Tornadoes, huge hail pound the Midwest, but bring little Texas drought relief

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:41 PM GMT on April 20, 2011

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Severe weather blasted the Midwest again yesterday, with NOAA's Storm Prediction Center logging 32 reports of tornadoes, 399 reports of damaging thunderstorm winds, and 325 instances of large hail (including softball-sized hail of 4.25 - 4.5" diameter in Clarkesville, MO and Stringtown, OK.) Fortunately, no deaths or injuries were reported from yesterday's storms. The storm also brought the heaviest snow so late in the season to Green Bay, Wisconsin--9.9 inches. This brought the seasonal total for Green Bay to 92.4", the third most on record.

The storm responsible will trek eastwards today, bringing the threat of severe weather to regions of the Southeast hard-hit by last week's remarkable tornado outbreak. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has placed a wide swath of the country from Eastern Texas to New Jersey under their "slight risk" for severe weather. According to the latest tornado tallies on the excellent Wikipedia page on the April 14 - 16 tornado outbreak, 128 tornadoes are confirmed to have occurred, with 39 of these strong EF-2 and EF-3 twisters. Remarkably, there have been no violent EF-4 or EF-5 tornadoes reported yet in 2011, despite the fact that the preliminary 2011 tornado count as compiled by SPC is 611, which will likely make 2011 the most active tornado season on record for this point in the year.


Figure 1. Satellite image taken at 8pm EDT on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, of the storm system that brought severe weather to the Midwest. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.


Figure 2. Severe weather outlook for today.

Yesterday's storms bring little drought relief for Texas
Yesterday's severe weather outbreak brought a few thunderstorms to the Dallas/Fort Worth area last night, with up to two inches of welcome rain falling in isolated areas. However, the rains missed the areas of Texas where the worst fires area burning, and strong winds associated with the spring storm helped whip up the fires. Winds will not be as strong today, and the latest 1 - 5 day rainfall forecasts show the possibility of isolated thunderstorms bringing drought relief to the same portions of Texas that benefited from last night's rains. These rains will not be enough to significantly slow down the record fires scorching Texas, though, and the latest 2-week forecast from the GFS model shows little chance of drought-busting rains over Texas into early May.


Figure 2. Total rainfall for North Texas from last night's storms brought only isolated drought relief.

Atlantic tropical disturbance
As a reminder that hurricane season is not that far away, an area of disturbed weather has formed in the Atlantic near 23N, 80W, about 700 miles northeast of Puerto Rico. This system is under a hefty 60 knots of wind shear, but does have a surface circulation. The disturbance's heavy thunderstorm activity has been removed well to the northeast of the surface circulation center by the high wind shear. The storm is expected to move northwest into a region of lower wind shear on Thursday and Friday, and should begin building more heavy thunderstorms during the next three days. The storm is not a threat to any land areas, and will likely be ripped apart by high wind shear this weekend. It has perhaps a 10% chance of becoming a subtropical depression before then. Climatology argues against this storm becoming the first named storm of the year; there has only been once named April storm in the Atlantic since 1851, Tropical Storm Ana of 2003.


Figure 4. Morning satellite image of the Atlantic tropical disturbance 700 miles northeast of Puerto Rico.

Jeff Masters

Wildcat Fire (AngeloJoe)
Wildcat Fire near San Angelo, Texas. Pictures taken between 3 and 4 pm just to the south and east of Orient, Texas.
Wildcat Fire
April Showers (novembergale)
SNOW showers!
April Showers

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Quoting Patrap:



North Carolina Severe Storms, Tornadoes, And Flooding

Major Disaster Declared April 19, 2011 (DR-1969)



But the site still states no individual assistance. I'm very aware of the program.
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Quoting RastaSteve:


Good Morning Jedkins! Should see some more storms pop this afternoon and last well into the evening like yesterday. Lightning was flashing every second from about 8:30pm to 9:30pm with these storms that developed to my west.


Goodmorning man!

