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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765. Fl30258713
6:49 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
That's special! Still a long way out. I haven't been liking how HP has been spreading across the Atlantic.
I don't think Pensacola will be lacking for storms to worry about this year.
I've learned to just stay stocked up on H20 and batteries.
The scariest parts of any storm are will FEMA get it right and how much will my insurance jerk me around.

Hmmm!
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764. Tazmanian
6:42 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
lol
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763. hurricane91
6:37 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
its 93 and sunny here in Bonita springs,fl and the wind has finally died down to less then 10 mph,so now the water temps shoudld be getting close to normal again,right?,water temp is currnetly 79 and it suppose to be around 86, last year they were alot warmer and in 05 they were around 91-92 in may-june
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762. IKE
1:15 PM CDT on May 28, 2007
Here's the 12UTC CMC run...Link Landfall over the Florida panhandle.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
761. IKE
1:10 PM CDT on May 28, 2007
The 12UTC UKMET develops a system similar to the CMC...has it moving north from the SE GOM..then crossing north/NE Florida...Link
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
760. snotly
6:00 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
gdfl on 91e has another low forming to the east and moving EAST? into the Gulf. has this ever actually happened in the east pac. looks like only way we get any atlantic storms to form is if the high over the SE US breaks down like the CMC is indicating
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759. C2News
5:46 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
REMAINDER CARIBBEAN...WESTERN AND CENTRAL ATLANTIC N OF 15N...
A WELL-DEFINED MIDDLE/UPPER LEVEL CYCLONIC CIRCULATION HAS
FORMED OVER THE ATLANTIC IN THE VICINITY OF 27.5N69.5W...MOVING
SLOWLY NORTH. A TROUGH AXIS EXTENDS FROM THE CIRCULATION CENTER
SW ACROSS THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS TO 18N76W WITH CYCLONIC FLOW
LOCATED WITHIN 6 TO 8 DEGREES EITHER SIDE OF THE AXIS. WATER
VAPOR LOOP SHOWS STRONG SUBSIDENCE NORTH OF 22N BETWEEN 68W AND
82W. AT THE SURFACE A 1015 MB LOW HAS DEVELOPED NEAR 27N64W AND
IS MOVING NORTH ABOUT 10 KNOTS. A TROUGH EXTENDS FROM THE LOW TO
21N68W AND NORTHWARD FROM THE LOW TO 32N63W. THE LOW IS EXPECTED
TO INTENSIFY IN THE NEXT 24 TO 36 HOURS WITH WINDS INCREASING TO
AS HIGH AS 30 KNOTS OVER THE NORTH SEMICIRCLE. LAYERED CLOUDS
WITH SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS ARE BOUNDED BY THE AREA
FROM 32N67W 31N55W 21N60W 22N68W TO 32N67W. STRONG RIDGING ALOFT
COVERS THE REST OF THE CARIBBEAN AND A LARGE PART OF THE CENTRAL
ATLANTIC WITH ITS AXIS STRETCHING FROM NEAR 12N68W TO 22N62W TO
32N52W. AT THE SURFACE A CARIBBEAN TROUGH EXTENDS FROM 20N78W TO
A 1010 MB LOW CENTERED NEAR 13N79W. A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS
EXTENDS FROM JAMAICA TO 13N75W.


That is the latest discussion... (2:05)
Member Since: July 17, 2006 Posts: 73 Comments: 622
758. stormybil
5:39 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
is anything going to form from the blob thats 75 west in the caribiean ? its looking tight right now thanks
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757. swlaaggie
12:36 PM CDT on May 28, 2007
Man, my typing is very poor today. Sorry folks.
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756. Alec
1:34 PM EDT on May 28, 2007
the tropics are quiet(Atlantic Basin). Enjoy your memorial day folks.
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755. swlaaggie
12:31 PM CDT on May 28, 2007
Yes, you are right. I didn't notice that the CMC seems to takes the system that the GFDL is tracking and redevelops it after it crosses the Yucatan and then gudies to Fla. Panhandle.

Am I off-base on this?
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754. hurricane23
1:27 PM EDT on May 28, 2007
I think thats unlikely to happen more bluff from the cmc.I think barry will wait to the end of june or the begining of july.Also the trof in the central atlantic is creating unfavorable conditions over tha area at the moment.Dont expect that to change.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
753. stormpetrol
5:27 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
Is the convection that was south of Jamaica trying to merge with the low N of Panama and making a drift westward?
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8134
752. Skyepony (Mod)
5:23 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
See that 2nd storm coming out of the Carribbean at the end of the 12Z CMC run? That was new..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 226 Comments: 39400
751. Skyepony (Mod)
5:18 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
About time 91E is up
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 226 Comments: 39400
750. weatherbro
5:19 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
thats the one i think lol
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749. swlaaggie
12:13 PM CDT on May 28, 2007
Morning all. Pouring here in SW La. from rains moving on-shore.

