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Beryl provides no South Texas drought relief, but tropics still offer hope

Tropical storm Beryl hovered over East Texas late Monday morning and was moving towards Arkansas on July 8, 2024.
Tropical Storm Beryl hovered over East Texas late Monday morning and was moving toward Arkansas.

Category 1 Hurricane Beryl made landfall at Matagorda Bay on the Texas Gulf Coast, about 200 miles southeast of San Antonio, around early Monday morning.

It weakened to a tropical storm and will be over Arkansas as a tropical depression by Tuesday morning.

While city and county personnel and assets, like the Freeman Coliseum complex, were ready to assist state and federal agencies with Beryl relief and potential evacuees, the Bexar County Office of Emergency Management said that as of Monday afternoon no assistance was requested.

However, CPS Energy reported that CenterPoint Energy requested its help to restore power in the Houston area. Power lines and power poles were damaged or destroyed.

CPS Energy said in a statement it is sending 60 personnel, including equipment operators, line and pole crews, fleet personnel, safety teams, and nursing staff.

The weather service still discouraged all travel to Houston as of midday Monday. The flight departure boards at San Antonio International Airport on Monday morning showed several flights to or through Houston canceled or delayed.

The FlightAware app showed no air traffic moving in or out of the Houston area as Beryl passes through on Monday morning. There were still no arrivals or departures observed on Monday afternoon.  

There were more than 1,000 canceled flights at both Bush Intercontinental and Hobby airports on Monday. More than 2 million CenterPoint Energy customers were without power. At least two people were killed in Texas, and 11 others in the Caribbean region.

Beryl's rains provided no relief to San Antonio's drought. The city remained under Stage 3 water restrictions. Those restrictions allow only once-a-week watering with an automatic sprinkler based on street address.

But the Atlantic hurricane season — which could be provide San Antonio's best chance for significant rain — is not over yet.

NOAA National Weather Service forecasters have predicted an above normal season with up to 25 total named storms. Out of those, up to 13 could become hurricanes, an up to seven of which could be major hurricanes.

Record warm water in the Atlantic, La Nina conditions in the Pacific, and lower wind shear this summer are all expected to fuel what is expected to be a busy season. The season officially began on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30.

This week offers minor rain chances. Forecasters said a weather pattern, including daytime heating, will allow for little pop-up showers in the San Antonio area each day this week. While most areas are expected to remain dry, forecasters said some of the pop-up showers could produce a quick half-inch rain where they do form.

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Jerry Clayton can be reached at jerry@tpr.org or on Twitter at @jerryclayton.