Tag Archive for: National Hurricane Center

Marco Downgraded to Tropical Storm, But Track Shifts Toward Houston; Laura Could Hit Coast as Cat 2 or Higher

At 7:00 a.m. CDT Monday, Tropical Storm Marco was moving north toward the mouth of the Mississippi at 10 mph. The National Hurricane Center predicts Marco will approach the Louisiana coast this afternoon, and then turn west toward Houston/Galveston, following the coast through Tuesday night.

NHC expects Marco to become a tropical depression late on Tuesday and dissipate on Wednesday over southeast Texas. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km), primarily northeast of the center.

Maximum sustained winds have already decreased to near 60 mph with higher gusts.

As One Storm Dissipates, Another Arrives

As Marco is breaking up, Laura could arrive as a Category 2 or higher hurricane.

The NHC still gives the Houston Area a 50-60% chance of experiencing tropical storm force winds, most likely from Laura (see below).

The most likely time for arrival of those winds is during the day on Wednesday.

Laura continues to move quickly WNW at near 21 mph.

“Details of when Laura will turn toward the NW and N and where the core of the system will cross the coast over the NW Gulf remain unclear,” says Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist.

The official NHC forecast brings Laura toward the TX/LA border, but landfall could be as far west as Galveston Bay and as far east as Vermillion Bay.

Models still show a wide spread of possible landfalls, but the largest cluster is on the TX/LA border.

Lindner says, “It is important to not focus solely on the exact landfall points as Laura will be a large hurricane with far reaching impacts.”

Laura Intensity

Laura is disorganized this morning. Likely little will change in Laura’s overall intensity today, due to interaction with the Cuban landmass. Once Laura reaches the SE Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, intensification is likely.

“It is unclear how quickly the inner core of Laura will form. Broad systems such as Laura tend to take time to develop,” says Lindner.

Laura will likely reach hurricane status over the central Gulf and be near major hurricane status over the NW Gulf on Wednesday.

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist

Impacts from Laura

As of 7 a.m., NHC advises, “From late Wednesday into Friday, Laura is expected to produce rainfall of 5 to 10 inches, with isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches near the Texas/Louisiana border. This rainfall could cause widespread flash and urban flooding, small streams to overflow their banks, and the possibility of some minor river flooding across this region.”

However, if the storm stays on its current course or shifts farther east, the amount of rainfall in the Houston Area will lessen. As of 4 a.m. this morning, Lindner predicted rainfall of:

  • 2-4 inches east of I-45 
  • 1-3 inches west of I-45

Squalls will begin to arrive along the upper TX coast Wednesday and increase into Wednesday night and Thursday.

Tides/Storm Surge: 

Laura will cause a large storm surge near and to the east of where the center crosses the coast. Significant swells will begin to arrive on Tuesday. This will likely drive water levels upward along the Gulf beaches and into Galveston Bay, especially at high tide. 

Note: water level rises will likely begin along the coast early Wednesday.

Winds: 

Sustained winds of 35-45mph will be possible east of I-45 with lower speeds west of I-45. Winds may gust higher in squalls especially over Chambers, Liberty, eastern Harris, and Galveston counties. Any shift west in the forecast track will bring stronger winds into the area.  

Sustained tropical storm force winds arrive along the upper TX coast by early evening on Wednesday.

Preparedness

Preparations for the landfall of a hurricane along the SE TX or SW LA coast should be underway.

Enact hurricane plans and follow all advice and recommendations from local elected officials and emergency management agencies.

Residents near the coast in evacuation areas, should review plans and react quickly should any evacuation recommendations be ordered.

Keep gas tanks full.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/24/2020

1091 Days after Hurricane Harvey

 

NHC Says Marco Now Hurricane, Laura Shifting West

As of 2 p.m. Sunday, Tropical Storm Marco has officially turned into a hurricane and the National Hurricane Center (NHC) shows Laura continuing to shift toward the west.

Current positions of both storms as of 1:19 EDT Sunday, 8/23/2020.