Yeah there should be a few evening storms, I'm questioning if there will be as many as yesterday though. From what I have seen the PW was at 1.5 last night and has dropped to 1.2 here and 1 inch in south Florida, maybe it will pick back up later. Whatever the case these storms don't have the prolific rainfall rates that mark the Florida wet season, that is pretty darn dry for Florida standards. When we get a PWAT of 1.8 or greater, that's a more classic Florida setup.

Next week the PWAT could hit 2 inches. That combined with a persistently unstable atmosphere with cold air aloft and a strong LI, lots of daytime heating and sea breezes, boom, you get a classic wet season setup.

Hard to say this far out so don't get your hopes up, it is a possibility bet yet far from certainty. Just watch and wait!

Even if it doesn't get really active next week. The way things are looking things should get cranking at least at some point during May.
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Quoting Patrap:
maybe master dat ol "HIDE" button on each post,,..

I dont control the servers,but I did modify the FLASH frame post.

ESL just re-started their page for the AOI,..as well.
its good now
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54353
Quoting RastaSteve:
Guys FL can get lots of rain without a landfalling hurricane. Some systems like Depressions or Tropical Storms will do just fine. If our analogy is 2008 which it looks like it is then we should see a concentration of US hits in the Carolina's. Now that's not to say FL won't get a hurricane but I feel the Carolina's could be a risk more than FL this year.


Of course Florida can get lots of rain without a landfalling hurricane, from what Ive seen we get the most rain often on years when we don't get landfalling tropical cyclones here. Most rain in Florida's wet seasons come from things other than tropical cyclones. It seems high pressure must have to dominate Florida whith dryness before tropical cyclones make landfall here. Not to say that is always the case at all. But it seems so whenever systems hit from the atlantic side. The gulf side would be a different story though. Gulf systems making landfall in Florida are often preceded by heavy rain and followed by a lot of heavy rain.
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Quoting pottery:

I am not sure that wildfires are either necessary, beneficial in any way, or 'normal'.

First, we would need to look at 'necessary'. Necessary for what, exactly?
The facts are, that fire destroys the humus and microbes and bacteria and most importantly seeds from plants other than grasses that are found in the topsoil (the first couple of inches of surface soil).
These 3 things are absolutely vital for healthy plant growth.
But the loss of these things can be solved (except for the seeds) - in the short term- by applying Chemical Fertilizers. Expensive. Effective. Does even more damage to living organisms in the topsoil.

Secondly, beneficial? To what exactly?
In certain environments (very very few) the seeds of some trees need to experience fire to make them viable for germination.
This certainly does not apply to grasses or the vast majority of Plants.

Thirdly, Normal.
One would need to go back a long way historically, to see whether these fires are indeed normal or Natural.
Changes in vegetation, changes in weather, our effects on the land (how many are 'natural cause' fires and how many are set even by accident?), reduction of water and dropping water table, all have a big influence on fire.

There seems to be no doubt that there have always been wildfires in all kinds of eco-systems. And most eco-systems can deal with that pretty well.
Regular burning is a destructive and major problem, that is affecting soil, plants, food, health and welfare of millions of people every year. And the numbers are growing fast.

Generally, fires are all bad.



.


If not allowed to burn, an excess of fuel (dry vegetative matter) can build up in grasslands, and prevent moisture from getting to the soil, and also prevent seed germination.

Burned lands are extremely rich in organic matter, which serves as a natural fertilizer, and enriches the soil. Many gardeners swear by placing used BBQ ashes in their soil during the off-season, to enrich the soil with organic matter. (I can attest to it - I use leftover ashes from the winter fire pit as part of a the soil I put into my container plants)

When you say "regular burning", what do you mean by that? How can we say what is considered "frequent" is actually really "frequent"? Could we have artificially prevented fires for 30 years, and are just now paying the price with more frequent and severe fires? Could fires that were once natural be over-reported, due to increased human expansion into previously pristine lands? Could our land use (irrigated agriculture, fenced ranchland, diverted streams and rivers) actually be *causing* more fires by interfering with natural flows of water?

