Soggy turkeys as heavy rain moves in for Thanksgiving afternoon

Good afternoon. Round one of rainfall this morning was mostly uneventful, with the notable exception of the Deer Park area, which received over 4 inches of rain, much of which fell in an hour or so.

Rain totals over 4″ in the Deer Park area caused some substantial street flooding in spots. More rain is to come, and Armand Bayou in particular will be running fairly high. (Harris County Flood Control)

Armand Bayou is the one bayou worth watching closest as we head into this evening. It is running near bankfull after the earlier rains, and we could see some portions of the bayou come out of banks with round 2 in a couple hours. Please stay vigilant in that area.

We remain in a Stage 1 Flood Alert, as Eric has noted, and the NWS has just issued a Flood Watch for the entire metro area through Saturday in anticipation of several more rounds of rainfall.

That next round is on the way as of 1:30 PM.

A cluster of very heavy rain southwest of Sugar Land will overspread most of the Houston area through mid-afternoon, with 1-3″ of additional rainfall possible where it rains hardest. (RadarScope)

This cluster of rain will produce thunder, lightning, some gusty winds, and very heavy downpours. Additional rains of 1 to 3 inches are possible as this band passes through between now and 4 or 5 PM this evening. Please use caution if you have to travel between now and then, and if you can postpone travel a couple hours to avoid the worst of the rain, that may be prudent. Street flooding is likely in spots, hence our stage 1 alert. And as noted above, we’ll be monitoring the Armand Bayou watershed in particular for any worse issues. We are hopeful that the heaviest of this rain will pass north of the harder hit areas in Deer Park this morning.

The good news is that things do settle down a bit tonight. Additional scattered showers and storms are likely once this wave passes through, and those will continue through about Midnight, but the intensity and coverage should be less than this afternoon. Overnight looks quiet with just some scattered showers possible.

Additional showers and storms are likely tomorrow and especially in the first half of Saturday. We’ll update on those once we get today’s platter digested.

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Fundraiser

As I sit here writing this on Thanksgiving Day, I am reminded of how thankful I am for our readers. We know you feel likewise about us, and for your trust, support, and loyalty, we are grateful! If you would like to support us in our annual fundraiser, it will continue through this weekend. You can click here to buy items. And if you don’t wish to purchase merchandise and just want make a contribution, click here and check the box that says “I’d like to make a donation only.”

Eric or myself will have another update tonight if necessary, and certainly by tomorrow morning. Thank you, and have a safe Thanksgiving.

A wet two-day period begins this morning for the Houston region

Good morning. I hope this message finds you happy and healthy on this Thanksgiving morning. I have much to be thankful for in both my personal and professional life. One of the things I am most happy about is the trust placed by readers in the work Matt and I do. So thank you for spending a few moments with Space City Weather on this holiday morning.

This morning’s forecast will focus the forthcoming rain event that will bring two days of showers and thunderstorms to the Houston region. While most of this rainfall will be manageable—most locations should receive 1 to 4 inches—we’re concerned about more isolated areas that could receive up to 6 inches of precipitation between now and Saturday morning. This may cause street flooding, and therefore we have called for a Stage 1 flood alert.

Chance of “excessive” rainfall for Thursday and Thursday night. (NOAA)

Thursday

As anticipated, we are seeing the development of storms near the coast this morning, in the Freeport and Lake Jackson area. These storms are associated with a warm front moving in from the Gulf of Mexico, and will become more widespread leater this morning. This front should progress toward Interstate 10 by around noon, and it is likely that the strongest storms this afternoon will lie to its north. Therefore, today, we are most concerned about rain accumulations along and north of Interstate 10. Highs today will reach about 70 degrees, give or take, with cloudy skies and muggy air. I expect that showers will back off this evening and during the overnight hours, while the atmosphere recharges.

Chance of “excessive” rainfall for Friday and Friday night. (NOAA)

Friday

Conditions will continue to favor widespread showers and thunderstorms as a cut-off low pressure system lifts moist air at the surface. At this time our higher resolution models are suggesting that storms on Friday will peak during the afternoon, evening, and overnight hours. Over the last couple of days the overall movement of this low pressure system has slowed down, so it’s entirely possible the heavy rainfall threat will extend into Saturday morning. That’s something we’ll be watching for. Highs on Friday will be in the mid-60s.

Saturday and Sunday

We’re still expecting things to clear out significantly this weekend, but there’s now the potential for some lingering storms on Saturday morning. Skies should become partly sunny during the afternoon, with highs in the mid-60s. We’ll be sunny, with a high near 70 on Sunday. Expect this warming trend to continue until Tuesday or Wednesday, when the next front arrives.

As we continue to track this dynamic rainfall situation, Matt will have an update for you this afternoon.

