Peak Season is Upon Us
The phrase “that escalated quickly” never rang truer than it did today. That’s because today just so happens to be the day that is known as the “climatological,” or historical, peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. It’s when the activity in the tropics hits a maximum, and boy has it!
Here’s the chart showing tropical storm activity by date in the Atlantic Basin (Top) and current storm situation map (Bottom).
She’s a Mean One
The storm that’s on many people’s minds tonight is Florence. She’s a hurricane, a major Category 4 hurricane, with 140 mph sustained winds. She could reach category 5 status at anytime. A major hurricane striking such a populated coastline with high dollar real estate and infrastructure will be deadly and devastating. I do hope all those in her path do what they can to prepare their properties and get themselves, their families, and pets out of harms way in the next 48 hours.
Here’s a shot of Florence (Top) from satellite (~8:30pm CDT on 9/10) and projected track from the National Hurricane Center (bottom):
It’s so Wet and Mosquitoey!
Closer to home, Southeast Texas is dealing with rainfall and mosquitoes. At this time, areas mainly along and south of Interstate 10 are under a Flash Flood Watch until noon tomorrow (9/11). That just means the conditions are in place for heavy rainfall to occur, and that rainfall may be heavy enough at times to cause flooding of low-lying areas, roadways, and could lead to high water levels in the bayous. The bayous are NOT expected to leave their banks.
Here are a couple of graphics to explain why we have a Flash Flood Watch in place (top), and what the difference is between a watch and a warning (bottom):
Overall, I expect most areas will get 1-2 inches of rain, but some isolated areas could see upwards of 4-6 inches if storms move very slowly or train over the same location. Time will tell, but best to stay alert to rapidly changing conditions. As for timing, we expect to see storms develop overnight and leading into the sunrise hour and lasting through midday tomorrow (9/11). Just remember…Turn Around. Don’t Drown. I don’t think it’ll be a widespread flooding event, but it’s nearly impossible to predict who will get the heaviest rainfall until the event starts.
A Disturbance in the Gulf – Say it Ain’t So!!
It was bound to happen. And I know many are still struggling with anxiety leftover from Harvey. Some of you may still be putting your houses back together, or maybe you just got settled back in. Try not to freak out too badly yet. This disturbance, and whatever it becomes, isn’t looking anything like a Harvey-like event right now. A low-level circulation hasn’t formed yet so it will be a big guess as to where this thing ends up going. That said, the National Hurricane Center is giving this system a 60% chance of developing into at least a tropical depression over the next 5 days. Assuming that happens…Many reliable models, and the Weather Prediction Center, show the system going WNW to somewhere between Brownsville and Corpus Christi. Time will tell.
How strong will it get? We don’t know. It has a lot of shear going on right now, limiting development, and it’s also sucking in some dry air from the west. The dry air limits the western extent of the rainfall and thunderstorms (convection), so it’s a very lopsided system with all the rain to the east of the broad center of mid-level circulation.
The map below shows one guesstimate of where this system may be by Saturday morning.
Where will the rain fall?
Assuming the above projection is somewhat accurate. This map shows where some of the heaviest rains may fall over the next 5 days. Most of the heaviest rains occur near Corpus and areas inland and west of Corpus. Any shift in track will also move these precipitation “bull’s-eyes.” So we will watch and see where this thing starts heading, and models will get better when, and if, it can develop a surface circulation center.
This system does have the potential to bring some large and long-period swells with it. If it strikes near Corpus, some of the biggest waves will come ashore to the north and east. This means areas like Matagorda, Surfside, and Galveston could have some decent swell with not too much wind (assuming it doesn’t strengthen much). However, areas south of Corpus will still have some swell, but will also have some offshore winds. This makes for good clean surf, but it’ll fall fast. Again, this all assumes we have a Tropical depression, maybe low-end tropical storm. But you get the general idea. Also, any shift in track will shift the bullseye of the largest waves.
So Now What?
We ask that you stay tuned for updates, but, as storms approach, we do also want you to listen to the National Weather Service. They have access to the latest and greatest information and will be able to provide life-saving updates to you in real-time. www.weather.gov.
Who We Are
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Be safe and good night!