Tropical Wave Update – 10/15/2019 at 2:30 PM

The National Hurricane Center has increased the chance of the Tropical Disturbance over Central America to a 40% chance of development over the next 5 days. The good news is that the forecasts are continuing to show this system avoiding the Texas coastline and move through the western Gulf of Mexico in a clockwise rotation to the northeast. The system could bring additional moisture into our region, but this track keeps the heaviest rainfall to our east. Overall, the lower Brazos River Watershed, including Fort Bend County, could receive 1 to 2 inches over the next 7 days. We will continue to watch for changes in the forecast and provide updates as necessary.

Imelda 09/20/19 9:45 AM Update

The majority of the region remains in a Flash Flood Watch through this evening due to the possibility of scatter showers and thunderstorms. Overall the activity is not anticipated to be as strong as the previous days. Based on the forecasts, Fort Bend County could receive less than 1 inch of rainfall over the next 24 with the majority of the lower Brazos River watershed seeing less than ½ inch. After today, the extended weather forecast is showing a return of sunny to mostly sunny skies with rain chances below 25% over the next 7 days. The only exception is Sunday, which currently has rain chances closer to 40%. Overall, the lower Brazos River Watershed is forecasted to receive less than 1 inch over the next 7 days.

According to the NWS, Imelda dropped over 40 inches of rainfall over 3 days in portions of the region which caused rapid flooding and severe damages. Fort Bend County received about 6 inches over the past 3 days. The majority of the rainfall in Fort Bend County fell over the past 24 hours which caused significant rises in many of our streams and ditches and excessive ponding in streets. The rainfall received across central Fort Bend County caused a 4.8 foot jump in the Brazos River in Richmond; however, the Brazos River has fallen 2 feet since the peak and should continue to fall back to our pre-event levels by the end of the weekend.

Imelda 9:30 AM Update

Imelda continues to produce severe flooding in the east and northeastern portions of the region with rainfall totals over the past 24 hours hitting over 20 inches. In Fort Bend County, our rainfall totals have come in less than anticipated. Over the past 48 hours, the peak rainfall across the County was around 4 inches in the Sugar Land Area with the majority of the County receiving on average between 0.5 to 1.5 inches.

Significant rainfall is continuing to fall in the northeast part of our region. Based on the forecasts, we could continue to see additional rain move through the entire region brining an additional 1 to 2 inches in portions of Fort Bend County. This morning the rain has picked up in the lower Brazos River Watershed, south of Bryan/College Station to Hempstead. Similar to Fort Bend County, the lower Brazos River Watershed could see 1 to 3 inches over the next 24 hours. With the possible precipitation, the WGRFC has updated their forecasts for the Brazos River, which currently shows gages from Hempstead to Richmond staying below Action Stage. Until this system completely moves out of the region, we will continue to monitor the conditions and provide updates if needed.

TD Imelda 8:00 AM Update

Overall the majority of the heavy rainfall over the past 24 hours stayed south and east of Fort Bend County. Tuesday rainfall totals hit as high as 16 to 20 inches in Brazoria and Matagorda Counties. Through Fort Bend County, the NWS observed between 1 to 4 inches with the heaviest rainfall falling over the Sugar Land / Missouri City areas.

Even with Imelda being downgraded to a Tropical Depression, the region continues to remain under a Flash Flood Watch or Warning with additional rainfall over the next 24 to 48 hours. There continues to be some uncertainty in the exact details of tonight’s forecast, but similar to yesterday, the heaviest rainfall should remain to our east, moving north. Overall the NWS is forecasting an additional 2 to 4 inches with the potential for isolated higher amounts through Fort Bend County over the next 24 hours. We will continue to watch for changes in the forecast throughout the day and provide additional updates as needed.

Tropical Storm Imelda 2:30 PM Update

The Tropical System that we have been watching over the past couple days has been officially upgraded to Tropical Storm Imelda. The system has produced sustained winds of 40 mph with gusts near 50 mph near Freeport. With its development and the formation of a more well defined surface circulation, we are gaining slightly more confidence in the rainfall forecast and amounts. TS Imelda’s center is forecasted to move in a north to north-northwesterly direction along the SH 288 corridor through Brazoria and Harris County this evening and overnight. This should bring the heaviest rainfall along the center and to the east of its track.

Depending on the final path and speed of TS Imelda, we have the potential for rainfall amounts between 4 to 6 inches with isolated amounts 10 to 15 inches through Thursday. As mentioned, the heaviest rainfall should be along and to the east of the SH 288 corridor, but this system could produce rainfall intensities between 2 to 3 inches per hour. Although Tropical Storm Winds are possible for areas along the Coast, our biggest threat continues to be the rainfall which could cause street and small stream flooding. At this time, there is no forecasted threat of flooding along the Brazos River, but we will continue to monitor the conditions and provide updates as needed.

Eastern Gulf Tropical Disturbance

The National Hurricane Center is watching the potential for a tropical system in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. As of this morning, this disturbance has a 30% of development over the next few days as in moves toward the western Gulf of Mexico. Regardless of development, this system could bring widespread rainfall Monday through Wednesday with the heaviest rainfall possible occurring south of I-10. The rainfall amounts are still unclear but some of the forecasts are showing the potential for 2 to 6 inches through Wednesday. The final amount of rainfall will depend on the conditions as the system moves toward southeast Texas. We will continue to monitor the forecasts and provide updates as needed.