Fires are natural. Fires are essential for many areas - in moderation. If fires weren't natural, why do many types of wildlife begin to flee at the first scent of smoke? If there was not an instinct there, they would stay until the smoke became unbearable, or they felt the heat of the fire itself.

I'm not saying that ALL fire is good, and should be allowed to burn - quite the contrary. What I am saying is that controlled burns should become more common, landowners should be more aware of the natural risk prevented by periodic wildfires, and if a wildfire is not threatening a significantly inhabited area, it should be allowed to burn (not uncontrolled, but allowed to burn in a somewhat controlled manner).
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5885
From N.C. Department of Crime Control and Public Safety Facebook page.

The NC Disaster Relief Fund has been activated by Gov. Perdue to accept financial donations to help meet emergency unmet needs of those who have been affected by the tornadoes. Mailing address: NC Disaster Relief Fund, Office of the Governor, 20312 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-0312.

First step for help: Contact your insurance company. Step two: Contact FEMA at 1-800-621-3362 (621-fema) or www.FEMA.gov, then click on Disaster Survivor.
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maybe master dat ol "HIDE" button on each post,,..

I dont control the servers,but I did modify the FLASH frame post.

ESL just re-started their page for the AOI,..as well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RastaSteve:


Come on Pat your killing my eyes here.

It's not strobing for me.
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from the Dr's. entry above,

The storm is not a threat to any land areas, and will likely be ripped apart by high wind shear this weekend.

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Well Dr. Masters said its not a threat to any land areas, but I'm assuming hes referring to that it just isn't a threat at all! lol, cause it should head towards Florida next week and help kick off what might be an early start to the wet season arriving. Either way, it may head this way but it won't be threat.
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that flashing makes me feel like iam in a disco pat image is all messed up
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54353
Quoting RastaSteve:


Kinda weird to see this low fighting like this in April against 60knt wind shear.
low level systems can sometimes dev even in the face of high shear this is more barclonic then tropical so we may see some ramp up to it before a ramp down
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54353
see that Nea basically made my supporting statements already for himself... guess i shouldn't take so long to type ;)
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Quoting jeffs713:


Absolutely. I agree with the general practice of letting wildfires burn, and do their magic. And as controversial as it is, I don't think that extreme measures should be taken to protect a single farm on the prairie. Yes, I know that same statement can apply to my house, but living in a subdivision that is part of a suburb is rather different than living on a fairly dry area somewhat prone to wildfires. (the fire department also doesn't have helicopters and C-130s dropping fire retardant around a burning house in a subdivision)

Wildfires are a necessary evil, and preventing them will only lead to more problems in the future.

I am not sure that wildfires are either necessary, beneficial in any way, or 'normal'.

First, we would need to look at 'necessary'. Necessary for what, exactly?
The facts are, that fire destroys the humus and microbes and bacteria and most importantly seeds from plants other than grasses that are found in the topsoil (the first couple of inches of surface soil).
These 3 things are absolutely vital for healthy plant growth.
But the loss of these things can be solved (except for the seeds) - in the short term- by applying Chemical Fertilizers. Expensive. Effective. Does even more damage to living organisms in the topsoil.

Secondly, beneficial? To what exactly?
In certain environments (very very few) the seeds of some trees need to experience fire to make them viable for germination.
This certainly does not apply to grasses or the vast majority of Plants.

Thirdly, Normal.
One would need to go back a long way historically, to see whether these fires are indeed normal or Natural.
Changes in vegetation, changes in weather, our effects on the land (how many are 'natural cause' fires and how many are set even by accident?), reduction of water and dropping water table, all have a big influence on fire.

There seems to be no doubt that there have always been wildfires in all kinds of eco-systems. And most eco-systems can deal with that pretty well.
Regular burning is a destructive and major problem, that is affecting soil, plants, food, health and welfare of millions of people every year. And the numbers are growing fast.

Generally, fires are all bad.



