Tropical System Threw Forecasters a Curve

Call it the "Harvey effect." Local weather forecasters hyped up the recent tropical weather system days before any of it actually impacted the Houston area. But coastal cities to the East and South took the brunt of it.

First we heard it was going to dump several inches of rain Father's Day weekend, but the heaviest rainfall didn't come until Tuesday or Wednesday.

“With this slow moving mass of tropical moisture there was no real defined center,” says Eric Berger at Space City Weather. “Forecast models always have a much more difficult time predicting the evolution of these kinds of systems.”

“At least on our site we had been predicting 2-5 inches for the Houston area and we ended up being right,” he says. “But I think we were right because we got lucky not because we were particularly good, because most of the state saw more rain than that.”

Berger says predicting Mother Nature is not easy, adding there was enough moisture in the air to raise concerns about rain and possible flooding nearly every day last week.

“It could be raining heavily in Katy and not raining in Clear Lake, and if you had predicted rain for the Houston area, Katy would think it was a good forecast and Clear Lake would think it was a terrible forecast,” he says.

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