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Alex's aftermath brings flash flood watches to Texas

Tropical Depression Alex dissipated over the mountains of central Mexico, but his rainy remnants have moved into south, central and western Texas. The GOES-13 satellite is keeping an eye on Alex's remnants as they have prompted flash flood watches in those areas today.

The latest imagery from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-13, revealed Alex's remnants over Texas, and showed a lingering stationary front straddling Texas and the Gulf Coast. The front is apparent in the clouds that stretch from Texas where Alex's remnants are located, east over the Gulf of Mexico in a wavy pattern that extends east of Florida and into the Atlantic Ocean. As the front gradually moves north and dissipates through the Independence Day weekend, it will trigger thunderstorms along the boundary, which could bring heavy rainfall.

GOES-13 is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and images are created by NASA's GOES Project, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

After a hurricane or tropical storm makes landfall and moves inland, the potential for heavy rainfall continues. Alex is no exception. The National Weather Service notes today, July 2 that "Tropical moisture associated with the remnants of Alex will continue to lift northwestward from northern Mexico and south Texas through Saturday." Because many locations across west Texas and southeast New Mexico have already received moderate to heavy rainfall over the past few days, the additional rainfall is causing the potential for flooding and flash flooding through Saturday.

A Flash Flood Watch has been issued from the early morning of July 2 through Saturday, July 3 for all of southern and central Texas from east to west and for southeastern New Mexico. Major metropolitan areas within that watch that will experience heavy rainfall include Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Victoria, Austin, Corpus Christi, Midland and Lubbock.

On July 1, Corpus Christi had received 2.75 inches of rain and Victoria, Texas broke a record for the day with 2.79 inches of rainfall. Both areas remain under flood watches today as 2 to 4 inches more rainfall is possible, with isolated amounts to 5 inches.

The National Hurricane Center issued their final bulletin on Tropical Depression Alex on July 1 at 11 p.m. EDT. At that time, Alex's winds were down to 30 mph, and it was moving west at 12 mph. Alex was near 23.3 North and 102.4 West, about 35 miles north-northeast of Zacatecas, Mexico.

Hurricane Alex made landfall around 10 p.m. EDT at the village of Soto La Marina, about 100 miles south of Brownsville, Texas. Alex caused power outages and floods that have reportedly killed two people in northern Mexico. The states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon reported high winds, heavy rains, flooding and power outages. Alex brought rains and gusty winds to southern Texas as it came ashore in Mexico and even spawned several tornadoes in Brownsville.

Over the next couple of days Texas will experience the rainfall from Alex's remnants, as the low pressure center tracks north into western Oklahoma and Kansas, where computer models expect it to dissipate early next week.

Rob Gutro | EurekAlert!
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