Tag Archive for: Jeff Lindner

Heat Records and Water-Use Restrictions

This is a bit off topic for a flood blog, but it affects tens of thousands of readers. Late yesterday, after multiple heat records were broken across the region, the City of Houston announced water-use restrictions going into effect Sunday, August 27, 2023. Let me address the heat first, water restrictions second. Then I’ll discuss rain chances and the tropics.

Heat Records Shattered Across Houston Region

Yesterday, the Houston area experienced another unrelenting afternoon of scorching temperatures. Many areas reached the mid- to upper-100’s with a few areas into the low 110’s.

Afternoon daily temperature records were shattered at many sites – many by several degrees.

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist

High Temperatures on Thursday, 8/24/23

BUSH IAH: 109 (tied the all time record high, broke daily record high of 105 from 1980)

Huntsville: 111 (shattered record high of 102 from 2011…daily record high broken by 9 degrees)

College Station: 111 (broke record high of 107 from 2010)

Hobby: 107 (broke record high of 100 from 1980)

Conroe: 108 (broke record high of 105 from 1922…101 year old record)

Brenham: 107 (broke record high of 106 from 1980)

Sugar Land: 107 (broke record high of 101 from 2011)

Wharton: 106 (shattered the record high of 99 from 1911…112 year old record)

Cleveland: 109 (broke record high of 104 from 1980)

Crockett: 109 (broke record high of 106 from 2011)

CoH Water-Use Restrictions

According to a City of Houston press release, Houston has entered Stage Two of the City’s Drought Contingency Plan. Due to intense heat and a significant drop in annual rainfall. Effective August 27, 2023, mandatory water-use restrictions will go into effect. They apply to the entire City:

  • Limit outdoor watering to twice a week between the hours of 7PM and 5AM
  • Sundays and Thursdays for single-family residential customers with even-numbered addresses
  • Saturdays and Wednesdays for single-family residential customers with odd-numbered addresses
  • Tuesdays and Fridays for all other customers
  • Any outdoor water use that results in city water leaving your property (i.e., draining onto adjacent property, or streets or gutters) is unlawful.

Violations of watering times will get you a written warning for the first violation. Any subsequent violations are subject to a fine up to $2,000 for each occurrence; see Section 54.001 of the Texas Local Government Code.

Easy Ways to Conserve Water

Here are some easy ways to conserve water:

  • Check and repair water leaks, including dripping faucets and running toilets.
  • Check sprinkler heads to make sure water is not spraying into the street or directly into a storm drain and/or gutters.
  • Avoid washing sidewalks, patio furniture or cars. If you must wash your car, use a car wash. Most car washes use recycled water.
  • Run dishwashers and clothes washers only when full.
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Install a rain barrel and use it for outdoor watering.
  • Turn off the water when you are not using it (e.g., while brushing teeth or shaving).

For more water-saving tips, visit www.givewaterabreak.org.  

Rain Chances

The high-pressure ridge parked over us for the last two months is giving a little bit of ground. Yesterday, thunderstorms finally overcame subsidence in the super-heated afternoon air mass. The gage at the West Lake Houston Parkway bridge recorded 0.44 inches of rain. Despite several downed trees, people cheered because of our deep drought.

According to Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist, as high pressure moves west, weak disturbances may approach the area from the east and northeast.

Combined with high temperatures in the low- to mid-100’s, scattered thunderstorms will be possible.

Wildfire Risk Remains

Thunderstorms come with the threat for lightning-induced wildfires. One such fire started yesterday in the Humble area. Lightning strikes will be possible each day and strong gusty winds can quickly fan fires.

Additionally, wind direction and speeds can quickly change near and around thunderstorms creating very hazardous conditions for ground crews. Multiple fires caused by a single thunderstorm can quickly overwhelm local resources. So use extra caution. Burn bans remain in effect.

Western Caribbean Sea

An area of low pressure has crossed Central America into the western Caribbean Sea. It should move north toward Florida. As of this morning, the National Hurricane Center gave it a 70% chance of formation during the next 7 days.

August 25, 2023 8AM update from NHC

However, it remains unclear where exactly any surface low will form and how it may interact with the surrounding landmasses. Additionally, there may be wind shear to contend with in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. At this time, models predict varying intensity as the storm moves north.

Currently, this system does not pose a threat to Texas. But watch for winds that could enhance our local fire weather.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/25/2023 based on information from Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist, and City of Houston

2187 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Elsa Upgraded to Hurricane

A USAF mission into Elsa along with radar data and surface observations from Barbados indicate that Elsa is now a hurricane. However, uncertainty remains about the storm’s track and intensification.

Elsa in the center of the image is skirting the northern coast of South America and about to cross over the windward islands. Note the small core near the center.

