Tropical Storm Pamela made landfall along the coast of Mexico as a category 1 hurricane Wednesday morning. It will make its way through Mexico and into the state of Texas in the coming days.
While the center of circulation will become less organized and the tropical system itself will weaken, it will still supply abundant tropical moisture. At the same time, a cold front is sweeping down from the northwest. These two storm systems will converge on Texas, bringing heavy rainfall for our area beginning this evening.
Showers and storms are possible today, but we should stay mainly quiet with only isolated activity expected. More widespread rainfall moves in later today - as early as 7PM in the Hill Country.
The heavy rain will spread eastward through the Austin area overnight, and showers and storms will continue through Thursday morning.
Storms come with a low-end risk for severe weather with a "marginal" threat that extends through all of the Austin area.
Storms could produce gusty winds up 50 mph +. An isolated spin-up also can't be ruled out, but the tornado threat is low. Whether or not Pamela holds onto an organized center of circulation will impact our severe threat - more organization means higher risk.
While there is a threat for severe weather, I'm more concerned for the possibility of flooding. Flood risk will be highest in the I-35 corridor and Hill Country. Flood threat is lower east of I-35, but we still need to stay weather aware in those areas, especially early Thursday.
In anticipation of the heavy rainfall, the National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for the I-35 corridor and the Hill Country through 7 PM Thursday.
The good news is that rainfall totals in our latest model runs are trending ever so slightly lower. While I still think most will accumulate 1" - 3", locations that pick up 5"+ don't look like they'll be quite as widespread. Hopefully this helps make the difference between "beneficial rainfall" and "flood event".
Rain will clear from west to east on Thursday, so by Thursday afternoon we'll be left with only a few isolated showers and storms. A low rain chance stays with us Friday as the cold front swings through.