1 P.M. Wednesday, October 7, 2020 – As of 1 P.M. Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center issued three watches affecting the Houston region in conjunction with Hurricane Delta:
- Hurricane watch from High Island TX to Grand Isle, LA
- Tropical Storm watch from San Luis Pass to High Island including all of Galveston Bay
- Storm surge watch from High Island, TX to the Alabama/Florida Border
Watches mean conditions could develop in the area, most often within the next 48 hours.
Swells will build into the 15-20ft range offshore on Thursday into Friday and 7-12 feet near the coast. This will result in wave run-up on the Gulf facing beaches and likely some degree of coastal flooding at the typical vulnerable locations.
Cone Still Includes Parts of East Texas
The National Hurricane Center indicates Hurricane Delta has now passed over the Yucatan. It weakened over land, but should strengthen again into a major Hurricane over warm waters in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Delta will move northwest today and then shift north on Thursday, according to NHC. By Friday morning, most of the central Gulf Coast will feel Delta in the form of higher winds, tides and storm surge.
While the cone of uncertainty associated with Hurricane Delta has consistently focused east of the Houston Area, it’s important to understand that ANYWHERE in the cone has an equal chance of being directly hit. And Houston is still near the western side of the cone.
Houston Most Likely Will Be on Dry Side
Luckily, Houston should be on the dry side of this storm. So we will likely not receive flooding rains, as least as far inland as the Lake Houston Area. The graphic below from the National Weather Service shows most of the predicted rainfall will happen east of us.
Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorology, says, “Rainfall will generally average less than 2 inches east of I-45 in some outer squalls on the west side of Delta.”
Wind is Primary Threat in Lake Houston Area
The NHC has adjusted its intensity forecast downward for Delta. However, it should still regain major hurricane status. The wind field will likely grow in size as the storm approaches the northern Gulf coast. That will increase the storm surge and wind threats. At this time, the NHC forecasts that the Lake Houston Area has a 40-50% chance of experiencing tropical-storm-force winds.
The most likely arrival time of those winds is Friday morning.
Don’t plan a picnic under the old oak tree for Friday.
Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist says, “Squalls on the western side of the circulation of Delta will begin to move onshore and into the area on Thursday afternoon and continue into Friday along with gusty winds. Tropical storm force winds may be possible over the SE and E parts of the area, especially Chambers, Galveston, Liberty, and southeast Harris Counties. But this will depend on the overall expansion of the wind field of Delta on Thursday and Friday.”
For More Information
For the most up-to-date forecasts on Hurricane Delta, check the National Hurricane Center.
For detailed local weather forecasts, check the National Weather Service.
Posted by Bob Rehak at 2 PM on Wednesday 10/7/2020 based on information from HCFCD, NWS and NHC
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