NHC Forecast for Marco as of 1pm CDT

At this time, Marco is not a large threat to the Houston Area. However storm-surge warnings are up from Sabine Pass to Mobile Bay. Parts of coastal Louisiana could receive 4-6 feet of life-threatening storm surge.

The heaviest rain from Marco should hit from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.

NOAA no longer predicts even a marginal risk of flash flooding from Marco for the Houston Area.

However, Houston could still feel significant wind from Marco. NHC shows Houston has a 60-70% chance of feeling tropical-storm-force winds (40 mph or higher).

The most likely arrival time for the winds will be Tuesday morning.

After Marco comes ashore as a hurricane, it will rapidly diminish to a tropical storm and then a tropical depression. NHC currently shows the remnants of the storm curling back into north Texas by next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Space City Weather predicts, “Most of the winds and heavy rainfall should remain to the east and north of the center, we do not anticipate severe conditions in the Houston region from Marco.”

Laura May Now Be Larger Threat to Houston Area

Overnight the cone of uncertainty for Tropical Storm Laura shifted west toward east Texas. The most likely track is currently right up the Texas/Louisiana Border. Laura is currently a tropical storm, projected to intensify into a hurricane on Tuesday and Wednesday as it approaches the central Gulf coast.

NOAA predicts Laura could dump 4-6 inches of rain on the Houston Area.

As with Marco, NHC predicts a 60-70% chance of tropical-storm-force winds for the Houston Area.

The most likely arrival time for Laura’s winds in the Houston Area will be Wednesday evening.

Net: Laura could result in a prolonged period of hazardous weather for areas likely to be affected by Marco earlier in the week.

Uncertainty Remains So Continue to Monitor Forecasts

Considerable uncertainty remains about both storms. Models disagree over where Laura will make landfall. They range from Corpus Christi to New Orleans at the moment. Space City Weather points out that “For the National Hurricane Center, the average track position error at 3.5 days before landfall is about 120 miles, which is a little bit greater than the distance between downtown Houston and the Texas-Louisiana border on Interstate 10.”

So what should you do? Continue to monitor the progress of both storms throughout the week at Hurricanes.gov or on your favorite weather channel.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/23/2020 based on input from Space City Weather, the National Hurricane Center, and Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist.

1090 Days after Hurricane Harvey

Lastest NHC Forecasts Show Marco, Laura Slamming Louisiana

Updates on Tropical Storm Marco and Laura issued by the National Hurricane Center at 5 p.m. EDT show both storms aiming toward Louisiana at this point. That doesn’t mean the Houston Area is out of the woods. The forecasts has changed four times since yesterday. Here’s the latest from the NHC.

Latest Cones of Uncertainty for Marco and Laura

Houston is now only on the fringe of the cone of uncertainty for Marco.
Even though forecasts for Laura have been shifting steadily west, NHC now shows Houston outside the cone of uncertainty.

Note, however, the images above do not indicate the width of the storms, just their potential tracks up to five days out. The width of the cone indicates the degree of uncertainty about the track.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles (335 km) from the center of Laura and 90 miles (150 km) from the center of Marco.

Intensity and Rainfall Predictions

Forecasters predicted Marco will become a hurricane tonight or Sunday, and remain at or near hurricane strength when it reaches the northern Gulf coast on Monday.

They also predict that Marco will dump 1 to 3 inches (isolated maximum amounts of 5 inches) on the Central U.S. Gulf Coast. This rainfall, they say, may result in areas of flash and urban flooding.

Tropical Storm Laura could bring additional rainfall and wind impacts by the middle of next week. This could result in a prolonged period of hazardous weather for areas affected by Marco.

Wind Predictions

We could feel the arrival of tropical storm force winds from Marco around mid-day on Monday.
Tropical storm force winds from Laura could be felt in Houston on Wednesday morning.
However, there’s only a 20-30% chance we will feel 40 mph winds from either Laura or Marco.

Rainfall and Flooding Predictions

At present, NOAA shows Marco dumping 2-6 inches of rain, mainly over the states east of us. (See below).

As of 4:50 EDT Saturday, NOAA is predicting less than an inch of rainfall for the Houston Area.

