Tropical Storm Conditions Has Ended Across the Brazos Valley
All tropical weather advisories has been discontinued across the Brazos Valley. Southwesterly winds will continue at 10-15 mph from Bryan/College Station and 15-30 mph northeast of the Twin Cities. The winds should diminish areawide Satuday night.
Rain chances will remain in the forecast and the threat for flash flooding will continue over the next 12 hours. A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for locations east of I 45 through Sunday morning.
Ike Downgraded to A Tropical Storm
Ike has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it continues to move northeastward through east Texas. A Tropical Storm Wind Warning remains in effect for locations east of Bryan/College Station as winds of 40 mph or greater are still possible.
Flash Flood Warnings continue for Montgomery, San Jacinto, Walker, Grimes and Waller counties until 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Up to 10 inches of rain has been estimated by our Fastrac Doppler radar in southern Montgomery county. Over 2.5 inches of rain has been reported in Bryan/College Station.
Hurricane Ike Update:
The eye of Hurricane Ike continues to press inland. As of the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the sustained winds have dropped off to near 90 mph making this a category 1. Winds gusting to 70 mph across much of the Brazos Valley can be expected over the next couple of hours. Ike will continue to weaken as it pulls off to the north and eventually northeast. Hurricane Wind Warnings are in effect all the way to Corsicana, TX with Tropical Storm Wind Warnings all the way to the Ark-La-Tex and the Red River.
Updates Warning/Watch Info:
As of 5:15 a.m. the following advisories remain in effect for the Brazos Valley:
Hurricane Wind Warning -- Winds over 74 mph
Tropical Storm Wind Warnings -- Winds over 40 mph
Tornado Watch -- Through 10 a.m.
A Flash Flood Watch also remains in effect for the entire region through Sunday.
Hurricane Ike Makes Landfall:
At 1 AM this morning, Hurricane Ike took a small jog to the west and slammed full force into Galveston Island. As of 1:45 AM, conditions in Galveston are calm. The damage reports coming in are unbelievable. Roofs torn off, trees down, numerous windows broken, massive storm surge to name a few. The eye will continue to press inland toward downtown Houston, The Woodlands, Conroe, and Huntsville. The eye should pass east of the Bryan/College Station area, but tropical storm conditions with winds over 75+ in gusts are likely as we push into the 4-6 am hour. This is not the time to venture outside. Gusty winds of 30+ mph are already being felt here in Bryan. The weather team and I will be here all night long to keep you up to date. The next on-air update will be at 2 AM.
We have brand new wind estimates for the Brazos Valley as Ike moves east of Bryan/College Station on Saturday. The big change with this update includes hurricane-force winds -- 74 mph -- which are now expected in Bryan/College Station Saturday morning.
The orange shading represents tropical storm-force winds -- at least 40 mph. The red shading represents winds of at least 60 mph. The white shading represents hurricane-force winds -- at least 74 mph.
The wind threat should end across the Brazos Valley by Saturday night. The threat for flash flooding will last through Sunday.
11 AM Advisory:
Hurricane Ike remains a very large and dangerous hurricane...
As of 11am, Ike was located at 27.2 N and 92.6 W. The winds were still clocked at 105 mph. Ike is headed WNW at 11 mph and is approximately 195 miles east southeast of Galveston. All warnings as seen below are still in effect. Ike remains a very large and dangerous category 2 hurricane.
The Brazos Valley remains under hurricane and tropical storm wind warnings. Deteriorating conditions are expected to settle in around 8pm tonight. Winds sustained at 40-60 mph will be possible here in Bryan-College Station with gusts to hurricane force. The further south and east you are, the higher the winds. Flash Flood watches also remain in effect as 2 to 4 inches of rain is likely across the region. The extent of the damage should be limited to vegetation, such as trees and branches. Power lines may also be an issue. Power outages may be a problem, so keep the batteries handy. All preparations should be rushed to completion. If you have not prepared, there's still time. Make sure you secure all lawn furniture and loose items around the yard. Stock up on nonperishable food items, batteries, water (enough for everybody for 72 hours), and a manual can opener. Keep gas tanks full and cash on hand.
A storm surge not seen since Carla is threatening to wash over Galveston Island and many coastal communities are facing certain destruction. Waves are now crashing over the seawall and much of the island is now under water. Communities in Zip Zones A and B are under mandatory evacuations as the surge is expected to swamp the seawall and many bay communities including Galveston, Texas City, Tiki Island, Baytown, Dickinson, League City, La Marque and Kemah to name a few. Much of Galveston Island is already flooded, including the Strand. Hurricane warnings are hoisted and hurricane conditions are expected well inland to Huntsville. A quarter to half of all gabled roofs will fail and millions will be without power, some for weeks.
The upper Texas coast is facing a storm surge not seen since Carla back in '61. A storm surge of 20-25' can be expected. This is far larger than what would normally be expected for a category 2 hurricane. Unlike common belief, the low pressure in the eye does not cause a dome of water to form. Much like blowing on a cup of coffee causing little ripples on the surface, the force of the wind essentially does the same thing. And it's the huge expanse of the wind field that is pushing in a much larger storm surge to the coast. T
The storm is huge! It is bigger, not stronger, but bigger than Katrina. Tropical storm conditions will be felt here in the Brazos Valley long before the eye make landfall. The only difference between a 105 mph category 2 hurricane and a 115 mph category 3 hurricane is the nomenclature. There is no detectable difference in the strength and therefore the expectations here in the Brazos Valley is the same. The storm will continue on its trajectory and will make a direct landfall on or just west of Galveston Island. The storm is expected to follow the I-45 corridor pretty close. As the eye passes east of us, expect a stiff northeast wind, as we will be on the clean side of the storm. If you are east of 45, winds will be from the southeast and the tornado threat will be much greater. If you have not taken preparations, there is still time. Please stay tuned to kbtx and kbtx.com for the very latest.
