Flooding potential this afternoon

HOUSTON - After a soaker of a lunch hour, all eyes to the west as an upper-level disturbance called a, "short-wave" (in the meteorology world), works through our region. After a break from heavy rain for several hours, we'll see temperatures soaring back up into the mid/upper-80s, which may help charge the atmosphere enough to lead to new storm development as this atmospheric lifting feature tracks through the region. New storm clouds may build with slow-moving downpours resulting.

Pitfalls to a flooding forecast: If Houston's earlier storms acted to stabilize our skies enough, working over the area and removing instability, the potential for redevelopment is greatly limited. The determining factors will be how warm we get and how vigorous this feature really is: The warmer we get, the more convective energy available and increased moisture pulled-in from the Gulf. The stronger the short-wave, the more lift it'll be capable of producing. If we don't warm up due to lingering cloud cover, or the short-wave occludes and dissipates, we may only see a round of moderate showers later.

The weather system moving into Houston this afternoon is responsible for San Antonio's extensive flash flooding, as 10"+ fell in spots, leading to multiple water rescues. Houston is unlikely to get it anywhere near that much, but after this morning's soaking the ground is more saturated and likely will not be able to absorb much water should heavy storms redevelop.

Our rainy pattern continues through midweek, before finally a ridge of high pressure builds into the region, reducing our rain chances to just 20% during the afternoon. Tropical Storm Franklin will enter the southwest Gulf of Mexico tomorrow, but firmly miss us -- by about 600 miles -- tracking toward Tampico, Mexico. Consequently, we'll escape any heavy rain potential from that system.

-Brooks
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