NOAA has not issued rainfall predictions yet for Laura. However, NOAA does give the Houston region a marginal (5%) chance of flash flooding from Marco.

As of 4:50 pm Saturday, NOAA predicts Houston has only a 5% chance of flash flooding from the storms.

Better Safe Than Sorry; How to Stay Up to Date

Forecasters for Laura emphasize that the second storm could result in a prolonged period of hazardous weather for areas affected by Marco.

NHC advises monitoring the progress of both storms several times a day until they pass. The NHC has started issuing updates every two to three hours for the duration of the storms.

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist, warns, “While the situation for SE TX is looking better this afternoon, it would be important to maintain a close watch on this system in the event it weakens significantly and the system becomes more steered by the low level flow.” That could shift it back in the direction of Houston.

You can also sign up for text alerts from Ready Harris: Text MARCO to 888777 for emergency alerts. Better safe than sorry.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/22/2020

1089 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Tropical Depression 14 Headed into Gulf

Tropical-storm-force winds could arrive at the Texas Coast by Monday night. Source: NHC

Tropical depression #14 has formed in the northwestern Caribbean Sea and is turning northwest into the Gulf of Mexico. NHC predicts the storm will move into the south-central Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm on Sunday.

The National Hurricane Center predicts arrival time of tropical storm force winds along the Texas Coast on Monday evening.

Threat to the NW Gulf Early- to Mid- Next Week.

Persons along the TX coast should closely monitor the progress of this system. Review hurricane plans and be prepared to enact those plans this weekend.

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Meteorologist

Visible satellite images indicate that a tropical depression has formed over the NW Caribbean Sea. Satellite images also show the gradual formation of curved banding. The depression is moving toward the west/WNW.

Track

West to WNW motion should continue for the next 24-36 hours bringing the system toward the Yucatan. Forecasters predict that over the weekend, the system will turn toward the NW and move into the south-central Gulf of Mexico. Forecast models are starting to come into better agreement with a continued track toward the TX coast as high pressure builds westward from the SW Atlantic.

As of 8/20/2020, NOAA shows the cone of uncertainty pointing straight toward the upper Texas Coast.

Intensity

Conditions favor additional intensification over the western Caribbean Sea for the next 24-36 hours. Overall, conditions over the Gulf of Mexico will be increasing favorable for development of a tropical system, says Jeff Lindner, Harris County meteorologist.

Second Storm Brewing; Wet Week Likely

A rare double whammy is possible for the Gulf Coast early next week. Forecasters at the NHC predict that Tropical Depression 13, now in the western Atlantic, will strengthen into a tropical storm tonight and into a hurricane by Monday morning. However, at this time (Thursday noon),forecasters are not predicting the storm’s track or intensity beyond Monday night.

A second tropical system, TD13, could make next week very wet and windy all along the Gulf Coast.
TD13 will likely arrive in Florida and the eastern Gulf around the same time as TD14 arrives at the Texas coast.

A high degree of uncertainty remains regarding the track of TD14 because of potential interactions with land. However, here is what forecasters predict as of Thursday morning.

Bookmark the National Hurricane Center home page for updates every few hours.

Preparedness

Now is a good time to start thinking about preparedness. Houston Methodist Hospital published an article last week about “How to Prepare for a Hurricane During COVID-19.”

It offers important advice for those who may be forced to shelter with friends and family and well as those who need to go to a public disaster shelter.

“While it may be nerve-wracking to go to a public shelter during a pandemic, know that your immediate safety during a hurricane takes priority over everything else,” says Methodist.

“Shelters will be modified to separate families as much as is feasible and hold fewer people, whether that be by walls separating rooms or by simply designating larger spaces that allow for greater distance between families,” said Lina Hildago, Harris County Judge, in an interview with Space City Weather. “We’re ready to institute temperature checks and have PPE (personal protective equipment) on hand for folks who need it. We’re also working with our first-responder community, making sure they not only have enough PPE on hand for any response, but that they are also trained on how to use it.”