Just yesterday, the NHC showed Elsa remaining a tropical storm all the way to Florida. Now, the National Hurricane Center shows hurricane conditions are quickly spreading into the Windward Islands. Various watches and warnings are in effect for portions of the Caribbean Islands (See graphic below).

86 MPH Winds Reported

According to Jeff Lindner, Harris County’s meteorologist, Elsa has taken advantage of favorable conditions in the last 24 hours. Both the Air Force and land observers reported sustained winds of 86mph this morning. That makes Elsa a hurricane. Radar indicates good banding features and a small, central core.

Elsa continues to race WNW near 30mph which is extremely fast for a hurricane.

However, the system has thus far kept its low- and upper-level centers aligned.


A strong sub-tropical ridge of high pressure to the north of the hurricane, will influence the track for the next 48 hours. Then Elsa will approach a weakness in the ridge and the forecasts become more uncertain.

One model shows the storm nearly dissipating over the Dominican Republic by Sunday. However, others show Elsa turning more north. Increasingly, this appears to be the more likely outcome. However, the spread is very large from east of the Bahamas to near the northern Yucatan at days 4-5 so confidence remains lower than average on the track.

Two models show Elsa making a beeline toward the central Gulf, but most take it east.


Conditions seem favorable for increasing development. But the fast forward motion of Elsa could become a negative factor. Models show a large spread in intensity guidance, but most keep Elsa near the intensity it is now. As it approaches the Gulf, it should be a strong tropical storm or weak hurricane, but some forecasters see it growing much stronger.

NHC continues to lean toward the lower end of the guidance spectrum, but continues to indicate that Elsa could become stronger than forecasted – especially over the NW Caribbean Sea early next week.

Keep one eye on the Gulf. For the latest updates, check the National Hurricane Center.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/2/2021 at 8:30 am based on information from the NHC and HCFCD

1403 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Two Systems Approaching Caribbean

A strong tropical wave located midday between Africa and the eastern Caribbean Sea continues to show increasing signs of organization. The red area below has an 80% chance of tropical formation in the next five days, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) as of 8 a.m. this morning.

Red storm has 80% chance of tropical formation as of 8 am, June 30, 2021 according to National Hurricane Center.

Storm Farthest East Represents Biggest Threat

Convection has increased near a developing low-level, low-pressure system designated 97L for the moment. 97L has a large moisture envelop and conditions generally favor development as it moves westward.

According to Jeff Lindner, Harris County meteorologist and the National Hurricane Center, a tropical depression will likely form in the next few days. It may also turn into a tropical storm as it approaches the Windward Islands. They expect continued W to WNW motion bringing the system into and through the eastern Caribbean Sea by the weekend.

Models Diverge on Direction After Storm Enters Caribbean

It’s too early to tell where it goes after that. Some models suggest the system will turn WNW and NW while others maintain a more westward track. “There is reasonable support for both,” says Lindner.

Lindner emphasizes that it is early for tropical cyclones to form in this region of the Atlantic. While 97L may become a tropical storm as it approaches the Windward Islands, once it gets past them, it may encounter slightly less favorable conditions over the eastern Caribbean Sea.

While there is no significant threat to SE TX at this time, you should monitor 97L daily.

Nearest Storm Poses Less Threat

The yellow area is a second, separate area being monitored by the NHC. It is moving quickly WNW at 20 to 25 mph and will enter the Caribbean later today. However, it is producing only disorganized showers and thunderstorms so far and diverging trade winds may tear it apart. The NHC only gives it a 10% chance of tropical formation. So while it will bring heavy rainfall to the Lesser Antilles, it poses little danger to Houston.

For the latest information, the NHC updates storm tracks every 12 hours during the hurricane season and even more frequently if storms approach the U.S. mainland.

Posted by Bob Rehak based on information from HCFCD and the National Hurricane Center

1401 Days after Hurricane Harvey

For the Record: How Cold Did It Really Get?

While the recent cold snap didn’t set many all-time records, it will go down in the history books as one of the worst arctic blasts in Texas history. Especially when you consider how widespread the cold temps were. Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist, compiled this list for us.

“Historic cold impacted the state and region on Monday (2-15) and Tuesday (2-16),” said Lindner. “Most areas fell below freezing on the afternoon and evening of the 14th and remained below freezing into Wednesday morning.”

“The entire state of Texas average temperature on 2-16-21 was 3.0 degrees the coldest it has been since 12-23-1989 when it was 1.3 degrees.”

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist
  • BUSH IAH tied the record low of 13 from 1895
  • This is only the 5th time the City of Dallas has fallen below zero in recorded history

BUSH IAH was below freezing from 6:00 pm (2-14) to 3:00 pm (2-16) or 45 straight hours,” said Lindner.

