New Flood Gages Fully Installed and Operational

Last month, I posted about Harris County Flood Control District’s plans to install additional new and upgraded flood gages. The goal: to give scientists more and better information with which they can create more accurate river forecasts.

New ADVM Gage installed by Harris County Flood Control at US59 and the San Jacinto River

New Gage Locations

According to Jeff Lindner, Director Hydrologic Operations Division/Meteorologist, at the Flood Control District, additional new gages have now been installed and are completely operational at the following locations:

  • West Fork of the San Jacinto River at SH 99 (rainfall and stage)
  • East Fork of the San Jacinto River at FM 2090 (rainfall and stage)
  • Peach Creek at FM 2090 (rainfall and stage)
  • Caney Creek at FM 2090 (rainfall and stage)
  • FM 1960 at Lake Houston (rainfall, stage, wind direction and speed, air temperature, humidity)
  • Kingwood Country Club has been relocated to West Lake Houston Parkway.

The Country Club location had flooding problems that affected the gage’s reliability. During Harvey, the gage at that location stopped operating early on. Lindner says the new site should help prevent the gage from flooding and provide more timely and accurate information.

All of these sites are now up and running and live on the Harris County Flood Warning System web page.

Benefits of New Gages

Another benefit: these new locations will help support the County’s new near-real-time inundation mapping system. Some will help forecasters see water coming toward us from farther away, increasing our warning time. Others will help improve accuracy closer to the Lake Houston area.

Some people commented in Facebook posts that the accuracy of the inundation mapping system’s historical feature seemed a bit off when rendering Harvey data. That was likely because the gages at 59 and the Country club both stopped functioning during the storm.

The first test of the new gages may come later this weekend.

Tropical Wave Update as Of Saturday Morning

Lindner expects “Scattered showers and thunderstorms today will become scattered to numerous on Sunday with multiple waves of activity moving inland from the Gulf of Mexico. Guidance is showing the majority of the rainfall on Sunday remaining near the coast onshore to roughly I-10. Looks like the greatest period for heavy rainfall continues to by Sunday night into Monday.”

“Widespread rainfall amounts of 2-4 inches are likely south of I-10 with isolated higher totals easily to 6 inches or greater. Rainfall totals will reduce northward with totals likely less than an 1 inch across our northern counties. Deep tropical moisture will be in place Sunday-Tuesday and will support intense short duration rainfall rates of 2-3 inches per hour. Any training or slowing of banding features will quickly result in higher rainfall rates, street flooding, and rises on area creeks and bayous.”

Because the ground is fairly dry, says Lindner, “…at this time this does not appear to be a major flooding event. Main threat will be street flooding with the intense short duration rainfall rates. Additionally, away from any training, breaks between waves of rainfall should allow systems to drain and the ground to absorb the water.”

Posted June 16, 2018, by Bob Rehak

291 days since Hurricane Harvey