Brazos River / Weather Outlook

The Brazos River in Richmond is currently at Gage Elevation 34.53 feet (Action Flood Stage) and is forecasted to remain elevated around Gage 34.6 through the remainder of the week.

This Week and the Atlantic Hurricane Season

We are watching a disturbance, Invest 91L, located in the western Gulf of Mexico. The NHC is giving this disturbance a 60% chance of developing within the next 48 hours. The current models show this system continuing to move in a north-northwestern direction with a possible track turning north-northeast along the Texas Coast. Regardless of the development of this system, we could see increased rain chances in the region starting Tuesday night / Wednesday morning running through Friday. Based on the current conditions and forecasts, the greater Houston area could see between 1 to 2 inches of rainfall over the next 7 days; however, actual rainfall totals will be dependent on the track of this system. We will continue to monitor the conditions and provide additional updates as needed.

Reservoir Status

Below is a summary of the current Reservoir Status.

Weekly Brazos River Outlook

The Brazos River in Richmond is currently at Gage Elevation 34.25 feet (Action Flood Stage) and rising. The WGRFC is forecasting that the Brazos River will hit Gage Elevation 37.5 feet on Saturday.

This Week

Based on the forecasts, we should continue to get an extended break from the rain with sunny to partly cloudy skies for the majority of the week with increased rain chances on Tuesday. The estimated rainfall for the majority of the Brazos River Watershed is less than 1 inch with Fort Bend County receiving less than 0.1 inches over the next 7 days.

Reservoir Status

Below is a summary of the current Reservoir Status.

Atlantic Hurricane Status

The official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is June 1st; however, Subtropical Storm Andrea has formed in the Atlantic. Subtropical Storm Andrea is located east of the United States and is moving toward the north to northeast and will not impact the Texas Coast.

Weekly Brazos River Outlook

The Brazos River in Richmond is currently at Gage Elevation 45.82 feet (Minor Flood Stage) and falling. The WGRFC is forecasting that the Brazos River will drop out of Minor Flood Stage tomorrow morning.

This Week

After a long week of extremely wet weather, we will have another short break with sunny skies again today. Rain chances return to the region tomorrow and could last through the weekend. Unlike last week, the overall estimated rainfall totals are significantly lower. The upper portions of the Brazos River watershed could see between 2 to 3 inches with the lower portions of the Brazos River, including Fort Bend County, potentially receiving less than 1.5 inches over the next 7 days. Overall based on the forecasts, we anticipate the Brazos River continuing to recede through the weekend.

Reservoir Status

Below is a summary of the current Reservoir Status.

Last Week Rainfall Recap

The NWS has estimated that our 5 day precipitation totals from last weeks storms ranged from 1 to 2 inches in the northern portion of our region with an average total between 5 to 8 inches across the region. Central Fort Bend County was one of the hardest hit areas with rainfall totals between 14 to 15 inches. The majority of that rainfall occurred on Tuesday with rainfall rates as high as 4.6 inches per hour in some locations. Attached is a summary prepared by HCFCD based on the Harris County Flood Warning gauges in Sugar Land.

Weather Update – 5/11/19 at 9:00 AM

We continue to remain in a Flash Flood Watch, but conditions continue to improve. Based on the current forecast, showers and thunderstorms could develop after this morning and continue into this afternoon. Peak rainfall volumes across the region are showing between 1 to 3 inches with most our region, including Fort Bend County, seeing closer to 0.5 to 1 inches through Sunday morning.

Overnight the Brazos River through Richmond continued to recede slightly faster than the forecasts falling out of Moderate Flood Stage around 6 PM last night. We continue to see gages upstream of Richmond rise with rainfall that occurred in the upper portions of the watershed; however, we should continue to see the Brazos River through Richmond fall. Based on the current forecast we should fall below Moderate Flood Stage on Tuesday morning and hit near Gage Elevation 40 by Thursday.

Weather Update (Conditions Improving) – 5/10/19 at 5:30 PM

Weather conditions continue to improve across the region which has lead the NWS to remove several of our northern counties from the current Flash Flood Watch.

Stability in the atmosphere has prevented development of storms throughout the day and we could expect this to bring us a mostly quiet evening.

There continues to be a chance for storm activity to develop Saturday morning. Generally, our region could see rainfall totals between 1 to 3 inches over the next 24 hours. There is still some uncertainty on how exactly these amounts will fall, but based on the latest forecast, the heaviest of this rainfall should occur along the coast. The best news of the day is that none of the forecast models are showing any continuation of the severe hourly rainfall rates we experienced earlier this week. Instead, HCFCD is anticipating hourly rainfall rates staying closer to 0.5 to 1 inches per hour.

Brazos River Update – 5/10/19 at 9:30 AM

Over the past 24 hours, average rainfall totals across Fort Bend County ranged from 2 inches to 3 inches. The Katy area as well as the far southern tip of the County saw as much as 5 inches with rainfall intensities as high as 3 to 3.5 inches per hour. The observed rainfall has caused rapid rises in many streams across the County with the majority of those falling since the rain has stopped.