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We are issuing a Stage 1 flood alert for rain storms on Thanksgiving

The outlook for heavy rainfall on Thanksgiving, overnight, and into Friday continues to worsen for the greater Houston area. As we get closer to the onset of rains on Thursday, high resolution models are indicating that the interaction of a warm front—you’ll definitely notice the warmer and muggier air tomorrow morning—and a cut-off low pressure system will produce a lot of rain. To account for this, we are issuing a Stage 1 flood alert for the entire Houston metro area, which means we are likely to see some street flooding. For more information about our flood scale, see here. The alert is in effect from Thursday morning through Friday evening.

Timing

So what can you expect tomorrow? The pre-dawn hours should be fairly quiet, but by around sunrise or shortly thereafter we can probably expect storms to form to the southwest of Houston, near Matagorda Bay, and move inland toward Houston. By the mid-morning hours, I expect to see fairly widespread, heavy rainfall across much of the region, with the possible expection of areas far inland, such as Conroe or College Station. The potential for intermittent, moderate to heavy rainfall will continue throughout the afternoon and into the evening hours.

At some point on Thursday evening the atmosphere may be fairly well “wrung out,” and need time to recover. So while things may quiet down during the overnight hours, we expect a recharged atmosphere to produce more widespread rainfall on Friday. I don’t think these showers will be as heavy as those on Thanksgiving Day, but we’ll have to see about that. Drier air should finally move into the region on Saturday morning, ending the threat of rainfall and leading to a pleasant, sunny weekend.

Note: This is for illustration purposes only. However, this radar reflectivity forecast from the HRRR model gives you some idea of what to expect at 11am CT on Thanksgiving Day. (Weather Bell)

Accumulations

I don’t feel particularly confident in predicting how much rain will fall, but given the overall setup and fairly moist atmosphere, I think areas south of Interstate 10 could be looking at 2 to 6 inches of rainfall over both days, with 1 to 5 inches for areas further inland. It is possible that some areas will see more. This is enough to flood some streets, at least for a short time.

I hate to say it, but this really is a fluid situation, and we can probably expect additional forecast changes. For now, we want you to be weather aware tomorrow when you’re out and about celebrating the holiday. Be sure to check the radar before hitting the road, and of course do not go outside into storms where there is lightning.

We’ll have our next update no later than early Thursday morning, and will provide coverage throughout the holiday as needed.

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We finally have high confidence in the forecast for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and it’s not great

Well, the good news is that the weather should be fine today for travel in the greater Houston region, and throughout much of Texas. The bad news is that the forecast for Thanksgiving Day, night, and into Friday is not great. The big picture is that by Thursday morning rain chances will be on the rise, and we expect to see a storm system move in during the afternoon hours. Additional showers are possible overnight, and throughout the day on Friday. Unfortunately, now it looks like conditions really won’t clear out until Friday night or Saturday morning.

Wednesday

Today should be mostly sunny—yes, really—offering a short break from our rainy pattern. These mostly clear skies will allow high temperatures to warm into the upper 60s. As winds turn to come from the southeast, you’ll notice pretty rapidly increasing humidity levels. Along with this increased atmospheric moisture, clouds will build this evening over the area. Overnight lows probably will only drop to around 60 degrees.

From Wednesday night through Friday we’re going to experience a prolonged period of high rain chances. Why, you may ask, will we see rainfall even after a cold front moves into the region on Thursday evening? The answer is that an area of low pressure system will break off from the main westerly pattern in the atmosphere. This “cutoff low” will then more or less meander over Texas for a couple of days, spurring intermittent rainfall from Thursday morning through Friday night, before moving off.

NOAA says there is a “slight” risk of excessive rainfall for Houston on Thanksgiving Day and night. (NOAA)

Thursday

The start of the Thanksgiving holiday will be warmish, in the 60s, with muggy air. We’re going to see at least some scattered showers during the morning hours, but there’s a chance you’ll avoid rain until the afternoon. However, after that time I expect a more organized mass of showers and thunderstorms to move into much of the region, bringing as much as 1 to 2 inches of rainfall. While this will be unpleasant, I don’t think it will cause any real flooding issues. There is also the potential for some more severe weather, including damaging winds, but I think heavy rainfall and lightning is the primary threat. You most definitely need a fallback plan for any outdoor activities or gatherings on Thanksgiving. Look for highs in the low 70s, dropping into the 50s overnight as cooler air from the front moves in.

Friday

Eventually, drier air should move into the mid-levels of the atmosphere and bring an end to rain chances. But it now looks like that will not happen until Friday evening. So much of the day on Friday will be subject to (mostly) light or moderate rain showers. Chances are probably 60 or 70 percent. Highs will be in the low 60s. Rain chances drop Friday night, although not entirely, as lows sink into the 40s.

NOAA rain accumulation forecast for now through Friday night. (Weather Bell)

Saturday and Sunday

The weekend still looks solidly pleasant, with ample sunny skies. Highs on Saturday will be in the low 60s, and rising to around 70 degrees on Sunday.

Next week

We will see a warming trend next week, with temperatures rising into the upper 70s, or possibly even 80 degrees, by Tuesday. After that it seems likely that another front will push into the region. Some showers may be possible with this front, but the forecast is pretty fuzzy.

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