NEW Advisories for the Brazos Valley -- Thursday Evening Update
A Hurricane Wind WARNING is in effect for Grimes, Houston, Madison, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker and Waller counties through Sunday morning.
A Tropical Storm Wind WARNING is in effect for Austin, Brazos, Burleson and Washington counties through Sunday morning.
A Tropical Storm Wind Watch is in effect for Lee, Leon, Milam and Robertson counties through Saturday night.
A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for Leon, Milam and Robertson counties through Sunday evening.
Conditions for Bryan/College Station -- Thursday Afternoon Update
At this point it's still pretty difficult to nail down exactly what will happen where, but general conditions across Bryan/College Station and most of the Brazos Valley are as follows for Saturday:
- A near 100% chance for rain Saturday morning and afternoon.
- (*) Sustained winds at 40-60 mph. Winds over 74 mph are possible during the same time period with higher gusts.
- (**) Isolated tornadoes.
* Winds will initially blow from the northeast. Once the storm passes, the winds will shift around from the southwest.
** The tornado threat can change significantly depending on where Ike tracks. Gusty winds and heavy rain can be expected regardless of where Ike tracks at this point, but the greatest tornado threat will be east of where the storm tracks -- which looks to be from Bryan/College Station eastward. This is the part of the forecast that could change significantly over the next 24 hours.
The National Weather Service posted a Hurricane Wind Watch for much of the Brazos Valley Thursday morning. Austin, Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Houston, Madison, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker, Waller and Washington counties are under this watch through Sunday morning.
This watch basically means that hurricane-force winds -- up to 74 mph -- are possible on Saturday. While computer models still converge on the storm moving near Bryan/College Station, the official forecast track now puts the storm east of the Twin Cities, which would mean the worst of the weather would be east of the region.
At this point, the storm is still forecast to track through the eastern portions of the Brazos Valley and close enough to Bryan/College Station that tropical storm and/or hurricane-force winds are possible. We will continue to monitor the track of Ike as this will be a very important element in your forecast for Saturday.
As of Thursday morning the forecast will still call for cloudy skies with a near 100% chance of rain on Saturday in Bryan/College Station. Winds are forecast to initially blow from the northeast, then turning from the southwest at 40-60 mph, with higher gusts. This could change -- for the better -- if Ike does in-fact track further east of the region.
We have added computer models to our on-air weathercasts to supplement the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center. The official track is represented by the bold, white line.
As of Wednesday morning, landfall is forecast to take place around Port Lavaca (or between Corpus Christi and Matagorda Bay). The cone of uncertainty still covers the entire Texas coast, but the computer models are starting to converge a bit on the middle Texas coast.
The forecast track is being influenced by a ridge of high pressure over the southeastern United States. Any small changes with this ridge -- from what is forecast -- can mean big changes in the eventual track of Ike. But as it stands, we do believe the ridge will guide Ike in more of a westerly direction, before it makes a sharp right turn towards Central Texas on Saturday.
Since we will be to the right of the storm, we've increased your rain chances significantly over the weekend. Breezy conditions can also be expected on Saturday. Remember to keep up to date with the latest on Ike -- small changes in the storm can mean big changes to your weekend forecast.
As Ike continues to move westward, most of the computer models have now shifted landfall towards south Texas, which is also the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center.
We do want to stress the the "cone of uncertainty" -- represented by yellow cone at right -- which shows where Ike could track by the weekend. This cone still covers the upper Texas coast and Louisiana, however, with the official track south of the region our local effects from Ike should be minimal. We have your rain chances at 40% on Saturday and Sunday and those could go up or down depending on where Ike eventually tracks.
Hurricane Ike has weakened -- as forecast -- to a category two storm over Cuba. The storm will continue to weaken until it re-emerges over the southern Gulf of Mexico later this week.
As of now, the National Hurricane Center has Ike making landfall in southeast Texas as a category three (major) hurricane Saturday morning.
The biggest question -- other than Ike's second landfall -- is how strong the storm will be. It will be interesting to see how much Cuba will weaken the storm before it moves into the Gulf of Mexico.
Sunday Afternoon Update:
There's good news and bad news with Ike. The good news is the fact that the storm will move over Cuba tonight, which will likely result in significant weakening. The bad news is the official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center -- which continues to show a gradual shift towards Louisiana or Texas.
Computer models are becoming consistent on the aforementioned forecast track so the big question as of now isn't necessary where Ike will strike, but how strong it will be! Even though the storm is forecast to weaken as it passes over Cuba, the waters over the Gulf of Mexico are warm and wind shear is forecast to be light. So, how much strengthening will Ike undergo once it enters the Gulf and takes aim somewhere along the Gulf coast? Stay tuned.
Hurricane Ike -- the ninth named storm of the 2008 Atlantic tropical season -- could turn into the Gulf of Mexico by the middle of next week.
The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center, along with the latest computer model output, suggest that the storm may not make that all important "right turn" quick enough to avoid the Gulf. The official forecast track takes the storm west of Florida into the eastern Gulf of Mexico, while the "cone of uncertainty" has the storm as far west as the central Gulf and as far east as the Central Atlantic.