Tropical Storm “Imelda” hits Freeport, Texas – significant to life-threatening flash floods expected


Tropical Storm "Imelda" formed at 17:45 UTC on September 17, 2019, as the 9th named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. Shortly after, Imelda made landfall near Freeport, Texas. Heavy rainfall and life-threatening flash flooding is expected to spread inland over the next day or two, NHC warns.

The National Hurricane Center began monitoring a tropical wave for signs of development on September 14. Tracking west across the Atlantic, it organized into a tropical depression on the afternoon of September 17 just offshore of the Texas coast. As it neared the coastline, tropical-storm-force winds were reported on the coast and it was upgraded to Tropical Storm "Imelda."

Imelda made landfall near Freeport, Texas at 18:00 UTC (13:00 CDT) with maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h (40 mph).

Tropical Storm "Imelda" on September 17, 2019. Credit: NASA Terra/MODIS

At 21:00 UTC, its center was located about 50 km (31 miles) W of Galveston and 45 km (30 miles) SSE of Houston, Texas.

Imelda's maximum sustained winds were 65 km/h (40 mph) and the system was moving N at 11 km/h (7 mph) with minimum central pressure of 1 006 hPa.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Sargent to Port Bolivar.

Imelda's N motion is expected to continue through early Wednesday, September 18, followed by NNW motion Wednesday night and Thursday, September 19.

On the forecast track, the center will continue moving farther inland across eastern Texas tonight and Wednesday.

Imelda is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 150 to 300 mm (6 – 12 inches) with isolated amounts of 460 mm (18 inches) across the upper coastal region of Texas, including the Houston and Galveston areas.

Rainfall amounts of 100 to 150 mm (4 to 6 inches) with isolated totals of 250 mm (10 inches) are possible across portions of southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana through Thursday.

This rainfall may produce significant to life-threatening flash floods.

Featured image: Tropical Storm "Imelda" on September 17, 2019. Credit: NASA Terra/MODIS


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