Texas floods kill 5

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:59 PM GMT on May 26, 2007

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Flash flooding triggered by heavy thunderstorm rains of up to seven inches in 24 hours claimed at least five lives in Texas Friday, and large portions of the state remain under flood warnings or flood watches today, as thunderstorms continue across the state. All of those killed were swept away in their vehicles, and police were still looking for a missing man who drove around a barricade blocking a swollen creek.


Figure 1. Precipitation for the 24 hours ending at 8am EDT Saturday May 26, 2007.

Drought last year, floods this year
As I discussed in a March blog last year, grass fires in drought-parched Texas killed seven people on March 12 in the Panhandle, four of them in a car crash on I-40 caused by thick smoke obscuring visibility. More than 1,000 square miles of Texas burned that day--an area about two-thirds the size of Rhode Island. It's amazing what a turnaround has occurred in the past year. Most of Texas and Oklahoma were under drought conditions that reached the extreme level last spring (Figure 2), but this year, the Texas/Oklahoma drought is gone (Figure 3), and instead has moved into the Southeastern U.S. We don't understand very well what causes these shifts in drought patterns, but they do seem to be linked to changes in large-scale sea surface temperature patterns in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific, plus shifts in the jet stream pattern. Are the floods in Texas this year and drought last year partially due to global warming? Yes, they might be. Global warming theory predicts that both droughts and floods will grow more severe as the climate warms. Floods will increase, since a warmer atmosphere holds more water vapor that can then rain out into heavier floods. Scientists have already documented about a 5% increase in global atmospheric water vapor due to global warming, and this extra moisture is undoubtedly causing heavier rains and more flooding in some regions. Drought will increase in intensity due to global warming, thanks to the hotter temperatures drought-striken areas will receive when jet stream and sea surface temperature patterns conspire to keep rainfall from the drought area.


Figure 2. Drought map for March 7, 2006.


Figure 3. Drought map for May 22, 2007.

Jeff Masters

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566. WPBHurricane05
1:42 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
NA

Cool spring system over the Great Lakes.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
565. IKE
12:31 PM CDT on May 27, 2007
...
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564. IKE
12:29 PM CDT on May 27, 2007
Kingston, Jamaica getting hammered...

"Observed at: Kingston, JM
Elevation: 30 ft / 9 m
[Heavy Rain Showers]
81 F / 27 C
Heavy Showers Rain
Humidity: 89%
Dew Point: 77 F / 25 C
Wind: 29 mph / 46 km/h / 12.9 m/s from the SSE
Pressure: 29.92 in / 1013 hPa (Steady)
Heat Index: 87 F / 31 C
Visibility: 0.3 miles / 0.5 kilometers
UV: 10 out of 16
Clouds: Mostly Cloudy 1400 ft / 426 m
Few 2000 ft / 609 m
Mostly Cloudy 3000 ft / 914 m
(Above Ground Level)"........
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563. IKE
12:23 PM CDT on May 27, 2007
Posted By: moonlightcowboy at 12:21 PM CDT on May 27, 2007.
What will shear be like around the time that low is supposed to be near the tip of Cuba?


The shear maps on WU only go out to Tuesday...that area is marginally favorable then. Those maps he posted go out to next Thursday, May 31st.
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562. chessrascal
5:21 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Posted By: stormpetrol at 5:16 PM GMT on May 27, 2007.

There is still some hint of spin on visible imagery in the SW Caribbean, just void any significant convection at this time in my opinion.


Quickscat is also showing a minor spin.
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561. moonlightcowboy
5:21 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
What will shear be like around the time that low is supposed to be near the tip of Cuba? THANKS, IKE!
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560. IKE
12:18 PM CDT on May 27, 2007
Posted By: WPBHurricane05 at 12:17 PM CDT on May 27, 2007.
hmmm....
Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4


Those maps seem about right...a low on the western tip of Cuba....
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559. KYhomeboy
5:15 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
stormpetrol...I hear you on that one! I think it will take up a WNW movement as well. The NAM seems to be suggesting that general track. Weird type of weather we've been having here recently huh.
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558. RL3AO
12:17 PM CDT on May 27, 2007
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
1000 AM PDT SUN MAY 27 2007

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL
DEPRESSION ONE-E...LOCATED ABOUT 690 MILES SOUTH OF THE SOUTHERN
TIP OF BAJA CALIFORNIA.

DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS EXTEND FROM THE GULF OF
TEHUANTEPEC SOUTHWESTWARD FOR SEVERAL HUNDRED MILES. SOME SLOW
DEVELOPMENT IN THIS AREA IS POSSIBLE OVER THE NEXT DAY OR TWO.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.
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557. WPBHurricane05
1:16 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
hmmm....
Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
555. stormpetrol
5:15 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
There is still some hint of spin on visible imagery in the SW Caribbean, just void any significant convection at this time in my opinion.
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554. stormpetrol
5:07 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
KyHomeboy, I see the same thing you're speaking of, my take is this thing will start to remain stationary then a WNW drift toward us here in the Cayman Islands.I'm far from being a weather expert but living here all my life(42 years old) I observe alot and learning from what the old timers told/showed me and that tells me more than computer models.
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553. IKE
12:11 PM CDT on May 27, 2007
There's nothing by Puerto Rico...I'm talking about the spin around Jamaica.

And they need to adjust floater 3 north. The disturbed weather in the southern Caribbean is about gone.
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552. WPBHurricane05
1:07 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
Link

Looks like there is a ULL just north of the Bahamas. You can make out a swirl of dry air.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
551. stoormfury
5:10 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
THANKS IKE
I WILLTRY AGAIN LATER
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2722
550. hurricane23
1:01 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
This area is almost by puerto rico there is no way this mess is going to be moving towards south florida and a continued NE drift seems reasonable.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
549. IKE
12:02 PM CDT on May 27, 2007
stoormfury...your pictures didn't post.
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548. stoormfury
4:54 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Thelast



























The last few frames from floater3 is showing convection being pulled towards the LLC. maybe the system is biginning to get a new lease on life.wind shear in the area is still 15-20knots.








Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2722
547. TheRingo
12:57 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
Looks like another wave off of africa.
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546. IKE
11:58 AM CDT on May 27, 2007
TD1 in the east Pacific looks sickly.
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545. IKE
11:57 AM CDT on May 27, 2007
I don't see a ULL around Jamaica on a water vapor loop...I see some shear...but that area is suppose to become favorable according to the shear maps on WU.
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544. hurricane23
12:57 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
New intensity model working...

Check out a view of 1E in the pacific.

fff
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
543. RL3AO
11:56 AM CDT on May 27, 2007
1
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542. hurricane23
12:55 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
541. IKE
11:51 AM CDT on May 27, 2007
Posted By: KYhomeboy at 11:46 AM CDT on May 27, 2007.
If you look at the long range visible sat imagery it seems as if there is potentially a new circulation center developing just south of Jamaica. I could well be wrong! But I'm basing this off of what I see here. Ideas?


That's what I saw too. I'll look at a water vapor loop.
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540. KYhomeboy
4:45 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
If you look at the long range visible sat imagery it seems as if there is potentially a new circulation center developing just south of Jamaica. I could well be wrong! But I'm basing this off of what I see here. Ideas?
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539. hurricane23
12:44 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
Not much chance at development here as an ULL is shearing the area currently at 30-40kts.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
538. BahaHurican
12:32 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
G'day, all.

I'm sure hoping we get some passing tropical waves and no really well-developed systems before the normally active part of the season [i. e. August]. So far, it seems that persistent high off the GA/SC coast may continue to produce sufficient shear to keep anything drifting into waters east of FL from becoming organized.

Who knows how long that will last.

People keep reminding that our ability to forecast steering currents and persistent high / low locations is still very rudimentary. Are there any strides at all being made in developing new technologies or methodologies in this area of forecasting?
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536. moonlightcowboy
4:12 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Thanks, Ike. I'm proud he was my uncle. I was young, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

He was my mother's brother and was always described as a "happy" person, always carrying-on, laughing, good-natured and always willing to help someone.

