As we’d hoped, the radar has generally been quieter this morning across the Houston area, with showers neither as intense or widespread as they’ve been over the previous two mornings. And while we’re not out of the woods in terms of heavy rain and street flooding potential, we can at least see a period of sunnier weather in the distance.
The southern half of the Houston area remains under a flash flood watch through Thursday evening, and this is primarily because of already saturated grounds due to a very wet week for the coast. Generally, we don’t expect coastal areas to pick up more than an additional 0.5 to 2 inches of rain during the next 24 hours as moisture continues to stream inland. This should be manageable, but we’re definitely watching several bands of stronger showers just offshore that could move inland.
Friday and Saturday
The oft-discussed Invest 95L—and there really has been a lot of sound and fury for a tropical system that never really has appeared all that threatening—will continue to move toward the Texas coast, and should come inland Friday. The threat from this storm will be heavy tropical rainfall, but as the system remains disorganized, it shouldn’t be that potent of a rainmaker. Some areas along the Coastal Bend may see upwards of 3 to 5 inches of rain over the next few days with some higher isolated totals, but in the Houston area I expect the coastal areas to hopefully see less than that, and inland areas perhaps 1 inch of rain through Saturday.
Sunday and next week
By Sunday, or so, we should transition into a much more late-summer like pattern of partly to mostly sunny skies, with a chance of scattered, afternoon thunderstorms. The sun’s return will lead to warmer weather, so we can probably expect high temperatures in the low 90s. If you’re wondering when that first fall front is coming, so are we. It appears unlikely over the next week or 10 days, but by the last week of September the models are hinting that change may finally move into the region. We can hope.
Hurricane Florence is about 24 hours or so from making landfall along the North Carolina coast. Although it has “weakened” to 110-mph winds, a massive storm surge is already baked into the Atlantic, and Florence will bring devastating inland rainfall to the Carolinas this weekend.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Isaac is about to move into the Caribbean Sea. It most likely will weaken into a remnant low over the next two to three days due to wind shear. We’ll continue to monitor Isaac over the next week or so in case the storm finds more favorable conditions, in the western Caribbean, regenerates, and moves into the Gulf in several days.