Methodist advises that if you experience COVID-19 symptoms, you can speak to a Virtual Urgent Care provider 24/7. The provider will help you determine if testing is needed and advise you on where you should go.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/20/2020

1087 Days after Hurricane Harvey

Cristobal Likely to Reach U.S. Gulf Coast Sunday into Monday

The latest report from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) as of 10 a.m. 6/4/2020 indicates that Tropical Storm Cristobal has moved inland in southern Mexico and has weakened to a tropical depression. All coastal watches and warnings in Mexico have been lifted. Maximum sustained winds are now at 35 mph with higher gusts. However, the NHC also predicts that the storm will move back over water by Friday afternoon and then re-intensify into a tropical storm as it moves north into the central Gulf Saturday and Sunday.

Arrival time along the U.S. Gulf Coast should be sometime Sunday evening, according to current predictions.

Impacts to U.S.

Strong winds and high seas are expected east of the storm center.

Risks to the US mainland include storm surge, heavy rainfall, and high winds beginning this weekend from Texas to the Florida Panhandle.

NHC emphasizes that it is still to soon to determine the exact location, timing and magnitude of these impacts. The best plan: monitor progress of the storm and make sure you are prepared.

Houston Likely To Be On Clean Side

Current projections take the storm up Central Louisiana. So Houston will likely be on the “clean” side of the storm. Because rotation around a low is counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere, the storm is likely to dump the most rain east of the center.

5-day forecast as of 10 a.m. CDT on Thursday from NHC. Note how cone has shifted east of Galveston Bay.

10% Chance of Tropical-Storm-Force Winds in Houston

Forecasters currently give Houston a 10% chance of experiencing tropical storm force winds.

However, Houston still has a 10% chance of experiencing tropical-storm-force winds because of the width of the storm.

Arrival of Winds Saturday Night into Sunday Morning

Earliest arrival time of tropical storm force winds will likely be Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Winds should arrive Saturday night or Sunday.

Impacts Far Wider than Cone of Uncertainty

Storm impacts can be felt far beyond the center of the storm as the satellite image below shows. Heavy rainfall will arrive well in advance of and extend well east of Cristobal’s center.

Tropical storm and storm-surge watches could be issued tonight or Friday.

As you prepare for Cristobal, remember how wide the feeder bands are.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/4/2020

1010 Days after Hurricane Harvey and 259 after Imelda

NHC Predicts Christobal to Hit Louisiana by Sunday Morning, Houston Still Within Cone

Cristobal should approach the northern Gulf coast within 4 days. The latest predictions from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) suggest it should reach Louisiana Sunday morning by 8 a.m. Houston remains within the cone of uncertainty. The storm has already dumped torrential rains on Mexico and Central America and produced life-threatening flash flooding.

NHC forecast track of TS Christobal shows the center of the storm arriving in Louisiana sometime between Sunday and Monday.

No one is yet predicting the exact point of impact, the intensity at landfall, or the potential rainfall. Note, however, that the storm is significantly bigger than the center. Areas far away from the track may still experience significant impacts.

So far, this storm appears to be Mexico’s and Central America’s version of Harvey in that it has stalled in one location and dropped heavy rainfall for 4-5 days.

Current Location and Conditions

Here’s what’s happening at this hour.

Cristobal dipped inland this morning in the Mexican State of Campeche around around 8 a.m. CDT. Aircraft and surface reports indicate intensity at about 50 kt. (57.5 mph).

Now that the center of circulation has moved inland, a gradual weakening trend should commence. The NHC anticipates Cristobal will weaken to a topical depression by tomorrow evening. However, they also predict the system will re-emerge into the Gulf of Mexico.

Sheer Expected in Northern Gulf

NHC says global models show increased southwesterly shear influencing the cyclone over the northern Gulf of Mexico and this should limit intensification. However, there is significant uncertainty as to how strong a cyclone we will be dealing with near the northern Gulf coast this weekend.

Impacts to Date

Damaging and deadly flooding has occurred in portions of Mexico and Central America. Cristobal is expected to produce additional extreme rainfall amounts through the end of the week. The heaviest additional rainfall is expected over far southern Mexico and portions of the Yucatan Peninsula, while also extending along the Pacific coast from Chiapas to Guatemala and El Salvador. This rainfall could cause widespread life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Up to 35 inches of rain has already fallen in some locations since May 30.

