Dolly Likely To Bring Only A Few Inches Of Rain To The Area

July 22, 2008

Tropical Storm Dolly is expected to grow into a hurricane and come ashore Wednesday in Texas – but Houston likely will feel little effect from the storm other than a few inches of rain.

National Weather Service forecasters said Monday morning that rain bands generated from Dolly may dump up to an inch of rain on Harris County on Tuesday, and 1 to 3 inches on Wednesday.

Windy conditions are probable late Tuesday and on Wednesday, but forecasters made no predictions other than to say there’s less than a 6% chance that gusts would reach 60 miles per hour.

In spite of the fairly benign forecast, some motorists traveling U.S. 59 in the county were startled Monday afternoon to see signs urging them to fill up their gas tanks due to an approaching storm.

At 7 a.m. Tuesday, Dolly was about 265 miles southeast of Brownsville and moving west-northwest at about 13 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Winds were at about 65 mph, still less than the 74 mph at which, under the Saffir-Simpson Scale, a storm is classified as a Category 1 hurricane.

But the storm is expected to reach hurricane strength Tuesday or Wednesday, and hit shore near Brownsville around noon on Wednesday, the Hurricane Center predicts.

The “highest rain chances and strongest winds are expected to be across the coastal waters and inland locations mainly south of a line from Romayor to The Woodlands to Columbus, with the most intense activity in and around the Matagorda Bay area,” the National Weather Service said in a Hazardous Weather Outlook that includes Harris County.

“Rainfall amounts are expected to average 1 to 3 inches, with 3 to 5 inches possible in and around the Matagorda Bay area or in association with any outer rain bands that train over the area.”

Rainfall is expected to end by Thursday as the storm weakens and moves inland.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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