New tropical threat poses late-week flooding risk to Texas

Part of Texas is being put on alert for possible widespread flooding and dangerous surf as a new tropical threat is forecast to emerge in the western Gulf of Mexico to end this week.

“Following downpours that have been pestering central and coastal Texas since last week, a new potential threat from the tropics may arrive late this week by way of the Gulf of Mexico,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

"As if there were not enough tropical concerns with Florence bearing down on the Carolinas, Olivia taking a cruise through Hawaii and Isaac on a path through the Lesser Antilles and Caribbean, we have a feisty mass of showers and thunderstorms taking aim at the Gulf of Mexico his week," Sosnowski said.

The feature of interest will push slowly northwestward through the Gulf.

Image via AccuWeather

“While some wind shear is present over the Gulf, waters are sufficiently warm to support development,” Sosnowski said.

Wind shear is a change in wind direction and/or speed with altitude and over a geographical distance. If too much wind shear is present, it can prevent tropical development.

“Given the conditions, there is a chance this feature slowly develops as it moves toward the Texas coast by the end of the week,” said AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

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It could ramp up from a disturbance to a tropical storm in a matter of hours and may do so right before moving ashore.

The next name on the list of the 2018 Atlantic hurricne season is Kirk.

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“Aside from most likely minor impacts from wind and beach erosion, flooding may be a significant threat due to the slow-moving nature of the storm, although impacts will be substantially fewer than records set during Harvey,” Sosnowski said.

Recent and ongoing downpours from a stalled non-tropical system have left the ground saturated, making it harder for any additional rainfall to soak into the ground and further increase the flood risk.

Image via AccuWeather

At the very least, people in the area should anticipate delays and disruptions to travel and outdoor activities toward the end of the week.

This includes, but is not limited to, Houston; Corpus Christi; San Antonio; and Brownsville, Texas.

During the first 12 days of month, San Antonio had already received nearly four times its total normal September rainfall. The city could see another few inches by the end of the weekend.

Areas in Mexico bordering Texas are also at risk for flooding rainfall.

All interests from western Louisiana to Texas and northeastern Mexico should stay up to date with the latest developments on the tropics by continuing to check back to and downloading the free AccuWeather app.

Drenching rain would not be bad for everyone. There are locations in central Texas that could benefit from non-flooding rainfall, due to long-term drought conditions.

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