Tropical system moving in Gulf, heavy rain likely next week – Space City Weather

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Hello. It will be a beautiful Saturday in Houston at the beginning of September. We fully understand that people today are focusing on 9/11 memories, family reunions, or other activities. But there is a potentially serious weather situation developing in the Gulf of Mexico that you need to keep an eye out for this weekend. I say potentially because there are scenarios in which Houston sees only moderate precipitation, and there are others in which we are soaked.

The satellite appearance of Invest 94L at sunrise on Saturday is not very impressive. (NOAA)

Here’s what we know for sure: There is a good chance that a depression or tropical storm will form over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico within a day or two. This extremely humid system will bring heavy rains, winds and high seas to the Texas coast starting Sunday evening. But it’s the details that matter, and we can’t pinpoint them yet. Based on the latest modeling and atmospheric configuration, I want to present three plausible scenarios for next week. As we’ll see, the effects range from mild to extreme, and that’s one of the reasons it’s so difficult to give an accurate forecast right now.

Three scenarios

The map below shows the ensemble predictions of the European model for the evolution of the tropical system, which has been designated Invest 94L. It shows runs from Friday night through Tuesday night, and I’ve boxed what I see as three of the most likely possibilities. Let’s discuss each of them.

Three potential scenarios for Invest 94L. (Weathernerds.org/Space City Weather)

Scenario A: Coast Guard

In this case, the storm is moving near the Texas coast on Monday, but it may not come fully ashore. It then moves fairly quickly north and then northeast, moving its center closer to the Houston metropolitan area on Tuesday or Wednesday. In this case, we would see higher tides – although probably not too strong as a storm surge – and tropical storm force wind gusts in the metro area. However, the heaviest precipitation would likely fall off the Texas coast and potentially in southeast Louisiana. In this scenario, Houston could see 2-4 inches of precipitation with the 20-inch target remaining offshore.

Scenario B: Tour of Texas

In terms of precipitation, this scenario is more worrying. A likely weak tropical storm would move across southern Texas on or about Monday and slow down for a few days. The center would remain close enough to the coast that the storm could draw moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. In that case, Houston could expect 5 to 15 inches of rain, with a target of 20 inches of rain coming somewhere in the Corpus Christi area at Beaumont. But impossible to say where. The potential for heavy precipitation would persist until Wednesday. Winds and seas would be much less of a factor.

Scenario C: Riding the Rio

There is still a possibility that the low will move northward into Mexico and essentially along the Rio Grande River, extinguishing after a few days inland. In this case, the Texas coast would experience moderate rainfall for a few days, but totals for most areas would likely be 2 to 4 inches or even less. This scenario seems a little less likely right now, but it would certainly have the most benign effects for Houston.

This is the latest six-day rain forecast from NOAA, but it’s only a very rough guide, and the localized amounts could be much higher. (weather bell)

Conclusion

So what is really going on? I wish I could tell you. But we’re talking about a tropical wave that hasn’t formed any semblance of circulation yet, so forecasting models are going to have a hard time tracking its course. After that, it’s not entirely clear to what extent the wind shear that is currently hampering his organization will weaken over the next two days as the system moves northwest or north toward Texas. . And these are just the beginning of our questions.

The bottom line is that Saturday should see good weather in Houston. Sunday should also start out sunny before the chances of rain and thunderstorms increase during the afternoon and evening. After that, heavy rainfall is possible until Wednesday, and we really can’t say how much. But it is a forecast that you should watch closely. We will have an update later this afternoon or evening.


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