-like weather pattern. Aside from the heat and scattered thunderstorms, there are no major weather concerns during that time. Meanwhile, a day after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, we are only beginning to come to grips with the storm’s devastation there.

Thursday

Much like we saw on Wednesday, when nearly 3 inches of rain fell east of Houston near Mont Belvieu, we have an unstable atmosphere above Houston today capable of producing heavy rain showers. Although most areas may see at least some light rain (measured in tenths of an inch) today, the heavier thunderstorms should be scattered and therefore I don’t anticipate any widespread street flooding. But we’ll be watching conditions this afternoon just in case.

High resolution models show some scattered, heavy thunderstorms across Houston later today. (Weather Bell)

Friday and Saturday

As high pressure builds over the area a bit, rain chances should fall back to about 25 percent, or less, each day. Look for warm, mostly sunny days with highs in the low 90s, and a chance of afternoon showers. The end of summer may be nigh, but it will still be with us this weekend.

Sunday through Wednesday

Houston will fall back into a potentially rainier period, but none of the models are doing crazy things in terms of accumulation. I think most areas will probably see about 1 inch of rain or so from now through the middle or later part of next week. That should be enough to help green up our lawns. Highs will remain near 90 degrees.

There isn’t a whole lot of agreement on timing just yet, but it does look like Houston will see its second cold front by sometime around next weekend, and the early part of October looks somewhat cooler and less humid than our present weather. Certainly, I can’t wait.

Hurricane Maria

This storm struck Puerto Rico on Wednesday morning with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, and although most meteorological equipment on the island was destroyed, there were widespread reports of winds of about 120 mph across most of the island. But that may not be the worst part, as about 15 to 25 inches of rain fell over mountainous parts of Puerto Rico, leading to devastating mudslides and flooding. Even this morning, Maria is only very slowly moving northward away from the island, with its southeastern rain bands still lashing the island.

Estimated rainfall from Hurricane Maria through 5am CT Thursday. (NOAA)

Power has gone out across the island of about 3.5 million residents. Preliminary estimates are that it may take 3 to 6 months to restore service. Imagine being on an island only about three times the size of Harris County, without power, your home flooded, your roof torn off, and roads impassable. Now imagine there’s no help coming down the highway from Austin, or Dallas, or Louisiana, or—anywhere just yet. That’s the situation Puerto Ricans, who are US citizens, find themselves in today.

Maria, itself, is now expected to remain well offshore from the continental United States. But its damage is done.

10 thoughts on “Heavy showers possible today, and assessing Maria’s damage

  1. Suzanne

    Thank you for the weather report. I also appreciate that you are continuing to follow hurricanes even if they don’t directly affect Houston.

  2. Chuck

    I suspect US Navy vessels with helicopter capability will be needed short term to deliver food and water to PR and USVI. Also, I heard some cruise lines had sent vessels loaded with food to islands that for the time being are damaged too severely to be cruise destinations. A nice gesture on their part.

    As for the local rain, once again you guys nailed it. Had a drizzle yesterday in my area of The Woodlands, less than 1/4 inch total.

  3. Mish

    I hope that our good neighbors and friends are as generous and kind to Florida, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and all victims of Harvey, Irma, and Maria as they have been to Houston. Many hands make work lighter.

    I recall two weeks without power after Ike; half a year is unimaginable.

  4. dcrawsha

    Eric,Matt, you are amazing. There no words to describe how much the world loves and appreciates your great minds and even greater hearts. If only we could clone you….:@) Thank you for being you.

  5. Steve B

    We have already seen .8″ of rain here (S. Mason @ Westpark Tollway) since Sunday, with more on our doorstep this afternoon. My rain barrels, which I cleaned after Harvey, are now totally full again. No flooding rains in Lakemont fortunately.
    Thanks for your updates. I get a lot more from reading your reports than I get from the fast paced ultra visual local TV weather. I can digest your information better.
    On Puerto Rico, we need a Marshall Plan for the island to rebuild the electrical grid and infrastructure. Better use of our money than some foreign war!

  6. Sandra

    Thank you so much for the kind, compassionate words about Puerto Rico. We still haven’t heard from all of our family in Caguas.

  7. Alex Moraes

    Hi Eric,

    Any feedback on Houston’s winter outlook this year? I have read conflicting articles. Some resort to a La Niña winter bringing dry and warm conditions this year, while others (Farmers Almanac/Houston Chronicle, etc) discuss a cold and wet winter. Your thoughts ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *