UPDATE: Why we have to watch for flooding this weekend

This flooding took place in Huffman last September

This is an update to Monday’s blog as of Tuesday morning, as models have shifted heavier rain over Southeast Texas. I know you don’t want me bringing this up, but you’re going to start hearing about flood potential in Texas this weekend and I want you to know why.

First, look at the jet streams which are way north and way south of Texas. Those fast-moving “rivers of air” keep storm systems moving along. When they are placed away from us, storm systems can slow down, and that equals trouble.

Jet Streams Saturday which I have highlighted

So that only comes in to play IF a storm system shows up, and right now the GFS (American model) has such a LOW to our south this weekend. If the High in South Carolina slows the movement of that Low across Texas, then the Low would have ample opportunity to swirl in Gulf Moisture on Saturday and Sunday. That scenario is certainly plausible, especially this time of year.

Surface Map Saturday

The next question would be how much rain and where? This same model has shifted heavy into our region for Saturday Night into Sunday Morning. That orange bullseye is in the 10-12″ range:

American Model showing 8-12" rain in our area Saturday Night to Sunday Morning

This early in the game, it’s impossible to know exactly where the heaviest rainfall might play out but even to our north would affect the rivers in the area. So we have to be on guard. This isn’t the only forecast, of course, and the QPF (Quantitative Precipitation Forecast) from the Weather Prediction Center has also shifted their rain numbers, 5-7″, in our direction:

Heavy Rain 6-7" in our area

This overnight trend is very concerning. May floods are common for us and this set up is the first I’ve seen in a while from the models. Stay weather aware as we continue toward the weekend!


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About the Author:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.