National Hurricane Center, SJRA, Governor Abbott issue warnings about Tropical Storm Beta

Source: National Hurricane Center.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, Galveston, Austin, September 20 – Tropical Storm Beta is expected to remain a strong tropical storm and make landfall along the Texas coast tomorrow (Monday) evening. Beta has the potential for heavy rain along the coast and possible rain bands of up to 8 inches near Montgomery County.

National Hurricane Center: Reconnaissance Aircraft and Radar Data indicate that Tropical Storm Beta has redeveloped farther to the west 

The National Hurricane Center has issued the following warnings pertaining to Tropical Storm Beta:

  • At 100 PM CDT (1800 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Beta was located by an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft and NOAA Doppler weather radars near latitude 27.6 North, longitude 93.6 West. Beta is moving toward the west-northwest near 5 mph (7 km/h), and this general motion is forecast to continue during the next day or so. A decrease in forward speed and a turn to the north and northeast is expected Monday night and Tuesday. On the forecast track, the center of Beta will continue to move toward the coast of Texas and will likely move inland by Monday night, and remain close to the coast of southeastern Texas on Tuesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph (95 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next couple of days before Beta reaches the Texas coast. Weakening is anticipated once Beta moves inland. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles (315 km) from the center. The estimated minimum central pressure based on data from the reconnaissance aircraft is 996 mb (29.42 inches).
  • A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Port Aransas, Texas to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana, including Copano Bay, Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay, Matagorda Bay, Galveston Bay, Sabine Lake, and Lake Calcasieu.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Port Aransas Texas to Morgan City Louisiana.  A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect forBaffin Bay to Port Aransas Texas.  A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours in the indicated locations. This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials. A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case within the next 36 hours.
  • HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide… San Luis Pass, TX to Sabine Pass, TX including Galveston Bay…3-5 ft Port Aransas, TX to San Luis Pass, TX including Copano Bay, Aransas Bay, San Antonio Bay, and Matagorda Bay2-4 ft Sabine Pass, TX to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, LA including Sabine Lake and Calcasieu Lake2-4 ft Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge, LA to Ocean Springs, MS including Vermilion Bay, Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain, and Lake Maurepas…1-3 ft Baffin Bay, TX to Port Aransas, TX including Corpus Christi Bay and Baffin Bay… 1-3 ft Mouth of the Rio Grande to Baffin Bay, TX…1-2 ft The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.
  • RAINFALL: Through Thursday, Beta is expected to produce rainfall accumulations of 8 to 12 inches with isolated totals of 20 inches from the middle Texas coast to southern Louisiana, with 4 to 8 inches spreading northward into the lower Mississippi River Valley by mid-week. Flash and urban flooding is likely, as well as minor to isolated moderate river flooding. TORNADOES: A tornado or two could occur Monday near the middle-to-upper Texas coast or the southwestern Louisiana coast. SURF: Swells are increasing and reaching the coast of Texas and the Gulf Coast of Mexico, generated by a combination of Beta and a cold front entering the northern Gulf of Mexico. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Conroe: San Jacinto River Authority

San Jacinto River Authority is operating under standard protocols for a severe weather event and will be onsite at Lake Conroe throughout the duration of Tropical Storm Beta.
Lake Conroe remains 18 inches low, and based on the current forecast, no reservoir releases are expected.

Austin: Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Governor Greg Abbott today urged Texans to remain vigilant and closely monitor weather conditions as Tropical Storm Beta is expected to impact parts of the Gulf Coast this week. The State of Texas has the appropriate assets in place to respond (meaning they plan to spend a lot of money and exercise a lot of government largesse) and assist communities with potential flooding and heavy rainfall. The Texas Division Of Emergency Management (TDEM) and the State Operations Center (SOC) continue to monitor weather conditions and coordinate with the National Weather Service and their West Gulf River Forecast Center. The SOC has been activated to Level II (Escalated Response Conditions) in support of the ongoing response to COVID-19 and Tropical Storm Beta.

“As Tropical Storm Beta approaches, I call on all Texans in the Gulf Coast region to heed the advice of local officials and take the necessary precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones out of harm’s way,” said Governor Abbott. “The State of Texas is prepared to support communities in the path of the storm, where substantial amounts of rainfall and flash flooding are a significant threat. We will continue to closely monitor the storm and work collaboratively with officials to ensure our fellow Texans are safe.”

Although Tropical Storm Beta is a slow developing event, current forecasts indicate the continuation of rainfall, flash flooding and potential for isolated tornadoes could occur with little-to-no warning in parts of Texas. Storm surge along the coast should not be ignored, as officials are already seeing coastal flooding. Texans should remain vigilant even after rainfall has ceased, as water from upstream will continue to impact downstream locations over the coming days.

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