Low temperatures recorded for Tuesday (2-16):

Wichita Falls-8
Dime Box3
College Station5
Eagle Lake12
San Antonio12
Ellington Field14
Sugar Land15
La Marque15
Morgan’s Point15
Hobby Airport15
Del Rio18
Corpus Christi19
Data courtesy of Harris County Flood Control District
Paprika, my Spice Girl, found a good use for a beach towel in February.

The last freeze in this blast will happen tonight. Over the weekend, temperatures will start to climb back toward normal.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 2/19/2021 with thanks to Jeff Lindner, HCFCD

1270 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Lake Houston Area Could Be in Beta’s Crosshairs Tonight

The center of Beta is currently near Bay City and moving ENE. For the next 24 hours, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecasts maximum winds at 30 mph.

If any readers in the Lake Houston Area felt left out by Beta, tonight could be your night. According to the NHC, Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner and Space City Weather, models continue to show that a heavy band of rainfall will begin to develop over the next few hours across the northern portions of Harris County.

Beta Tuesday Evening
Beta Tuesday evening at 5PM, courtesy of RadarScope. The bands are moving from SE to NW. But the forward motion of the storm is perpendicular, from SW to NE. That could push new feeder bands into the Lake Houston Area later tonight.

Current Radar Trends Show Storm Moving Toward Northeast Harris County

“Current radar trends show what may be the start of this banding feature from Downtown Houston to Jersey Village to Waller where a broken band of heavy to excessive rainfall is forming,” said Lindner at 4pm today.

He continued, “Models show this band continuing well into the evening and overnight hours across much of northern and northeastern Harris County into Liberty County. Training of heavy rainfall is likely with this banding along with flash flooding.”

Additional rainfall of 4-7 inches will be possible over the northern portions of Harris County into Liberty County and possibly southern Montgomery County with isolated totals of 10-12 inches possible.


(Update At 9:10 PM) The radar image above looked like this and heavy rain had started in Kingwood.

Source: RadarScope

However, in the upper San Jacinto Watershed, the expected rainfall amounts will likely produce flooding only on Cypress and Little Cypress Creeks.

In other parts of Houston, the following streams could flood:

  • Greens Bayou
  • Halls Bayou
  • Hunting Bayou
  • White Oak Bayou tributaries
  • Cedar Bayou
  • Gum Gully
  • Langham Creek
  • Horsepen Creek
  • South Mayde Creek
  • Bear Creek

The largest threat at this point is street flooding. So move your cars out of the street tonight.

West Fork Still At Normal Level

At 4PM CDT Tuesday, the West Fork San Jacinto at US59 is still nearly seven feet from coming out of its banks.

Source: Harris County Flood Warning System. The normal level of Lake Houston at this gage is 42.4 feet.

Flood Warning System Shows Effects of Heavy Training

The high rainfall gradient across Harris County should the effects of heavy training by Beta’s feeder bands during the last 48 hours. Places under the bands received 12 to 14 inches of rains. Meanwhile, the Lake Houston Area received only around an inch so far.

Beta’s heaviest rainfall until now focused on SW Harris County. Figures shown represent last 48 hours. Source: Harris County Flood Warning System. Note 13.44 inches on HW288!

Worst Likely Over for SW Harris County

Some heavy rainfall is still possible in already hard-hit southern and southwestern Harris County. However, where and potentially how much may fall in that area is uncertain.

Beta Continuing to Weaken

High-resolution visible satellite imagery, surface observations, and NOAA Doppler weather radar data from San Antonio and Houston, Texas, indicate that Beta has continued to weaken.

Cloud tops only extend up to 25,000- 30,000 ft, mainly near and northeast of the center. However, they are quite prodigious rain-producers. Rainfall totals of 13-14 inches having been measured across portions of the Houston metropolitan area thus far.

The Future of Beta

Since Beta should remain inland throughout the forecast period, the cyclone is not expected to regain tropical storm status. Beta should degenerate into a remnant low within 36 hours and dissipate over Mississippi or Alabama in 96 hours, if not sooner.

At 4 p.m. Tuesday, September 22, 2020, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued its last update on Beta.

Said Space City Weather, “The good news is that this mess will begin to clear our of here by Wednesday morning, if not sooner for some areas. The bad news is that we’ve got to get through later today and tonight.”

Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/22/2020 based on data from HCFCD, NHC and Space City Weather

1120 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 369 since Imelda

Beta Stalling Onshore Around Victoria; Will Start Moving Toward Houston Tonight

Tropical Storm Beta moved inland last night around 10 p.m. The center is now near Victoria and moving toward the northwest near 3 mph. The National Hurricane Center predicts Beta will weaken and stall today, but will then begin to move slowly toward the Houston Area tonight. They expect forward speed to increase Wednesday through Friday.

At the moment, maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles from the center. A sustained wind of 39 mph and a gust to 47 mph were recently reported at Victoria, Texas. But at the moment, my wind gage is reading ZERO here in Kingwood.

