Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.
By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:28 PM GMT on October 17, 2006
A frontal system accompanied by copious moisture pumped in by tropical disturbance 92L dumped prodigious rains on the Gulf states yesterday. Rainfall totaled 14 inches in some regions of Texas and Louisiana (Figure 1), triggering flooding that killed three people in the Houston area. The victims challenged flood waters in their vehicles, and lost. Parts of Interstates 10 and 45 were shut down around Houston, and the University of Houston and several other schools were closed. The storm system also spawned numerous tornadoes which caused a few injuries and scattered damage. At 3am yesterday, a tornado ripped into a boat yard in Leeville, LA, hurling boats around, flipping two mobile homes, and injuring four people. Tornadoes also hit Lumberton, China, and Magnolia Beach in Texas. The threat of tornadoes continues today across the coastal regions of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, but should diminish by this afternoon as the atmosphere finally starts to stabilize.
Figure 1. Total estimated rainfall from the Lake Charles radar.
Elsewhere in the tropics
There's nothing going on, anywhere in the world. Later this week, most of the models forecast that a weak tropical storm will form in the central Atlantic northeast of Puerto Rico and move out to sea. Wind shear is expected to be light across the Caribbean and southern Gulf of Mexico most of the week, and the NOGAPS model is forecasting that a tropical storm will form in the southern Caribbean on Friday. The storm is forecast to move northwards, threatening Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Cuba early next week. None of the other models are picking up on this, and the NOGAPS has been wrong once before this month on a similar type of forecast. Still, residents of the Caribbean, south Florida, and the Bahamas should keep an eye on possible development later this week.
I'll be back with an update Wednesday morning.
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