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Texas Rain Chances Rise As Heat Dome Retreats; Hurricane Beryl’s Impact Looms For Sunday

The weather is changing across Texas, and a wetter pattern will develop by the end of the week. With an uptick in popup storms, chances come more folks getting in on rain-cooled outflow and a temporary reprieve from the summer heat. Unfortunately, we also have to deal with the increasing potential impacts of Hurricane Beryl this weekend.

Active Weather arrives beginning Friday.

Our upper-level high pressure, known as the heat dome in the summer months, has begun moving into the western United States. By Friday and the weekend, it’ll be far enough away to allow scattered thunderstorms to return to more of Texas. A weak, not-as-hot-front will sag into the northwestern half of Texas this weekend. That boundary will also promote an uptick in scattered showers and thunderstorms. Widespread severe storms are not expected, but some strong winds, pocket-change-size hail, and locally heavy rainfall are a good bet. Some folks won’t see a drop of rain; others may end up with a gully-washer.

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Isolated to scattered showers and storms are expected across the western third of Texas on Thursday, July 4th. Some tropical popup showers are also possible across the eastern half of Texas during the afternoon. As we approach sunset, most folks will be dry, with temperatures in the upper 80s and 90s.

All eyes turn to Hurricane Beryl this Weekend.

Major Hurricane Beryl continues to quickly churn west in the central Caribbean. Weakening is expected as the system encounters moderate wind shear. Nevertheless, Beryl will remain a formidable hurricane, impacting Jamaica today and approaching Cancun and the Yucatan Peninsula on Friday. Beryl will likely weaken to a tropical storm as it moves over the Yucatan on Friday. The system will reach the Bay of Campeche, or southwestern Gulf of Mexico, by Saturday morning. What happens from there is a big question and a low-confidence forecast element.

Beryl's Key Messages: 1. Devastating hurricane-force winds, life-threatening storm surge, and damaging waves are expected in portions of Jamaica beginning this afternoon and in the Cayman Islands early on Thursday. Residents in these areas should listen to local government and emergency management officials for preparedness and/or evacuation orders. 2. Life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides from heavy rainfall are expected over much of Jamaica and southern Haiti through today. 3. Beryl is forecast to remain a hurricane when it approaches the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize late Thursday, where hurricane and tropical storm watches have been issued. 4. There remains uncertainty in the track and intensity forecast of Beryl over the western Gulf of Mexico this weekend. Interests in the western Gulf of Mexico should monitor the progress of Beryl.

The latest National Hurricane Center forecasts bring Beryl back to hurricane status as it moves over the western Gulf of Mexico on Saturday. Continued west/northwest movement is probable, and the current forecast has landfall around 80 miles south of Brownsville by Sunday morning. We note several pieces of data suggest a further north track, and thus, the Texas Gulf Coast must remain vigilant and in tune with forecast updates this week. Even if Beryl does take a southern track, direct impacts to the Lower Rio Grande Valley and the Lower Texas Gulf Coast are probable. A northern track would expand direct hurricane impacts farther north to encompass the Lower and Middle Texas Gulf Coast and the Coastal Bend.

We’ll be watching for the threat of strong winds, storm surge, heavy rainfall, and a tornado threat. Much will depend on the eventual track, and we hope to get a much better idea of that over the coming days. The further north Beryl tracks in the Gulf of Mexico, the more time it will have over warm waters – and the stronger the hurricane could become. Beryl’s impacts could extend several hundred miles north from the landfall location, especially for coastal flooding, tropical moisture, and the potential for spinup tornadoes on Sunday and Monday.

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David Reimer

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