At 2 pm this afternoon, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) upgraded the chances of tropical formation for a Gulf disturbance for the third time in 24 hours. Last night, the formation chance was 20%. This morning, it was 40%. This afternoon, NHC says 60%.
Jeff Lindner, Harris County’s meteorologist expects the storm to make landfall sometime tomorrow morning near Matagorda Bay. That would put the Houston region on the dirty part of the storm. However, Lindner believes a tropical storm, if it forms, will be weak. Neither the wind, nor the rain, will likely cause much damage; sustained intensification is unlikely.
Another 1-3 Inches of Rain Likely
Main impact of this Gulf disturbance: rainfall with amounts of 1-3 inches and a few higher isolated totals. “Overall, the dry air wrapping into the system and the overall lack of organization should keep rainfall totals in the manageable range,” said Lindner. “With that said, much of the area will fall on the east side of the center track and we will have to be watchful for any sort of sustained bands that may attempt to setup and train for a period of time which would locally increase the rainfall totals. Creeks and bayous should be able to handle the forecasted rainfall.”
Tides are elevated and will remain elevated into the weekend with water levels near 3-4 feet above normal. At times of high tide, minor coastal flooding will be possible along the Gulf beaches and in the inland bays, but significant coastal flooding is not expected.
NHC Forecast More Aggressive
According to the NHC, surface observations and recent satellite wind data indicate that a well-defined low-pressure system over the western Gulf of Mexico has winds of 30-35 mph near and east of the center. The associated shower and thunderstorm activity of this Gulf disturbance remains limited, but any increase in this activity may result in the formation of a short-lived tropical depression or storm.
Regardless of development, the system could produce heavy rainfall over portions of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana through Saturday. Given the complete saturation of soils with ongoing river flooding along the Texas and Louisiana coastal areas, heavy rain could lead to flash, urban, and additional riverine flooding across this region, warns the NHC.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/21/2021 at 6PM based on information from NASA, NHC, and HCFCD
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