I remember how it affected the family at the time-my mother, grandmother. It changed my life, too.

He had two young daughters about the same age as me. So, I "happily" fly a flag for Roy...and all the others who've given the ultimate for the country and for all of us. I'm proud of and honor all of them!

...I know it's a weather blog, but it's Memorial Day weekend. Thanks, all, for sharing the post and the weekend! Have a great one!
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535. IKE
11:02 AM CDT on May 27, 2007
I'm sorry for you and your family. War is hell....
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534. moonlightcowboy
4:00 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
JamesR.jpg

...my uncle, James R. King-died in Vietnam in 1968.
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533. IKE
10:59 AM CDT on May 27, 2007
Which is basically what the 12 UTC NAM model has on it's latest run...Link
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532. IKE
10:54 AM CDT on May 27, 2007
Kingston, Jamaica weather obs........

"Observed at: Kingston / Norman Manley, Jamaica
Elevation: 10 ft / 3 m
[Light Rain]
84 F / 29 C
Light Rain
Humidity: 71%
Dew Point: 76 F / 24 C
Wind: 5 mph / 7 km/h / from the South
Wind Gust: -
Pressure: 29.94 in / 1014 hPa
Visibility: 16.0 miles / 25.0 kilometers
Clouds: Few 2165 ft / 660 m
Mostly Cloudy 2953 ft / 900 m
(Above Ground Level)"

They have south winds.

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531. IKE
10:51 AM CDT on May 27, 2007
Looks to me like the system that was in the southern Caribbean has dissipated...but, there's another spin close to Jamaica...in the northern Caribbean.
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530. moonlightcowboy
3:34 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Good morning,everyone! Sad story about Texas, hate to hear that. Hope the rain keeps moving east. We could sure use it...FL, too.

...just less than a couple days now! Maybe, this will be the year of some landfalling TS's bringing rain!!!

...going out on the water today and enjoy the holiday! Have a nice day, all. Remember the fallen!
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529. franck
3:37 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
no tropical..eastern coastal and GoM wind shear restablishes in two to three days...protecting, but drying.
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528. 0741
3:39 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
everyone have nice day i going out to beach be back monday so i came in check on carribbean than
527. 0741
3:32 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
storm w i post in your blog thanks for update of area in carribbean
526. StormJunkie
3:26 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Right now there is a broad area of vorticity in the SW Carib. You can also see the shear in this area ranges from about 0 to 20 kts.

Those are from the Univ of Wisc site which can be found from here under the winds section.

Alright y'all, this thing is going to take some time if anything is to happen. I am out to enjoy the day. Catch y'all later ☺
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
525. southbeachdude
3:21 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
that is a worst case scenerio 23.......no rain for anyone........ :-(
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524. hurricane23
11:14 AM EDT on May 27, 2007
This area looks very disorganzed to me and the rain also looks to be pulling away from florida development chances are rather remote.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
523. stoormfury
3:08 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
The last few frames of the sw caribbean disturbanceare showing signs that the system is getting a bit more organise. it is also apparent that the LLC is trying to reposition itself a litte to the east convection is starting to build around the centre.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2722
522. StormJunkie
3:09 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Good to see you BH ☺ He may have, I am just not convinced. Never can tell with ST though...lol

Anywho, the CMC did not have the Carib blob start to develop until about 66hrs out. So that area has a few days and the shear is expected to drop some. Wait and see.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
521. southbeachdude
2:52 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Looks like the blob has fizzled over night. I was selfishly hoping for a weak depression to help florida and georgia with the drought. I guess the sheer is still too strong.
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520. RL3AO
9:44 AM CDT on May 27, 2007
Update #3 is in. Still a depression.
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519. TheCaneWhisperer
2:41 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
In reference to your blog StormW! Good point on the ULL! I was very surprised when I woke up this morning and seen basically nothing, it was looking very healthy last night!

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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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