Tag Archive for: Beryl

Potential Secondary Crisis from Beryl: Blocked Drains, Gutters, Ditches

7/19/24 – With 4-5 inches of rain expected in the next few days, storm sewer inlets, ditches, and gutters blocked by tree debris from Beryl could form a secondary crisis. Especially if the downpours become intense enough to cause street flooding that floats debris.

A Widespread Issue

Jeff Miller from Elm Grove Village in Kingwood alerted me to this problem. Miller graciously allowed me to use some photos he sent. I won’t bother to caption them. They all show the same thing: storm debris that could get swept into storm drains or that blocks ditches.

However, I will feature ten from different villages in Kingwood that show how widespread the problem is. I could show a hundred. A drive around Kingwood earlier today confirmed that this problem exists throughout the community.

Photos from 7/19/24

And last, but certainly not least…

The culvert under this drive is totally blocked by debris from a tree that fell on resident’s house.

Some Neighborly Advice

The power outages from Beryl are bad enough. Don’t create another secondary crisis.

Debris in ditches, gutters and storm drain inlets can block orderly drainage and back water up into neighborhoods and homes…especially if the homes are not elevated much above street level.

Help yourself and your neighbors by making sure your debris pile doesn’t pour into the street or block your ditch. Ask tree companies and lawn maintenance providers to pile debris at least a foot back from the curb. Admittedly, that can be hard in the case of ditches. But please try to leave some room for the water to flow around.

Budget Impact Waiting Down the Road

A former Harris County Flood Control District executive confirmed that drains blocked by debris is a common problem. “It is a concern, especially with the rain predicted for the next few days. There is not much anyone can do about it now though.  Maybe Public Works can clean the drains later this year after things are back to normal.” Unfortunately, that could take time and money, creating another potential secondary crisis involving the City’s budget.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/19/24

2516 Days after Hurricane Harvey

Tropical Storm Warning, Flood Watch for Inland Harris County

7/7/24, 10:30 AM – The National Weather Service (NWS) and FEMA have issued a tropical storm warning that includes Houston, Kingwood and Spring.

Beryl is moving closer to the Texas Coast and turning a little more northward. Although it has not yet re-intensified into a hurricane, the National Hurricane Center predicts it will, and that it could even turn into a Category 2 before landfall. The center will likely pass near the west side of Houston.

NWS and FEMA have also issued a flood watch that will last until 7AM on Tuesday, July 9. It includes most of SE Texas.

Beryl position at 8:30 AM CDT.  A turn toward the NNW and N is likely today before Beryl reaches the coast.

Tropical Storm Force Winds Expected in North Houston Tonight

Tropical storm force winds could arrive this evening. The high winds will spread inland toward the I-10 corridor by early Monday morning. They should reach the HWY 105 corridor by sunrise Monday.

So authorities urge you to finish hurricane prep as soon as possible.

Re-Intensification into Hurricane Possible

According to Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner, “Beryl is starting to move into more favorable conditions for development and if/when an inner core forms…more rapid intensification will be possible.”

NHC forecasts that Beryl will make landfall at 85mph. However, they also say that winds could reach 100mph.

In inland Harris County, winds could average 45-55 MPH with gusts to 80 MPH.

“There remains the potential for fairly significant intensification of Beryl in the last 12 hours prior to landfall.”

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist

Prolonged Power Outages Predicted

Lindner warns the public to be prepared for extended power outages. Widespread power outages are now likely over a large part of the area on Monday.

Downed trees and tree limbs as well as damage to roofs, windows, etc. will all be possible.

Centerpoint issued a press release saying that it is already mobilizing crews.

All outdoor objects should be safely secured by this evening in the hurricane and tropical storm warning areas.

Tropical storm force winds will reach the coast this evening. They will spread inland toward the I-10 corridor by early Monday morning and reach the HWY 105 corridor by sunrise Monday.

Excessive Rainfall and Flooding Potential

Widespread rainfall amounts of 5-10 inches are likely along and to the right of the track of Beryl, with isolated higher amounts under bands where training occurs. Banding may continue into Monday night and possibly Tuesday.

