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Texas Braces For Tropical Trouble: Flooding Rain Forecasted This Week

Our first tropical mischief of the season is set to bring unsettled, active weather to parts of Texas this week. This is a crucial update as a prolific surge of tropical moisture is likely to result in extremely efficient rainfall production, and the threat of flooding rains. Strong on-shore winds will bring coastal impacts – high surf, dangerous rip currents, and at least minor coastal flooding during high tide. It’s important to stay informed and prepared for these conditions.

Happy Father’s Day, and thanks for joining us for a special Sunday Texas Weather Roundup. I was hoping to get a full weekend off, but alas, it is 2024 being 2024. We’ve got active weather on the way, and we want to keep you updated!

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We had a few strong storms last night and early this morning in West Texas and the Permian Basin. A few of those storms have managed to continue through sunrise. Another round of isolated storms is possible in the Panhandle, West Texas, down into the Big Bend this afternoon and evening. As usual, they may push out strong winds and some hail.

So begins the 2024 Hurricane Season

Our big weather maker involves the Gulf of Mexico and a few areas of tropical mischief. The National Hurricane Center indicates a medium chance for a system to become a tropical depression or tropical storm in the Bay of Campeche over the next few days. That system, whether it becomes named or not, will pump tropical moisture onto the Texas Coast this week. We’ll also have some sources of upper-level lift further north in the western Gulf of Mexico. With all the tropical moisture and the sources of lift, we’re confident in our forecast that we will see an increasing number of showers across Southeast Texas, the Coastal Plains, and the Golden Triangle on Monday. The same is expected on Tuesday.

Heavy rain will bring several inches of rain to the Texas Gulf Coast Tuesday through Thursday. Some locations may receive between six and twelve inches of rain. Inland regions of the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas, Coastal Bend, Coastal Plains, Southeast Texas, and the Golden Triangle may receive three to eight inches of rain. Flooding is likely going to be an issue.

By Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, we expect to see a more widespread/persistent area of heavy rainfall move onshore into Southeast Texas. This area of heavy rain will likely be slow-moving and capable of producing rainfall rates of three to four inches per hour. That may result in very high rain totals in a short period of time.

Exactly where this band of rain and probable flash flooding set up is still something we’ll have to narrow down as data comes into better agreement over the next two days. However, wherever it sets up, whether on the immediate coastline around Galveston toward Beaumont or includes areas farther inland like Houston – we are likely to see five to twelve inches of rain in several hours. Flooding, perhaps substantial and widespread, would likely occur.

Wednesday and Thursday’s Rain Chances

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Where we go into Wednesday and Thursday is still questionable and will depend on the track of our Gulf of Mexico tropical blob. There has been a shift toward higher rain chances and rain totals farther inland in Texas – across South Texas, South-Central Texas, and Southeast Texas. Some folks will likely receive three to six inches of rain, if not more. However, this could also shift back to the heavier rains on the coast or off-shore. Yet, forecasts have trended toward some beneficial rains, making it into areas where lake levels are low, such as South Texas.

Regardless of what name our tropical blob eventually takes (low, tropical depression, tropical storm), we expect rough surf, dangerous rip currents, and strong on-shore flow to result in a coastal flooding threat for much of the Texas Gulf Coast this week. Even if the ‘blob’ makes landfall in Mexico, we’ll still get that onshore flow and surge of tropical moisture. One benefit of the moisture will be cooler temperatures across the eastern two-thirds of Texas later this week from cloud cover.

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David Reimer

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