According to the National Hurricane Center, a tropical depression has formed in the northeast Gulf of Mexico on this, the first day or hurricane season. The NHC gave the storm only a 10% chance of formation just two days ago. They upped that to 50% this morning. This afternoon, it turned into a tropical depression and should turn into a tropical storm by this evening.
A USAF mission this afternoon along with coastal radars and ship/platform/buoy data indicate that the elongated area of low pressure over the northeastern Gulf of Mexico has become defined enough to be declared a tropical depression.
The plane found current wind speeds of 35mph. A tropical depression becomes a tropical storm when winds reach 39 – 73 mph.
WSW/SW upper-level winds are currently shearing the storm. Nearly all of the heavy weather is located to the north and northeast of the circulation.
Convection has been moderate today, but heavy thunderstorms near the center are possible tonight into early Friday.
The tropical depression is meandering over the northeast Gulf of Mexico, but will begin a slow southward motion on Friday and into the weekend as the depression becomes influenced by the western portion of a trough over the western Atlantic.
This is an unusual steering pattern over the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The more typical easterly or southerly steering patterns are not yet fully in place. Mid-latitude influences are still reaching well into the Gulf of Mexico. The depression will continue southward into the weekend.
The system could gain modest organization before much stronger WNW/NW upper level winds impact the system late Friday into the weekend.
The depression could attain minimal tropical storm intensity by 8PM eastern time. However, beyond Friday, upper level winds will become increasingly hostile. The system will eventually dissipate over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, according to Lindner.
Update: 10/28/22 11am: Today’s reports indicate the highest severe storm risk is shifting SW of Houston and offshore. Experts now predict 1-2 inches of rain for the Houston area today.Areas offshore are already getting 2-4 inches per hour.
Tomorrow will likely bring strong thunderstorms. Rainfall rates could exceed the capacity of street drains leading to localized street flooding. And the severe weather may also spin up some tornados, according to Harris County’s meteorologist and the National Weather Service (NWS).
NWS predicts two to three inches of rain could fall on Friday, as warm, moist air pushing in from the Gulf collides with a cold front pushing in from the northwest. Jeff Lindner, Harris County meteorologist, predicts the worst period for us will be Friday afternoon.
The NWS Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma, issued this warning for Friday . It shows a marginal risk of severe weather for the entire Houston area and a slightly higher risk for areas south and west of us.
Reasons for Concern
For the weather wonks reading this, Lindner cites an unusual convergence of storm systems at different levels of the atmosphere.
A trough will begin to move eastward toward Texas later today. Surface pressures will begin to fall this afternoon as low pressure develops ahead of the approaching mid-level low. Southeast winds will increase today, letting Gulf moisture quickly return to coastal Texas.
As the mid-level low approaches us, it will meet the northward-moving, moisture-laden warm front moving in from the Gulf.
Severe threats will be highest along the boundary. Tropical moisture will march quickly northward tonight on a 30-knot low level jet. Precipitable waters – the amount of moisture in a column of air – will equal 1.8 inches by Friday morning over much of the region.
As large-scale lift increases over the developing warm sector, showers and thunderstorms will develop from southwest to northeast across the region.
The cold front associated with the mid-level low will sweep west to east across southeast Texas on Friday afternoon, touching off more thunderstorms. The front will slow Friday night, so showers will linger over the area.
The surface low approaching from the northwest will meet the warm front coming from the opposite direction along a NW to SE axis on Friday. This warm front will extend from near San Antonio to near Freeport during the day and produce strong to severe thunderstorms. Low-level winds near the warm front will circle back toward the ESE and enhance low-level storm rotation.
Such collisions are notorious for tornado production, according to Lindner. Discrete cells may develop ahead of the line of storms approaching from the west. The location of the greatest severe risk will depend on where the warm front sets up Friday morning. Areas along and south of the front will have the highest risk.
If the warm front moves just a few miles farther north, it will increase risk to the Houston metro area. Kingwood was struck by tornados in a similar setup earlier this year.
Damaging winds will be the main threat. The worst of the storms should be over by 3-5 pm Friday, but lighter rains may linger well into the evening hours.
Moisture will deepen Thursday into Friday. By Friday morning, a saturated air mass will be in place over the region. “Strong divergent lift coupled with low-level inflow will increase the potential for heavy rainfall along with cell training from southwest to northeast.”
Lindner describes himself as “aways wary of such setups.” They can help anchor and train convection.
These storms could become significant rainfall producers – if they become sustained along the warm frontal boundary. The good news is that the ground is dry and can handle several inches of rainfall. “However, rainfall rates may exceed localized drainage capacities and result in some street flooding regardless of the dry ground conditions,” says Lindner.
