Weather

Potential For First Named Storm Of Hurricane Season To Hit Houston Tuesday

The tropical system could develop into a tropical storm or depression by Tuesday.
The tropical system could develop into a tropical storm or depression by Tuesday. Model by NOAA
With much of Houston still reeling from the Derecho's effects, residents are gearing up for a possible tropical storm entering the southern Gulf of Mexico.

The National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm watch for parts of coastal Texas on Monday afternoon and indicated it would begin forecasting for the “potential tropical cyclone.”

Eric Berger, meteorologist with Space City Weather, said that this action signifies that forecasters think the system will likely develop into a tropical depression or storm by Tuesday. Berger emphasized that the system — which would turn into the name Storm Alberto — has not yet become one.

The system is expected to bring high winds and heavy rainfall to the region between Tuesday and Thursday. The National Weather Service placed Houston under a moderate risk, a level three out of four, for excessive rainfall.

In preparation for potentially unsafe flooding conditions, Lake Conroe and Lake Houston were lowered to help curb the chances of flood water accumulating. More tropical moisture is forecasted to move further inland Tuesday afternoon, which could cause the development of more widespread showers.

The rainfall in the Houston area is expected to be concentrated in places along and south of Interstate 10, with the heaviest rain falling in areas closer to the coast. Showers could be the most intense later in the day on Tuesday, continuing throughout the night and into Wednesday.

Forecasts indicate heavy rainfall will likely trail off west by Wednesday evening. Berger laid out possible scenarios. One would involve most of the rainfall going south of Houston and Galveston, resulting in the region collecting several inches of rainfall.

However, he noted that the southern half of the Houston area was slightly more likely to see four to eight inches of rainfall through Wednesday, with the higher isolated amounts.

He said the latter scenario would lead to flooding issues and reiterated that Space City Weather had issued a Stage 2 flood alert for the entire region through Wednesday.

In anticipation of potentially severe weather, Fort Bend County officials announced the city of Kendleton's 50th Annual Juneteenth Celebration was called off until further notice. It was initially scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

Another Juneteenth Celebration hosted by the Emancipation Park Conservancy, which was to take place Wednesday afternoon, was also canceled due to the forecast.

This story will be updated as needed.
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Faith Bugenhagen is on staff as a news reporter for The Houston Press, assigned to cover the Greater-Houston area.