Texas floods kill 5

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

Share this Blog
6
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 716 - 666

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21Blog Index

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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
715. HIEXPRESS
12:53 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/hurricane/hurricane-AMMA/hgt_vort_1000_atl_animation.html

From

It does look like something could start there, but instead of the usual W or N to the Fl panhandle, is pulled NNE by the trough that's still there , gets sheared & is pulled across Cuba or just skirts it & brings (more) rain to S FL. Just my wild guess.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
714. MZT
12:59 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
It looks pretty puny right now. About all that I'd be willing to say is that the air around it doesn't look as dry as yesterday.

I guess every storm has humble beginnings but that is more of a blip, than a blob... :-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
713. TheRingo
1:54 AM EDT on May 28, 2007
I think this low in the caribbean really has a chance now. It's been very persistent and now it looks like the ull is pulling out and leaving it behind.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
712. stormpetrol
1:00 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
Look as though the northern part is starting to break off from the southern part. I think this would allow for that low in the SW Caribbean to have more potential for development, will be interesting to see what happens, looks like it might be less shear also.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
711. HurricaneFCast
12:48 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
It does of the possibility to develop if it can hang on here for the next few days. It'll be interesting to watch.
FORUM GIANT- NEW WEATHER FORUM!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
710. StormJunkie
12:29 PM GMT on May 28, 2007
Any thoughts? Looks like circulation to me, but I may be misreading it.

Quickscat
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
709. BahaHurican
8:04 AM EDT on May 28, 2007
Morning, all.

Still winds in the 15 mph range here. That high pressure and the steep gradient is keeping it cool in the Bahamas so far this week.

To all the Americans out there, enjoy your Memorial Day.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
708. kmanislander
11:57 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
This is the hi res link

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
707. kmanislander
11:54 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
Hi SJ

This is the low res QS page. Just scroll down to the images. The Hi res images have been off line for a couple of days
Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
706. StormJunkie
11:36 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
Morning y'all ☺

kman, where are you getting the close up Quickscat of the Carib?

This is where I have been going...

Never mind kman. Never realized the maps here were click and zoom...lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
705. kmanislander
11:26 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
good morning

The low in the SW Caribbean is at 1009 mb. Still has a chance IMO
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
704. stoormfury
10:23 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
Good morning to all

the tropics look relatively quiet tis morning except for td 1E and the blob in the sw caribbean. the area continues to hold its own, albeit under slackened wind shesr. may be if the system were to sit out there for a few days then, there might be a chance of further devepment
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
703. HCW
10:17 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
Carribean system model update

CMC =intense system big bend / panhandle on Friday

UKMET= weaker system across the FL west coast then it moves off the FL/GA boarder then deepens and brushes the SC/NC coast

GFS= still seems lost at this time

Hardcoreweather.com

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
701. KoritheMan
5:50 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
Good Evening Folks.....It seems to me that it might be a slow start to the season (quiet in early June), but, that should not keep people from stocking up and preparing for what may become a memorable season come July and August...

Uh...no, I don't think a slow start to June is likely. I am not going to preach like I know it all or that I want tropical cyclones, but shear will definitely start to lower within the next week or two I would guess. That's when we could see the development of a storm or two in June. Anymore storms besides 2 in June is very unlikely, although ANYTHING is possible, and I'll definitely read all the comments here, and use the data from this site to keep track of anything that may develop.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
700. KoritheMan
5:47 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
Hurricaneman23, how is WHAT looking tonight? The Carribean, or the East Pacific? There is quite a large amount of thunderstorm activity east of TD One-E currently in the East Pacific, which could easily develop more than the Carribean could right now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
699. Jedkins
5:41 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
Posted By: MichaelSTL at 3:53 AM GMT on May 28, 2007.

Oh come on... stop bashing them... look at the references if you doubt it...


lol I just think the fact that there are many official sources out there it would be better to go for that
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
698. hurricaneman23
5:13 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
how is it lookin tonite? do we give it a 50% chance of becoming td2?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
697. StoryOfTheCane
4:08 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
695. Jedkins
3:30 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
Posted By: MichaelSTL at 3:29 AM GMT on May 28, 2007.

thats not even possibly in waters that far north up by north carolina so early

It has happened before. Link and even earier in the year.