Cloudiness should linger much of Saturday keeping temperatures in the 50’s under northerly winds. South of the cloud line temperatures will warm into the 70’s. Where that line will be Saturday is hard to determine. Clouds should erode Saturday night with mostly clear skies. Sunday will be mild.
The hurricane season has another month to go. It isn’t over yet! The National Hurricane Center now gives an area of low pressure moving WNW across the Caribbean a 50% chance of turning into a tropical depression in the next five days. No one is yet predicting what will happen if it does.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/27/22based on information from Jeff Lindner, NWS, and NHC
1885 Days since Hurricane Harvey
https://i0.wp.com/reduceflooding.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Rainfall-10.28.22.png?fit=793%2C561&ssl=1561793adminadmin2022-10-27 14:16:182022-10-28 10:52:03Strong Thunderstorms, Street Flooding, Tornados Possible Tomorrow
Another tropical wave is moving into the Caribbean along the same track as Ian. As of Monday morning at 8 a.m., the National Hurricane Center gives it a 40% chance of developing within 5 days. Currently, the tropical wave is several hundred miles east of the Windward Islands and moving westward at 15-20mph. The NHC has designated this area of investigation as 91L.
While Invest 91L looks fairly impressive on satellite images (see below), Jeff Lindner, Harris County meteorologist says, “There does not appear to be any closed low-level circulation yet. This wave should reach the eastern Caribbean Sea around mid-week and the western Caribbean by this weekend.”
Says Lindner, “Conditions generally become favorable for development along the track of 91L, but when compared to Ian, model solutions are much more varied with development potential and also much more scattered. Some models take the storm into Central America, others predict it will track toward Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
For now, watch and wait.
Orlene Moves Inland Over Mexico
In the meantime, the eastern Pacific is fairly active. NHC is tracking three storms. Two are moving northwest parallel to the Mexican coast as a third – Hurricane Orlene moves inland near Mazatlán.
Mid- and high-level moisture from Orlene will stream across our area later in the week. However, our air is so dry right now that precipitation aloft will likely not reach the ground.
Glancing Blow from Frontal Boundary Later in Week
Lindner also predicts, “Toward the end of this week, moisture may return to Texas from the Gulf of Mexico ahead of a front that will drop into the eastern U.S. The front should only strike a glancing blow to Texas. Most of it will head more southeast toward the Tennessee Valley. So rainfall potential for Houston will remain low. Our dry pattern will likely continue.”
https://i0.wp.com/reduceflooding.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/two_atl_5d0.png?fit=900%2C665&ssl=1665900adminadmin2022-10-03 11:33:412022-10-03 23:13:52NHC Gives 40% Chance of Formation to 91L Within 5 Days
By this weekend, the second tropical wave in two weeks will make its way into the Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is monitoring a disturbance in the southwestern Caribbean. They predict it will track northwest across Central America and the Yucatan. Then it should emerge into the Gulf of Mexico later this week.
It’s too early to tell the exact track, timing or degree of development. That depends on many factors such as steering currents and frontal boundaries. But as of 7am Houston time on 8/16/22, NHC gives the disturbance a 20% chance of developing into a named storm within 5 days.
NHC says an area of low pressure could form on Friday. Gradual development of this system is possible while it moves northwestward over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico through the weekend.
Harris County Meteorologist Jeff Lindner says conditions will become increasing favorable for tropical cyclone development in the Bay of Campeche (the area with the yellow circle). He points to a frontal boundary dropping south toward the Texas coast late this week and says areas south of that boundary will become increasingly favorable for a low pressure system to develop along the axis of the tropical wave.
Each of those numbers falls within the ranges shown above by NHC.
Seventh Consecutive Above-Average Season
If NOAA predictions prove true, 2022 would make the seventh consecutive above-average hurricane season.
NOAA’s outlook for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to November 30, predicts a:
65% chance of an above-normal season
25% chance of a near-normal season
10% chance of a below-normal season.
For the 2022 hurricane season, NOAA is forecasting a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will update the 2022 Atlantic seasonal outlook in early August, just prior to the historical peak of the season.
The 2022 hurricane outlook is not a “landfall forecast.”
NOAA Enhances Products and Services
NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. emphasized that NOAA’s forecasting accuracy continues to improve. The agency has enhanced the following products and services this hurricane season:
The Excessive Rainfall Outlook (ERO) has been experimentally extended from three to five days of lead time. This will give people more notice of rainfall-related flash flooding risks from tropical storms and hurricanes. ERO forecasts the probability of intense rainfall that could lead to flash flooding within 25 miles of a given point.
In June, NOAA will enhance Peak Storm Surge Forecasts. Upgrades include color coding that illustrates the peak storm surge inundation forecast at the coast.
