Will a Pacific tropical system bring rain to Central Texas?

Weather Blog

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As is common for October, Central Texas’ most significant rain of the month came last week (Oct. 13-14) from the collision of Pacific hurricane remnants (Hurricane Pamela) and a stalled cold front. Parts of the KXAN viewing area received 4-8 inches of rain, our heaviest rain event in over two years, resulting in flooding in parts of Hays, Caldwell and Fayette County.

Now, a week later (Oct. 21), we see a somewhat similar set-up.

A tropical disturbance spinning south of Mexico has a 90% chance of further development in the next five days. With further organization, this cluster of thunderstorms is expected to become either Tropical Storm or Hurricane Rick.

The question is — will it impact Texas?

Earlier in the week, one forecast model (the GFS, American model) showed the possibility of a large trough over the western U.S. pulling the moisture northward into Texas. Although this still remains a possibility, there is lower confidence in this solution as the more recent model runs show the majority of the moisture going just south and east of our area.

Other forecast models, including the ECMWF (European) and CMC (Canadian) remain consistent in showing the Pacific storms largely staying out of Texas as a whole.

With that said, the most recent forecast from the KXAN Weather Center shows a lesser chance for heavy, flooding rain next week. Instead, most of our showers will likely be triggered by the aforementioned trough and associated cold front. The current forecast calls for a 30% chance of showers/storms both Tuesday (Oct. 26) and Wednesday (Oct. 27).

Below are the following forecast rainfall totals from both global models:

GFS Model – forecast rainfall from Oct. 21-27
ECMWF Model – forecast rainfall from Oct. 21-27

Both show generally manageable rainfall totals, with only isolated spots or more than an inch.

As is the case with these kinds of events, the forecast is ever-changing. Be sure to stay with the KXAN First Warning Weather Team as we continue to analyze the newest forecast data.

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