.
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Quoting Skyepony:
There have been two spillages of radioactive waste and a breakdown in an emergency cooling system at Britain's nuclear plants in the past three months, according to a report to ministers leaked to the Guardian. A brown puddle containing plutonium five times the legal safety limit leaked from an old ventilation duct at the Sellafield nuclear complex in Cumbria. This exposed "a number of shortfalls in the design", says the report. Groundwater at the Torness nuclear power station near Edinburgh was contaminated with radioactive tritium (a form of hydrogen) leaking from two pipelines. At Hartlepool nuclear station on the north-east coast of England, the back-up cooling system was put out of action by a faulty valve. All three incidents occurred in February this year and are still under investigation by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the government's newly created nuclear safety watchdog. They were sufficiently serious to be reported to ministers under safety guidelines agreed in the wake of the Chernobyl accident in Ukraine 25 years ago. Disclosure of the incidents could further delay the government's plans for a new programme of nuclear power stations, already being held up by a safety review prompted by the Fukushima accident in Japan. Critics will press for the incidents to be included in the review, being led by the executive head of the ONR, Mike Weightman. more here

Did you see where the Japanese government has taken yet another step toward a possible permanent deadland around the Fukushima plant? That is, the government is in the midst of creating a 20-kilometer zone around that plant into which entry would be illegal. For now it's an evacuation zone, though many have gone home to retrieve belongings, etc.; the government wants that to stop. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/04/20/jap an-nuclear-evacuation-ban.html
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ESL by LSU
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the inter-connectivity of all weather/climate related observations adheres to systems of scale. a mature understanding of these scalar systems would prohibit one from saying 'all this is natural' or 'all this is caused by man'. I certainly know that Nea is not making either claim... his contributions to the blog pertaining to such observations are mature in their own right, no matter how unbalanced other bloggers feel his contributions may be. pay closer attention to what he does vs. what he does not say.

the notion of 'loading the dice' brought up often by Dr. Master's is the best we can say at this point looking ahead, and it's really the most that could be said in general, at any point past, present, and future, about weather and climate. point being, there is no discrete scale in the matter; all is interconnected in space and time. so it's worth repeating the 3 'knowns' that Nea posted above.
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Quoting Patrap:
The personal jabs will be Banned as we are closing in on the Season,

...rapidly.
chance of banning increase as we get closer to the start point
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54353
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Looks like Mexico down in the BOC are burning down there, notice the haze/smoke streaming northward on the Southerly winds over the Gulf
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The personal jabs will be Banned as we are closing in on the Season,

...rapidly.
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AOI/XX/XL
MARK
23.19N/58.89W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54353
Quoting Jax82:
26 Tornadoes in 1 day, very rare for NC.



EF3 Tornado survey that went thru Raleigh

Damage photos from all Tornadoes in NC
One might think that 26 tornadoes in one day would be rare for any of our states...Good morning to you..
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Quoting eddy12:
Neo It maybe a record in certain places my point was and is, is it climate change or a natural weather pattern? I'm going with a natural weather pattern since it has happened many times going back to the 1700's according to tree ring data. But we all here on this blog know what you believe, anything that happens is climate change.

I'm not wishing to argue; I'm just making a point. And, no, I absolutely do not believe, as you say, that "anything that happens is climate change". I'm simply echoing what the vast majority of climate scientists say: a warming world sets the stage (or "loads the dice", in Dr. Masters' colorful parlance) for increasing, and increasingly severe, weather and climatic events. That doesn't mean all events will be severe, nor does it mean that every severe event is a sign of a warming world. But climate is all about long-term trends--and those long term trends very clearly indicate a rise in temps, and, to a lesser degree, more extreme weather events.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13551
109. Skyepony (Mod)
Jeffs~ The ranches here do controlled burns. I imagine all sorts of changes to their firefighting approach is being rethought. Hope y'all get some soaking rain.
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107. Skyepony (Mod)
Situation Update No. 2
On 20.04.2011 at 02:46 GMT+2

Wildfires continued to break out in many areas, but even without fires wheat farmers were feeling burned, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel. With dry conditions, heat and wind, the crop continues to deteriorate, according to Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension economist specializing in grain marketing and policy. "It's bad and getting worse," Welch said. "It looks like the 2011 crop, in terms of production and yields, is going to look like the 2009 crop—perhaps even as bad as the 2006 crop—just disastrous wheat years in Texas."

This year's poor crop comes on the heels of a bumper crop in 2011. Also, wheat prices are at record highs, he said. "This year’s crop condition ratings show about 40 percent of the Texas crop in very poor condition, which compares with 65 percent very poor in March of 2006 and 53 percent very poor in May of 2009," Welch said. On an average year, Texas farmers will produce 100 million bushels of wheat, but this year it looks like it's going to be a third of that, he said.Much but not all dryland wheat is at risk, though there are areas, such as the Winters area between San Angelo and Abilene, along U.S. Interstate 35 in Blacklands that "look pretty good," Welch said. Irrigated wheat is a different story. In an average year, about 20 percent of Texas wheat crop is irrigated. The higher wheat prices should compensate the higher pumping costs irrigators are facing because of the drought.

But in many areas farmers have given up on dryland wheat. Many have already accepted crop-insurance adjustments, according to reports from AgriLife Extension county agents. Where possible, farmers were putting cattle out on wheat, hoping to offset pasture and rangeland grazing lost to the drought or wildfires. As of the morning of April 19, the Texas Forest Service reported 20 uncontained fires from previous days. The largest uncontained fire was in Stephens and Palo Pinto counties, estimated to have burned 147,000 acres to date. Other fires near Possum Kingdom Lake, Caddo and Strawn are smaller in acreage, but have burned 31 homes. Another 600 homes were at risk. Of the state's 254 counties, 198 were under burn bans as of April 18, according to the Forest Service.


This is contradicted by autopsy reports that the firefighter died by blunt force trauma before his truck went up in flames.
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Quoting Skyepony:


I think firefighters are sworn to protect lives & property.. We had these sort of fires in '98. If you don't contain & control them they turn into huge lines of flaming death & destruction. I remember all of Volusia county being evacuated. Had the weather not changed it would have all burnt down including Daytona, the speedway & all. There was no people stopping it at that point. There's alot of controlled burning that goes on here when the weather is right to get all those benefits you mentioned. Even several months ago we had a fire to the west of the town south of us (Palm Bay). It got in a swamp, where it's gonna burn til real rains return. The first day with a decent east wind~ Palm Bay set a huge fire on the west edge of town & let it run out to the other fire. Letting communities & single farms burn is irresponsible. If TX hasn't been doing controlled burns like FL slacked on before '98 this may get a better program going.


They did some controlled burns in the forests to our north, but nothing on the prairie. A lot of that land is ranchland, and privately owned.

Quoting eddy12:
Neo It maybe a record in certain places my point was and is, is it climate change or a natural weather pattern? I'm going with a natural weather pattern since it has happened many times going back to the 1700's according to tree ring data. But we all here on this blog know what you believe, anything that happens is climate change.

Climate change and natural variation work hand in hand.

Climate - not year-to-year changes. Try decadal trends.

Natural variation - year-to-year changes.

Many climate models point to stronger variability of seasons and those natural cycles. Stronger flood events, stronger hurricanes, stronger droughts. And what are we getting? Stronger flood events (ask anyone on the Red River of the North), stronger hurricanes (see: 2005 Atlantic hurricane season), and stronger droughts (see: TX in 2008 and 2011).
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5885
Quoting eddy12:
Neo It maybe a record in certain places my point was and is, is it climate change or a natural weather pattern? I'm going with a natural weather pattern since it has happened many times going back to the 1700's according to tree ring data. But we all here on this blog know what you believe, anything that happens is climate change.


Wrong, Eddy, wrong. Nea is a very respectable blogger and he has posted on other stuff besides climate change.
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104. Skyepony (Mod)
There have been two spillages of radioactive waste and a breakdown in an emergency cooling system at Britain's nuclear plants in the past three months, according to a report to ministers leaked to the Guardian. A brown puddle containing plutonium five times the legal safety limit leaked from an old ventilation duct at the Sellafield nuclear complex in Cumbria. This exposed "a number of shortfalls in the design", says the report. Groundwater at the Torness nuclear power station near Edinburgh was contaminated with radioactive tritium (a form of hydrogen) leaking from two pipelines. At Hartlepool nuclear station on the north-east coast of England, the back-up cooling system was put out of action by a faulty valve. All three incidents occurred in February this year and are still under investigation by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the government's newly created nuclear safety watchdog. They were sufficiently serious to be reported to ministers under safety guidelines agreed in the wake of the Chernobyl accident in Ukraine 25 years ago. Disclosure of the incidents could further delay the government's plans for a new programme of nuclear power stations, already being held up by a safety review prompted by the Fukushima accident in Japan. Critics will press for the incidents to be included in the review, being led by the executive head of the ONR, Mike Weightman. more here
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Quoting sunlinepr:
CMC is also interesting


Link


Very. Looks like a decent TS making its way over the Bahamas.
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102. Jax82
26 Tornadoes in 1 day, very rare for NC.



EF3 Tornado survey that went thru Raleigh

Damage photos from all Tornadoes in NC
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
101. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting jeffs713:

Well, they certainly aren't using that foam here. From what I've seen, the prairie fires are not being allowed to just burn - they are trying to stop the fires as much as possible, and protect both structures, and farms or ranches.


I think firefighters are sworn to protect lives & property.. We had these sort of fires in '98. If you don't contain & control them they turn into huge lines of flaming death & destruction. I remember all of Volusia county being evacuated. Had the weather not changed it would have all burnt down including Daytona, the speedway & all. There was no people stopping it at that point. There's alot of controlled burning that goes on here when the weather is right to get all those benefits you mentioned. Even several months ago we had a fire to the west of the town south of us (Palm Bay). It got in a swamp, where it's gonna burn til real rains return. The first day with a decent east wind~ Palm Bay set a huge fire on the west edge of town & let it run out to the other fire. Letting communities & single farms burn is irresponsible. If TX hasn't been doing controlled burns like FL slacked on before '98 this may get a better program going.

I haven't seen where these fires has killed anyone..
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The tables below give yearly averages for
rainfall plus snowfall at cities, towns and parks in Texas. Each place
has a total for how many days of wet weather it usually gets a year and
for the normal amount of precipitation.
The number of days with precipitation is based on data from most of
the years that the weather station has measured rain and snow. The
calculation of days only includes the days when precipitation totalled
0.01 inches (0.25 millimetres) or more. The annual amount of
precipitation is an average of weather data collected during 1971 to
2000.

You can jump to a separate table for each region of the state: North Central Texas, South Central Texas, East Texas, Gulf Coast and West Texas.

North Central Texas

Average yearly precipitation


Days
Place
Inches
Millimetres

  86College Station39.71008
  76Dallas & Fort Worth34.7  882
  77Denton37. 8  960
  75Killeen3 2.9  835
  67McKinney4 1.01042
  79Waco3 3.3  847
  65Wichita Falls28.8  732








South Central Texas


Annual averages for rainfall plus snowfall


Days
Place
Inches
Millimetres

  59Alice27.5   699
  83Austin3 4.7  882
  74Choke Canyon Lake Dam22.1  560
  60Falcon Lake Dam20.3  515
  71Fredericksburg3 1.7  804
  51Kingsvill e29.0  737
  59Laredo21. 5  547
  51Midland1 4.8  376
  69New Braunfels35.7  908
  81San Antonio32.9  836


East Texas


Average amount of rain and snow a year


Days
Place
Inches
Millimetres

  87Lake Fork41.01040
  83Longview4 9.11246
  93Lufkin46. 61184
103Sam Rayburn Lake Dam60.61538
103Texarkana51.21 301
114Toledo Bend Reservoir Dam54.81392
  84Tyler45.3 1150








Gulf Coast

Average annual precipitation


Days
Place
Inches
Millimetres

  75Aransas Wildlife Refuge40.81037
110Beaumont57. 41457
  71Brownsville2 7.6  700
  75Corpus Christi32.3  819
  89Galveston4 3.81114
100Houston47.8 1215
  56McAllen22 .6  574
  92Victoria4 0.11019


West Texas

Annual precipitation totals


Days
Place
Inches
Millimetres

  65Abilene23 .8  604
  70Amarillo1 9.7  501
  58Del Rio18.8  478
  48El Paso  9.4  2 40
  62Lubbock18 .7  475
  59San Angelo20.9  531




References
National Climatic Data Center. US Climate Normals.
Western Regional Climate Center. Comparative Data.
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Global and Regional Vegetation Health (VH) is a NOAA/NESDIS system estimating vegetation conditions, health and the related products.

This product contains several Vegetation Health Indices (VHI) derived from the radiance observed by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) onboard the NOAA-7, 9, 11, 14, 16 and 18 afternoon polar-orbiting satellites.

The VH were produced from the NOAA/NESDIS Global Area Coverage (GAC) data set for the period 1981 to the present. The data and images have 4 km spatial and 7-day composite temporal resolution.

The VH products can be used as proxy data for monitoring vegetation health, drought, soil saturation, moisture and thermal conditions, fire risk, greenness of vegetation cover, vegetation fraction, leave area index, start/end of the growing season, crop and pasture productivity, teleconnection with ENSO, desertification, mosquito-borne diseases, invasive species, ecological resources, land degradation, etc.



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Quoting SouthParkTimmy:
There is so much we do not know yet.

Yes, that is very true; we don't know everything. But what we do know are the following three things:

1) The planet is warming up, and warming rapidly;

2) That warming is being driven by increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere; and

3) That increasing CO2 is mostly, if not totally, from our burning of fossil fuels (and the climatic feedback loops that burning initiates).

It's time for people to wake up and smell the roses--er, GHGs.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13551
Quoting Skyepony:
jeffs713~ There's a foam the fire dept can come out & spray down a single farm in the middle of nowhere..Not that big a deal. Houses are saved in FL every year like this. In this area we happily hand over a decent tax to our firefighters. Much less trouble then rebuilding.

Nothing worse than extreme fire weather, many times there's no time to foam down houses in those circumstances. Hate to see TX going through this.

Well, they certainly aren't using that foam here. From what I've seen, the prairie fires are not being allowed to just burn - they are trying to stop the fires as much as possible, and protect both structures, and farms or ranches.

It seems to be more about protecting *things*, rather than protecting *people*.

Items can be replaced. Houses can be replaced. Crops can be regrown. People can't.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5885
Quoting eddy12:
Neopolitan and Jeffs713 Here is a website with some good information about rainfall totals in Texas that seems to disagree with your conclusion. http://doublehelixranch.com/FlyGapRainTrends.html

Not my conclusion; that's the conclusion of meteorologists, climatologists, hydrologists, and farmers. A record drought is a record drought; rain gauges tell no lies.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13551
94. Skyepony (Mod)
jeffs713~ There's a foam the fire dept can come out & spray down a single farm in the middle of nowhere..Not that big a deal. Houses are saved in FL every year like this. In this area we happily hand over a decent tax to our firefighters. Much less trouble then rebuilding.

Nothing worse than extreme fire weather, many times there's no time to foam down houses in those circumstances. Hate to see TX going through this.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting muddertracker:
Are we at ENSO Neutral? What's the trend? TIA

We are at weak La Nina (barely), and the trend is towards neutral. The ocean is leading the change, so impacts in the CONUS and tropical Atlantic likely won't show for a couple of months.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5885

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.