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Hurricane Rita and Austin, Tx Effects

Some folks around my area are wondering what type of effects to expect from Rita around Austin. It is currently expected to make landfall west of Galveston as Cat 3 and I believe pass east of Austin. Some have mentioned tropical storm force winds, or even Cat 1 winds here. Also NHC shows a 25% probability to strenthen in 72 hours to Cat 4 or 5. I looked at SST's and they didn't look as strong as they were for Katrina so I'm thinking Cat 3 still. But anyway what type of strength do you think it could be this far inland if it passes closely, what kind of damage can we expect, and do you think any of us this far inland need to make any preparations?
 
Not sure what the effects would be that far inland. It all depends in the exact track of Rita. It is well known that the intensity is not as bad on the left side of a hurricane as compare to the right side. But certainly, if Rita were to move right overhead, she still would be packing quite a punch. My suggestion is to keep checking local statements here:
http://iwin.nws.noaa.gov/iwin/tx/warnings.html
 
Well if the GFDL has its way Hurricane force winds would extend quite far out similar to Katrina. So I would prepare for Category 1 force winds even though Austin is quite far inland.
 
FCST Day 3-5

Just from what data I've looked at so far, my original fcst post is on track.
The high pressure area to its north over the gulf states should start to shift east within the next 36-48hrs...the storm will peak by tomorrow night as its due north of the Yucatan. My guess is still around the Corpus area by Sat. AM maybe even as early as Friday evening as a low end Cat 3.
And thats if the drier air does not get to entrained into the core.

Interestingly enough, I just heard Joe Bastardi on the Sean Hannity show a bit ago and he's thinking Port Lavaca will be the aproximate land fall zone as a Cat 4, possibly a 5...with the lower SST's,(27-29C) verses 31C currently south of EYW and the dry air entrainment that I think will certainly have some effect on the system..I don't think this will be of that magnitude. Although Joe B. knows a heck of alot more about hurricanes than I.

If this does shift a little further north, the oil production areas will be in for trouble, but my gut instinct and what I see so far says Corpus to Brownsville Sat AM. This is a little reminiscent of Hurricane's Carla and Celia...remember those?

As for the SAT and AUS areas, much needed rain heading for those places. I expect nothing more than 30-60mph winds in those places Sat. afternoon and onless the storm comes in near Brownsville, 3-6" of rain.
If it comes in at Brownsville then curves NW..at least 10" or more.

My guarded 2 pennies worth.
 
I like the Port Lavaca area as well based on model track consistency and tight clustering. With all due respect, BRO-CRP seems a little too far south IMO. Famous last words....
 
Originally posted by Justin Turcotte
Could be a threat of tornadoes for the Austin area. Texas seems to get a lot of tornado action from landfallig storms.

Hmm, I may have to dust off the chase equipment. :lol:
 
Originally posted by Anonymous+--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Anonymous)</div>
<!--QuoteBegin-Justin Turcotte
Could be a threat of tornadoes for the Austin area. Texas seems to get a lot of tornado action from landfallig storms.

Hmm, I may have to dust off the chase equipment. :lol:[/b]

That last quote was mine. Somehow I got logged off.
 
Local Meteorologist in Waco,Tx. is calling for the possibility of tropical storm force winds around Mexia, Tx. sometime mid to late afternoon on Saturday with the possibility of tornadoes in the area. I myself believe this is too far inland, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.
 
Coming from a risk management standpoint, recommendations of what to do, whether to evacuate or how a hurricane will affect someone should come from official agencies. As such, in the best interest of us chasers, I will create a separate topic where people can go to get official evacuation info.
 
It looks to me like we could have Cat 1 winds here in Austin. I am from Northern Iowa and have been storm chasing for 10 years but not really sure what to do in this case. Anyone with any guesses as to what will happen here. I am gonna guess close to around 70 mph winds here assuming landfall is around Victoria. What is your plans with all this Bill?
 
I was just looking at this now that it is a category 5:
205648P_sm.gif


If it landfalls in 48 hours and heads straight for Austin (direct 150 to 160 miles) assuming landfall near Matagorda Bay - this wind forecast shows that it could still be a Cat 2 or 3 mid way through that last 24 hour period. I expect the eye will pass east of Austin - as per most forecast tracks suggest, but if it passed directly over then those winds could be felt here it appears. So that means between Cat 1 and Cat 3 winds possible in Austin - no?

