Tag Archive for: National Hurricane Center

Ida Now Hurricane, Predicted to Intensify to Category 4, Take Aim at New Orleans

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.
Hurricane Ida over the western tip of Cuba as of 3PM Houston time on 8/27/2021

Rapid Intensification

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.

Models now predict Ida will reach category 4 intensity. The NHC forecast explicitly calls for rapid intensification during the next 24 to 36 hours.

National Hurricane Center

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.

Key Messages

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

Confidence in track is increasing. Ida should reach the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts by Sunday afternoon.
…but tropical-storm-force winds should arrive by Sunday morning.
Most of the Houston area only has about a 10-30% chance of experience tropical-storm-force winds.
And we have practically no chance of excessive rainfall that could create flash flooding.
Portions of Louisiana, however, will like see 15-20 inches of rain.
But the biggest threat by far to our neighbors will come from storm surge. Portions of the delta could see as much as 15 feet above ground level.

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

Atlantic Basin Heating Up with Potential Tropical Activity

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

8 PM outlook on 8/23/2021 indicates the storms heading toward the NW Caribbean have a 50% chance of tropical formation in the next five days. That’s up from 30% this morning.

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.

Note massive low pressure system moving into Gulf.

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 diagram shows the most likely areas for formation for hurricanes in August and their prevailing tracks. Source: NOAA’s Climate Center.

This is one of the reasons why.

Current sea surface temperatures in the Gulf are running 1.5 to 2+ degrees degrees above normal for the next seven days, with the warmer areas nearer the Texas Coast.

Historical Intervals Between Major Hurricanes

NOAA’s Climate Center shows the average interval for major hurricanes striking the Houston area is about every 25 years.

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

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.

Track

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.

Intensity

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

Another Above-Average Hurricane Season Predicted

This is the time of year when meteorologists start predicting how many hurricanes we will experience in the Atlantic Basin. Frank Billingsley at Click2Houston.com issued his prediction for an above-average hurricane season Friday. He also predicts that other meteorologists will predict the same. Here’s why.

Official Averages Out of Date

The official window used to calculate the average number of storms has been 1981 to 2010. But when Brian McNoldy of the University of Miami looked at the more recent 30 years from 1991 to 2020, he found an increase in the number of storms. Also, AccuWeather has already come out with its prediction, showing a substantial increase.

Year(s)StormsHurricanesMajor Hurricanes
1981-2010 (Old Average)1263
1991-2020 (New Average)1473
2020 Actual30136
2021 Predicted by AccuWeather16 to 207 to 103 to 5
Sources: Brian McNoldy, AccuWeather, NHC

Other Contributing Factors

Sea-Surface Temperatures

Sea-surface temperatures are slightly above normal for this time of year. Despite the polar outbreak in February which cooled the Gulf somewhat, the Caribbean and Atlantic remain higher than average. See anomaly map below from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Seven day average as of 4/3/2021
La Niña

Billingsley’s prediction also takes into account La Niña, which is part of ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation).

NOAA describes El Niño and La Niña as the warm and cool phases of a recurring climate pattern across the tropical Pacific. The pattern can shift back and forth irregularly every two to seven years, and each phase triggers predictable disruptions of temperature, precipitation and winds.

The El Niño phase usually means fewer hurricanes in the Atlantic.

Typical influence of El Niño on Pacific and Atlantic seasonal hurricane activity. Map by NOAA Climate.gov, based on originals by Gerry Bell.

The La Niña phase usually means more hurricanes in The Atlantic.

Typical influence of La Niña on Pacific and Atlantic seasonal hurricane activity. Map by NOAA Climate.gov, based on originals by Gerry Bell.

Why? In short, the warm, wet air of El Niño in the tropical Pacific produces stronger vertical wind sheer which discourages hurricane formation in the Atlantic. The cool, dry air of La Niña produces less wind sheer which lets hurricanes form more easily.

National Hurricane Center

The real question is: How long will La Niña last? La Niña was strong last year. That meant one of the busiest hurricane seasons ever. (See table above.) But will it fade by the start of this hurricane season or the end? The Texas Water Development Board predicted it would begin to fade after this month. But some models show it lasting through the end of the year.

Bermuda High

AccuWeather predicts three to five hurricanes will make a direct hit on the United States this year. That’s partially due to another factor – the position of the Bermuda High. A weak Bermuda High means storms forming in the Atlantic would most likely aim at the Eastern Seaboard as opposed to coming into the Gulf.

Bottom line, “Be prepared. Anyone who has been through a hurricane can tell you it only takes one.”

Frank Billingsley, Click2Houston.com

Valuable Resources During Hurricane Season

For the full AccuWeather forecast, click here.

Colorado State University’s hurricane forecast comes out next week. It’s one of the most respected in the world.

During the season, the National Hurricane Center provides the most frequent updates of storm activities. They will start issuing tropical updates on May 15. And their reports will have more features than ever this year. See the list of new features including storm surge inundation values, weather forecasts for “blue-water” mariners, wave heights, cumulative maximum winds over 5-days, and more.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/3/2021 based on information from Click2Houston, AccuWeather, and NOAA

1313 days since Hurricane Harvey

National Hurricane Center Starting Tropical Weather Outlooks Two Weeks Earlier

Even if you don’t believe in climate change, the way the National Hurricane Center (NHC) covers tropical weather will change this year. Until now, NHC began issuing regular tropical weather outlooks on June 1st. Now they will start two weeks earlier.

