Gulf of Mexico Tropical Disturbance to Bring Needed Rain to Parts of Texas, But Also a Flood Threat

Linda Lam
Published: September 17, 2019

A tropical disturbance in the western Gulf of Mexico will spread drought-relieving rain into parts of Texas this week, but it may trigger flooding in some areas.

An area of low pressure swirling in the upper levels of the atmosphere has been migrating westward across the Gulf of Mexico over the past several days and is expected to move inland over Texas Tuesday night.

The National Hurricane Center has given this disturbance a low chance of development before it arrives in the Lone Star State.

Potential Development Area

As the upper low moves closer, rain and thunderstorm chances will increase.

Given the upper low's slow movement, this threat of rain and thunderstorms may remain in place in parts of eastern and coastal Texas through much of the week.

By later this week, soaking rain should also stream into parts of northern Texas and southern Oklahoma.

Five-Day Forecast

Slow-moving systems near the Gulf Coast almost always produce heavy rainfall.

In general, 3 to 5 inches of rain is a good bet over southeastern Texas, including the Houston metro area, through late this week. Some areas could pick up 8 to 12 inches of rain where rainbands stall.

Despite dry ground, rainfall amounts this high could lead to flash flooding, particularly in urban areas.

Some soaking rain could also make it as far west as parts of the Interstate 35 corridor, including Dallas-Fort Worth. For now, the flood threat looks low in these areas but can't be completely ruled out.

Rainfall Forecast

Where the rain isn't excessive, it will be beneficial in Texas since drought conditions have developed this summer.

As of Sept. 10, just over half the state is experiencing drought, and more than 70% is at least abnormally dry. It hasn't rained in Dallas-Fort Worth since Aug. 30.

Drought conditions as of Sept. 10, 2019.
(U.S. Drought Monitor)

The increase in clouds and rainfall will also bring a break from the heat that has dominated the South recently and will keep temperatures closer to average for this time of year.

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