The heaviest rainfall will likely be west of I-45 on Monday. High rainfall rates in bands will produce urban flooding and rapid rises on area creeks and bayous.

Some flooding of creeks, bayous and rivers will be possible with the forecasted rainfall. River responses will continue into mid- to late week.

FEMA’s flood watch lasts through Tuesday morning. It says, “Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations. Creeks and streams may rise out of their banks. Flooding may occur in poor drainage and urban areas.”

Expect street flooding, as well as rises along area rivers, creeks, streams, and bayous.

Other Dangers Near Coast

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) cautions that there is a danger of life-threatening storm surge inundation along the coast of Texas from the north entrance to the Padre Island National Seashore to Sabine Pass. That includes Matagorda Bay and Galveston Bay. Residents in those areas should follow any advice given by local officials and follow evacuation orders.

Expect 4-6 feet of surge in Matagorda Bay and 3-5 feet in Galveston Bay.

NHC also say that rip currents will cause life-threatening beach conditions through Monday across much of the Gulf Coast. Beachgoers should heed warning flags and the advice of lifeguards and local officials before venturing into the water.

Finally, NHC says that a few tornadoes could occur along the middle and upper Texas Coast through tonight, and across eastern Texas and western Louisiana on Monday.

Lake Report

At this moment, Lake Houston is releasing 9,626 CFS…the most the lake’s old gates can release at one time.

Lake Conroe is not pre-releasing any water; the lake is currently 9 inches below its normal level. The SJRA’s models predict that should be enough to handle the expected rainfall north of the lake. Let’s hope they are right.

For the Most Up-to-the-Minute Information,..

Monitor what’s happening near you on the Harris County Flood Warning System.

Track the status of the storm at the National Hurricane Center website.

The National Weather Service is the most reliable source for local weather information and warnings. It also predicts when flood peaks will arrive.

To monitor the status of Lake Conroe levels/releases, visit the San Jacinto River Authority website.

To monitor the status of Lake Houston levels/releases, visit the Coastal Water Authority website.

Posted by Bob Rehak at 10AM on 7/7/24

2504 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Beryl Update, Saturday AM

7/6/24 – As of 7 AM on Saturday morning, Beryl was centered in the Gulf of Mexico. Once a powerful Cat 5 hurricane, the storm emerged from its trek across the Yucatan as a tropical storm. However, it will likely re-intensify into a hurricane just before making landfall. The storm is about to enter an area of low wind sheer and high water temperatures.

Likely Landfall Near Matagorda Bay

According to the National Hurricane Center, Beryl will most likely come ashore between Matagorda Bay and Corpus Christi. But all of Houston is now in the cone of uncertainty. That means we have an equal chance of taking a direct hit from the storm.

Heavy Rain Threat

Hurricane watches and storm surge warnings are up for most of the Texas Coast up to High Island. But the most likely impact in the Lake Houston Area will be heavy rains. At this hour, the National Weather Service predicts 4-8 inches. But Jeff Lindner, the Harris County Meteorologist warned that isolated totals up to 15 inches are possible. That’s as much as the area north of us received in the early May flood of this year.

Overall, NWS says we have a slight to moderate risk for excessive rainfall in the next five days.

Flash Flood Threat

Arrival Time in Houston Area

We should begin to feel the effects of the storm Sunday evening.

Rain from the storm could linger for a day or two as Beryl becomes a tropical depression and the center of the storm curves north of us before heading to the northeast.

Inundation Areas

NOAA issued this map for Harris County. It shows possible areas of inundation. NOAA urged people in affected areas to follow evacuation warnings.

Lakes Not Being Lowered at this Hour

At this hour (9AM Saturday), the SJRA is not lowering Lake Conroe. Nor is the Coastal Water Authority lowering Lake Houston. However, the City of Houston did issue a warning yesterday afternoon that it might lower Lake Houston.

The good news: there’s little chance that we will experience tropical storm force winds this far north.

