heavy rainfall outlook

Heavy Rainfall, Hail, High Winds, Tornados, Street Flooding Possible Today

The National Weather Service (NWS) Storm Prediction Center and Harris County have issued outlooks for today that include risks of heavy rainfall, hail, high winds, tornadoes and street flooding.

NWS predicts an “enhanced risk” of severe weather (3 on a scale of 5) with a 10%-14% chance of tornados. NWS rates the excessive, heavy rainfall risk as slight (at least 15%).

Light rainfall has already begun in the Lake Houston area and will increase throughout the morning hours as storms approach and pass through. The threat should be past us by 3-4 PM, just in time for school pickup.

NWS severe weather outlook as of 12:01 a.m. CST.
NWS tornado outlook as of 12:01 a.m. CST.
NWS excessive rainfall outlook as of 1:55 a.m. Houston time.

Rainfall Accumulation

Jeff Lindner, Harris County’s meteorologist, warns, “Forecasters have tended to increase rainfall amounts over the last 24 hours with the potential for storm clustering and cell training in southwest to northeast bands.”

Lindner says rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches appear to be common today with higher isolated totals of 4-5 inches especially for areas south of I-10, where activity may linger into the evening hours.

Moisture levels will be high for late November. Plus onshore winds will feed more moisture into the area. Widespread showers and thunderstorms are likely.

Some models show banding and training of storms this afternoon into the evening hours. But that’s for areas mainly south of I-10 and around Galveston Bay (SE Harris, Liberty, Chambers, Galveston, Brazoria Counties).

Potential for 1-2 Inches Per Hour, Street Flooding

Soils are generally dry over the area, but hourly rainfall rates of 1-2 inches per hour may result in some street flooding at the usual flood-prone locations.

The front will sag off the coast tonight into early Friday, but you can expect additional disturbances across the region on Friday with showers and thunderstorms expanding inland toward the I-10 corridor.  

Wind and Hail

While much focus has been on the tornado threat, we also have the potential for damaging wind and large hail. Stronger showers may produce 40-50mph winds today. Additionally, gradient winds of 25-30mph with a few higher gusts will be common over the area for much of the day with the coastal locations seeing the stronger winds.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 11/30/23 at 7:40 a.m. based on information from NWS and Jeff Lindner

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