Start Preparing Now
FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell said, “It’s important for everyone to understand their risk and take proactive steps to get ready now.” Some tips:
Visit Ready.gov for preparedness tips on what to do before, during and after a flood.
Have several ways to receive alerts.
Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide.
Sign up for community alerts in your area and be aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), which require no sign up.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/25/22 based on information from the National Hurricane Center and Ready.Gov
1730 Days since Hurricane Harvey
https://i0.wp.com/reduceflooding.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/20220525-Screen-Shot-2022-05-25-at-11.23.28-AM.jpg?fit=1200%2C757&ssl=17571200adminadmin2022-05-25 11:44:502022-05-25 11:44:53NHC Predicts Above-Normal 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season
According to the National Hurricane Center, a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms centered around the Yucatan has a 70% chance of turning into a tropical cyclone in the next two days. NHC gives it an 80% chance of formation within five days.
Environment Becoming Conducive for Development
Although upper-level winds are not currently conducive for tropical cyclone development. However, they should become more favorable during the next day or so. A tropical depression is likely to form on Sunday or Monday while the disturbance moves northwestward and then northward near the coast of northeastern Mexico. Further development will be possible through the middle of next week if it remains over water. However, because the storm has no organized center at this time, where it will make landfall is hard to predict.
“Global forecast models agree that a surface low will form, but where exactly remains in question,” says Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist.
The majority of the models predict the storm will focus on the western Gulf coastline. However, some models bring the storm closer to the Houston area.
Regardless, counter-clockwise rotation around any tropical cyclone should put Houston on the dirty side.
Heavy Rains Could Produce Flash and Urban Flooding
People along the western and northwestern Gulf coast should monitor the progress of this system. This disturbance should produce heavy rain across portions of Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula through today which may lead to flash flooding and mudslides.
According to Lindner, “By late this weekend, heavy rain will likely reach portions of the western Gulf coast. Expect rain over most of coastal Texas and Louisiana through the middle of next week. Localized significant rainfall amounts will be possible, potentially resulting in areas of flash and urban flooding.”
Expect very wet days early next week, especially near the coast. How far inland the heavy rains extend will depend on the degree of tropical cyclone development and the track of the storm. At this time, with high uncertainty, forecasters expect the heaviest rains near the coast with lower amounts inland.
Widespread rainfall amounts of 2-4 inches will be common over much of the area with much higher totals of 5-10 inches near the coast. Isolated totals in certain areas could exceed 10 inches.
While grounds are generally dry over the area, the magnitude of the rainfall in a short period of time could result in significant run-off generation especially over urban areas. Flooding concerns will increase as grounds become saturated early next week.
The high degree of uncertainty on where where any tropical cyclone will strike also affects winds, seas, and tides. But at the present, Lindner predicts easterly and southeasterly winds today into Sunday. He sees them increasing into the 20-30 mph range with seas building 6-10ft offshore by late Sunday into Monday.
Larger swells moving onto the coast will likely lead to some wave run-up and minor coastal flooding during high tides from late Sunday into early next week.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 9/11/2021based on information from NHC and HCFCD
1474 Days since Hurricane Harvey
https://i0.wp.com/reduceflooding.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/two_atl_5d0-1.png?fit=900%2C665&ssl=1665900adminadmin2021-09-11 09:14:002021-09-11 18:25:44Tropical Cyclone Formation Likely over Gulf
As of 3 p.m. CDT, the National Hurricane Center indicated Tropical Storm Ida had intensified into a hurricane about to cross over the western tip of Cuba. They warn that it could turn into a category 4 hurricane. It is currently predicted to cross over Louisiana, dump up to 20 inches of rain, and produce 15 feet of storm surge on Sunday.
Warnings Now In Effect
The NHC has also posted several warnings. They include:
Storm Surge Warning from Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border.
Hurricane Warning for the coast of Louisiana including Lake Pontchartrain and Metropolitan New Orleans.
Tropical Storm Warning from the mouth of the Pearl River to the Mississippi/Alabama border.
Tropical Storm Warning for the coast of Louisiana from west of Intracoastal City to Cameron.
According to the National Hurricane Center, radar indicated a closed eye 24 nautical miles wide. Recon aircraft measured winds at 70 knots – hurricane intensity – at 3 PM Houston time.
Once Ida moves past western Cuba and into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico, it will be moving through very warm waters, low wind shear, and a moist low- to mid-level atmosphere. These conditions should result in rapid strengthening during the next 24 to 36 hours.
In fact, with the higher initial wind speed, the intensity guidance has significantly increased.