I'm not sure if I want to chase it or run from it. :lol:
 
Originally posted by Anonymous
I live in Houston , what should I do ??

I agree with what David said - also IMO Houston does have the potential of a direct hit even though that may be a lower threat than the further west scenario. The hurricane could even be a Cat 4 or 5 at landfall, but my guess is a 3.

Personally if I lived in Houston, I'd probably board up and get out before the mandatory evacuation because then it will be potentially too crowded to easily get out. You might go find a motel in Abilene or ways west.

As I recall downtown Houston is supposed to be sinking and is lower (below sea level?) similar to New Orleans. I think I've heard that a big Hurricane could flood the heck out of Houston. Even if you stay you could be in a disaster area for a long time so be prepared with whatever supplies you need.
 
Oh I forgot...there's a big debate going on in Austin because this weekend is the start of Austin City Limits Music Festival and there are expected to be 65,000 people in Zilker Park (near downtown). There is a lot of controversy on whether they will (or need) to cancel such as big event.
 
Personally if I lived in Houston, I'd probably board up and get out before the mandatory evacuation because then it will be potentially too crowded to easily get out. You might go find a motel in Abilene or ways west.

As I recall downtown Houston is supposed to be sinking and is lower (below sea level?) similar to New Orleans. I think I've heard that a big Hurricane could flood the heck out of Houston. Even if you stay you could be in a disaster area for a long time so be prepared with whatever supplies you need.

Whoa, be careful what you say here! Houston is not below sea level as far as I know...it is not New Orleans. If you live in a low lying area you should already know it. I can't imagine a mandatory evacuation coming for the actual city of Houston...just the low lying areas.
 
Houston is an average of 50 ft above sea level. The mandatory evac is only for suburbs south of town and on the water (i.e., Clear Lake, Friendswood) and low-lying areas right now, AFAIK.

That said, many of my friends and family are evacuating (I'm in Austin) because the thought of being without power in 100 degree post-Rita weather is not too appealing. Many have small children or are pregnant, so it makes sense to err on the side of caution.

Drive times are crazy. My sister (in HOU) reports that a colleague of hers took 17 hours to get to Dallas (normally 4), and that drive time from Galveston to downtown are 6 hours.
 
Originally posted by B Ozanne
Personally if I lived in Houston, I'd probably board up and get out before the mandatory evacuation because then it will be potentially too crowded to easily get out. You might go find a motel in Abilene or ways west.

As I recall downtown Houston is supposed to be sinking and is lower (below sea level?) similar to New Orleans. I think I've heard that a big Hurricane could flood the heck out of Houston. Even if you stay you could be in a disaster area for a long time so be prepared with whatever supplies you need.

Whoa, be careful what you say here! Houston is not below sea level as far as I know...it is not New Orleans. If you live in a low lying area you should already know it. I can't imagine a mandatory evacuation coming for the actual city of Houston...just the low lying areas.

I've always heard that the downtown area of Houston is slowly sinking. I assumed that means it has some low spots. I guess I can look for specifics on the net. Anyone else know what I am talking about?
 
Here's an article that mentions it, but I didn't find any good articles in depth on the subject http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dw....125dd3c88.html.

Very odd this prophetic article mentions New Orleans and Galveston being gone.

Regardless this is slowly being accomplished by subsidence because of water being removed from the land ( or something like that). I did find a reference that downtown Houston is 15 meters above sea level so-- that is good. It apparently isn't a bowl as I feared.

Look at all the trouble that was caused by Tropical Storm Allison:
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/s...orm2001/1183406!

A cat 4 or 5? That maybe scary for HOU.
 
Ok, looking at the wind forecast chart again issued at 4pm on Wed it indicates that the hurricane is expected to be near but east of the Austin area by about 11am or 12pm on Saturday. This would be about 4 or 5 hours shy of the 72 hour forecast - so checking that value on the forecast map would indicate the storm might be at Category 1 at that time. So, I suppose it is not likely to be Cat 2 or 3 unless it landed as a very strong Cat 5 a bit further west of the current track and beelined straight here in like 6 hours.

So sounds like we mainly need to prepare for Tropical Storm strength winds and possibly up to Category 1 winds.
 
Well Bill if you want someone to tag along with you if ya go email me at [email protected]. I was planning on at least going out east to Bryan or somewhere over there to check out the Cat 1 winds. That is about as far as I would go by myself since this would be my first hurricane chase.
 
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