For the Latest Updates

For the latest watches and warnings associated with Beryl, consult the National Hurricane Center website. They update it every few hours. And the next few hours will be critical. There’s still a chance that the storm could shift more toward Houston.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/6/24 based on information from NHC, NWS and Harris County.

2503 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Beryl Becomes Earliest Cat 5 Hurricane Ever

7/2/24 – Beryl has become an incredibly intense hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 165 MPH and a central pressure of 935mb. See this Infrared Satellite Loop at Tropical Tidbits. This is an unprecedented hurricane event for July.

According to Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner, Beryl is the earliest Category 5 hurricane on record since 1851. It beats out hurricane Emily (2005), which became a Category 5 on July 17.

Beryl is now moving through the central Caribbean Sea toward Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

Status Overview as of 8 AM 7/2/24

Based on NOAA aircraft data, hurricane force winds (75mph) extend outward 40 miles from the center. Tropical storm force winds (40mph) extend outward 125 miles from the center.

Beryl is moving toward the west-northwest near 22 mph.

On the forecast track, the center of Beryl will move quickly across the southeastern and central Caribbean Sea today. It should pass near Jamaica on Wednesday and the Cayman Islands on Thursday.

Weakening should begin later today, but Beryl is still expected to be near major hurricane intensity as it passes Jamaica and the Caymans.

Intensity Forecast Uncertain

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) cautions that Beryl’s intensity forecast is rather uncertain. Model guidance indicates that the hurricane will begin to weaken later today as Beryl encounters moderate-to-strong vertical wind shear. Later on, factors such as:

  • Possible interaction with the Jamaican elevated terrain
  • Dry air intrusions
  • Structure of the vertical wind shear

…will all play a role in the rate of weakening.

As Beryl approaches the Yucatan, models show quite a wide range of solutions – from a strong tropical storm to a major hurricane. However, the NHC forecast shows Beryl reaching the Yucatan as a hurricane in about 72 hours and emerging as a tropical storm into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday.

Track Shifted North

Beryl has tracked slightly north of predictions during the last 12 hours. This is likely due to the much stronger intensity of the hurricane.

Overall the direction has been trending north over the last 24 hours. Beryl is being steered by a strong high pressure ridge to the north. A W to WNW motion through the next 72 hours is likely. That will likely bring core of the hurricane to the eastern Yucatan early Friday morning.

Beryl will cross into the southern Gulf of Mexico by early this weekend. At that time, the current ridge of high pressure over the southern plains will be breaking down and moving east. Low pressure should replace it, pulling Beryl a little more to north, compared to the current track.

However, there is also uncertainty with the track in the Gulf of Mexico. It is difficult to tell how organized Beryl will be when it emerges from the Yucatan. It is also difficult to predict how quickly the southern plains high will break down.

Such factors also will affect the forward speed of the hurricane.  

Due to Beryl’s high forward speed, it could drop a foot of rain on Jamaica. But as it slows in the Gulf…

Lindner urges people along the Texas and Louisiana coast to monitor Beryl’s progress closely. NHC is now updating information on Beryl every few hours on this page.

For those who need a refresher course in hurricane preparation, ReduceFlooding’s Links page contains advice from 19 authoritative sources.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/2/24

2499 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Beryl Goes from Tropical Storm to Cat 4 in One Day

6/30/24, 4 PM – Beryl intensified from a tropical storm yesterday morning to a category 4 hurricane with 130 mph winds this afternoon.

Satellite image taken at 3:30 CDT

Elsewhere, Tropical Depression #3 has formed in the Bay of Campeche. NHC predicts it will become a tropical storm by tonight and make landfall near where Alberto did in Mexico less than two weeks ago.

4PM Update on Beryl

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says that the hurricane continues to move swiftly westward at 18 kt, steered by a strong subtropical ridge to its north. Beryl has made only a minor shift to the north since this morning, following the trend in the latest models.

Potentially catastrophic hurricane-force winds, a life-threatening storm surge, and damaging waves are expected when the hurricane passes over portions of the Windward Islands. At highest risk: St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada beginning early Monday morning.