Even though Cristobal has made landfall, tropical storm conditions will continue along and near the coast of Mexico through Thursday, especially over western Campeche, eastern Tabasco, and northern Chiapas states.

Rainfall in Mexico and Central America Through Friday

NHC predicts Cristobal will produce the following rain accumulations through Friday night:

  • Mexican states of Campeche, northern Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Yucatan…10 to 20 inches, isolated 25 inches.
  • Mexican state of southern Chiapas…15 to 20 inches, isolated 25 inches. Mexican states of Veracruz and Oaxaca…5 to 10 inches.
  • Southern Guatemala…Additional 15 to 20 inches, isolated storm total amounts of 35 inches dating back to Saturday, May 30th.
  • El Salvador…Additional 10 to 15 inches, isolated storm total amounts of 35 inches dating back to Saturday, May 30th.
  • Belize and Honduras…3 to 6 inches, isolated 10 inches.
  • Rainfall in all of these areas may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

Threat to U.S. by Sunday

NHC forecasts Cristobal to re-emerge over the southern Gulf of Mexico Friday or Friday night.

Christobal should then move northward over the central and northern Gulf over the weekend. Risks to the US Gulf coast from Texas to the Florida Panhandle include storm surge, heavy rainfall, and wind impacts beginning this weekend.

While it is too soon to determine the exact location, timing, and magnitude of these impacts, people and businesses in these areas should monitor the progress of Cristobal and ensure they have their hurricane plan in place.

Earliest Arrival Times of Tropical Storm Force Winds. NHC prediction as of 6/3/2020 at 10AM CDT.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/3/2020 at 11:30 a.m.

1009 days after Hurricane Harvey

NHC Upgrades Chances of Topical System Formation in Gulf to 80%

Update: This post was created at 10 a.m. As of 1 p.m. the National Hurricane Center upgraded the chances of tropical development another 10% to 90%.

Pacific Tropical Storm Amanda moved into Central America and southern Mexico last weekend. It is now poised to re-emerge into the Gulf of Mexico and may form another tropical system. Since yesterday morning, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) upgraded the chances of formation within the next two days from 40% to 80%. The NHC also upgraded chances of formation within five days from 50% to 80%.

Remnants of Pacific Tropical Storm Amanda over the Yucatan and Central America. Source: NOAA. Motion is toward the northwest.
Source: NOAA National Hurricane Center. As of 7am 6/1/2020.

Will Likely Move into Bay of Campeche

NHC expects this large area of disturbed weather to move northwestward over the southeastern portion of the Bay of Campeche later today or tonight. Environmental conditions there are expected to be conducive to support development.

A new tropical depression is likely to form within within the next day or so.

National Hurricane Center

The system is moving around the northern side of a nearly stationary central American monsoon trough.

Conditions over the Bay of Campeche appear favorable for slow development of a surface low pressure system. Those conditions include:

  • Warm sea surface temperatures
  • Light upper level winds
  • Rising air motions
  • An envelope of tropical moisture.
Water vapor intensity and circulation. Source: University of Wisconsin Madison Space Science and Engineering Center.

Heavy Rainfall for Southern Neighbors For the Moment

Regardless of tropical cyclone formation, heavy rainfall should continue over portions of southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, and western Honduras during the next few days.

System Likely to Loop in Bay of Campeche Before Moving North

The tropical system will loop or remained stalled in the Bay of Campeche (the bay between the Yucatan and Mexican mainland) for the next 2-4 days. After that, most models take it toward the US Gulf coast, but there is little agreement among the models at this early stage of formation. Currently, they indicate landfall anywhere between Mexico and Florida. We should have a better indication of the track toward the middle of this week.

Official Start of Hurricane Season Today

Today marks the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season, which will run until November 30. The list of names for 2020 follows:

Two tropical storms, Arthur and Bertha, already formed this year in May. The next named storm that develops this season will be Cristobal.

The NHC monitors significant areas of disturbed weather and their potential for tropical cyclone formation. NHC updates forecasts at 1 AM, 7 AM, 1 AM, and 7 PM CDT.

