I just received an email from Jeff Lindner, Director of Hydrologic Operations Division/Meteorologist for Harris County Flood Control District about a potential tropical development.
Linder says, “There has been little mention of the Atlantic tropics thus far this hurricane season…even though we are already on our “E” storm. Most of the storms have been focused in the sub-tropical north Atlantic away from the generally hostile conditions in the deep tropics and far removed from any land interaction.”
Conditions in Tropics Becoming More Favorable for Tropical Development
“However conditions are starting to slowly change and as is usual for mid-August, conditions are becoming more favorable for tropical development in the deep tropics or that region between Africa and the Caribbean Sea,” said Lindner.
Tropical Wave 99L
Lindner continued: “A tropical wave roughly 850 miles east of the southern Windward Islands has shown an increase in deep convection today. This convection (thunderstorms) remains fairly disorganized at this time. Significant amounts of Saharan Air (dusty air from the deserts of N Africa) have been generally keeping the formation of convection to a minimum for the last 2 months, but 99L has found itself far to the south (near 8N) and mainly south of the dusty air across the mid Atlantic. This system has also found itself near/under a building ridge of high pressure aloft and removed from the anomalous strong wind shear thus far this year across the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic.”
“Conditions appear at least marginally favorable for some slow development of this feature as it moves W to WNW over the next 48-72 hours.”
“There is little to no model support for this feature to develop, but we shall see what the 00Z and 12Z models suggest. At the 800pm this evening, the Hurricane Center is giving this system a 20% chance of tropical development over the next 5 days as it moves generally toward the eastern Caribbean Sea.”
Lindner Cautions Against Looking Too Far into Future
“Reminder: it is important as we move into the heart of hurricane season to get information from trusted sources – especially on social media. Posts showing where a storm could be 7-9 days from now and at some level of intensity should not be believed and it is important to refrain from sharing such posts without proper context,” cautioned Lindner.
Peak of Hurricane Season is September 10
The statistical peak of hurricane season for this area is September 10, so we are still almost a month away. Nevertheless, be prepared. Check your your hurricane kit now. Don’t leave important matters for the last minute.
SJRA Still Lowering Lake Conroe
The San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) has been steadily lowering Lake Conroe by 275 cubic feet per second to create extra capacity in the lake. From a normal level of 201 mean feet above sea level (MSL), the goal was to reduce the lake to 199 MSL by August 15 and maintain that level until the end of September. This is to create an additional buffer against downstream flooding until the Army Corps can restore the carrying capacity of the West Fork.
However, recent rains have been refilling the lake almost as fast as the SJRA is lowering it. At the time of this post, the level was at 200.01 MSL. Visit SJRA.net to see the current level and release rate.
I am sure they will increase the discharge rate if this or any other storm approaches to get to their target of 199 MSL.
In short, nothing to worry about now. But keep your antenna up.
Posted by Bob Rehak on August 15, 2018
351 Days since Hurricane Harvey.