Tropical Depression Beta to Crawl Near Texas Coast With a Threat of Flooding Rainfall, Including in Houston – The Weather Channel

Beta Weakens to a Tropical Depression, Flash Flood Threat Remains
  • Tropical Storm Beta made landfall on the middle Texas coast late Monday night.
  • Beta will track near or just inland from the Texas coast through Wednesday.
  • There is a high risk of flooding rain on the upper Texas coast Tuesday, including Houston.
  • Beta could also produce locally flooding rain into the lower Mississippi Valley.
  • Coastal flooding from storm surge will continue on the Texas and Louisiana coasts.

Tropical Depression Beta will track near the Texas Gulf Coast through Wednesday, where it could produce significant flash flooding, including in the Houston metro area. Beta will also produce areas of lingering coastal flooding and gusty winds.

Happening Now

Beta was downgraded to a tropical depression late Tuesday morning and is moving slowly just inland from the middle Texas coast. It made landfall as a tropical storm around 10 p.m. CDT on Monday night along the Matagorda Peninsula.

Bands of heavy rain and thunderstorms from Beta continue to soak parts of the middle and upper Texas coastline.

Current Radar

(Note: Radar returns in some areas may appear lower than reality due to the obliteration of the Lake Charles radar during Hurricane Laura. )

Some of the heaviest so far has fallen in southern parts of the Houston metro. Rainfall totals of 6 to 12 inches have been measured in this area in the 24 hours ending 9 a.m. CDT Tuesday.

Several locations in the south Houston metro area are seeing road flooding. Multiple high-water rescues were needed Tuesday morning in southern Harris County, according to local law enforcement. Travel should be avoided.

(LATEST: Beta Brings Flooding to Houston Area)

Overnight Monday night, radar estimated a small area northeast of Victoria, Texas, may have picked up 8 to 10 inches of rain.

NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center has issued a high risk of excessive rainfall and flooding for Tuesday on the upper Texas coast, including Houston. This means there could be more significant flash flooding from heavy rainfall in this area today.

Estimated Precipitation

(This map shows where the heaviest rain from Beta as fallen so far.)

Forecast

Future Track, Intensity

Beta is forecast to move very slowly, or even stall, just inland from the middle Texas coast on Tuesday and Tuesday night.

By Wednesday, Beta should begin to move more northeastward near or just inland from the upper Texas coast as it weakens to a tropical depression. Beta should become a remnant low by Thursday as it moves into the lower Mississippi Valley.

Current Storm Status and Projected Path

(The red-shaded area denotes the potential path of the center of the tropical cyclone. It’s important to note that impacts (particularly heavy rain, high surf, coastal flooding, winds) with any tropical cyclone usually spread beyond its forecast path.)

Flooding Rainfall

Heavy rainfall and flooding will be the main threat from Beta going forward since the storm is moving slowly.

(MORE: A Hurricane’s Forward Speeds Can Be As Important as Its Intensity)

The heaviest rainfall totals will be on the middle and upper Texas coast, including parts of Houston. That’s where the National Hurricane Center predicts an additional 5 to 10 inches, with locally up to 20 inches of rainfall.

Significant flash flooding and urban flooding could occur in these areas through Tuesday.

There could be localized rainfall totals of 2 to 5 inches farther inland from the coast as far north and east as the ArkLaTex Region and the lower Mississippi Valley through the end of the week. This rainfall could produce localized flash flooding in these areas.

It’s important to note that not every location in the areas mentioned above will see rainfall amounts this high or flooding.

Rainfall Forecast

(Locally heavier rainfall is possible in some areas.)

Flash flood watches have been issued by the National Weather Service from the middle Texas coast to southeast Louisiana, including Houston, Lake Charles and New Orleans.

Flood Alerts

(From the National Weather Service.)

Coastal Flooding

Coastal flooding from Beta’s storm surge has occurred since Saturday along parts of the Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi coasts, and could last into Wednesday or early Thursday at high tide as onshore winds persist in some of these areas.

Water levels were over 3 feet above normal on Tuesday morning at several tidal gauges on the upper Texas coast near Galveston Bay. That resulted in moderate or major coastal flooding in some areas.

A storm surge between 3 to 4 feet was measured early Monday morning in many of the same locations. The gauges indicated that this amount of water rise resulted in major coastal flooding.

San Luis Pass, Texas, had a peak storm surge of 4.15 feet on Monday morning.

Modest surge flooding was also reported along Corpus Christi Bay, in Port O’Connor and southwest of Freeport, Texas, among other locations Monday.

Storm tides at Port Isabel, Texas, were highest since Hurricane Ike in 2008, according to the NWS-Brownsville, Texas.

Peak surge inundation reached just over 3 feet in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, hammered by the destructive surge and winds from Hurricane Laura last month.

There’s also been coastal flooding in southeast Louisiana and Mississippi, reaching moderate levels in some areas.

This required the closing of Louisiana state Highway 1 in Golden Meadow, as well as some roads around Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain, the eastbank of Lower St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes, and in Hancock County, Mississippi.

Winds

All tropical storm warnings have been dropped. Any lingering gusts near the Texas coast should remain generally below 30 mph.

The peak wind gust measured on land was 59 mph at Lolita, Texas, just after midnight Tuesday.

Port O’Connor, Texas, clocked a 55 mph gust while Victoria, Texas, recorded a peak wind gust to 52 mph in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday morning as the center of Beta was near.

Tornadoes

A few tornadoes are also possible on the middle and upper Texas Coast and in southwest Louisiana Tuesday.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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