What You

Harris County Flood Control meteorologist Jeff Lindner advises residents along the US Gulf coast to closely monitor the progress of this system. “Now is a very good time to review plans and fully stock preparation kits,” he says.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/1/2020 at 10am with thanks to NHC, HCFCD and Univ. of Wisconsin

1006 Days after Hurricane Harvey

NHC Gives 40-50% Chance of Tropical Cyclone Formation In Gulf This Week

NHC Special Tropical Weather Outlook NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL 805 AM EDT Sun May 31 2020 For North Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico:

Source: National Hurricane Center 5 Day Tropical Outlook for Atlantic as of 7:05AM CDT on 5/31/2020

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecasts the Eastern Pacific Tropical Storm Amanda, now centered inland over southeastern Guatemala, to weaken into a remnant low or dissipate over Guatemala or southeastern Mexico by tonight.

However, the NHC also predicts that the remnants of Amanda will move northwestward within a broader area of disturbed weather, possibly emerging over the southeastern Bay of Campeche on Monday.

If the remnants move back over water, environmental conditions appear conducive to support some redevelopment of the system while it moves little through the middle of this week.

Regardless of redevelopment, heavy rainfall is likely to continue over portions of southern Mexico during the next few days. For additional information on the rainfall threat, see products from your national meteorological service.

The next Special Tropical Weather Outlook will be by 3 PM EDT today, or earlier if necessary.

  • Formation chance through 48 hours…medium…40 percent.
  • Formation chance through 5 days…medium…50 percent.

 If it does become a named storm, it would be Cristobal.

Tropical Storm Amanda will likely cross into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday. (Source: NOAA via Space City Weather).

Too Early to Predict Direction of Storm

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Flood Control District meteorologist, says, “Where exactly any center forms will determine what sort of longer term track would be possible … across the Gulf of Mexico.”

“Regardless of development,” he continues, “a large plume of tropical moisture will be moving into the SW and eventually the western Gulf of Mexico this week. Some of this moisture will likely get directed toward the Texas coast by late week and next weekend.”

“As with any tropical system in this stage of potential development, there is lots of uncertainty.”

“The best course of action is to monitor weather forecasts daily and National Hurricane Center outlooks for any changes.”

Jeff Lindner, Harris County Flood Control meteorologist

Preparedness

Hurricane season starts tomorrow. The NHC predicts above-average activity this hurricane season.

Source: National Hurricane Center prediction on 5/21/2020.

Now would be a good time to prepare. The major risks in the Lake Houston area include river and street flooding (as we saw with Harvey, Allison and Imelda) and wind damage (as we saw with Ike). Ike led to prolonged power outages due to trees falling against power lines.

Make sure you have fresh batteries and a backup supply, as well as a weather radio.

Also make sure you have a way to charge your cell phone (vehicle or power block). And make sure you learn how to use the Harris County Flood Warning System to increase your situational awareness.

Familiarize yourself with the LINKS page of this website. It contains links to many useful sites specializing in preparedness and weather.

Remember: the COVID crisis presents an extra layer of complication this year.

Lake Level Report

As of this morning, the level of Lake Conroe was 200.23 feet and the SJRA continues releasing 1581 cubic feet per second. Their goal: to bring the lake down to 200 feet by tomorrow.

Also as of this morning, the Coastal Water Authority indicates that the level of Lake Houston is down approximately one foot.

Lake Level41.46 ft.
Normal Pool42.4 ft.
Source: Coastal Water Authority readings as of 7:30am 5/31/2020.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 5/31/2020

1006 Days after Hurricane Harvey

Tropical Cyclone Threat Increases Later This Week

The National Hurricane Center and Harris County meteorologist Jeff Lindner now predict that a tropical cyclone will likely develop in the Gulf of Mexico later this week.

5-day outlook shows low pressure system tracking westward over warm Gulf waters.

Models Now Predict Westward Development

Overnight, the threat increased westward along the Louisiana and Texas coasts.

