Beta takes turn away from Valley; Storm watch remains in effect for Cameron, Willacy

As Tropical Storm Beta continued to move slowly away from Deep South Texas, heavy rainfall and flooding will no longer be a problem for the Rio Grande Valley, the National Weather Service said.

Beta is no longer expected to be a hurricane on its slow track toward the middle or upper Texas coast early this week, the NWS said in an update Saturday evening.

However, in the Rio Grande Valley, a tropical storm watch remained in effect for coastal Cameron and Willacy counties.

Barry Goldsmith, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Brownsville, said in a webinar Saturday that rainfall amounts .01 to .05 of an inch is what the Valley could experience through Tuesday.

The NWS earlier had anticipated Beta would bring rainfall amounts of up to 10 inches to the Rio Grande Valley, but that changed once the storm took a different turn.

Meteorologists cautioned that the Valley could experience tropical storm gust winds of up to 39 mph or slightly higher Sunday night or Sunday morning.

A coastal flood watch for water going into the dunes on the beach and minor property damage at locations not protected by sea walls remained in effect for the entire Lower Texas coast.

Goldsmith said waters on South Padre Island could reach the dune Saturday evening and Sunday evening. High tide water may reach Padre Highway between the boat ramp and Port Isabel.

During the webinar presentation, NWS said locally most rain will occur Sunday night through Tuesday. The heavy rainfall threat remains only for Kenedy County with the rest of the region in the stable and dry air mass.

There is potential throughout today for damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds and unanchored mobile homes; some fences and roadways signs blown over and isolated power outages at the Kenedy County and King Ranch area.

“The most likely time of arrival of Tropical Storm Force Winds for the Lower Texas Coast is Sunday night,” the presentation reads.

“However, this area could see Tropical Storm Force Winds, mainly as gusts, as early as Sunday morning.”

The NWS reported the storm center has progressed farther north than originally thought before making its westward turn. Beta was turning more westward which continued throughout Saturday before turning toward the west northwest with another turn toward the north-northeast expected as it nears the middle Texas coast early Tuesday.