As of Sunday evening, predictions were that Tropical Storm Beta would be scooting its way to a landfall along the coastal bend of Texas Monday afternoon. Beta remains a relatively slow moving storm, but it has not intensified and it should weaken rather quickly once it moves inland. As a result, the greatest threat from the storm inland is rainfall, the first bands of which we experienced on Sunday.
Along the coast, there will be quite a bit of coastal flooding in low-lying areas thanks to high tides, storm surge and, of course rainfall. Images and videos from Surfside Beach and areas near Galveston Sunday afternoon showed water slowing underneath elevated homes and across roads. That will likely continue through the middle of the week.
The good news is Beta has continued to look ragged much of the day on Sunday. While it had a couple hours of intensification, it quickly retreated from that. Whereas Hurricane Harvey was a powerful category 4 hurricane when it made landfall before it began meandering around the Gulf and dumping five feet of rain on the area, Beta doesn't have the organization or the power of Harvey.
Beta is also being shredded by wind shear and inundated with dry air thanks to the recent cool front that pushed through. Most importantly, it will not stick around for more than a couple days before getting swept out of the area.
The farther inland, the lower the chances of rainfall. Totals will range anywhere from isolated spots of 10 inches to around 2-3 inches north and west of town. That will be spread over several days and the majority of the rainfall will be off to our east by Wednesday.
If much of Houston got around five inches of rain over three days, honestly, that would probably be helpful. We aren't exactly in a drought, but Houston could use some rain about now, the very kind we typically get this time of year from tropical weather.
Thankfully, in a record year even as hurricane season winds down for Texas, we at least don't have to worry Beta creating serious problems for Houston.
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