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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165. RL3AO
4:13 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/PS/TROP/float3.html

I just see something from 9/27/06 at 45N30W from that link.
164. hurricane23
5:13 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
Posted By: jphurricane2006 at 5:08 PM EDT on May 26, 2007.

also keep in mind it is building during a time where most systems lose convection, lets wait to see if it continues to organize overnight.

That is very true JP persistence is always the key with a developing system.

ECMWF developes this area and deepens it a bit before bring it into the panhandle of florida.
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163. seminolesfan
9:12 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
RL-My post with the image is from floater 3.

edit:Looks like JP got you taken care of. Discard your old link and you should be good to go.
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161. seminolesfan
9:10 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Posted By: RL3AO at 9:09 PM GMT on May 26, 2007.
Posted By: RL3AO at 8:58 PM GMT on May 26, 2007.
Check the date seminolesfan. It says September 27, 2006.

u sure?

Heres what I see from floater 3.


Not sure why that is RL. I think everyone else is on the right one. That's not from my link is it? That's not what I get from it.
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159. seminolesfan
9:08 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
funk

That convection is really firing this afternoon!
There are even a few green spots on the funktop enhancement.
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158. RL3AO
4:07 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Posted By: RL3AO at 8:58 PM GMT on May 26, 2007.
Check the date seminolesfan. It says September 27, 2006.

u sure?


Heres what I see from floater 3.

Photobucket
157. kmanislander
9:07 PM GMT on May 26, 2007


Shear is low up to about 15N

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
154. seminolesfan
9:04 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Posted By: IKE at 9:02 PM GMT on May 26, 2007.
Posted By: seminolesfan at 4:00 PM CDT on May 26, 2007.
Posted By: RL3AO at 8:58 PM GMT on May 26, 2007.
Check the date seminolesfan. It says September 27, 2006.

u sure?

That's current.

The shear is favorable down there the next 3 days.


I know it is IKE. I forgot to turn 'sarcasm lock' on. lol
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153. kmanislander
9:04 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
jphurricane2006

With everyone searching by the second for new data and info its hard to be first LOL
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
152. hurricane23
5:01 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
Actually there is about 5kt shear were this area is located.
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151. kmanislander
9:02 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Actually shear over the system is between 5 and 10 knots right now

Link
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
149. IKE
4:01 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Posted By: seminolesfan at 4:00 PM CDT on May 26, 2007.
Posted By: RL3AO at 8:58 PM GMT on May 26, 2007.
Check the date seminolesfan. It says September 27, 2006.

u sure?


That's current.

The shear is favorable down there the next 3 days.
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148. WPBHurricane05
5:00 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
NA
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
147. RL3AO
4:00 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Maybe shear is relaxing. I dont remember where the shear forecasts are.
146. TheCaneWhisperer
4:55 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
What a difference an afternoon makes INVEST on NHC site. Pretty destructive shear in the area right now! It's going to need a break to develop at all!
144. seminolesfan
8:59 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Posted By: RL3AO at 8:58 PM GMT on May 26, 2007.
Check the date seminolesfan. It says September 27, 2006.


u sure?
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143. kmanislander
8:59 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
sorry needs to be sized
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
142. IKE
3:58 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Here's the 18 UTC NAM...has it heading toward Belize/Yucatan @ 84 hrs. as a 1004mb low...Link
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141. seminolesfan
8:57 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Looks like we all jumped on that one.
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140. louisianaboy444
8:58 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
i thought the shear was relaxing?
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138. RL3AO
3:57 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Check the date seminolesfan. It says September 27, 2006.
137. seminolesfan
8:54 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
SSD has SW carib on floater 3 as an INVEST
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136. RL3AO
3:53 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
It wont develop. 30-50kts of shear to go thru.
134. kmanislander
8:55 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Floater Invest

Link
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
133. hurricane23
4:53 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
The channel 7 image just got updated.
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132. kmanislander
8:53 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Floater now has that area as an Invest in the vis image
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
131. KYhomeboy
8:52 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Hopefully not! We dont need a TS or anything like it right now! lol
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130. louisianaboy444
8:50 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
looks like the convection is trying to wrap around the northern part of the center
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129. RL3AO
3:48 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Only 1% of all Cat 5 storms happen in the Atlantic?
128. stormpetrol
8:43 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Look like the SW Caribbean is starting to heat up. I wonder if this weather system will move north toward the Cayman Islands.
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126. pensacolastorm
3:43 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Sure did. Thanks!
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125. louisianaboy444
8:41 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
I think this one isnt a false alarm i have a feeling it will form because people are already on their toes about this storm and it just looks to impressive the area is getting favorable for development all it has to do is bring all its convection together....do you think the hurricane hunters will fly into it any word on that yet or is it still too early?
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124. RL3AO
3:42 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Does this work pensacola? Link
123. pensacolastorm
3:37 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Does anyone have a link to the models? My link to the GFDL has vanished.
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122. RL3AO
3:34 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
And didnt the GFDL bring Ioke to 857mb last year?
121. WPBHurricane05
4:35 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
I remember tracking Ioke. Now that was a strong storm and I think it was the strongest in the Central Pacific.
Member Since: July 31, 2006 Posts: 56 Comments: 8112
119. RL3AO
3:33 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
It will be interesting to see if it can organize enough for an invest.
118. hurricane23
4:31 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
Guys here is a radar view from channel 7 down here across miami.

ggg
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117. KYhomeboy
8:27 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
With the amount of moisture the disturbance in the SW Carib is drawing in....it shouldnt have too much trouble maintaining a convective mass unless shear increases.
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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.