Tag: flooding

Rains tonight likely east of Houston

Posted by Matt Lanza at 2:54 PM

We aren’t quite done with rains yet in the Houston area, but there is some good news at least.

Taking a look at the satellite imagery from the still-not-quite-operational GOES-16 satellite this afternoon, you can see a “swirl” in the clouds over Southeast Texas. Specifically, this swirl is centered over southeast Montgomery County.

Preliminary and non-operational GOES-16 imagery shows a “swirl” in the clouds north of Houston. The system responsible for last night’s flooding has moved a bit farther east today. (University of Wisconsin SSEC)


This is the mesoscale convective vortex (or MCV) that’s been partially responsible for the mayhem across Texas the last couple days. This was over the Brazos Valley yesterday evening, and the heavy storms tend to develop on the eastern flank of these things. With that roughly over Spring now, that would seem to imply that widespread storms and rain tonight will probably develop east of I-45 and east of the hardest hit areas from this morning. That’s the good news.

In fact, we have some validation for this from the HRRR model, which did an acceptable job with the setup last night.

The HRRR model shows more widespread showers & storms mainly east of Houston tonight. Still, it’s close enough that you should stay aware of the weather tonight. (Weather Bell)


This suggests, yes, perhaps some scattered downpours around Houston this evening and tonight, but the sustained, heavier rains that could cause problems will probably be east of Houston, lined up roughly on an axis from Galveston through Winnie into Beaumont. Those areas can handle a little more rainfall than, say, Katy or Jersey Village can. Still, if you live in Galveston or Baytown or east of Houston, obviously you’ll want to stay alert tonight. And even if you live in Houston, it’s smart to remain cognizant of the situation. Though it’s unlikely we see a repeat of what we just went through, it’s always a good idea to stay weather aware during these heavy rainfall patterns.

A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Harris, Chambers, Montgomery, Liberty, Polk, and San Jacinto Counties through Wednesday morning.

The bottom line? A repeat of this morning is not expected in Houston tonight. Areas east of Houston stand the best chance of heavy rain tonight. Regardless, in Houston and east of Houston, it’s a smart idea to stay aware of the weather tonight and Wednesday morning.

Posted at 2:55 PM Tuesday by Matt

Worst of Houston’s rain over

Posted by Matt Lanza at 4:38 PM

Just a brief update for you for the late afternoon and evening.

We have good news: The heaviest rain this afternoon organized a bit too late to hit the areas hardest hit this morning. Instead, heavy rain is now sliding off to the east of Houston.

Narrow band of heavy rain has moved east of Baytown and extends south to about League City as of 3:30 PM. (College of DuPage)


Most rain will exit east of the city for the evening commute. You will want to continue to watch for areas of high water around the area. The Flood Warning remains in effect for the western Harris, northern Fort Bend, and northeast Wharton Counties until 4:15 PM. Additional minor flooding is possible along Little Cypress Creek, but serious flooding in northern Harris County is not expected.

For tonight and tomorrow morning, I do expect showers to re-organize, but with the front now off to the east of most of Houston, the heavy rainfall threat will shift toward Beaumont or (more likely) Lake Charles. In Houston, just expect some showers, maybe a rumble of thunder, but no severe weather and likely no serious flooding issues.

HRRR model forecast shows the idea of rain redeveloping tonight, with the heaviest off to the east of Houston. (Weather Bell)


By tomorrow, this will all be history. We should see gradual clearing and a nice break from rain.

Posted at 3:35 PM by Matt

(Space City Weather is sponsored by Westbury Christian School for this month)

This week the Texas Tribune, along with ProPublica, unleashed their second in-depth piece on Houston’s flooding risk. This one, entitled “Boomtown, Flood Town,” takes a closer look at the Tax Day flood event of last April and a broader look at Houston’s flood risk in the context of policy, development, and future climate change. It’s a long, thorough read, and I highly recommend the piece. This supplements their work earlier this year about our hurricane and storm surge risk. I personally think that is one of the more important articles that exists on Houston’s vulnerability to hurricanes.

In the “Boomtown, Flood Town” piece, a number of issues related to April’s flood event and Houston development are addressed. As I said, I encourage you to check it out yourself, but in the meantime, here are some key¬†points that I’m taking away from this


Houston’s flooding issues are important because more people die in Houston from flooding than in any other city. No other urban area in America has flooded as much as Houston in the last 40 years.

"Boomtown, Flood Town," from the Texas Tribune and ProPublica.

“Boomtown, Flood Town,” from the Texas Tribune and ProPublica.

Read More…

Houston under a Flash Flood Watch through Sunday

Posted by Matt Lanza at 9:52 AM

Good morning, everyone. The National Weather Service in Houston has posted a Flash Flood Watch for the entire region through tomorrow evening. As expected, conditions will become more favorable for flooding to occur in the hardest hit parts of the area as we go deeper into today, tonight, and tomorrow.

The NWS hazards map as of 8:30 AM shows a Flash Flood Watch posted for just about the entire region. (NWS)

The NWS hazards map as of 8:30 AM shows a Flash Flood Watch posted for just about the entire region through Sunday evening. (NWS)


Rainfall since yesterday afternoon across the area has been mostly manageable to this point. Northwest Harris County has seen 1-3″, while central and southeast portions of the county have received about a half inch to perhaps up to 1.5″ of rainfall.

An average of about 1-2" of rain has fallen over much of the area since yesterday. (Harris County Flood Control)

An average of about 1-2″ of rain has fallen over much of the area since yesterday. (Harris County Flood Control)


Outside of Harris County, Galveston has already set a daily rainfall record for today with over 4″ reported as of the 8 AM observation. Read More…