If you were expecting the Houston weather to remain mild and sunny this week, be prepared to be in for a shock. Thanks to a tropical disturbance developing in the Gulf of Mexico, Houston is is likely to be hit hard with heavy rains and gale force winds, the Houston Chronicle reports. The Inquisitr had reported about this developing system yesterday.
The disturbance, which is likely to be named Bill in case it strengthens further, is expected to bring significant amount of moist weather and rainfall to Houston. Weather experts have warned that the situation in Houston could turn dangerous, since the area is likely to receive seven to 10 inches of rainfall. This could potentially lead to flash floods in several areas. In fact, several areas in eastern Texas and eastern Oklahoma are likely to be in the path of the developing tropical storm.
In case the storm strengthens today, residents of Houston can expect widespread rainfall through Wednesday. The National Hurricane Center, as well as the National Weather Service in Houston, has also issued a weather bulletin that specifically warns people living in southeast Texas about the possibility of a dangerous flood in the days to come.
Another bulletin by the National Hurricane Center adds that the disturbance has a 90 percent chance of developing into a tropical storm. It added that an Air Force Reserve Unit Hurricane Hunter aircraft investigated the broad area of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico this morning.
Meanwhile, several towns have been given voluntary evacuation orders. This includes residents of Bolivar peninsula who have been asked to move to safer areas till the threat of the storm recedes. The voluntary evacuation order is effective starting today at noon, reports ABC 13 News.
A blog post on the Houston Chronicle by Eric Berger adds that it is difficult at this time to predict where the storm is expected to make landfall. However, even if it is fairly distant from the Houston area, the Galveston-Houston region will see gale force winds as well as heavy rainfall. At this time, Eric predicts sustained winds of 40 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph in the coastal regions. In another report by WTSP, it is being said that the storm could hit the Texas coast near Port Aransas. This is not very far from Houston. Weather experts, however, still remain divided over the possibility of this storm developing into a major system.
That said, in case you are a resident of Houston, we advise you to take all necessary precautions in order to stay safe.
[Images via Wikimedia Commons / Washington Post]