Yesterday’s Heaviest Rains Narrowly Missed Lake Houston Area

Yesterday’s heaviest rainfall narrowly missed us. While the Lake Houston Area received around an inch of rain, the southwest corner of Loop 610 received 11.64 inches due to a training feeder band.

The main threat today to the Lake Houston Area is having a similar feeder band train over us.

Below are the two-day storm totals so far for Beta in Harris County.

Source: Harris County Flood Warning System as of 6:30 am 9/22/2020.

Rainfall Predictions

For the middle and upper Texas coast, additional rainfall of 6 to 12 inches with isolated storm totals up to 20 inches is expected.

Significant flash and urban flooding is occurring south and west of the Lake Houston Area and will continue today.

RadarScope image as of 6:30 a.m. CDT on 9/22/2020. Center of storm located over Victoria in lower left.

Minor river flooding is likely. Rainfall totals of 3 to 5 inches are expected northward into the ArkLaTex region and east into the Lower Mississippi Valley through the end of the week.


Steering currents around the storm are now collapsing, and Beta is expected to meander during the next 12-24 hours. By this time tomorrow, however, a mid-level trough over west Texas should begin moving eastward and scoop Beta up. That will cause the storm to move toward the east-northeast near or just inland of the upper Texas coast through 36 hours.

After that time, Beta will likely turn northeastward, moving farther inland across Louisiana and Mississippi before dissipating in about 4 days. Beta should weaken to a tropical depression in about 24 hours before it reaches the Lake Houston Area. It will become a remnant low in 2-3 days.


A tornado or two could occur today near the upper Texas and southwestern Louisiana coasts.


Swells generated by a combination of Beta and a cold front over the northern Gulf of Mexico will continue along the coasts of Louisiana and Texas during the next couple of days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.


It is unlikely we will see tropical storm strength winds in the Lake Houston Area.

Winds will increase today as Beta moves in our direction. But Beta is barely at tropical storm strength now and is weakening. The most likely arrival time for the heaviest winds: tonight at 8 p.m.

Flash-Flooding Potential

A flash flooding event is in progress over Harris County. “Numerous roadways are flooded. Avoid travel.

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist

At this time (8am Tuesday, 9/22/2020), the main problem areas are south and west of Houston near the coast. However, that could change as the storm moves toward us.

Channel Status in Harris County. Green means “within banks.” Yellow means “flooding possible.” Red means “flooding likely.”

See data on the problem areas below.

Harris County Flood Control District – Hydrologic Operations Division
          Rain and Channel Status Report at 09/22/2020 07:30 AM

Maximum Rainfall the last  1hr
1.56 inches – Gage 435 @ 435 Willow Water Hole @ Willowbend Boulevard
1.4 inches – Gage 440 @ 440 Brays Bayou @ Rice Avenue
1.24 inches – Gage 370 @ 370 Sims Bayou @ SH 288
1.16 inches – Gage 190 @ 190 Clear Creek @ SH 288
1.04 inches – Gage 430 @ 430 Brays Bayou @ Stella Link Road

Maximum Rainfall the last  6hrs
5.72 inches – Gage 430 @ 430 Brays Bayou @ Stella Link Road
5.0 inches – Gage 2265 @ 2265 Buffalo Bayou @ Piney Point Rd
4.56 inches – Gage 440 @ 440 Brays Bayou @ Rice Avenue
4.6 inches – Gage 2260 @ 2260 Buffalo Bayou @ San Felipe Drive
4.48 inches – Gage 435 @ 435 Willow Water Hole @ Willowbend Boulevard
4.4 inches – Gage 2270 @ 2270 Buffalo Bayou @ West Beltway 8
4.44 inches – Gage 2255 @ 2255 Briar Branch @ Campbell Road
4.52 inches – Gage 420 @ 420 Brays Bayou @ South Main Street

Maximum Rainfall the last  12hrs
8.4 inches – Gage 430 @ 430 Brays Bayou @ Stella Link Road
8.28 inches – Gage 435 @ 435 Willow Water Hole @ Willowbend Boulevard
8.0 inches – Gage 370 @ 370 Sims Bayou @ SH 288
7.76 inches – Gage 440 @ 440 Brays Bayou @ Rice Avenue
7.4 inches – Gage 445 @ 445 Willow Water Hole @ Landsdowne Drive
7.28 inches – Gage 180 @ 180 Clear Creek @ Mykawa Road
7.2 inches – Gage 360 @ 360 Sims Bayou @ Martin Luther King Road
6.96 inches – Gage 460 @ 460 Brays Bayou @ Gessner Road
6.56 inches – Gage 175 @ 175 Clear Creek @ Pearland Parkway
6.48 inches – Gage 380 @ 380 Sims Bayou @ Hiram Clark Rd
6.44 inches – Gage 465 @ 465 Brays Bayou @ Beltway 8
6.32 inches – Gage 2265 @ 2265 Buffalo Bayou @ Piney Point Rd
6.04 inches – Gage 470 @ 470 Brays Bayou @ Belle Park Drive
6.2 inches – Gage 420 @ 420 Brays Bayou @ South Main Street

