Up to 12 inches of rain? Here's how rainfall is predicted during severe weather


HOUSTON – High-resolution forecast models are predicting isolated areas of excessive rain through southeast Texas between 6 o'clock Thursday evening and early Friday morning.  

Rainfall totals in some areas could reach a foot if at least one model proves to be correct.

The particular model shown above predicts nearly a foot of rain to fall over southeast Harris County and over Central and northern Wharton County.  Areas well north of Houston, on the other hand, are predicted to get between one and two inches. That's a HUGE difference.

It is important to note that these high-resolution models are better at predicting the amount of rain we might get, but have a much more difficult time pinpointing exactly WHERE the highest rainfall totals will be.

Subsequent forecasts generated by these models may predict that the heaviest rain will fall in completely different areas, like Lake Jackson and Liberty, for instance.

While research meteorologists are continually making models more accurate, even the very best models we use to predict heavy rain have an inherent error. The forecasts are not perfect. And we have witnessed that through several major flood events over the years.

The thing to remember when we are under the threat for flooding rain is that it is important to pay attention more to the amount of rain that could fall in your area and NOT to the exact placement of heavy rain based on our computer models. A 10 to 12-inch rainfall bullseye or two is likely to happen, but it is impossible, based on current technology, to determine exactly where that will be.

In short, It is important for all of us to prepare for the worst when heavy rain is forecasted for southeast Texas. It's OK to hope for the best, but we need to be prepared for the worst.

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