A personal message from David… scroll down for the forecast
We’re three days into the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season and some folks in our fan group on Facebook are acting like an ‘Allison’ or a prior big storm is on the horizon. Let me be as clear and direct as possible. This ‘system’ we’re talking about in the Bay of Campeche is no more than a cluster of thunderstorms this evening. This is not a situation where we anticipate rapid intensification into some sort of a monster hurricane. We don’t expect 25 inches of rain to fall in Texas this week. Widespread major/catastrophic flooding is not expected this week. Certainly, we do have to watch for heavy rain potential this week – if nothing else just because soils are so saturated given the wet spring we’ve experienced.
I get folks are on edge after Harvey and that every ‘blip’ of mischief in the tropics is bound to bring armchair meteorologists and the online ‘viral’ machines to bear. Please understand that when I say you need a reliable source of weather information – I mean it. You should have multiple sources and that way you can ‘balance’ out the forecast – or at least gain a higher level of confidence if all of those sources are communicating the same message. I’m not here to blab away and cause panic, doom, and hysteria. Most local television meteorologists aren’t around to do that (at least the good ones). I don’t need to ‘hype’ a forecast just in order to gain a bunch of shares or clicks.
We have nearly 900,000 followers on social media and nearly 50,000 folks using our free mobile app. I’ve busted my fair share of forecasts, but I like to think that I take pride in presenting down to earth, non-hyped weather information. Yeah, I’ll sound alarms if they need to be sounded, but I’m not going to do that just to get a few more shares on the interwebs. I’m not going to share raw weather model guidance on this blog or on our social media platforms without a very detailed explanation to go along with that information.
Weather model data is easily accessible thanks to the internet. That means my mom can go find the latest tropical weather model track guidance for Invest 91L tonight. Just because you can find that information does not mean most folks know the limitations or biases of that guidance. If weather models got it right all the time you wouldn’t need me here. You wouldn’t need meteorologists on television, you wouldn’t need humans creating weather forecasts. Most weather information generated in your phone’s weather app is done by a computer – which is great during the summer and quiet days throughout the year.
However, there’s a reason why we have so many followers read these blogs. It isn’t because I like hearing myself talk (not that I could today anyway – I still have a nasty sinus infection). So please be mindful of what weather information you share on social media. If something sounds dramatic – and there aren’t other sources saying the same thing – that information probably shouldn’t be taken to the bank.
Showers and thunderstorms associated with a broad, disorganized area of low pressure have not shown an increase in organization today. This system is producing locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds with stronger thunderstorms. It continues to slowly move northwest toward the coast of Mexico. Conditions do remain somewhat favorable for development into a tropical depression or perhaps a weak tropical storm before it moves on-shore on Tuesday. Even if this system were to become Barry it would not pose any surge/wind threat to Texas – beyond what you might get from a summer thunderstorm. This is not going to be a case where we have a rapidly intensifying system suddenly become a hurricane right before moving into Texas. This system should make landfall in northern Mexico tomorrow.
What will impact our forecast in Texas is the abundant tropical moisture associated with this system. All that moisture is going to move northward by mid-week. That moisture will combine with a small dip in the jet stream, which will act as a source of lift. I can’t even rule out this system actually making it north into Texas by Wednesday into Thursday as a weak area of low pressure (not a tropical cyclone). If we did have that low-pressure make it into Texas we would have to watch for localized, but enhanced heavy rain chances across South Texas, Central Texas, the Brazos Valley, Southeast Texas, and East Texas. This would not be a widespread everyone gets flooded event. Like most summer rain events in Texas, it would be a localized zone of high rain totals – surrounded by much more spotty/isolated rain. This isn’t expectedly in the forecast right now but is something that will be watched for in data tonight. If it becomes more likely we’ll probably see flood watches issued at some point tomorrow for the Wednesday and Thursday timeframe.
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So to sum it all up: we’re not expecting hurricane impacts in Texas this week. We’re not expecting new, widespread flooding in Texas this week. Mid-week will likely be wet and stormy with a bunch of tropical moisture in place. That means showers and storms could be very efficient rainfall producers. There is some chance of a more organized, but still localized heavy rainfall event on Wednesday into Thursday across portions of Central Texas, the Brazos Valley, into Southeast Texas and East Texas. If that occurred we could see some 5+ inch localized rain totals which would cause some flooding. That’ll be a good time to try out our free HD interactive weather radar here on our website or in our free mobile app.
Regardless of all that we’ll see rain chances diminish by Friday. Temperatures will climb well into the 90s across Texas by the weekend with heat index values of 100 to 110+ degrees across areas of higher humidity. Given saturated soil conditions, those higher humidity values may extend farther west in Texas than folks are accustomed to.