Maximum Rainfall the last  24hrs
11.04 inches – Gage 180 @ 180 Clear Creek @ Mykawa Road
11.0 inches – Gage 370 @ 370 Sims Bayou @ SH 288
10.88 inches – Gage 435 @ 435 Willow Water Hole @ Willowbend Boulevard
10.56 inches – Gage 445 @ 445 Willow Water Hole @ Landsdowne Drive
10.36 inches – Gage 430 @ 430 Brays Bayou @ Stella Link Road
10.12 inches – Gage 175 @ 175 Clear Creek @ Pearland Parkway
10.12 inches – Gage 380 @ 380 Sims Bayou @ Hiram Clark Rd
9.96 inches – Gage 440 @ 440 Brays Bayou @ Rice Avenue
9.92 inches – Gage 150 @ 150 Clear Creek @ Country Club Drive
9.84 inches – Gage 145 @ 145 Clear Creek @ Dixie Farm Road
9.8 inches – Gage 190 @ 190 Clear Creek @ SH 288
9.6 inches – Gage 460 @ 460 Brays Bayou @ Gessner Road
9.4 inches – Gage 105 @ 105 Marys Creek @ Winding Road
9.44 inches – Gage 360 @ 360 Sims Bayou @ Martin Luther King Road
8.68 inches – Gage 135 @ 135 Clear Creek @ FM 2351
8.56 inches – Gage 465 @ 465 Brays Bayou @ Beltway 8
8.36 inches – Gage 115 @ 115 Cowart Creek @ Baker Road
8.28 inches – Gage 140 @ 140 Turkey Creek @ FM 1959

Stream Water Surface Elevation Data

Out of Banks:
Gage 110 @    Clear Creek @ I-45
Gage 120 @    Clear Creek @ FM 528
Gage 130 @    Clear Creek @ Bay Area Boulevard
Gage 135 @    Clear Creek @ FM 2351
Gage 145 @    Clear Creek @ Dixie Farm Road
Gage 175 @    Clear Creek @ Pearland Parkway
Gage 180 @    Clear Creek @ Mykawa Road
Gage 610 @    Taylors Bayou @ Shoreacres Boulevard
Gage 2150 @    South Mayde @ Greenhouse Road

Near Bankfull:
Gage 100 @    Clear Lake 2nd Outlet @ SH 146
Gage 140 @    Turkey Creek @ FM 1959
Gage 150 @    Clear Creek @ Country Club Drive
Gage 160 @    Beamer Ditch @ Hughes Road
Gage 170 @    Clear Creek @ Nassau Bay
Gage 190 @    Clear Creek @ SH 288
Gage 200 @    Taylor Lake @ Nasa Road 1
Gage 410 @    Brays Bayou @ Lawndale Street
Gage 420 @    Brays Bayou @ South Main Street
Gage 430 @    Brays Bayou @ Stella Link Road
Gage 440 @    Brays Bayou @ Rice Avenue
Gage 460 @    Brays Bayou @ Gessner Road
Gage 480 @    Keegans Bayou @ Roark Road
Gage 710 @    San Jacinto River @ Rio Villa
Gage 720 @    San Jacinto River @ US 90
Gage 740 @    Lake Houston @ FM 1960
Gage 1610 @    Greens Bayou @ Normandy Street
Gage 1720 @    Cedar Bayou @ SH 146
Gage 2115 @    Langham Creek @ Clay Rd
Gage 2210 @    Buffalo Bayou @ Turning Basin
Gage 2253 @    Buttermilk Creek @ Moorberry Lane
Gage 2255 @    Briar Branch @ Campbell Road
Gage 2265 @    Buffalo Bayou @ Piney Point Rd

Key Messages

Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/22/2020 at 8am based on data from Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist, the National Hurricane Center, Harris County Flood Warning System and RadarScope

1120 Days After Hurricane Harvey and 369 since Imelda

Beta Moving Ashore Today Then Likely Tracking Slightly South of Houston

As of 10:00 a.m. Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) still shows the center of Tropical Storm Beta located offshore. The latest forecasts from the NHC predict that Beta will move onshore near Matagorda Bay, then move up the coastline toward League City.

The NHC also advises that the storm has picked up speed. Yesterday, they estimated 3 mph; today 7 mph.

No one seems to predict that the storm will intensify before landfall.

“Dry air continues to work into and wrap around the large wind field of Beta yielding the disorganized precipitation field with the system.”

