WGMA Houston-Galveston

PCT Call Update


June 20, 2024


Tropical Weather Update

TS Alberto



The US Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston’s Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) held a Port Coordination Team (PCT) conference call this morning at 0900 hours to look at the situation on the Houston Ship Channel and surrounding region, Your WGMA Maritime Affairs team participated on the call and has the following report for our membership:


The National Weather Service advised that Tropical Storm Warnings have been discontinued.

·     Small Craft Advisories are now in effect for all upper Texas coastal Waters.

·     Early this morning we are still seeing 8-14 foot seas off the upper Texas coast.

·     Winds are generally easterly 15-25 knots in the bays and 25-30 knots in the Gulf waters.

·     Expect both to begin a slow downward trend today for several days…but will take some time to fall.

·     Tides and water levels are running 2.0 3.5 feet above normal.

·     These too will begin a slow downward trend after this morning’s high tide cycle, but still remain above normal for several days.


On Friday, we expect to see continued improving conditions.

·     By sunrise, east winds in the bays should be in the 10 15kt range.

·     Just off the coast, look for 15kt winds and 5ft seas.


The outlook for Saturday and into early next week:

·     We might see another tropical wave emerge off the Yucatan into the Bay of Campeche.

·     It appears high pressure across the northern Gulf coast could keep this suppressed to the south, but it’s still worth keeping an eye on.

·     This weather could possibly send a 4-6ft swell our way later this weekend… but it’s too early to say.


VTS Perspective:

·     VTS recorded only 6 ship transits and 229 tows during last 24 hours.

·     This is a dramatic decrease in activity for a storm that was so far away from us.

·     Once pilots start boarding, the traffic schema will be outbound ships and inbound tows.


There were no emergent situations reported by local port constituents during the call; only waiting to start moving traffic again.


Houston Pilots

·     Already have assigned first set of pilots, to attend 6 departures beginning before 1000 hours

·     Pilots have been dispatched to Galveston to begin boarding inbound, high-priority ships

·     It’s unlikely they’ll get fully caught up today, simply due to tug assets

·     G&H Towing advised they are crewing another boat and sending it to assist in Houston

·     Current queue situation: 45 departures & 32 arrivals


Galveston-Texas City Pilots

·     Cruise ship got in this morning as planned

·     8 more jobs dispatched for 1300 hours, both outbound and inbound

·     Anticipate they may shut down again at sundown due to safety concerns unless weather conditions moderate more than expected


Brazos Pilots

·     They have 6 departures, starting at 1000 hours

·     Also have 3 arrivals

·     Expecting to be caught up today if everything goes as planned


Final call for this weather event.


Agents are reminded to maintain close dialogue with area pilot dispatch offices.


Agents are reminded to keep the eNOA/D’s updated for their vessels, and to keep the pilots closely advised about when their ships are ready to transit, whether sailing, shifting or docking.


WGMA members are reminded that our partners DTN WeatherOps can provide customized weather reports for your specific area, and their seasonal tropical forecasts and storm alerts keep you advised during hurricane season. Contact WGMA Maritime Affairs to sign up to receive these reports.



Robert Hawn 

Vice President, Maritime Affairs

O: (713) 715-6443

M: (832) 473-1905



James Nash 

Director, Maritime Affairs

O: (713) 715-6520

M: (979) 373-8556



Willi Gerami 

Maritime Affairs Representative

O: (713) 715-6437

M: (281) 798-0345