A Pacific hurricane for Texas?

courtesy NOAA/NHC

The above satellite picture is of Tropical Storm PAMELA in the Pacific currently packing winds of 50mph but forecast to become a Major CAT 3 115mph storm by late Tuesday, moving into the Mexican coast Wednesday. That forecast prompted this viewer question:

Frank, does this system have a realistic way to cause trouble in Houston? Matt, Houston

The short answer is: probably not, but Central Texas could get dangerous flooding. Let’s have a look at the current cone forecast for PAMELA.

courtesy NOAA/NHC

Clearly that path has PAMELA heading over the mountains of Mexico toward Del Rio and the central part of the state. Also this week, another cold front will be headed our way and the two are likely to collide across the Hill Country. Here’s the American Model for the week ahead and you can see the heavier rains moving right across the state.

courtesy tropicaltidbits.com

Southeast Texas is left with less than an inch of rain, but from Del Rio to Dallas gets buckets: 7-9″ of rain!

courtesy tropicaltidbits.com

The amount of rain will depend on the eventual strength of PAMELA. The NHC is forecasting those 115mph winds and if that verifies then this kind of rain can be expected. A weaker storm would wash out a bit over the mountains and it would produce less rain so we’ll have to monitor that storm’s progression. I’m always wary of any tropical system, especially when it meets a cold front--that extra lift can create dangerous flooding quickly.

Did I say cold front?

Indeed, a strong cold front sweeps what is left of PAMELA up and away Friday into Saturday leaving us with an amazing fall weekend! Here’s the front Thursday:

courtesy The Weather Prediction Center

And here’s the front Saturday. Look at the strong flow of northerly air!

courtesy The Weather Prediction Center

Highs this weekend will be in the mid 70s with lows in the upper 50s! How’s that for a cold front?


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About the Authors:

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

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team in 2019. When she’s not hard at work in the KPRC 2 newsroom, you can find Bri drinking away her hard earned wages at JuiceLand, running around Hermann Park, listening to crime podcasts or ransacking the magazine stand at Barnes & Noble.