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist
National Weather Service radar Image of Beta as of 10:04 am Monday 9/21/20.
Lake Houston Area is the blue dot in the center of the swirl. Red line is predicted path of Beta. Source: Weather Live.

Main Threat: Storm Surge

At this time, Beta’s main threat is to the coastline through storm surge. “Tides are currently running 4.0-4.5 feet in Clear Lake and across coastal sections of Harris County with several sites near the Gulf beaches running 4.0-4.5 feet. Coastal flooding is ongoing and will continue for much of the day. Several roadways are underwater along the coast and around Galveston Bay,” says Lindner.

Lindner continues, “As Beta makes landfall along the middle Texas coast later today, the storm will begin to slow and then turn ENE toward the upper TX coast. It will slowly weaken along the way. This track will keep onshore flow along the upper Texas coast tonight and Tuesday. Tides will remain high into the high tide tonight. Impacts along the coast will continue through the day and into tonight and likely Tuesday.”

Wind Forecast

The most likely arrival time of tropical storm force winds, if we get them, is later tonight.

Tropical storm force winds already cover a large part of the mid-Texas coast.

The storm will weaken as it moves toward the Houston Area and turn into a tropical depression. The further north you live from the coastline, the less intense winds will be.

Depending on where you live in Houston, you have a 30% to 100% chance of experiencing topical storm force winds. The Lake Houston Area is on the low end of that range. The National Weather Service predicts that the Lake Houston Area has a chance of seeing 39-57 mph winds. But Spaces City Weather advises that Beta is “not a significant wind threat.”

However, note that tropical-storm-force winds currently extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km) from the center of the storm.

Galveston has reported sustained winds of 39 mph and a gust of 43 mph during the past couple of hours.


Dry air has worked into the circulation of Beta, according to Lindner. “This has resulted in a more disorganized and scattered rainfall pattern. However, the system is still capable of heavy rainfall especially near the center later today and in bending structures east of the center for the next 48 hours.”

Models show several banding features developing during the next 48 hours over SE TX, But little consensus exists on where the heaviest rainfall totals may be.

Lindner advises that, “Given that much of the area will reside on the eastern side of a the tropical system, we should keep some level of concern of heavy rainfall and flooding in place through the next 48 hours.”

Lindner predicts that widespread rainfall amounts of 4-8 inches will be possible for areas along and south of I-10 with isolated totals of 10-12 inches under any training feeder bands. Totals to the north of I-10 will likely average 3-5 inches with isolated totals of 6-7 inches. 

However, the NHC predicts slightly less rain. See the map below.

As long as the rainfall spreads out over the next 48 hours, most of the creeks and bayous can handle the expected rainfall amounts, Lindner says. But should any training develop, flash flooding would be possible. 

Watches and Warnings in Effect

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Port Aransas, Texas to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana. That includes Copano Bay, Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay, Matagorda Bay, Galveston Bay, Sabine Lake, and Lake Calcasieu.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Port Aransas Texas to Morgan City Louisiana. That includes the Lake Houston Area.

National Hurricane Center


Lindner, the NHC and NWS all warn that tornadoes remain a threat with this storm. Especially, tonight and Tuesday.


Yesterday, models predicted that Beta would track up US59 toward the Humble/Kingwood Area. However, today, forecasters think the storm will track closer to the coast. They put it on a line toward League City.

Wind shear will keep Beta’s track close to the coastline, but it will also affect the cyclone’s intensity along with land interaction. The closer the cyclone stays near the Gulf of Mexico, the more likely that bands of convection containing tropical-storm-force winds will continue to roll onshore the Texas coast through 36-48 hours.


Flash, urban, and isolated minor river flooding is possible, but the danger is “slight.”

National Hurricane Center

Net: Beta is still a threat. But it may be less of one than yesterday. That’s because of the dry air folding into the system and wind sheer which seem to be weakening it somewhat. Be hopeful, but cautious. Expect several inches of rain and high winds in the next two days with both tapering off Wednesday.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/21/2020 at noon based on data from NHC, NWS, Jeff Lindner, Space City Weather and Weather Live

1119 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 368 since Imelda

Hurricane Watch for Port Aransas to High Island

As of 4am Saturday, 9/19/20 (the 1-year anniversary of Imelda), the National Hurricane Center issued:

  • Hurricane Watches for Texas coast from Port Aransas to High Island
  • Tropical Storm Watches east of High Island into Louisiana and from Port Aransas to the Rio Grande
  • Storm Surge Watches from Port Mansfield, TX to Cameron, LA including all inland bays.


There is an increasing risk of heavy rainfall and flooding along the northwest Gulf Coast Sunday through at least the middle of next week. Beta is forecast to move slowly toward and along or offshore of the coast through that time and create life-threatening storm surge.

