At 700 am CDT, Tropical Storm Bill was located approximately 30 East/Southeast of Port O’Connor, TX. Bill is steadily moving to the northwest at 13 mph and has maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. The Hurricane Hunters are flying through Bill. The graphic below shows the wind speeds they are measuring. The reds and orange colors indicated 10 second gusts of 55 kts to (62 mph) around 65 kts (74 mph) just off the coast.
The Infrared Satellite loop below indicates by the brighter reds that the southeastern side of the storm has the strongest area of shower and thunderstorm activity.
This coincides with a radar image taken at 740 am CDT that shows the heavier rainfall is on the southern side of the storm. However stronger winds are even in the lighter rain bands as ocean buoys are reporting wind gusts as high as 66 mph, just a few miles off the coast of Port Lavaca, TX. Wave heights are generally ranging between 3 to 6 ft closest to the storm. However in the more intense rainfall in the southern part of the storm, a 7 ft height was measured.
Storm surge from Bill is not expected to be significant, generally 3 ft and less ( as shown by the blue regions along the coast). The main focus of the surge is in the northeastern region between Port O’Connor to Port Author, TX
Bill’s sustained winds will decrease as the system moves onshore this morning. The area in red and purple in the graphic below highlight the regions of the highest confidence for sustained winds of 39 mph and higher. The system will weaken as the center looses its warm Gulf of Mexico moisture source as well as due to the frictional effects of the land surface including trees, buildings and etc. With that said, we can still expect stronger thunderstorms as Bill moves farther inland which may cause strong to possibly severe strength wind gusts.
Bill will continue to push to the northwest today and then start to re-curve to the north on Wednesday and into Thursday, moving across Texas and Oklahoma. Bill will then move to the northeast into the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys, Friday and into Saturday.
The big story with Bill is the very heavy rain and resulting flooding. This is unwelcome precipitation, especially over parts of Texas and Oklahoma which are still recovering from record setting rains in May. Widespread rainfall amounts of 5 in to over 8 in are likely with pockets of 9+ inches, especially in Texas. This is a serious situation and the risk for flash flooding is high. Rainfall rates of 2 to 3+ inches an hour will be common in the heavier bands, especially in Texas.
The team at WxIntegrations urge individuals with interests the path of Bill to remain aware of the potential of impacts and the threat for heavy rain and flash flooding. Our goal is provide you the information and resources to help you better understand and prepare for the forecast weather through incorporating weather impacts into your planning and response.