Tropical Storm Beta – September 19, 2020

Tropical Storm Beta is currently located in the northwest Gulf of Mexico moving in a northly direction around 8 MPH. The storm is anticipated to slowly shift in a more westerly direction later today and possibly reach Hurricane status on Sunday. By Tuesday morning, TS Beta could be a few miles west off Matagorda Bay before turning and moving northeast along the Texas coastline. There continues to be low confidence in the overall storms track and progress after Tuesday morning. The current NHC track has TS Beta off the coast of Freeport on Wednesday morning before picking up some speed and moving out towards Lake Charles on Thursday morning.

The biggest threat of TS Beta continues to be water due to storm surge and heavy rainfall. The heaviest amounts of rain are still anticipated to be along the Texas coast with the possibility of our coastal counties seeing between 8 to 10+ inches through Thursday. Based on the latest Quantitative Precipitation Forecast (QPF), Fort Bend County and our neighboring areas could see between 2 to 6 inches through Thursday morning with the majority of the rainfall occurring on Monday and Tuesday. Due to the speed of this system, this rain is anticipated to fall over the course of a few days which most of our drainage systems should be able to handle. The main issue is periods of intense rainfall that can occur with tropical systems. This bands could bring isolated higher amounts of rainfall creating some localized street ponding and rapid rises in our smaller creeks and drainage systems.

Based on the current forecast and the lack of organization of this system, this is not anticipated to be a Harvey level event, but we need to continue to be weather aware and be prepared to respond. There are still some unknowns with TS Beta and its impacts to the greater Houston area. Although not an official NWS Source, Space City Weather’s 8:22 AM Post has a good summary of TS Beta and its potential impacts to our region.

The District is continuing to monitor the situation. We encourage everyone to stay informed by visiting your favorite local weather source, including the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center, and West Gulf River Forecast Center. If you have not ready done so, please remember to sign up for Emergency Updates from Fort Bend County.