Well, that escalated quickly: The worst of the storms is coming sooner than expected to Houston

In brief: Due to the unanticipated escalation in storm activity this morning, it now appears as though the city of Houston will see intense showers and thunderstorms during the next several hours, through Thursday afternoon. We are issuing a Stage 2 flood alert for the entire area due to the high rainfall rates and timing of street flooding.

We were wrong. Just hours ago, in this morning’s post, it looked as though a band of showers north of the region would slowly wane through the morning hours. However, as we’ve been monitoring radar trends, that clearly has not happened. Instead we’ve seen this band thicken and slowly progress southward toward central Houston. Already in locations such as Spring, Humble, and Atascocita have picked up in excess of 5 inches in just a couple of hours this morning. That is a lot of water in a little time.

Although there remains considerable uncertainty, it now appears as though this line of storms will continue to sag southward this morning before reaching the coast by late afternoon. It is likely to have significant impacts in the city of Houston and surrounding areas, including street flooding. Of particular immediate concern is the high rainfall rates associated with these storms, which will back roads up quickly. For this reason we are escalating to a Stage 2 flood alert for the entire region. Conditions should hopefully improve late this afternoon or evening.

All of this activity should have an impact on the atmosphere, and because of this it no longer appears as though the region will see a round of stronger storms overnight, into Friday morning. But given the unpredictability of this system so far, that is not an entirely confident prediction.

Please stay safe today and do not drive into high water.

33 thoughts on “Well, that escalated quickly: The worst of the storms is coming sooner than expected to Houston”

  1. Homes and businesses are flooded in Livingston (and the rest of Polk county). We are on the edge of your coverage, but I think we are technically still part of the family.

    • Stephanie,

      You are still very much part of the family, just don’t forget the Christmas cards this year though.

  2. I’ve been watching the San Jacinto River quickly rising the (very tiny) TXDOT camera, and on the Harris County Flood Warning System’s stream height graphs.

  3. I live out in Splendora, Tx and my house has had water coming in from the foundation since 7:45am. Talk about a wake up call!!! It’s bad out here in East Montgomery County.

  4. Stuck in Tulsa with a 6+ hour delay to IAH, steadily rising. No power and tons of rain at my house I’ve been told in the woodlands. This has been crazy

  5. 7.5″ at the bridge over the San Jac at West Lake Houston Pkwy (gauge #755), between Kingwood and Atascocita.

  6. It’s pretty sad that areas just an hour drive from my house get over 5 inches of rain and my yard gets nothing.

  7. Lake Conroe has upped their release to 66,000 cfs. This is the second highest release rate in history, and inflows are still twice as high as outflows. Yikes.

  8. When the govt plays with the atmosphere this is what happens Tsk tsk tsk. Geoengineering 🙄🙁

  9. We had 9 of rain in 3 hours in my Kingwood location. 7 inches was in the first 90 minutes. Both East-West roads flooded and are still impassable in places. North-South is flooded north of Kingwood and after Lake Conroe started releasing more water than during Harvey, North-South will be cut off as well. Lake Houston was high, and now flooding back Westward. Rescues are already happening along the river.
    The sky was blacker than night from 7-8 am before it hit. In 47 years of living in Houston area, the clouds have never been that bad…and I’ve been thru all the hurricanes and tropical storms here.
    Unfortunately, school districts depended on the weather forecasts. Some parents looked up and said “it can just be an absence”. School busses in Kingwood and New Caney full of children were in water over the curb. Some were stuck in traffic. Some schools are without power.
    It is still raining here. I dread to think about this evening and tomorrow. During Harvey, my subdivision did not even flood….but it has street flooding since because the county and City argue about projects….in the meantime, retired men are putting on waders and clearing ditches and streams and culverts.
    I understand the forecast is made by models. The models are based on history. We need models based on current reality and we need road projects halted and building projects halted in flood prone areas. A flood project on North Park has exacerbated the flooding. The engineers are basing their calculations on faulty information as well.
    My grand dad used to say to look for the last flood line and make sure you are a mile away from it….I think he was wiser than all the models.

  10. An inch of rain at our plant weather station on the Ship Channel in 30 minutes, with a peak rate of 3″/hr.

  11. At around 11 AM, the sky was very black along hempstead rd inside the beltway. The clouds were low, maybe couple hundred feet, moving quickly, and wind was gusting STRONG, with branches down and power outages everywhere. Wouldn’t have been surprised if a tornado was nearby at that point (since tornados around here are often rain wrapped and not always that visible), but I guess it was all straight line winds. Still, some freaky stuff.

    • Yeah, there was definitely something. All those sheeting winds and hail. I thought we had ‘weathered’ through it but I walked into my son’s room and the roof is leaking and sagging in, splitting. Hasn’t caved in, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it did. We had to get everything out of there.

      I can’t figure out what it was exactly. There was terrific lighting right outside, but could that have done that to the roof???

      Lived in Houston most of my life and the atmosphere has never felt this unstable.

  12. What’s the latest update on the storms showing up on radar in north Texas about 9 or 10 pm tonight? Do we have more rain on the way?

  13. I am curious why stage 2 was chosen over stage 3 as to me it seems like the event was larger than “localized” flooding.

    • It seemed pretty localized to me. I live in SW Houston and we’ve had more flooding when I left my garden hose on all night. We’ve had more than our share of major flooding in 2015, 2016 and 2017, but yesterday was not a significant rain event for us. My sympathy to those whose homes and vehicles were flooded.

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