More rain heading to the Rio Grande Valley

Strong winds, hail and flooding possible

With the grounds already saturated from heavy rains that occurred over the past two weeks in the Rio Grande Valley, forecasters are not ruling out the possibility that flooding could occur as more heavy rain is in the forecast.

Joseph Tomaselli, senior forecaster at the National Weather Service in Brownsville, said “Wednesday and Wednesday night are going to be the most critical time period.”

Deep tropical moisture that will be in place combined with some midlevel energy coming out of Northern Mexico and out of Western Texas will bring heavy rain to the Valley.

“Heavy rainfall is a certainty. We are also looking into the possibility of large hail and damaging winds because we believe that this convection is going to originate over the higher terrain of Mexico, so we will have to watch out for that,” Tomaselli said.

Tomaselli said the heavy rainfall will produce some nuisance flooding and also the potential for flash flooding as well. Rainfall amounts of a few inches are anticipated. There’s a 70 % to 90 % chance of rain on Wednesday and Wednesday night.

Tomaselli said Wednesday morning should start off with little to no rain, but as daytime heating occurs during the course of the day things will change. The critical time period will begin sometime around Wednesday afternoon.

“When the sun first comes up on Wednesday things should be okay but as we get heating of the day during the course of the day and we also get the energy coming out of northern Mexico afternoon hours, late morning through the afternoon and even overnight Wednesday night into sunrise Thursday morning is going to be the critical time period,” Tomaselli said.

There’s a possibility that power outages could occur so residents may want have flashlights on hand.

“Anytime we have any type of thunderstorms down here the power grid takes a couple of jolts and might knock people out of their electrical service anytime from a few minutes to a maybe a few hours. The reason we had so many power outages with the event about a week ago is because we actually had strong winds that caused damage to the grid system,” Tomaselli said.

In preparation for the upcoming heavy rains residents should remove debris and trash from drains and ditches around their homes. Residents should also make sure they have flood insurance because homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damage to their homes, Tomaselli said.

The public should also make sure they go out and purchase mosquito repellant because all of this rainfall will most likely create standing water.

Tomaselli said the Valley didn’t really see a lot of mosquitoes during the last two weather events because the grounds were dry and quickly absorbed the rain water. However, now that the grounds are saturated standing water could occur, thus creating perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Residents should also make sure to empty tires, pots and planters of water that could become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Tomaselli added that the public can keep up with the latest weather developments on the NWS’s Facebook page, Twitter account and website at https://www.weather.gov/bro .

lmartinez@brownsvilleherald.com