Tropical Storm Imelda

Tropical Depression Imelda Track 2200 Hours September 17 2017
Tropical Depression Imelda Track 2200 Hours September 17 2017

Tropical Storm Imelda Satellite 1600 Hours September 17, 2019Tropical Storm Imelda  – NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL 1000 PM CDT Tue Sep 17, 2019

The center of the tropical cyclone (see video below) continues to move farther inland over southeast Texas, with a motion estimate of 360/5 kt. Earlier surface observations along the coast indicated that the intensity had dropped below tropical storm strength, so the Tropical Storm Warning was discontinued.

Although it has weakened, slow-moving Imelda will remain a rainfall/flood threat for at least the next couple of days.

This is the last NHC advisory on Imelda. Future information on this system can be found in Public Advisories issued by the Weather Prediction Center beginning at 5 AM EDT, under AWIPS header TCPAT1, WMO header WTNT31 KWNH, and on the web at http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov.

Key Messages:

  • 1. This system is likely to produce life-threatening flash flooding along portions of the Upper Texas Coast, including the Houston and Galveston areas.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  18/0300Z 29.8N  95.5W   30 KT  35 MPH - Tropical depression (N Spring Valley Village, Texas)
 12H  18/1200Z 30.5N  95.5W   25 KT  30 MPH - Tropical depression (WNW Ada, Texas)
 24H  19/0000Z 31.2N  95.5W   25 KT  30 MPH - Tropical depression (WSW Cut, Texas)
 36H  19/1200Z 31.8N  95.6W   25 KT  30 MPH - Tropical depression (ENE  Palestine, Texas)
 48H  20/0000Z 32.7N  95.9W   20 KT  25 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
 72H  21/0000Z...DISSIPATED

NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL 400 PM CDT Tue Sep 17, 2019

Shortly after the earlier NHC Special Advisory, the cyclone quickly intensified just before it made landfall near Freeport, Texas around 1800 UTC. A National Ocean Service observing site near Freeport, Texas, reported sustained winds of 35 kt with a gust to 41 kt, and a minimum pressure of 1005.6 mb. A Weatherflow station at Surfside Beach also measured sustained winds of 35 kt with a gust to 44 kt. The advisory intensity is set at 35 kt based on recent Doppler velocities within some of the rain bands that are still offshore.

Imelda joins a list of several systems in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico that formed and intensified very near the Texas coast. Other recent examples include Allison in 2001 and Humberto in 2007. Thankfully, in this case, Imelda made landfall before significant strengthening could occur. Now that the center is moving inland, gradual weakening is expected. It cannot be stressed enough, however, that the primary threat from Imelda remains very heavy rainfall and life-threatening flash flooding that will spread northward into eastern Texas and portions of western Louisiana during the next day or so.

Imelda is moving northward at about 6 kt. The cyclone should continue to move slowly northward to north-northwestward around the western side of a mid-level ridge over the Tennessee Valley until dissipation occurs in a couple of days. The updated NHC track forecast has been nudged eastward but remains near the center of the tightly clustered track guidance. Key Messages: 1. This system is likely to produce life-threatening flash flooding along portions of the Upper Texas Coast, including the Houston and Galveston areas.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  17/2100Z 29.3N  95.3W   35 KT  40 MPH - Tropical Storm (WNW Liverpool, Texas)
 12H  18/0600Z 30.1N  95.2W   30 KT  35 MPH - Tropical Depression (ESE Porter, Texas)
 24H  18/1800Z 30.8N  95.3W   25 KT  30 MPH - Tropical Depression (WNE Point Blank, Texas)
 36H  19/0600Z 31.4N  95.4W   25 KT  30 MPH - Tropical Depression (WSW Belott, Texas)
 48H  19/1800Z 32.1N  95.6W   20 KT  25 MPH - Tropical Depression (WNW Poyner, Texas)
 72H  20/1800Z...DISSIPATED

NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL 1200 PM CDT Tue Sep 17, 2019

Satellite, radar, and surface data show that the area of low pressure near the Upper Texas coast has become better defined this morning. The associated deep convection has also become better organized, and winds from the Houston Doppler Radar support an initial intensity of 30 kt. Based on these data, advisories are being initiated on a tropical depression.

The system has very little time leftover water in which to strengthen, but given the recent increase in organization, the system is forecast to become a tropical storm before it moves inland. As a result, a Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for a portion of the Upper Texas coast. Regardless of the intensity of the system, the primary threat associated is flooding rainfall that is expected over portions of eastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana over the next day or two.

The initial motion estimate is 005/6 kt. The cyclone should move inland very soon, and a general northward motion around the western side of a mid-level ridge centered over the Tennessee Valley should continue through tonight. The system is forecast to turn north-northwestward on Wednesday and that general motion is forecast to continue until dissipation occurs. The NHC track forecast follows the solution of the majority of the dynamical models.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts. Some slight strengthening is possible before the center moves onshore.

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1009 mb (29.80 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

  • RAINFALL: The depression is expected to produce total rainfall accumulation of 5 to 10 inches with an isolated maximum of 15 inches across the upper coastal region of Texas into far southwest Louisiana through Thursday. This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash floods.
  • WIND: Tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area this afternoon and evening.
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT  17/1700Z 28.7N  95.4W   30 KT  35 MPH - Tropical Depression (WSW Freeport, TX)
 12H  18/0000Z 29.4N  95.4W   35 KT  40 MPH - Tropical Storm (WSW Manvel, TX)
 24H  18/1200Z 30.1N  95.5W   25 KT  30 MPH - Tropical Depression (WNW Spring, TX)
 36H  19/0000Z 30.7N  95.7W   25 KT  30 MPH - Tropical Depression (WSW Huntsville, TX)
 48H  19/1200Z 31.3N  96.0W   20 KT  25 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
 72H  20/1200Z...DISSIPATED

If this storm is named, it will be Tropical Storm Imelda.

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Video: WEATHER UPDATE: Erika Lopez-Meteorologist has the latest on Tropical Storm Imelda

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