Latest cone of uncertainty for Beryl as of 3PM CDT, 6/30/24

As the hurricane tracks across the Caribbean Sea, there likely will be a gradual increase in wind shear, which should weaken it slightly. However, NHC predicts that Beryl will remain a significant hurricane during its entire trek across the Caribbean region.

So far, the storm’s path has been eerily reminiscent of Harvey’s.

From Wikipedia

Here are the latest track forecasts of various models for today’s storm.

Some models take the path toward Houston, but the consensus seems a bit west.

Sea Surface Temps in Gulf

If Beryl makes it to the Gulf, it will encounter favorable sea surface temps.

Sea Surface Temperature departures from normal. 2 degrees Celsius = 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is too early to predict atmospheric conditions in the Gulf next weekend.

Record-Breaking Beryl

As it spins across the Atlantic, Beryl has already set two records:

  • Farthest east a hurricane has ever formed in the Atlantic in June
  • Earliest Cat 4 Hurricane on record.

Before this storm, the record earliest Category 4 hurricane was Dennis on July 8, 2005.

Posted by Bob Rehak at 4PM CDT on 6/30/24

2497 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Beryl Expected to Become Category 4 Hurricane

6/30/24, 7 AM CDT – The National Hurricane Center (NHC) now predicts that Hurricane Beryl could rapidly intensify into a Category 4 hurricane before reaching the Windward Islands early Monday morning. At 7 AM CDT, NHC estimated Beryl’s maximum sustained winds at 115 mph. That would currently make it a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, which estimates damage to structures at various wind speeds. (See below.)

High SSTs, Low Wind Shear

Sea surface temperatures in Beryl’s path reach 84.2 degrees Fahrenheit, more typical of August than June. And as Beryl moves westward, wind sheer is decreasing. Both factors favor rapid intensification.

Thus, the latest NHC intensity forecast continues to show rapid intensification over the next day, making Beryl an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane before it reaches the Windward islands.

Once Beryl enters the Caribbean, increasing shear will likely cause the hurricane’s intensity to level off, then start weakening around midweek, according to NHC. 

Eye Wall Development

Recent satellite imagery shows the development of an eye, with cooling cloud tops in the eyewall and a warming eye. 

From National Hurricane Center at 6:20 CDT on 6/30/24

Two Hurricane Hunter aircraft measured the maximum wind speed this morning.

Beryl Continues to Track Mostly Westward

The hurricane is moving slightly north of due west at about 20 mph.  There aren’t any significant track changes from the previous advisory. An extensive mid-level, high-pressure ridge north of Beryl will steer the system westward or west-northwestward for several days. 

 

Model guidance remains in tight agreement on the forecast track. NHC’s 4 AM Atlantic Standard Time update notes that track prediction is basically an update of the previous one.

The farther out you get, the more models diverge. The average of all models eventually shows the storm moving into the western Gulf.

Category 4 Risks

This is a very serious situation developing for the Windward Islands. Beryl will bring destructive winds, life-threatening storm surge, heavy rainfall and flooding for much of the Windward Islands tonight and Monday.

Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale Categories

For those new to the Gulf Coast, the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based only on a hurricane’s maximum sustained wind speed.

This scale does not take into account other potentially deadly hazards such as storm surge, rainfall flooding, and tornadoes.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale estimates potential property damage. While all hurricanes produce life-threatening winds, hurricanes rated Category 3 and higher are known as major hurricanes.

Major hurricanes can cause devastating to catastrophic wind damage and significant loss of life simply due to the strength of their winds.

Hurricanes of all categories can produce deadly storm surge, rain-induced floods, and tornadoes.

CategorySustained WindsTypes of Damage Due to Hurricane Winds
174-95 mph
Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.
296-110 mph
Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.
3
(major)
111-129 mph
Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.
4
(major)
130-156 mph
Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
5
(major)
157 mph or higher
Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
From National Hurricane Center

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/30/24 at 7 AM CDT

2497 Days since Hurricane Harvey