Thailand flood its most expensive in history; Western Caribbean disturbance develops

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:03 PM GMT on October 14, 2011

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Heavy rains in Thailand during September and October have led to extreme flooding that has killed 283 people and caused that nation's most expensive natural disaster in history. On Tuesday, Thailand's finance minister put the damage from the floods at $3.9 billion. This makes the floods of 2011 the most expensive disaster in Thai history, surpassing the $1.3 billion price tag of the November 27, 1993 flood, according to the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). Floodwaters have swamped fields and cities in 61 of Thailand's 77 provinces, affected 8.2 million people, and damaged approximately 10% of the nation's rice crop. Thailand is the world's largest exporter of rice, so the disaster may put further upward pressure on world food prices, which are already at the highest levels since the late 1970s. Some of the highest tides of the month occur this weekend in the capital of Bangkok, and the additional pressure that incoming salt water puts on the flood walls protecting the city is a major concern. A moderate monsoon flow continues over Southeast Asia, and the latest GFS model precipitation forecast foresees an additional 2 - 5 inches of rain over most of Thailand during the next three days.


Figure 1. Thailand's Chao Phraya River forms at the confluence of smaller rivers near Nakhon Sawan and flows past Bangkok to the Gulf of Thailand. Floodwalls meant to contain the river collapsed in downtown Nakhon Sawan, the Bangkok Post reported on October 11, 2011. The aftermath of the burst floodwalls left the city looking like a lake. As rivers overflowed in Thailand, the Tônlé Sab (Tonle Sap) lake in neighboring Cambodia (lower right of images) overflowed. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra satellite captured these images on October 11, 2011, and October 8, 2010. These images use a combination of visible and infrared light to better distinguish between water and land. Vegetation is green, and clouds are pale blue-green. Water is dark blue. In 2011, water rests on floodplains between Phitsanulok and Nakhon Sawan. Image credit: NASA.

Heavy rains due to an active monsoon and moisture from tropical cyclones
Rainfall in September peaked at 574.3mm (22.61") at Nong Kai in Northeastern Thailand, 501mm (19.72") at Uttardit in Northern Thailand, and 1446.7mm (56.96") in Eastern Thailand. For these regions, precipitation averaged 40 - 46% above normal in September. In the week ending Oct. 13, an additional 4 - 8" fell in Central and Thailand, where the capital of Bangkok lies. On Thursday, 38 mm (1.53") fell in Bangkok, and rainfall amounts of 1 - 3" fell over much of Central Thailand. Heavy monsoon rains are common in Thailand and Southeast Asia during La Niña events, and we currently have a weak La Niña event occurring. Ocean temperatures in the waters surrounding Thailand during September and October have been approximately 0.3°C above average, which has increased rainfall amounts by putting more water vapor into the air. The remains of Tropical Storm Haitang and Typhoon Nesat also brought heavy rains in late September. The flooding has also affected neighboring Cambodia, killing at least 183 people. Floods have also killed 18 in Vietnam and 30 in Laos this fall.

The Atlantic.com has some remarkable photos of the flooding in Thailand.


Figure 2. Top ten most expensive natural disasters in Thailand since 1900, as tabulated by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED). This month's disaster (number one on the table above) is not yet in the CRED data base.

Hurricane Jova kills five in Mexico, but damage limited
Hurricane Jova killed five people in Mexico but damage was less than expected, amounting to less than $52 million, according to AIR-Worldwide. Jova hit the Pacific coast of Mexico Tuesday night as a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds. Wunderblogger Mike Theiss rode out the storm on the coast, and has a a great post on his experience, which I excerpt here: "the winds suddenly picked up fiercely and started pounding the building I took shelter in. The surf ran way up on the beach and the waves were pounding the buildings and spraying up over everything at the pool. The wind was screaming and howling and the glass was flying. The Spanish tiles were getting ripped off the roof and all the glass light fixture were popping like balloons."


Figure 3. Mudslide from Hurricane Jova covers a road near Mazanillo, Mexico. Image credit: Mike Theiss.

Invest 94L in the Atlantic no threat
An area of disturbed weather (Invest 94L) between North Carolina and Bermuda is moving quickly to the northeast at 15 - 20 mph. This system has a modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity and a the beginnings of a surface circulation, as seen on recent visible satellite imagery. Conditions are marginal for this to develop into a tropical depression, as wind shear is a high 20 - 30 knots, and ocean temperatures are at the lower limit for develoment, 26.5°C (80°F.) NHC is giving 94L a 20% chance of developing.

Western Caribbean disturbance
In the Western Caribbean, a large area of disturbed weather associated with a low pressure system has developed. Moisture from Tropical Depression 12-E, which moved inland near the Mexico/Guatemala border and dissipated on Wednesday, is invigorating the Western Caribbean low. Heavy rains from the low are affecting much of Central America, Cuba, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and these rains will probably intensify over the weekend as the low moves slowly northwest and gradually develops. The low is too large to develop quickly, and NHC is giving the system just a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday. Most of the models predict only weak development of the storm, since wind shear is currently a high 20 - 25 knots, and is expected to be in the moderate to high range, 15 - 25 knots, over the next three days. Rains from the storm are already affecting the Florida Keys, as seen on long-range Key West radar. A personal weather station on Grand Cayman Island has picked up 0.87" of rain so far this morning from the storm. Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and Western Cuba will see the heaviest rains from the disturbance over the weekend, and South Florida could see heavy rains of 2 - 4 inches on Sunday and Monday.

Jeff Masters

Bridge out (MrOgopogo)
The main bridge connecting Santiago and Salagua, washed out, closed even to foot traffic
Bridge out
Lake Las Hadas (MrOgopogo)
Flooding after the near miss by Jova
Lake Las Hadas

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Not liking the latest NAM guidance bringing a strong system into the ERN GOMEX by next week, at that location (T 84H), if it were to pan out as such, then the entire FL peninsula and Keys better get ready for some wind/rain, perhaps also tornado threat. Not what residents of central FL really need right now (or wind/tornado threats are what nobody needs).

Looking at the GFS... it dampens out the low in the CARIB as it shoots NNE up the Eastern Seaboard. Looks like a front could then stall over peninsula, with moisture ribbon lingering across the state and onshore flow developing. In fact, GFS paints out solid 5-10" total precip amounts for much of the FL peninsula through T 384H.

Either which way... seems like unsettled times for FL over the next couple weeks, if the models pan out. But, all subject to change.
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With the MJO making its appearance the Caribbean promises to be very wet for the remainder of October and into November. I hope that nothing gets too well organized in this period but that may be unlikely.
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GFS at 99 hours (elongated area of precipitation across the GOM with no real organization).

Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7281
Most recent (currently running)GFS at 78 hours. Its a disorganized mess.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7281
Quoting daveron:



yes you are right about it not lasting but a few days and then the muggies return...it will be nce to feel some fresh air for s fla though..and the brisk north winds...


With the telleconnections setting up the way they are. I seriously doubt the muggies will return. The AO and NAO will go negative. While the PNA will go positive. With this setup, cool air is forced out of Canada(and believe me there's ample supply).

The MJO will progress and eventually slide eastward towards the Indian Ocean by next weekend/the following week(it won't come back till the second week of November).

It appears this next front will be a pattern changer for many. With beautiful Autumn weather through and past Halloween night!

img src="http://forums.accuweather.com/uploads/post-15 491-1318536822.png" >
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Quoting coffeecrusader:
Well I guess I need to go to another board to find out about the mess in the Caribbean. People on here are too busy fighting about what the low temp in Miami is going to be next week. Meanwhile a tropical system is developing to your south. See Ya!!


And this is your contribution to the blog?
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Quoting coffeecrusader:
Well I guess I need to go to another board to find out about the mess in the Caribbean. People on here are too busy fighting about what the low temp in Miami is going to be next week. Meanwhile a tropical system is developing to your south. See Ya!!
Me too this is ridiculous!!!,this site used to be great for constant update about a developing tropical system,graphics,opinions etc,don't know what is happening lately?? very very slow!!,all the regulars with knowledge are not longer posting on this site.
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Well I guess I need to go to another board to find out about the mess in the Caribbean. People on here are too busy fighting about what the low temp in Miami is going to be next week. Meanwhile a tropical system is developing to your south. See Ya!!
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WP232011 - Tropical Depression BANYAN
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Quoting FLGatorCaneNut:


What are you talking about ???? All day yesterday and here again stating a MAJOR cold front coming through South Florida.... Please show me who is predicting temps in South Florida next Wednesday to be in the 50's besides you ??



could have said that a little nicer
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To find lows in the 50s next week you'll have to go to interior sections of South West/South Central Fl. (up near lake O, over towards inland Ft. Myers area).

Forecast low for Fort Myers is 63 degress for Wednesday night. There should be some high 50s away from the coast at the usual cooler locations.