Lake Friday, a USAF mission found a stronger tropical storm with winds of 60mph and a fairly large area of 40-50mph winds. Ships and oil platforms in the north-central Gulf of Mexico have reported winds above 40mph. The wind field is starting to expand toward the north.


Beta is moving NNE at 12mph. Faster than expected. Beta will turn west around mid-day Saturday and decrease forward speed into early next week. This will bring Beta toward the middle Texas coast.

As Beta approaches the mid TX coast, weakening high pressure to the north will turn the storm toward the north and northeast. However, forecasters have lower-than-normal confidence as to when all this will happen.

The current National Hurricane Center forecast track is near the center of consensus for major global models, but shifts in this track will remain possible both toward the north or south.


Beta intensified despite wind shear. As Beta moves over very warm western Gulf of Mexico waters, intensification will likely continue for the 24-48 hours. NHC now forecasts Beta to become an 80mph hurricane. As Beta begins to turn northeast and skirt the middle and upper TX coast, the storm may weaken. Some uncertainty remains in the intensity forecast.  

Tropical storm force winds will likely begin to arrive along the middle TX coast Sunday evening and spread northward into Matagorda Bay and along the upper TX coast by Monday. Hurricane conditions could reach the Matagorda Bay region on Tuesday.  


Storm Surge: 

Water level rises along the upper TX coast will begin on Saturday and worsen Sunday into Monday due to the expansion of the tropical-storm-force wind field. This large wind field will also develop large swells over the NW Gulf of Mexico by Sunday into Monday with swells reaching 15-25 feet. On Sunday into Monday, expect 4-8 feet waves breaking on beaches. These large swells will lead to wave run up on top of elevated tides.

Large waves will accompany the higher tides. The prolonged nature of the event will result in significant beach erosion and damage to fragile dunes.

Expect inundation of low lying roads near the coast. Once the water begins to rise on Saturday evening, some low lying areas may remain flooded into the middle of next week.

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist

Ferry operations at both the Galveston-Bolivar and the Lynchburg sites may be impacted. 

For SE Harris County:

From Saturday night into next week, coastal flooding will be possible in El Lago, Nassau Bay, Shoreacres, Seabrook and portions of Baytown near Goose Creek and Cedar Bayou.

This includes all areas around:

  • Clear Lake
  • Along Taylor’s Bayou in Shoreacres and Taylor Lake Village
  • Around the San Jacinto Monument and Lynchburg Ferry landing
  • In Seabrook areas along and east of Toddville Rd and in the waterfront area east of HWY 146.
  • The lower San Jacinto River at Rio Villa and other low lying areas south of US HWY 90.
  • Low lying areas in Galena Park and Jacinto City near the Houston Ship Channel
  • Lower portions of Greens and Hunting Bayous south of I-10.

Most flooding will happen in streets, low marsh lands, roads near Galveston Bay and around Clear Lake and some subdivisions streets.

Wave action from ENE/E winds across Galveston Bay of 2-4 feet will be possible on top of these tides along the west side of Galveston Bay and 1-3 feet in Clear Lake which may damage docks, bulkheads, and moored vessels. 


Rainfall will strongly depend on the track of Beta. Small changes could result in significant differences in rainfall amounts. Heaviest rains will likely be near the coast and offshore.

Any deviation of the track northward would bring the heavy rainfall further inland, likewise any south or east shift in the track would keep the heaviest rains off the coast.

  • Coast: 8-12 inches
  • Coastal counties: 6-8 inches
  • South of I-10: 4-6 inches
  • South of Hwy 105: 3-5 inches
  • North of Hwy 105: 1-3 inches

HCFCD models suggest that basin average rainfall totals of at least 6 inches would fill smaller creeks and bayous in Harris County (Willow Waterhole, Keegans Bayou, Willow Creek, Upper Little Cypress Creek).

Basin average amounts of 7-8 inches would fill Clear Creek, Hunting Bayou, Armand Bayou, Cypress Creek, Halls Bayou, Greens Bayou, White Oak Bayou, Buffalo Bayou, Cedar Bayou, and various smaller tributaries. 

Addicks and Barker Reservoirs are currently empty.


Tropical storm force winds may start Sunday evening around Matagorda Bay. Sustained 40mph winds likely spread northward along the upper TX coast on Monday including Galveston Bay.

Hurricane conditions will be possible near Matagorda Bay on Tuesday and across portions of coastal Matagorda, Brazoria, and Galveston Counties into Wednesday.

Across Harris County wind will increase into the 25-35mph range on Monday and possibly 40-50mph range on Tuesday into Wednesday with higher gusts, especially near Galveston Bay.  

Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/19/2020 at 4am based on data from the National Hurricane Center and Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner.

1117 Days since Hurricane Harvey and 1 Year since Tropical Storm Imelda

How Close Was Laura?

