Tropical Storm Beta is continuing on its west-northwesterly track toward the Texas coast. The latest NHC forecast has TS Beta making landfall near Matagorda Bay tomorrow (Monday) afternoon/evening. After moving inland, TS Beta is expected to make a hard turn and head in a northeast direction across SE Texas before moving through Louisiana and beyond. 1 to 2 inches have already fallen over parts of SE Texas, but more headed our way.
Based on Beta’s path, much of the greater Houston area is within a Flash Flood Watch with several areas, including Fort Bend County, being added to the Tropical Storm Warnings earlier today. Fort Bend County currently has a 70 to 90% chance of receiving Tropical Storm Force Winds (>= 39 MPH).
Rainfall forecast amounts have varied over the past couple of days and that uncertainty in the volume and exact locations remains. Several portions have already seen a good amount of rainfall, but fortunately those amounts have been less the 1.5 inches since noon. Today’s rainfall could be just the beginning, but we are now in a watch and wait situation.
The current forecast is showing portions of the lower Brazos River watershed, upstream of Hempstead, seeing between 2 to 4 inches with areas downstream of Hempstead, seeing 4 to 8 inches through Wednesday morning. Higher amounts are possible, but the exact location of these higher amounts are unknown.
Most of our drainage systems should be able to handle the anticipated rainfall of 3 to 10 inches over 2 to 3 days. What we have to watch for are heavy bands that bring periods of intense downpours. These could cause rapid rises in some of our streams and excessive ponding in some of our streets.
Based on the forecasts, we could see levels on the Brazos River rise; however, at this time major flooding from the Brazos River through Fort Bend County is not anticipated. With the majority of the rainfall occurring Monday and Tuesday, tomorrow morning’s WGRFC forecast should give a good look at what we can expect, assuming we receive the exact amount of precipitation included in the WPC’s Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF).
Even though things have appeared to improve compared to how things looked 24 hours ago, we need to continue to remain weather aware. We encourage everyone to stay informed by visiting your favorite local weather source, including the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center, and West Gulf River Forecast Center. If you have not ready down so, please remember to sign up for Emergency Updates from Fort Bend County.