Keep your eye on the sky for more severe-weather threats this week. Harris County Flood Control Meteorologist Jeff Linder warns that the coming week could bring us 5-7 inches of rain, and higher totals in places. He says the upper level trough setting up over the southwestern US will send us one storm after another. Linder compared the current pattern to those in the springs of 2015 and 2016. We saw multiple floods across Texas in both of those years.
Monday Night/Tuesday: Saturating Soils
A strong disturbance will move into southeast Texas on Monday night and Tuesday with widespread showers and thunderstorms. Heavy rainfall of 1-2 inches with higher isolated totals will be possible along with a slight severe weather threat. Lindner thinks “most of the area will be able to handle this round of rainfall as long as there is no sustained cell training that develops and the overall forward progression of the system remains fast enough to prevent rainfall totals from piling up.” What this system will likely accomplish is further saturation of the soil over the area. Lindner calls it a “primer” event for more sustained heavy rainfall toward the end of the week.
Thursday-Saturday: Flood, Severe Weather Threats
Another strong storm system will approach toward the end of the week along with a slow moving and stalling surface frontal boundary. An extremely moist air mass along with the overall slow eastward progression of the storm system moving out of Mexico are significant heavy-rainfall signals during this period. Lindner expects several inches as several rounds of slow-moving thunderstorms impact the region. Flooding and severe weather will be possible during this period.
Rainfall Totals and Flood Risk
Rainfall totals over the next 5 days should average 4-5 inches over much of southeast Texas and there will almost certainly be higher isolated totals. The widespread nature of the incoming weather this week on top of increasingly saturated grounds, and already swollen rivers, creek, and bayous increases the flooding threat. Main concern will be the Brazos, Trinity, and San Jacinto River basins and toward the end of the week the Harris County bayous and creeks if the current forecast holds.
Exact timing of the rainfall and storms as well as amounts and locations of the higher totals will be in flux over the next 5 days.
Things You Can Do to Prepare
The Tax and Memorial Day Floods in 2015 and 2016 did as much damage as many hurricanes. So it would be good to prepare an evacuation kit, just in case. Here are some tips.
Get a backup battery charger for your cell phone in case of extended power outages. Remember the 13 days Kingwood went without power after Hurricane Ike?
Change out the batteries in your flashlights and weather radio. Remember those? They still work!
Learn how to read cloud formations and what they mean. Here’s a link to a well-illustrated article about threatening cloud formations. You may also want to search for “cloud formations before tornados.”
Move your vehicle to higher ground, preferably inside a garage. Remember, large hail often occurs with severe storms and can destroy a car’s finish.
After a flash flood, stay home or stay at work.
Posted by Bob Rehak on May 5, 2019
614 Days since Hurricane Harvey