But 50s in the Miami area - I dought it seriously.



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Quoting daveron:


im looking at the deepening trof up in canada and the steering currents for early next week...the cold air is set to plunge south early next week...im sure the miami weather service will include this later this weekend in the discussion...not posting false information...


yea and they already indicate that the front WILL come through, but they do not say anything about temps in the 50s

that being said, it would be nice lol
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It looks like TD Banyan will be adding to Thailand and Cambodia's woes in a few days.
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Quoting FLGatorCaneNut:


What are you talking about ???? All day yesterday and here again stating a MAJOR cold front coming through South Florida.... Please show me who is predicting temps in South Florida next Wednesday to be in the 50's besides you ??


The Models!
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Quoting whepton3:


Okay.

Here it is.

No 50's.

FLZ173-142015-
COASTAL MIAMI DADE-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...AVENTURA...MIAMI BEACH...MIAMI SHORES...
DOWNTOWN MIAMI...CUTLER BAY...HOMESTEAD BAYFRONT PARK
943 AM EDT FRI OCT 14 2011

.REST OF TODAY...PARTLY SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE MID 80S. NORTHEAST WINDS
5 TO 10 MPH.
.TONIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY WITH ISOLATED SHOWERS. LOWS IN THE MID 70S.
NORTHEAST WINDS 5 TO 10 MPH. CHANCE OF RAIN 20 PERCENT.
.SATURDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS. BREEZY. HIGHS IN THE MID 80S. NORTHEAST WINDS 15 TO
20 MPH.
.SATURDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 40 PERCENT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
BREEZY. LOWS IN THE MID 70S. NORTHEAST WINDS 15 TO 20 MPH.
.SUNDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND SLIGHT CHANCE OF
THUNDERSTORMS. BREEZY. HIGHS IN THE MID 80S. NORTHEAST WINDS 15 TO
20 MPH. CHANCE OF RAIN 50 PERCENT.
.SUNDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 50 PERCENT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
BREEZY. LOWS 75 TO 79.
.MONDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND SLIGHT CHANCE OF
THUNDERSTORMS. HIGHS IN THE MID 80S. CHANCE OF RAIN 50 PERCENT.
.MONDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND SLIGHT
CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. LOWS IN THE UPPER 70S. CHANCE OF RAIN
40 PERCENT.
.TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH CHANCE OF SHOWERS
AND SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. HIGHS IN THE MID 80S. LOWS IN
THE UPPER 70S. CHANCE OF RAIN 40 PERCENT.
.WEDNESDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND SLIGHT CHANCE
OF THUNDERSTORMS. HIGHS IN THE MID 80S. CHANCE OF RAIN 40 PERCENT.
.WEDNESDAY NIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY WITH CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND SLIGHT
CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. COOLER. LOWS 71 TO 75. CHANCE OF RAIN
30 PERCENT.
.THURSDAY...PARTLY SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE MID 80S.


But it's 57degrees in Miami at this very monent.........Miami, Indianna.
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Caribbean - Rainbow Loop

..click image for Loop.


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Quoting daveron:



just check out the extended forecast for miami from the weather service...


Okay.

Here it is.

No 50's... lots of lows in the 70's.

FLZ173-142015-
COASTAL MIAMI DADE-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...AVENTURA...MIAMI BEACH...MIAMI SHORES...
DOWNTOWN MIAMI...CUTLER BAY...HOMESTEAD BAYFRONT PARK
943 AM EDT FRI OCT 14 2011

.REST OF TODAY...PARTLY SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE MID 80S. NORTHEAST WINDS
5 TO 10 MPH.
.TONIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY WITH ISOLATED SHOWERS. LOWS IN THE MID 70S.
NORTHEAST WINDS 5 TO 10 MPH. CHANCE OF RAIN 20 PERCENT.
.SATURDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS. BREEZY. HIGHS IN THE MID 80S. NORTHEAST WINDS 15 TO
20 MPH.
.SATURDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 40 PERCENT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
BREEZY. LOWS IN THE MID 70S. NORTHEAST WINDS 15 TO 20 MPH.
.SUNDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND SLIGHT CHANCE OF
THUNDERSTORMS. BREEZY. HIGHS IN THE MID 80S. NORTHEAST WINDS 15 TO
20 MPH. CHANCE OF RAIN 50 PERCENT.
.SUNDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 50 PERCENT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
BREEZY. LOWS 75 TO 79.
.MONDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND SLIGHT CHANCE OF
THUNDERSTORMS. HIGHS IN THE MID 80S. CHANCE OF RAIN 50 PERCENT.
.MONDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND SLIGHT
CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. LOWS IN THE UPPER 70S. CHANCE OF RAIN
40 PERCENT.
.TUESDAY AND TUESDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH CHANCE OF SHOWERS
AND SLIGHT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. HIGHS IN THE MID 80S. LOWS IN
THE UPPER 70S. CHANCE OF RAIN 40 PERCENT.
.WEDNESDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND SLIGHT CHANCE
OF THUNDERSTORMS. HIGHS IN THE MID 80S. CHANCE OF RAIN 40 PERCENT.
.WEDNESDAY NIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY WITH CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND SLIGHT
CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. COOLER. LOWS 71 TO 75. CHANCE OF RAIN
30 PERCENT.
.THURSDAY...PARTLY SUNNY. HIGHS IN THE MID 80S.
Member Since: July 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 645
Quoting FLGatorCaneNut:


What are you talking about ???? All day yesterday and here again stating a MAJOR cold front coming through South Florida.... Please show me who is predicting temps in South Florida next Wednesday to be in the 50's besides you ??


FROM TAMPA NWS
THE ECMWF
BRINGS +6 CELSIUS TEMPERATURES INTO THE TAMPA BAY AREA AT 850MB
WHILE THE GFS ONLY DROPS TO +14. IF THE ECMWF WERE TO VERIFY...THE
TAMPA BAY AREA WOULD LIKELY NOT CLIMB OUT OF THE 60S ON THURSDAY. AT
THIS POINT I WILL CONTINUE TO FAVOR THE MILDER GFS SOLUTION AND SHOW
MID 70S FOR HIGHS BUT A BRISK DAY FOR MID OCTOBER IS NOT OUT OF THE
QUESTION.
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Thanks Dr. M. Good rainmaker but chances of development in the short term down near the Yucatan very slim due to very high sheer. The Mid-Atlantic and Gulf starting to close off for this season although we might get something from a frontal remnant at some point but who knows.

Link

Everyone have a Great Weekend.
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This buoy in the middle of all the soup in the Caribbean is the low pressure winner right now:

Link

Winds at 17kt, pressure just under 1009MB.
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Quoting stormpetrol:


That's the area we were discussing earlier today. Some surface turning there. Offshore the Nicaragua/Honduras border is a favourite breeding ground for late season systems.
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Quoting daveron:



just check out the extended forecast for miami from the weather service...


Miami shows nothing lower than low 70s next week

Seriously what are you looking at? Or are you just trying to get reactions out of people by posting false information?
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Quoting daveron:



just check out the extended forecast for miami from the weather service...


I checked out extended forcast for Ft Lauderdale and no mention of it getting below 70 next Wednesday night.
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My weekly guess for the upcoming week, the NAM has it right. Might be 24 hours ahead of itself. Plenty of fuel down there water temp. wise, and between fronts you may have a little time for high pressure to build in. It's been a little while since any tropical excitement for the lower 48. Hope all we get is rain. Have a nice weekend all.
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Published on Oct 13, 2011 by Channel 4 News

As authorities in Bangkok attempt to defend Thailand's capital from severe flooding, Channel 4 News Asia Correspondent John Sparks flies north where swathes of land are inundated with water.


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Quoting daveron:


south fla will see a lot of rain with the major cold frnt coming down late wed then the dry air will move in quickly as the temps fall into the upper 50s...thats got to be a record for mid october...


What are you talking about ???? All day yesterday and here again stating a MAJOR cold front coming through South Florida.... Please show me who is predicting temps in South Florida next Wednesday to be in the 50's besides you ??
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Quoting daveron:


south fla will see a lot of rain with the major cold frnt coming down late wed then the dry air will move in quickly as the temps fall into the upper 50s...thats got to be a record for mid october...


Maybe points further north but SE Florida my forcast for middle of next week is same as this week since we "cooled down" .. high's in mid 80's and lowers in low to mid 70's for next Wedesnday and Wednesday night.

going home last night at 7pm it was still 89 degrees...
but we did cool down a little and only suppose to hit mid 80's today and tomorrow.

Good morning everyone, thanks for the update Dr Jeff...


All of Florida was either dark green or blue on the moisture map after last weekends rains except for the Panhandle which is still orange and red (bad)...
of course, now the blues have turned green and dark greens turning light green..but still our state except for panhandle is in good shape as far as rainfall and moisture.

The only real "drought" is in Panhandle..
Drought it has been lifted for all the rest of the state which is good going into the dry season in a few weeks.



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To find a Local forecast, just place your travel city in the "SEARCH" box atop this or any wunderground page to get a forecast.


Isla Mujeres, Mexico
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I was looking for an educated opinion from you guys re: travel plans-
I am leaving for Isla Mujeres (40 min north of cancun) off the Yucatan on Sunday afternoon. Plan to be there for 6 days. I have until midnight tonight to cancel without penalty. After that I get back $0. Based on how this system in the Western Carribean is looking, could you cancel?
I don't want the trip to be a total rain out- or worse, flights canceled due to weather, etc.
Any input is appreciated! :)
Thanks-
~Kim
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What amazed me about the photo images from the Thailand flooding is the expressions of the people. To smile in the face of such adversity!
Wow.
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Dayum, EVERY named storm in the Eastern Pacific became a hurricane, except for 1. And to think 10 storms formed, 9 became hurricanes, and 5 became major hurricanes, is insane. Half of all storms became Major Hurricanes... a remarkable achievement.
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Quoting daveron:


south fla will see a lot of rain with the major cold frnt coming down late wed then the dry air will move in quickly as the temps fall into the upper 50s...thats got to be a record for mid october...

Not even close, from what I'm seeing. For instance, the record low for Miami on October 19 is 53 degrees, and at the moment, the coldest temp on the 10-day forecast there is 68 for Wednesday night. This will definitely be the first true cold front of the year, but it doesn't appear at the moment that it will be nearly as cold or prolonged as many late-October fronts in the past.
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Palm Beach has had 36 inches this year, is that dry for your area? The 2 to 3 inches we have had around here has actually turned some of the grass on the side of the roads green which decreases the chances of fires. Problem around here is now very dry air has settled into South Central Texas, temps are cooler but hard to get any rain when you have no moisture in the air, LOL. Happy Friday to all.


I was just talking about this past weekend. My guess is that we are still below normal overall, but not horribly so. Really depends on where in the county you are. I was merely talking about the flood watch last weekend and the forecasts for heavy, heavy rain, which did not pan out for my particular area. Of course, go 100 miles north and they got a ton of rain. Just the nature of the beast down here. Hope you guys in Texas keep getting rain!! :-)
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Most recent NAM at 81 hours.
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We got on the "Banana"(about 60', 12-71 "screamin Jimmy" power) ferry in Kampong Chanang to ride to Siem Riep (on the Tonle Sap) a few years ago. The boat grounded a number of times in the middle of the huge lake and the crew acted as if this was business as usual - they push poled the boat into deeper water and revved up the 12-71. The river (Tonle Sap) connects to the Mekong somewhere around Pnhom Penn and reverses it's direction when the Mekong floods. At Siem Reip we transferred to smaller boats to ride up the river to the town. I guess today the "Banana" might be able to dock at one of the fancy Ankor What? hotels.
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quite a few west winds
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Quoting DookiePBC:
2-4 inches in South Florida would be nice. Of course, we were forecast to get 3-6 inches from that tropical / subtropical / extratropical / nontropical / mesotropical thingamajig that hit us last weekend and we got all of 0.01 inches at Palm Beach International. So I figure we will get a trace of precipitation this time (if I don't water my yard) or 10 inches (if I do water my yard). Dang the tropics and their unpredictability!! ;-)
Palm Beach has had 36 inches this year, is that dry for your area? The 2 to 3 inches we have had around here has actually turned some of the grass on the side of the roads green which decreases the chances of fires. Problem around here is now very dry air has settled into South Central Texas, temps are cooler but hard to get any rain when you have no moisture in the air, LOL. Happy Friday to all.
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Nea...

Thanks for posting...those are some amazing, and unfortunately very sad, images of the flooding!
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thanks jeff

well i see that the cayman are been ripe by nasty weather
but i think that south florida will se more rain that 2 to 4 inches i am thinking in 5 to 7 inches but will see
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Atlantic Magazine has an excellent photojournal detailing the Thailand flood. Here are a few sample images:

Thailand

Thailand

Thailand

Many more photos here.
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Thanks for the update Dr. Jeff.
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Just wondering how bad it will get here in Miami? the next few days.Dr. Masters predict 2-4 inches of rain for South Florida this Sunday and Monday,but what about the developing low,are we going to get any real nasty tropical weather meaning high winds or tropical storm conditions?,this area looks very nasty to me.Any comments will be appreciatted.
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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.

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