The storm is causing devastating flooding in the Beaumont Port Arthur area.

WeatherMap Update: Flood emergency for Golden Triangle

College of DuPage

Good morning everyone. While the greater Houston area has continued to be relatively spared by what is left of Imelda the same cannot be said for our neighbors in the Golden Triangle area. Rainfall yesterday and through the night last night has led to a catastrophic flooding situation in that area, causing the National Weather Service to issue a rare Flash Flood Emergency warning. Right now we are looking at rainfall estimates possibly approaching 30 inches in spots over the past 48 hours in the Beaumont/Port Arthur area. I-10 is closed in the Winnie area and I have seen a number of reports of water entering homes and structures in Beaumont. Please keep these people in your thoughts.

Unfortunately the rain looks to continue for at least the next few hours before hopefully beginning to taper off for them. While I cringe saying this it is not out of the question that this approaches Harvey type impacts for that area.

In addition to the problems going on to our east, a band of very intense rain has flared to our north around the Conroe area. Earlier this morning the airport in Conroe reported an absolutely absurd 5 inches of rain in one hour. Again, these are rainfall rates approaching what Harvey did, however hopefully they will not last as long.

I expect the band currently affecting our northern suburbs to begin sagging or building south into the Houston metro area through this morning and possibly into the early afternoon. Right now it appears as though this band will lose some intensity as it pushes south sparing Houston from the worst. The one computer model that has been performing the best thus far (called the HRRR or High Resolution Rapid Refresh) has been showing this all night so I am fairly confident in that solution.


Simulated radar from the HRRR model for 7AM thru 7PM todayWeathernerds

With that said, these tropical air masses are nothing to be trifled with and as we saw yesterday evening, even a quick flare up can cause some issues. While I believe right now Houston should come out of this alright, please do not let your guard down until later tonight, we have seen what this storm is capable of.

Pay attention to the weather if you are out and about

WeatherMap: Severe storms Friday Night

National Weather Service

It has been a long while since we have had any significant weather to deal with in our part of Texas - really since Imelda back in September. However the atmosphere will become less benign in the next 24 hours giving us our first taste of severe weather (not including flooding) since last May. I won't get into the nitty-gritty of why storms are going to happen, however it is worth noting that the type of dynamic atmospheric set up being foretasted would be noteworthy even in "severe weather season" (ie the spring), no less in January. Will this be the apocalypse? No. However, it has been a long time since we have seen storms as strong as the ones being forecasted, and the timing (Friday night) makes it significant as it will be dark and people are more likely to be out and about. So lets get to it:

What: A strong storm system will be making its way across Texas on Friday with the atmosphere being primed out ahead of it with strong winds off the Gulf pumping ample warmth and moisture into the area. As this storm system approaches storms there will likely be two phases of storms we need to watch out for.

Phase 1 will be individual storms that manage to form during the late afternoon or early evening on Friday. While the odds of this happening are less than the storms in Phase 2, impacts could be just as, if not more, severe *if* it happens. These Phase 1 storms would be what are called discreet supercells. These are storms that exist on their own, not part of a larger line or blob. It is with these storms that large hail and a strong tornado is *possible*. Again, while there is good certainty that if they can develop they could be significant, there is a high level of uncertainty that they will develop. It is the storms in Phase 2 that will likely affect everyone. So lets move on to those:

Phase 2 storms will come in the form of an intense squall line moving from west to east across the area. The hail potential in these storms will be limited, however there is a rather significant risk of high winds (70-80 MPH+) and isolated tornadoes (weaker than what you would see from Phase 1 storms, but a tornado none the less). Also, the lightning will probably be spectacular. Let me speak to the Phase 2 tornado threat for a moment. Often with an intense line of storms small "kinks" can develop in the line causing rotation and a tornado. Usually the resulting tornado is very short lived (sometimes so fast it appears and disappear before the radar can spot it) and "relatively" weak, meaning weaker than its great plains cousins. However these types of tornadoes still pose a danger particularly to those caught outside or in a car. Make sure you have a way to receive warnings (ie. your phone), especially if you plan to be out Friday night.



Model simulated radar for Midnight Friday nightWeathermodels.com


When: Phase 1 storms, if they develop, would be some time during the late afternoon or early evening, but would be widely scattered. Phase 2 should push into the area as an intense line of storms somewhere between 11 PM and 2 AM

Where: Phase 1 would likely affect those further north and east. Phase 2 storms will get everyone. Again, it is not guaranteed that the part of the line that moves over your exact location will have damaging winds or a tornado, but no one is completely safe from that either.

While rain may be hard enough to cause very isolated spots of high water, the storms will be moving far to quickly to cause any real flood issues. After the storms move through this weekend looks great.

If anything changes I will be back with an update - and as always you can find me on Twitter @stephenuzick

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