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Invest 92L Now Tropical Storm Barry, but Threat to Houston Diminished

This morning, Invest 92L intensified into a tropical storm and received the name Barry. However, it is also shifting east, reducing the threat to the Houston area. We are now entirely outside the cone of uncertainty.

Sporadic Thunderstorms Now Main Threat From Barry

The main threat now to the Houston area from Barry: showers and thunderstorms as high moisture levels and disturbances approach from the ENE/NE today. According to Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner, “It is possible a few outer rain bands could move into the area Friday and Saturday. These bands would produce brief heavy rainfall and gusty winds.”

Risk of Flash Flooding Extremely Low

The National Weather Service puts us outside the area with even a 5% risk of flash flooding.

Even the rainfall potential is minimal. Light green represents less than 2 inches of rainfall and it covers only our souther counties.
Here’s where the heavy rains are located at this moment. From this image, you can see that the storm still does not have a tightly defined center of rotation.
Natural color image showing extent of disturbances.

Heavy Surf and Higher than Normal Tides Predicted

If you were planning on boating offshore this weekend, you probably want to rethink those plans.

Seas should increase across all of the northern Gulf of Mexico because of Barry. Lindner expects waves in the 6-8 foot range along the upper Texas coast by the weekend, with some possibly even higher east of Galveston. This will also elevate tides along Gulf facing beaches. Tides should peak Saturday 2.0-2.5 feet above normal.

All that water coming in produces strong undertows when it goes out. If you like watching waves, watch from a safe distance.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/11/2019

681 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Likely for Louisiana Coast; Tropical Storm Force Winds Could Hit Houston on Saturday

NOAA predicts Invest 92L will become Hurricane Barry and hit southwest Louisiana by Saturday morning. That could leave Houston with tropical storm force winds in the 45-70 mph range.

Current forecasts indicate landfall in southwest Louisiana on Saturday morning with the storm strengthening to 85mph just before landfall.
Tropical storm force winds in the 40 to 70 mph range could also hit Houston on Saturday morning. Intensity depends on your location. See map above.
Definite rotation showing, but not yet wound tight. Hurricane hunter planes will fly into the storm this afternoon and weather stations along the coast have doubled their upper air soundings.

Watches Likely To Extend Westward Later Today or Early Thursday, Potentially Include Upper Texas coast

Mid level circulation over the east-central Gulf of Mexico continues to develop. Current ship and buoy data in the central and eastern Gulf of Mexico indicate surface winds of 20-35 knots are already being experienced under deep convection. The US Air Force will fly the area early this afternoon to determine if/where a center of circulation has formed.

NOAA and USAF plan multiple low- and high-level missions. Effective today, weather offices along the US Gulf coast will begin launching upper air soundings every 6 hours instead of every 12. 

Track Remains Uncertain

There is still considerable uncertainty concerning the track of the storm. Adjustments remain possible and all residents within the error cone should make preparations.

85 MPH Winds Predicted at Landfall

The National Hurricane Center predicts an 85 mph hurricane before landfall in Louisiana. Much of this intensification occurs within the last 24 hours before landfall. While conditions in the near term (next 24-36 hours) are generally favorable for development, consolidation of the inner core will take some time. Much of the development should occur as the system nears the coast.

Tropical storm force winds in the 40 to 70 mph range could hit Houston – also on Saturday morning.

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist, feels, “This will likely be a case where an intensifying hurricane is approaching the coast on Saturday.”

Storm Surge Watch In Effect for Texas Coast

Tropical storm and hurricane conditions are likely along portions of the Louisiana coast starting Friday and more likely into Saturday. Large long period swells will move into the upper Texas coastal waters starting late Thursday and building Friday into the weekend. This could push tides up along the Gulf facing beaches late Friday into the weekend (Bolivar).

Should the forecast track adjust westward any, impacts to the upper TX would be increased.

Recommended Actions

A large portion of southeast Texas remains in the official error cone. If the track shifts westward again, as it did last night, it could produce greater impacts to our area.

  • Have hurricane plans ready to be enacted if the track shifts to the west.
  • Stock hurricane supplies.
  • Monitor forecasts frequently. 

Posted by Bob Rehak on July 10, 2019 at 12:30pm

680 Days since Hurricane Harvey