After a week of worry! After adrenaline-fueled prep for two back-to-back hurricanes that could have wreaked havoc on Houston…I woke up refreshed this morning, walked to my weather window, and saw…nothing unusual. What happened? I checked my weather gauge. It read 0.00 inches of rain. Max winds since midnight: 3 mph.

It would appear the Houston Area dodged Laura’s silver bullet. But why? According to Harris County Meteorologist, Jeff Linder, two things spared us the wrath of Laura. First, Laura shifted slightly east. Second, as Laura intensified, the wind field pulled in tighter. That diminished feeder bands on the western side of the storm.

How Close Laura Came

Here are some radar and satellite images that show how close the storm came.

From Weather Live App at 5:55 am Thursday 8/27/2020
From the National Hurricane Center at 5:56 am. Houston is the bright spot on the SW side of the swirl.
From the National Weather Service at 1:53 CDT as Laura came ashore.
From Lake Charles Louisiana radar at 12:46 am CDT. (This and following images from RadarScope Pro app.)

The shot above and the radar loop below show dramatically how the storm shifted east last night. The National Hurricane Center had predicted eye of the storm to move up the Sabine River near Port Arthur, about 40 miles west.

Radar Loop showing Laura coming onshore that started at 11:28pm 8/26/2020.
Little Rock, Arkansas radar at 5:41 am CDT as Laura approaches

6 A.M. Update from NHC

At this instant, Laura has diminished to a Cat 2 storm. An update issued by the NHC at 6:00 a.m. says,

  • Fort Polk, Louisiana recently reported a sustained wind of 45 mph (72 km/h) and a wind gust of 70 mph (113 km/h). SUMMARY OF 600 AM CDT…1100 UTC…

Hurricane Guilt

After Hurricane Rita, which dodged Houston like Laura, I coined a term called “hurricane guilt.” It’s that feeling of elation you get when you realize the storm missed you…followed closely by the realization that it destroyed innocent lives elsewhere.

That’s what I feel right now. As I write this, the sun is rising and birds are singing. Soon images of Laura’s destruction will start to pour in. Only then will we know how lucky we were.

Posted by Bob Rehak at 6:45 am on 8/27/2020 based on information from NWS, NHC, RadarScope, and Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist

1094 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Heavy Rainfall Threat in Coming Days

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Flood Control Meteorologist just issued a heavy rainfall warning. Lindner notes that the line of strong thunderstorms currently moving across the area will drop rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches.

The good news: the leading edge of this line is becoming detached from the outflow boundary. That suggests storms will weaken as they move southward. Rainfall rates which were 2-4 inches earlier over N Waller and Montgomery Counties have lessened to near 1-2 inches. The main threat now is short duration street flooding in areas with the heaviest rainfall.

Tonight’s Forecast 

Lindner points to extremely active radar out west along the Rio Grande. He says that’s where the next round of weather will be developing. He expects it to move quickly toward our area tonight. Models show this line of storms quickly reaching the area between midnight and 400 a.m. But at the speed it’s moving, he predicts only another 1-2 inches for most areas with this line.

Intercontinental Radar as of 8PM Sunday night, 5/24/2020

Monday Prediction 

Continued high rain chances. The air may take much of the morning and early afternoon to recover from the early morning line of weather, but temperatures will only need to reach the low 80’s to trigger more storms. It will not take much heating to set things off, he warns. Storm motions could be fairly slow Monday afternoon and this could lead to excessive rainfall rates in a short period of time.

Tuesday-Thursday: Continued Threat 

Upper level disturbances remain parked over the state with rounds of storms at nearly any time. Heavy rainfall will continue to be a threat.

Rainfall Amounts Add Up Changing Nature of Threat 

Lindner concludes, “Moisture profiles certainly support heavy to excessive rainfall rates as seen today and if storms slow of train for a period of times totals could quickly add up. Grounds will saturate over time leading to increasing and eventually maximum run-off conditions…so the threat may grow from mainly street flooding to potential rises on area creeks, bayous, and rivers.”  

Lindner concedes that it’s hard to pinpoint any day or time or location that has a higher flood risk than another. “So we will just have to closely watch each convective episode and be prepared to react quickly,” he says.   

Impact of Today’s Rains on Elm Grove

Despite heavy rainfall this afternoon, Jeff Miller, an Elm Grove resident and frequent contributor, drove the streets of Elm Grove this evening. He notes that:

  • Streets still seem clear as of 8 p.m.
  • Taylor Gully is about half full, but water is flowing rapidly
  • Water level is about 2 feet from the top of the twin culverts at the Rustling Elms bridge.

Miller sees the possibility of that culvert being overflowed as a danger.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/24/2020 with reporting from Jeff Miller and Jeff Lindner

999 Days since Hurricane Harvey, 248 since Imelda, and four years since the last Memorial Day Flood.