78ºF

What to know about slow moving Tropical Storms

Our Beta is going nowhere fast

This from TS Harvey 2017
This from TS Harvey 2017

HOUSTON – Well, that was fast....Wilfred has formed in the far eastern Atlantic and Alpha formed off the coast of Portugal late this morning!

Our Tropical Depression 22 will get the name BETA. If there’s one thing that is not Greek to me, it’s that this will be a slow mover and slow movers drop a lot of rain.

It’s just common sense: the faster it moves, the less rain it drops in one spot and the slower it moves, the more it drops. Kind of like when you move a dripping cup of coffee across the counter (I bet you move it as fast as you can).

Hurricane Sally had weak steering currents and dropped 2 feet of rain across parts of Florida. And we’ve had our share of storms that get ‘stuck’ between competing high-pressure systems.

Winds around a High go clockwise...so a High to the east of the storm would try to push it from south to north, while a High to the west would fight back with a push from north to south. Effectively, the storm gets stuck, meanders, and eventually gets pushed one way or the other. But that can take days. Here are the synoptic maps from Allison 2001, Harvey 2017, and Imelda 2019. You can see how High Pressure slowed them all down.

Tropical Storm Allison 2001
Tropical Storm Allison 2001
Tropical Storm Harvey 2017
Tropical Storm Harvey 2017
Tropical Storm Imelda 2019
Tropical Storm Imelda 2019

And this storm, Beta, is going to have to fight for the path of least resistance between two High-Pressure systems:

Beta next week
Beta next week

Right now and THIS WILL CHANGE, the American Model (top) has the storms dissipating eventually right over Houston while the European does pretty much the same thing:

American Forecast for Beta
American Forecast for Beta
European Forecast for Beta
European Forecast for Beta

Both of them bring heavy amounts of rain, 8-12″, for coastal areas including Harris County Monday to Thursday of next week:

American Rain Forecast
American Rain Forecast
European Rain Forecast
European Rain Forecast

In addition, the coastal areas will see wave run-up, tides 4-5′ above normal, flooding of low lying roads and communities, heavy surf and dangerous rip currents. A lot to watch the next few days, so enjoy our refreshing weather today through Sunday! We’ll continue to watch the tropics and keep you informed!

Frank

Email me and follow me on Facebook!


About the Authors: