June 16th WAFB First Alert Quickcast:- T.S. Bill moving inland over Texas
- muggy mornings followed by hot-and-humid afternoons will be the rule locally
T.S. Bill made landfall along Matagorda Island along the central Texas Gulf Coast just prior to the lunch hour today. Peak sustained winds at landfall were estimated at a respectable 60 mph with higher gusts, making Bill a formidable tropical storm as he headed inland.
After making landfall, Bill stalled and meandered along the coast for several hours. By 3:00pm, however, it looked as though Bill had begun slowly moving again to the North to NNW, and the 4:00pm NHC Advisory indicated that Bill had begun weakening with sustained winds at 50 mph.
The tropical forecast keeps Bill well to our west through mid week. ‘His’ impacts in Louisiana will be periodic rains for the western parishes, but even there most rain totals through week’s end will come in at around an inch or less. And for us in WAFB-land? Very little in the way of a Bill weather signature other than a breezy couple of days.
For Texas and Oklahoma, however, it’s another round of very soggy weather. The forecast from the NWS Weather Prediction Center (WPC) indicates a swath of 4” to 8” rains extending from the coast into the middle of the Red River Valley (where they just endured record-setting rains). And that’s where Bill will likely have ‘his’ biggest effect: prolonging the high water along the Red River is it passed through northwestern and into central Louisiana.
What Bill does give WAFB viewers is a quick refresher course that tropical systems can bubble-up fairly quickly over the Gulf. Texas coastal residents had only 36 to 48 hours to prep for this system: would you have been ready for a couple of days without power had Bill taken a turn to the northeast and beat a hasty path in our direction? Bill serves as a reminder to make sure that you, your family and your business have “tropical game plans” in place and that you are ready to go.
Meanwhile, we’ll get an extended run of relatively dry weather through the week and weekend. A high-pressure ridge centered over the southeast U.S. appears ready to remains in place into next week. That same ridge is the key steering agent accounting for Bill’s forecast path, with the western margin of that ridge extending across the Bayou State and into East Texas.
While the ridge won’t fully deter afternoon showers from popping up in our viewing area, it will be a persistent inhibitor to raincloud formation through the coming weekend. We’re posting regional rain chances in the 20% to 30% range for most WAFB communities right into next week.
Less cloud cover means more sunshine and that adds to the usual daytime heating. In the meantime, our low-level flow will continue to come off the Gulf, keeping the air humid. With dew points in the 70°s, we can expect morning minimums to stay in the low to mid 70°s right through the next seven days for the Red Stick. And that moist air will combine with daytime highs in the low to mid 90°s to push peak daily Heat Index readings up to near or even above 100°!
So, enjoy the drier weather spell … but be extra careful in the summer heat!