I've looked at some other postings but anyone notice that the Pacific TD is modeled to move NE and cross Central America? Hopefully, land chews the thing up. Anyways, the GFDL doesn't show this for roughly 126 hours out. Probably osmething just to keep an eye on but no real worries here.
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748. nash28
5:11 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
12z CMC run still develops the low and moves it over the FL Panhandle. Weaker on this run, but still consistent. Shear is dropping, albeit slowly each day. Don't count this one out.
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747. weatherbro
4:59 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
hi i'm new here.

last time i checked (late last night). most computer models veered the carribean blob northeast away from the U.S. exept one.
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746. hurricane23
1:02 PM EDT on May 28, 2007
Dont see any worries in the caribbean at the moment with convection being very scattered in nature with no organzation.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
745. TheCaneWhisperer
4:32 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
I wonder if someone should tell these people they're swimming right next to a RIP CURRENT. (Lower Right of Image)
744. Patrap
11:29 AM CDT on May 28, 2007
Plenty of rain and Thunderstorms moving onshore here..Link
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743. IKE
11:26 AM CDT on May 28, 2007
That's a ULL east of the Bahamas...predicted to move NE. Whether the Caribbean disturbance forms a TD or not...the moisture is predicted to get into the GOM...may help end the fires.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
742. IKE
11:22 AM CDT on May 28, 2007
And it's broken away from the low that's moving NE to the east of the Bahamas...it's on it's own moving west. Looks like a slight flair up near the center.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
741. Patrap
11:20 AM CDT on May 28, 2007
GOES Water Vapor Loop of Gulf and Caribbean Link
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740. IKE
11:09 AM CDT on May 28, 2007
Looks like the center of the Caribbean disturbance...to me...is around 16N, 77.5W...moving west.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
738. PalmBeachWeatherBoy
3:52 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
it looks like a rather small system if it does develop
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737. keywestdingding
3:43 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
thats guys for the info.
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736. sullivanweather
3:19 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
Posted By: weatherboykris at 2:39 PM GMT on May 28, 2007.

Actually,it's not the Bermuda high.It's a continental high that came down with a backdoor cold front

Good ob kris.

Origin of this high is dry. Drier dewpoints means greater ability to cool off SST's.
Member Since: March 8, 2007 Posts: 273 Comments: 12612
735. groundman
3:10 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
Not making fun of anyone but myself for refreshing the page when I KNOW there is nothing going on, maybe we should rename this the association of westcasting blobwatchers??
I'm going to try to stay off of here for 12 hours and maybe something will actually happen, talk about a watched pot, LOL. Back to comically lurking.
groundman
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734. HCW
2:58 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
Shear from the ULL at 30 to 40kt is not allowing this thing to form


hardcoreweather.com
Link
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733. TheCaneWhisperer
2:56 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
Big traffic jam in the basin right now! From The west coast of the US into Europe! Things don't look to get moving again until late this week, early next week! GFS is predicting some pretty substantial rains by week 2! The GFS has been doing poorly on cyclogenisis but, has been doing rather well with the dynamic patterns. See My Blog for details!
732. MZT
2:42 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
Meh. Andrea had better structure than this Carribbean thing.
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731. RL3AO
9:41 AM CDT on May 28, 2007
TD1-E update. Still at 30 kts. Storm in 24 hrs, peaking at 40kts.
730. weatherboykris
2:39 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
Actually,it's not the Bermuda high.It's a continental high that came down with a backdoor cold front.
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729. nash28
2:36 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
It's the A/B High that is causing upwelling. It has been stronger than normal, but is forecast to come back down to 1024mb I believe.
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728. weatherboykris
2:35 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
The ocean has been cooling due to those gusty winds.Now that they're slowing down,expect it to heat up again pretty fast.The Gulf Stream will be pumping warm water back up the coast again.It should be back where it was in a week or two.
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727. southbeachdude
2:34 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
hey kw.....maybe it is global cooling... lol
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726. keywestdingding
2:28 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
hey-is it me or is the ocean cooling off? does anyone know what the heck is going on out there. maybe dr. masters will do a blog on it
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725. kmanislander
2:22 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
Weather station 42058 has failed. Not good news. Hope they get it repaired soon.

Link
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724. keywestdingding
1:59 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
hey yall. whats this big change people are talking about next week. hey storm junkie you had 2 pics of the ssts on his last blog. what where the years for them?
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723. catastropheadjuster
1:40 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
Good Morning all and Happy Memorial Day. I hope everyone stays safe.
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3683
722. IKE
8:39 AM CDT on May 28, 2007
It does look like the system is now moving slowly west.

This from the Tallahassee,Fl. extended....

"Was hoping that the global models would come into better agreement
with regards to a possible system coming out of the western
Carribean into the eastern Gomex during the end of the week and
first half of the weekend. Unfortunately the guidance remains split.
The GFS is showing a rather weak wave moving up with just an
increase in low level moisture while the European model (ecmwf) and UKMET develop the
system a bit more bringing a closed low into the southeast
Gulf on Saturday...then crossing the Florida Peninsula. The Canadian
which has been bullish with this system all along is showing the
closed low moving north through the eastern Gomex into our area.
With as much uncertainty as there is at this time...have ran the
forecast closer to the GFS solution as is suggested by HPC while
waiting for better model agreement. One way or the other it appears
as though there will finally be a chance for some locally beneficial
rain by the end of the week."
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
721. kmanislander
1:31 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
Well I have to run now but will bbl
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720. StormJunkie
1:25 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
True kman, but as well defined as the circulation is, according to the quickscat and the first few visual images, it should be able to hang on even though I would expect convection to die down for most of the morning and early afternoon.
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719. nawlinsdude
1:24 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
It has survived for the past few days and did so again last night, lets see if it gets its act together today.
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718. kmanislander
1:21 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
Not too much going on now but low level inflow streamers can be seen

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717. kmanislander
1:19 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
SJ

That QS pass you posted shows a circulation just about at 12n 78W
It will need to build more convection though if it is to survive
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716. StormJunkie
1:10 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
SP, I agree that southern end seems to be detaching more now, which should give it a better chance. From that Quickscat it looks like the circulation is decent. The shear right over it should be fairly low. SSTs are plenty warm. It will be interesting to see what the area looks like once we get some more visible images.
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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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