Gulf of Mexico Tropical Disturbance To Fuel Soaking Rainfall in Texas Early This Week

At a Glance

  • Tropical moisture is pushing into the Texas coast from an area of disturbed weather in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • This moisture will cause showers and thunderstorms to increase on the western Gulf Coast.
  • The weather system is unlikely to develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm.

An area of disturbed weather in the western Gulf of Mexico is sending tropical moisture into coastal Texas early this week, producing numerous showers and thunderstorms that will provide some drought relief, but could also cause localized flooding.

Enhanced satellite imagery currently shows the unsettled weather over the Gulf of Mexico associated with a surface trough of low pressure and an area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere. The blue arrows on this satellite image depict the counterclockwise wind flow associated with the area of low pressure aloft.

Enhanced Satellite

(The highest cloud tops, corresponding to the most vigorous convection (thunderstorms), are shown in the dark red and pink colors.)

This area of disorganized shower and thunderstorm activity has been given a low chance for development as it moves toward Texas early this week, as environmental conditions are not favorable for the formation of a tropical depression or tropical storm.

Area To Watch

What’s most likely to occur along the western Gulf Coast is that a surge of moisture from this weather system will lead to numerous showers and thunderstorm during the first half of the week ahead, particularly on the Texas coast.

Widespread rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches are expected with some locations in coastal Texas possibly receiving more than 3 inches through Wednesday.

Rainfall Forecast

(The contour shows the rainfall outlook through Wednesday, with locally higher rainfall totals possible.)

While the rain is bad news for vacationers along the coast, the incoming downpours are beneficial to this region of the country, where abnormally dry or drought conditions have developed, according to the latest Drought Monitor, Drought conditions have increased in areas of coastal Texas and Louisiana over the past few weeks and an area of extreme drought emerged in the latest update.

The good news is that the ground will be able to absorb much of the rainfall given the recent dry conditions, especially if the rain comes in waves with breaks in between. However, even with drought conditions, areas that see repetitive bouts of showers and thunderstorms could experience localized flooding.

Some forecast guidance is also indicating that the area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere could linger through late week over northern Mexico and southern Texas. If this were to happen, then heavier amounts of rain could threaten parts of south Texas, leading to increasingly saturated soils and a higher risk of flooding in that part of the state.

We’ll continue to monitor the latest forecast trends and provide updates and additional details on through early this week.