The National Hurricane Center will begin regular tropical weather outlooks starting on May 15 this year. This change has been made due to the increased number late May tropical and sub-tropical systems in the last several years.

The actual start date of the Atlantic basin hurricane season will remain June 1, but this is also being looked at for changes to an earlier start date in future years.

Hurricane Harvey at its peak intensity in August of 2017 as it came ashore in Texas. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

Text of NHC Press Release

“In order to provide more frequent information on the potential for tropical cyclone formation as the official June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season approaches, the National Hurricane Center will begin routine issuance of the Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook (TWO) and the Graphical TWO at 800 AM EDT (1200 UTC) May 15, 2021.”

“Given recent increased tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic basin in late May, routine issuance of the Atlantic TWO starting on May 15 offers a service improvement over unscheduled Special TWOs that are issued to discuss the possibility of tropical cyclone formation prior to the official start of hurricane season on June 1.”

Posted by Bob Rehak on 3/23/21 based on information from the National Hurricane Center

1302 Days after Hurricane Harvey

Delta Explodes into Hurricane; Should Become Major Hurricane by Wednesday; Track Shifts Slightly West

Twenty-four hours ago, Hurricane Delta was simply potential tropical cyclone #26. As of 8 P.M. EDT today, the National Hurricane Center indicated #26 had progressed from tropical depression to tropical storm to hurricane in 24 hours. By tomorrow night, Delta should become a major hurricane as it crosses the resort areas on the northeastern tip of the Yucatan. However, the NHC also predicts that the storm will de-intensify before it makes landfall somewhere between East Texas and the Florida Panhandle on Friday.

Winds Could Increase from 75 to 120 mph

Low wind sheer and warm waters in the northwest Caribbean will allow rapid strengthening over the next 24 to 36 hours. The storm already has sustained winds of 75 mph. NHC gives a better than 50 percent chance of a 35-40 kt increase in wind speed over the next 24 hours. That’s roughly another 40 to 45 mph.

Track Shifts Slightly West

The NHC has shifted the track envelope westward over today, bringing the storm closer to Houston, though we are still slightly outside the cone.

Source: National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Force Winds Currently Extend 70 miles From Center

NHC expects additional rapid strengthening during the next day or so. Delta, they say, should become a major hurricane when it nears the Yucatan Peninsula. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles (25 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center.

At this point, the Houston area has a 10-30% probability of experiencing tropical-storm-force winds from Delta.

Louisiana to Western Florida Faces Largest Danger

NHC advises, “Delta is forecast to approach the northern Gulf Coast late this week as a hurricane. While there is large uncertainty in the track and intensity forecasts, there is an increasing risk of dangerous storm surge, wind, and rainfall hazards along the coast from Louisiana to the western Florida Panhandle beginning Thursday night or Friday. Residents in these areas should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and monitor updates to the forecast of Delta.”

Impact to Texas Coast?

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist, says, “Swells will be increasing over the northwest Gulf of Mexico by mid week with heights increasing into the 5-10 foot range by Wednesday. This will result in increasing tides along the upper TX coast. Current projections indicate 1.0-1.5 feet above normal levels at times of high tides Thursday and Friday. This is subject to change based on the intensity and wind field of Delta over the central and NW Gulf late this week.”

While SE TX is currently outside the “error cone” and direct impacts appear unlikely, Lindner says that its important to closely monitor forecasts for any changes in the track.

Posted by Bob Rehak at 9PM on Monday, 10/5/2020 based on data from the NHC and HCFCD

1133 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.

JEFF LINDNER, HARRIS COUNTY METEOROLOGIST

(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.

Track

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.

Tornadoes

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

Surf

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.

Winds

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 Feeder Band Could Dump 1-2″ Per Hour; Street Flooding Possible

Feeder Band Approaching from South

RadarScope image as of 2PM 9/21/2020

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist noted at 1:35 PM that a feeder band of heavy rainfall from Tropical Storm Beta is moving from northern Brazoria and northern Galveston Counties into southern Harris and Fort Bend Counties.

Lindner says that “rainfall amounts of 1-2 inches per hour will be possible under this band for the next 1-2 hours. This may lead to street flooding in typical areas of poor drainage.” Rates above 2 inches per hour will generally flood streets.

According to Space City Weather, currently, it looks like these storms may produce 2 to 3 inches of rain total as they slowly progress northward, so they could impact the afternoon and evening commute home.

Beta Weakening As It Approaches Landfall

The center of Beta is nearing landfall on the TX coast near Matagorda Island with 45mph winds.

At its 1 p.m. update, the National Hurricane Center said the storm weakened this morning. Sustained winds dropped from 50 to 45 mph. The storm’s central pressure also rose from 996 to 999 mb, another sign of weakening. Welcome signs!

Heavy Rainfall From Training Feeder Bands Will Continue

Heavy rainfall threat in bands to the east and northeast of the center will continue into tonight and Tuesday. “This threat will not subside until the center of the circulation is east of the area on Wednesday,” says Lindner.

Lindner further expects “No significant changes to the rainfall totals. Amounts of 4-8 inches are most likely with isolated higher amounts. But these higher totals will likely be strongly correlated to training feeder bands.”

Posted by Bob Rehak on 1/21/2020 based on data from the National Hurricane Center, Space City Weather and Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist.

1119 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 368 after Imelda