Hurricane Hanna reaches Padre Island, brings heavy rains to South Texas

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.

3 thoughts on “Hurricane Hanna reaches Padre Island, brings heavy rains to South Texas”

  1. Mighty close to home, and “early” by my calendar — hoping this doesn’t portend things to come for Houston…
    As ever, thank you for keeping us informed on a Saturday, outside of Business Hours…

  2. So, is it officially landfall when the eye wall hits land or when the center of circulation makes it there. I always thought it was the former.

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