The National Weather Service said this afternoon that a Flash Flood Watch will go into effect for much of Metro Houston (basically along and north/west of US-59/I-69) beginning Friday afternoon and continuing through Sunday morning. This includes the areas hardest hit by last week’s flooding.
As Eric pointed out this morning, there’s good reason for this. Most bayous in the city (Buffalo Bayou an exception) are back at their baseline levels. But, outside the city, streams, creeks, and bayous are running a few feet higher than normal still. And with a soggy ground any additional rain is unwelcome and can cause flooding concerns depending on how quickly it falls.
Basically, at this point all you need to do is continue to watch the forecast. There’s a bit less certainty with this event than there was last week. Also, it can’t be underscored enough that the rain totals implied by all models with this event aren’t anything like the last one. We want you to be prepared but not to panic here. We still don’t know exactly where the heaviest rain will fall, but we know there will be a few spots that see a pretty substantial amount of rain (not 15-20″ like last week, but 4-8″ in a few spots isn’t impossible).
So just stay tuned in through the weekend, especially if you have to travel around the area or live in an especially flood prone spot. We will have you covered.
TONIGHT & FRIDAY MORNING
In the near-term, we have a somewhat challenging forecast tonight and tomorrow.
If you believe the European model, heavy thunderstorms will flare up directly over Houston overnight. It may be the gold standard of weather models, but in this case it’s gone rogue. Most other weather models indicate that the next 12-18 hours will see just a chance of a few showers or a thunderstorm. I tend to agree, as absent really any big trigger, anything tonight should be sparse and directed north and west of the area.
Here’s the GFS 24 hour total precip between 18z today and 18z tomorrow (1 PM-1 PM):
So, that’s basically in line with the forecast above: A few showers around.
Our best high resolution short-range model, the HRRR, shows limited precipitation in the area tonight as well.
So it’s essentially the Euro versus the world right now. I would stick with a “chance of a few showers” forecast tonight for most of the region, with the best chance for some thunder in the Brazos Valley up toward College Station. We’ll continue to watch.
Rain chances will slowly tick upward tomorrow and especially tomorrow night closer to Houston; that’s when the concern for heavy rain and flooding will ramp up. More on that in the morning.
Posted at 3:00 PM Thursday