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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366. TayTay
2:40 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
NHC now has it as Tropical Depression ONE-E.
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365. marlinsfan1
2:37 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
I don't know about this blob. It definently looks like its trying to form into something.
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364. sarepa
2:31 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
when im on the center on the invest on the carribean il type a msg rite now it says estimated arivle to the center about 1:33 mins :S chit
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363. Tazmanian
2:29 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
the SDD says that this is a Invest

lol


we may have 92L her
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362. WPBHurricane05
10:25 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
When I try to run it it runs extremely slow on start up and it freezes up all the time. I am very upset and it is not the computer because I tried it on 4 different computers with 2 different CD's. I AM VERY UPSET WITH IT!!!!!! But I will stick to tropical discussion now.
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361. TayTay
2:25 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
According to the navy site, 90E is now a TC: 01E.NONAME.
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360. sarepa
2:21 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
noo lol i bought it lol is normal like for any1 rember it takes the same time like in reallife and is a Lockheed WP-3D Hurricane hunter is not a jet soo lol
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358. WPBHurricane05
10:18 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
Does FSX run slow for you sarepa? I will try to stay awake for the reports and I also want to stay awake because of 90E/TD 1E.
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357. 0741
2:18 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
t link to TPC Discussion? what time that issue
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356. sarepa
2:16 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
lol ok im gonna take off like in 10 mins it should take me from panama like 50 mins
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353. WPBHurricane05
10:13 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
Oh well nevermind sarepa. I probably wouldn't download the game until later, so don't worry about it. Can't wait to hear your reports.
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352. sarepa
2:10 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
hurrican hunter?
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351. hurricane23
10:10 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
TPC Discussion.

...Tropics... becoming active right on time... epac seeing widespread convection along the itcz with several models indicating potential development. ewd.. GFS and Canadian and occasionally the ecmwf have been conjuring up tropical development from the wrn Caribbean or swrn glfmex in their longer range time frames for some time now. Now we are seeing model cyclogenesis in the shorter range....a better signal tat conditions are becoming more favorable. GFS/ECMWF/Canadian and UKMET target a weak circulation center n and ne of panama with a current large area of convection from ern panamas to e of Jamaica. These models then slowly develop this in an area of weak shear and move it nwd toward the Yucatan channel. Lowering of heights albeit from different model solutions late next week will provide a greater shearing influence but should eject newd whatever system exists towards fl and then newd. HPC preference of the UKMET depicted tropical disturbance and gfsens mean mid levels would carry this area across fl. see tpc/nhcdiscussions.
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350. strangesights
1:57 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
Let's hang together folks ... serious storms are coming in the near future ... have a great weekend everyone ...
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349. WPBHurricane05
10:02 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
Could you tell me where to find it? Thanks.
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347. sarepa
1:58 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
and wind and temp
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346. sarepa
1:56 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
lol i have the x 2 haha but i downloaded the Lockheed WP-3D Hurricane hunter and it has radar and tells me pressure and were is the center is soo cool lol
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345. WPBHurricane05
9:53 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
LOL sarepa, I had Flight Simulator X Deluxe Edition and was going to do that but for some reason my computer decided to delete it.
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343. ihave27windows
8:49 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Wow, I've never seen a pickle with a pink zipper.
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342. Skyepony (Mod)
1:46 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
WPB~ yes

Unless that caribbean blob is only below 700mb (most unlikely) it will turn N before hitting S America according to the steering currents.
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341. sarepa
1:48 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
i have flight simulator and i downloaded a hurricane hunter and the flight simulator has an option of realweather gonna take off from panama and going to take a ride on the blob to se if pressure gose down or convection gets tighter be bak in 1 hour with more info :P
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339. Skyepony (Mod)
1:38 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
Well shear down there is low & dropping, though dropping north of there a move that way at the moment would be a certain shredding.

& yes no duh SST aren't everything, just a bit suprised how warm it is around that ship is all.
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338. WPBHurricane05
9:42 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
Whatever happened to Randrewl, did he get banned?
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332. ihave27windows
8:35 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
It's Rand.
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331. Skyepony (Mod)
1:28 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
I'd imagine there is some contamination in there on the windsat, that's why we don't want quikscat down & it was around 12Z, little old but I was out all day. Gives some wind direction info more than anything.

Been watching the Cape Canaveral buoy.. that puts it down a whole nother in one day.
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327. WPBHurricane05
9:29 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
Thats what I saw marlinsfan1. There has to be an error there.
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326. hurricane23
9:28 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
That mess is going to run into south america by tommorow.Looking less organized then it was a few hours ago.
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325. marlinsfan1
1:26 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
So, if that windsat is right skyepony than there is 60 mph winds within this blob!!!
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322. sarepa
1:27 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
atlanitc floater says invest
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319. Skyepony (Mod)
1:22 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
Speaking of water Temp, Ya'll notice the WTMP on the SHIP SW of the caribbean blob...86.4. It's hot down there.
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317. WPBHurricane05
9:19 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
Takes 2 days to form from a TD to a TS but less than 24 hours to go from a TS to a Cat 5.
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316. KYhomeboy
1:18 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
Again FLBoy I think your missing the picture. Forecasting models use past storms in the form of statistical data to make appropriae assumptions. All storms may be different...but for example...we know that all systems have a few things in common such as relatively low wind shear, warmer waters etc.... Differences can be accounted for as obviously EVERY storm is different, but refernces can be made for existing storms.
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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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