The National Weather Service expects a trough of low pressure located over central Georgia to move southward toward the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. There, it should form a broader area of low pressure in a couple of days. A tropical depression will likely form by the end of the week while the low meanders near the northern Gulf Coast.

Regardless of development, this system has the potential to produce heavy rainfall along portions of the northern and eastern U.S. Gulf Coast later this week. Formation chance in the next two days remains low at 10 percent, but increases to 80 percent in the 5-day outlook.

Likely Path

Upper air conditions appear favorable for a tropical system to form and then intensify over much of the US Gulf coast and northern Gulf. Models now predict that any Gulf system would tend to track more westward.

Intensity

“A tropical storm is likely and a hurricane is not out of the question,” says Lindner. “If forecast models continue to show the westward motion and potential threat to the northwest Gulf, significant forecast changes will be required over the next 24-48 hours.” 

What to Do Now

  • Closely monitor the progress of this system.
  • Check hurricane preparation kits and plans.
  • Be ready to enact those plans later this week.
  • Monitor weather forecasts closely.   

Posted by Bob Rehak on 7/8/2019

678 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Conditions in Atlantic Becoming More Favorable for Tropical Development

I just received an email from Jeff Lindner, Director of Hydrologic Operations Division/Meteorologist for Harris County Flood Control District about a potential tropical development.

Linder says, “There has been little mention of the Atlantic tropics thus far this hurricane season…even though we are already on our “E” storm. Most of the storms have been focused in the sub-tropical north Atlantic away from the generally hostile conditions in the deep tropics and far removed from any land interaction.”

National Hurricane Center Five Day Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook gives this tropical disturbance a 20% chance of tropical formation over the next five days.

Conditions in Tropics Becoming More Favorable for Tropical Development

“However conditions are starting to slowly change and as is usual for mid-August, conditions are becoming more favorable for tropical development in the deep tropics or that region between Africa and the Caribbean Sea,” said Lindner.

Tropical Wave 99L

Lindner continued: “A tropical wave roughly 850 miles east of the southern Windward Islands has shown an increase in deep convection today. This convection (thunderstorms) remains fairly disorganized at this time. Significant amounts of Saharan Air (dusty air from the deserts of N Africa) have been generally keeping the formation of convection to a minimum for the last 2 months, but 99L has found itself far to the south (near 8N) and mainly south of the dusty air across the mid Atlantic. This system has also found itself near/under a building ridge of high pressure aloft and removed from the anomalous strong wind shear thus far this year across the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic.”

“Conditions appear at least marginally favorable for some slow development of this feature as it moves W to WNW over the next 48-72 hours.”

“There is little to no model support for this feature to develop, but we shall see what the 00Z and 12Z models suggest. At the 800pm this evening, the Hurricane Center is giving this system a 20% chance of tropical development over the next 5 days as it moves generally toward the eastern Caribbean Sea.”

Lindner Cautions Against Looking Too Far into Future

“Reminder: it is important as we move into the heart of hurricane season to get information from trusted sources – especially on social media. Posts showing where a storm could be 7-9 days from now and at some level of intensity should not be believed and it is important to refrain from sharing such posts without proper context,” cautioned Lindner.

Peak of Hurricane Season is September 10

The statistical peak of hurricane season for this area is September 10, so we are still almost a month away. Nevertheless, be prepared. Check your your hurricane kit now. Don’t leave important matters for the last minute.

SJRA Still Lowering Lake Conroe

The San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) has been steadily lowering Lake Conroe by 275 cubic feet per second to create extra capacity in the lake.  From a normal level of 201 mean feet above sea level (MSL), the goal was to reduce the lake to 199 MSL by August 15 and maintain that level until the end of September. This is to create an additional buffer against downstream flooding until the Army Corps can restore the carrying capacity of the West Fork.

However, recent rains have been refilling the lake almost as fast as the SJRA is lowering it. At the time of this post, the level was at 200.01 MSL. Visit SJRA.net to see the current level and release rate.

I am sure they will increase the discharge rate if this or any other storm approaches to get to their target of 199 MSL.

In short, nothing to worry about now. But keep your antenna up.

Posted by Bob Rehak on August 15, 2018

351 Days since Hurricane Harvey.