Some fluctuations in intensity are possible as Ida nears the northern Gulf coast due to possible eyewall replacement cycles. Models also call for Ida’s wind field to expand while it moves over the Gulf of Mexico. As a result, there is higher-than-normal confidence that a large and powerful hurricane will impact portions of the northern Gulf coast by late this weekend and early next week.
Ida has wobbled a little right of the previous track, but the longer term motion continues to be northwestward at about 14 mph.
Tracking Quickly Toward Louisiana Then Slowing
Steering currents push Ida northwestward across the Gulf this weekend. But Ida after landfall they will also slow northward motion and cause the system to turn northeastward.
However, remember not to focus on the exact details of the track. Storm surge, wind, and rainfall impacts will extend far from the center, says the NHC.
1. Life-threatening storm surge and hurricane conditions will continue through tonight in portions of western Cuba. Life-threatening heavy rains, flash flooding and mudslides are expected across Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and western Cuba, including the Isle of Youth.
2. There is a danger of life-threatening storm surge inundation Sunday along the coasts of Louisiana and Mississippi within the Storm Surge Warning area. Extremely life-threatening inundation of 10 to 15 feet above ground level is possible within the area from Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Mouth of the Mississippi River. Interests throughout the warning area should follow any advice given by local officials.
3. Ida is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it reaches the coast of Louisiana. Hurricane-force winds are expected Sunday along the Louisiana coast, including metropolitan New Orleans, with potentially catastrophic wind damage possible where the core of Ida moves onshore. Actions to protect life and property should be rushed to completion in the warning area.
4. Ida is likely to produce heavy rainfall later Sunday into Monday across the central Gulf Coast from southeast Louisiana to coastal Mississippi and Alabama, resulting in considerable flash, urban, small stream, and riverine flooding impacts. As Ida moves inland, flooding impacts are possible across portions of the Lower Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys.
Story of the Storm in Picture
Prays for our neighbors. And thank God that we’re on the dry side of this storm. It should hit on August 29th, the fourth anniversary of when Hurricane Harvey triggered massive evacuations in the Lake Houston Area.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/27/2021
1459 Days since Hurricane Harvey
https://i0.wp.com/reduceflooding.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/155544WPCQPF_sm.gif?fit=892%2C716&ssl=1716892adminadmin2021-08-27 16:38:062021-08-27 16:40:37Ida Now Hurricane, Predicted to Intensify to Category 4, Take Aim at New Orleans
As we approach the 4th anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, the Atlantic basin is currently heating up with tropical activity. As remnants of one hurricane washing across New England, two more areas of concern move toward the Northeast. A third is heading toward the northwest Caribbean. It’s still too early to tell exactly where these storms will make landfall. But the presence of so many tropical disturbances signals the need to stay alert to daily weather forecasts.
Each of these storms has a 40-60% chance of tropical formation.
Five Day Outlook for Tropical Activity
Retreat of High-Pressure System Over Texas
National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecasts a tropical wave over the eastern Caribbean Sea will form a broad area of low pressure over the southwestern Caribbean Sea by late week. Thereafter, environmental conditions favor gradual development while the system moves west-northwestward to northwestward over the northwestern Caribbean Sea.
In addition to that, another major low pressure area over Mexico and the Bay of Campeche could move into the Gulf by this weekend though no tropical activity is forecast at this time.
Jeff Lindner, Harris County meteorologist, warns that as the high pressure ridge currently sitting over Houston begins to retreat north by Wednesday, “A series of tropical waves and disturbances will move from east to west across the US Gulf coast and into coastal TX from mid week onward. With a significant influx of Gulf moisture, showers and thunderstorms will return as early as Wednesday across much of the area and last likely into next week. Locally heavy rainfall will become an increasing threat by late week and this weekend with tropical moisture firmly in place over the region.”
Historical Norms for Late August
NOAA’s Climate Center shows that the projected path of the current areas of concern should follow historical norms for this time of the year.
This is one of the reasons why.
Historical Intervals Between Major Hurricanes
NOAA’s Climate Center also tracks the average return period for MAJOR hurricanes at various points along the coastline. They show that the Houston area can expect on average one major hurricane about every 25 years.
Of course, a hurricane doesn’t have to be major to cause major damage. Allison and Imelda were just tropical storms. And averages are just that – averages. Ike in 2008 and Harvey in 2017 each attained major hurricane status and hit Houston within 9 years of each other.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/23/2021 based on information from NHC and HCFCD
1455 Days since Hurricane Harvey
https://i0.wp.com/reduceflooding.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/two_atl_5d0-2.png?fit=900%2C665&ssl=1665900adminadmin2021-08-23 20:07:252021-08-23 20:10:00Atlantic Basin Heating Up with Potential Tropical Activity
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
00adminadmin2021-06-30 11:48:382021-06-30 11:49:41Two Systems Approaching Caribbean