Busy in the Tropics
As mentioned last night, we are in the peak of the tropical season. Out there in the Atlantic we have Hurricane Florence. She poses the gravest threat to the U.S. and will begin impacting the eastern seaboard near NC/SC Thursday. Mandatory Evacuations are ongoing. Then there’s Hurricane Helene – no threat to the US, she’ll turn north and go away. Then there’s Tropical Storm Isaac. Very weak looking on satellite, but hanging on. He’ll come back into discussion early next week if he can make it through the highly sheared eastern Caribbean. Then there’s the Gulf of Mexico disturbance, which we’ll cover in detail in a minute. Lastly, there’s another disturbance in the central Atlantic that currently poses no threat to the US. Phew…that was a lot of writing to summarize the below Tropics Situation Map. Busy, busy.
I’m not going to go over Florence in detail here, because we’re mainly focused on Texas, but I do want to drop this Key Messages graphic in tonight’s post in case some of you reading this have stubborn family or friends in the path that you are having trouble convincing to leave. She’s going to leave a mark…and I pray for the people in her path that will be getting the brunt of her. You might recognize some of the wording from when Harvey was approaching Texas last year… words like “Catastrophic” or “Life-Threatening.” Like Harvey, Florence is expected to stall, and, when she does, she’s going to dump feet of rain on parts of NC and VA. It’s not going to be good.
So What’s the Deal with the Gulf of Mexico Disturbance
I’m so glad you asked. As of this afternoon, the National Hurricane Center increased the development odds to 70%. Earlier today it was looking pretty impressive, it has since ingested a bunch of dry air and the thunderstorms that were once plentiful have pretty much died out this evening. It looks very ragged on satellite, which is a good thing. It will slow the development. That said, I expect it will fire storms again overnight and we could be close to having a tropical depression by tomorrow night. Check out this evening’s satellite view:
Where’s it Going to Go?
Even though it’s got a decent spin going it looks like a whole lotta nothing. We’ll watch it closely though, because it is expected to move towards the middle Texas Coast. A few models were run on it this evening and here’s what they showed:
Ignoring the CLP5 (climatology driven model), we have a spread of potential tracks that make landfall somewhere between Brownsville and Matagorda late Friday evening or very early Saturday morning. That’s not too different from last night, and it’s in agreement with the WPC’s track below:
It’s worth noting that the WPC expects a depression to form, but not quite a tropical storm. Most of the intensity models make this thing a tropical storm with 50 mph winds before landfall. I’m not so sure, but I’ve seen crazier things happen. What will happen is rain, and quite a bit of it. The below map is the Euro model showing rainfall through Sunday evening. Note that most of the heaviest rains occur in and around Corpus Christi, and Houston gets a bit too. We’ll be able to hone in on these rainfall totals a bit better once a center forms, if it forms, and models are consistently run. BTW, that’s a nearly 10 inch bullseye near Rockport, TX. As with all tropical systems, localized heavier amounts are expected. We’ll just have to wait and see exactly where it goes, but Flash Flood Watches and probably Warnings will be issued with this system regardless of strength at landfall.
The Wind and the Waves
Models continue to indicate that SE Texas will begin seeing stronger winds by late evening on Wednesday 9/12 and into Thursday morning, peaking Friday afternoon, and then relaxing to normal by early Sunday morning. This same time frame for winds is true for wave heights as well. Expecting swells to begin reaching SE Texas by early, early, Thursday morning, and will gradually increase through Thursday and into Friday. Once the system goes ashore, the wave heights will begin to fall rapidly. Tides are expected to run higher than normal during this time, and some beach erosion along with dangerous rip currents will be possible (depending on strength of system).
Here’s a quick surf report for good ol’ G-Town Brown by Trevor Page:
Surf’s Up Bros
Well gentleman, Florence isn’t going to bring much to the Texas coast. I pray it doesn’t bring much more than rain to our east coast friends in the Carolinas.
However, there is something a’brew out there in the good ol’ Gulf of Mexico! And quite possibly the eastern/southeast winds will provide for clean, clear water, and nice lines.
This weather formation may add some swell to your day if conditions hold or progress.
Thursday/Friday look to be the best for getting wet. Wave heights aiming to give you 2.5-3ft (rear height) of pure swell. Winds will be breezy, but not be too bad over the next few days of surf, averaging about 17 mph from roughly the southeast/east direction.
There will be no shortage of rain and stormy weather in Galveston and surrounding areas, so don’t get electrified out there. This looks to be a quick run of waves, catch’em while you can!
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. We’ve also included a little financial tidbit below for your reading pleasure. This information can be very useful if you’ve never had to deal with cleaning up after a hurricane or flood event.
Hurricane Season TidBit:
Folks that live on the Gulf coast truly understand the costs associated with Hurricanes. Most notably, the damage created by Harvey during last year’s season was a nightmare!
Thankfully there are ways that we can prepare for these times.
Here are some key financial points to consider when preparing for the worst:
1) Insurance – Have you ever read the policy? If you haven’t, don’t assume it will cover any situation that arises. There are specific areas you will want to check out. For instance, the specific type of coverage may be classified as the category of hurricane, 1, 2, 3, 4 or something like anything above a tropical storm is covered, while a tropical storm is not. Another specific to look out for is wind and flood coverage. These may need to be purchased separately.
2) Property – How can you log everything you own and how much it cost you? Pictures can go a long way. If you have a log of your personal property, it really helps when establishing total losses to the insurance company. After all, these are personal items that you will want to be compensated for. This checklist can help with that: Hurricane Season Insurance Checklist
3) Emergency Fund – These are always a good idea, for hurricanes or when life surprises you. Be sure to put away at least 2 months expenses into a savings account that you can draw from quickly. Like a savings or money market account. This will help ease the pain after the disaster strikes and before insurance begins to payout, which can take some time.
A little preparation can go a long way when you need it most. Stay safe out there and don’t let a hurricane get a hold of your wallet!
— Article by Trevor Page — Resources below.
Kumok, Z. (2018, Sept. 10)
We Will Never Forget
I would be remiss not to call attention to today’s events 17 years ago. I know I’ll never forget.
To the men, women, and children that perished senselessly on this day, we pray for your grieving families and trust that Jesus has you in his arms. To the heroes alive today, some sick with illness from the recovery mission that lasted for months afterwards, we pray for your healing and comfort. To the soldiers who fought back against the enemies for years after the attacks, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. To the heroes of the day or soldiers that paid the ultimate sacrifice that day and years later…no words can express our gratitude and we pray for the families. God Bless America
Who We Are
In case you were wondering, we are the TX Weather Recon team, which is an affiliate of Saltwater-Recon.com. We are meteorologists (thanks to Texas A&M — whoop!), and we do our best to keep our fans and followers safe during these weather events. You can find us on Facebook at the following links:
Be safe and good night!