Our region continues to be under a Flash Flood Watch through Saturday at 7 PM as another round of storms could move through the region. Based on the forecasts, these storms should be less severe than the previous storms; however, we still have a slight risk of heavy rain and thunderstorms through Saturday evening. We should get a break most of the day as the next disturbance could start working its way through the region this evening through Saturday morning. Overall, the NWS is predicting 1 to 3 inches over the next 24 hours with isolated amounts has high as 5 inches.

Due to the local rainfall overnight, we did see a slight jump at the Richmond Gage of less than 1 foot. Since the 24 hour observed rainfall was slightly less than the forecasted and the future forecast is showing less rainfall over the next 24 hours, the WGRFC has lowered their projection at the Richmond Gage. As of 8:16 AM this morning, the WGRFC is predicting the Brazos to peak around Gage Elevation 48.4 feet. Currently Richmond sits at Gage Elevation 48.19 feet. We are continuing to watch slight rises upstream due to the previous weather systems; however, at this time, these increase are not having significant impacts on the Brazos River through Fort Bend County. Based on the forecast, we anticipate the Brazos River in Richmond dropping back into Moderate Flood Stage on Saturday evening and into Action Stage on Tuesday evening.

We encourage everyone keep informed by following the Fort Bend Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management and the National Weather Service Houston/Galveston websites.

Brazos River Update – 5/9/19 at 4:00 PM

Based on the amount of potential rainfall, the WGRFC has updated their projections for the Brazos River. The San Felipe Gage is receding; however, the WGRFC is forecasting the Brazos River at San Felipe to rise starting early Saturday morning peaking around Gage Elevation 120.8 feet. This is approximately 1.3 feet higher than San Felipe peaked last night and about 1 foot higher than the peak back on January 8, 2019. Over the past several hours, the Brazos River in Richmond has remained fairly steady and is currently at Gage Elevation 47.38 feet. The 2:53 PM forecast has the Brazos River in Richmond hitting Moderate Flood Stage on Saturday and peaking just below Major Flood Stage at Gage Elevation 49.9 feet on Sunday. This is approximately 3.3 feet higher than what we saw back on January 9, 2019 and approximately 0.1 foot lower than what we experienced back on June 3, 2015. Please note that these forecasts are based on rainfall that is predicted to fall over the next 48 hours rather than the typical 24 hours. The true impacts to the Brazos River will be dependent upon the where and how much rainfall occurs over the next 48 hours.

There has been no significant changes in the NWS’s forecasts for the volume of rain potentially falling across the region. Our region is under a Flash Flood Watch through Saturday evening. Starting this evening and running through Saturday evening, Fort Bend County and the majority of our region could experience widespread rainfall amounts between 4 to 8 inches with isolated amounts between 9 to 12 inches. These storms could produce rainfall intensities of 2 to 4 inches per hour.

The exact timing and location of the most severe weather is unknown and can develop/change rapidly, which will have an impact on local drainage as well as levels along the Brazos River. We encourage everyone keep informed by following the Fort Bend Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management and the National Weather Service Houston/Galveston websites.

Water Levels Almost Back to Normal

Although our operator LMS and engineer are still manning the facilities and watching the water levels, due to lack of rainfall today, we are almost back to normal. Currently we have only one lead pump and one gator pumping. The rest of the pumps are off. They are ready to turn on when needed.

Brazos River Update – 5/8/19 at 9:30 AM

Tuesday Summary

On Tuesday, we experienced significant rainfall rates in the Rosenberg to Sugar Land area through central Fort Bend County. In the Rosenberg area, one CoCoRaHS observer recorded 11.72 inches over a 6 hour period. In Sugar Land, the Fort Bend LID 2 Ditch H at Ditch A structure recorded approximately 10.64 inches within a 6 hour period. Many personal weather stations made similar observations showing that a significant portion of central Fort Bend County averaged 8 to 10+ inches on Tuesday. According to preliminary rainfall information, areas within Fort Bend County experienced rainfall rates similar to what we experienced in Hurricane Harvey.

Remainder of the Week

We continue to have the threat for severe, heavy rainfall starting this afternoon and running through the weekend. The current forecasts are showing that the most significant rainfall over the next 24 to 48 hours staying to our north, but our region could see another 1 to 2 inches through Thursday. Based on the current forecasts, our biggest threat for heavy rain could occur Thursday and run through Saturday. Overall between now through Saturday our region has the potential for widespread rainfall amounts between 5 to 8 inches with isolated areas possible seeing 9 to 12 inches.

Brazos River Forecast

Based on the rainfall received several streams in Fort Bend County experienced flash flooding conditions with rapid rises over a short period. The Brazos River in Hempstead was not impacted from Tuesday’s storms and peaked around Gage 46.84 early this morning. San Felipe was also not impacted by this event and is forecasted to hit Gage Elevation 119.6 tomorrow morning. The Brazos River in Richmond experienced a 3 foot rise during yesterday’s storm and the 8:39 AM forecast shows the Brazos River in Richmond staying elevated through Saturday morning with a peak near Gage Elevation 47.2 feet.

With elevated levels and saturated soils, we recommend that everyone stay information by visiting the Fort Bend Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management website and theNational Weather Service Houston/Galveston for updates as things develop.