Not to say that is false, but I have caught a lot of weather data errors on Wikipedia, with some major flaws as well, so I don't trust information off there.

However during the 2005 season there was an unusually high lattitude hurricane later in the season that nearly reaced category 2 strength and baffled forecasters by remaining over water in the mid 70's.

So ya there have been exceptions, but that was my point, under most cases, it wouldn't reach hurricane strength off the Carolina coast so early in the season.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
694. StoryOfTheCane
3:33 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
as long as there are human beings with opinionated thought there is going to be an occasional bicker, theres no way around that
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
692. StoryOfTheCane
3:31 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
set your filter higher, that way those that even get a few "-"'s wont show up for you
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
691. StoryOfTheCane
3:30 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
one thing you can always be sure of is if it has happened before, it will happen again
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
690. Jedkins
3:25 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
Whats happened is a lot of people have joined this blog that tend to lack quite bit of knowledge, ya its good to learn more, but don't look to blogs for that, because there are so many myths that get started.

Back in the day( the 2004 to 2005 period) these blogs where were its at, now so many have joined that a lot of severe immaturity and hype has replaced intelligent discussions of that past.

Its kind of sad, I wish there was some way to have a seperate blog to lock out all the crap and have it rerserved for those who won't cause hype,myths, and immature bickering, of course that wouldn't work because it would be too hard to detirmine who qualifies or not plus other problems would come into play as well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
688. Jedkins
3:24 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
all of the models do, but spicifically the GFDL bombs out tropical cyclones to category 5 often during the hurricane season.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
687. StoryOfTheCane
3:24 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
lol yeah I think eliminating the GFDL would eliminate half the overblown hype on this blog
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
686. Jedkins
3:22 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
ya the GFDL has a big reputation for that, I think we'd all be dead if the GFDL was right on target all the time lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
685. StoryOfTheCane
3:23 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
if it says its going to be a cat5 or a td really all you can take out of it is there is a possibility of formation, nothing more
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
684. StoryOfTheCane
3:21 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
models tend to "overdo" quite a lot
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
683. Jedkins
3:16 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
interesting model there, it takes it to hurricane strength, thats not even possibly in waters that far north up by north carolina so early I don't think sdo anyways.

Of course, weather can always make eceptions, but that model is probably overdoing things quite a bit.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
682. StoryOfTheCane
3:17 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
with our lack of data you can't really say either way
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
681. StoryOfTheCane
3:15 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
there probably is some sort of correlation but we havent been recording these things long enough to figure them out
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
679. Jedkins
3:14 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
Posted By: weatherboykris at 3:13 AM GMT on May 28, 2007.

Early season activity has no bearing on the season overall.None.Zero.There is no consistent correlation

Often times a late start doesn't either, remember 2004, we had our fisrt name storm in august, chew on that fellas.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
678. StoryOfTheCane
3:15 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
who said it did?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
677. Jedkins
3:12 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
Posted By: KEEPEROFTHEGATE at 3:08 AM GMT on May 28, 2007.

T-MINUS 96 HRS 53 MIN TO START OF 2007 HURRICANE SEASON


CAPS MUCH KEEPEROFTHEGATE? YOU LIKE CAPS I SEE, INDEED BROTHREN, KEEPEROFTHEGATE IS MORBIDLY OBSESSED WITH CAPS UNDOUBTEDLY
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
676. weatherboykris
3:12 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
Early season activity has no bearing on the season overall.None.Zero.There is no consistent correlation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
675. StoryOfTheCane
3:08 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
hurricane season started May 9th this year
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
674. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
3:00 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
T-MINUS 96 HRS 53 MIN TO START OF 2007 HURRICANE SEASON
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
673. Jedkins
3:03 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
That explains it, all computer based! lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
672. StoryOfTheCane
3:00 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
keep in mind that 2005 was the most active storm season on record and it didnt receive its first storm until June 9th...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
671. RL3AO
9:44 PM CDT on May 27, 2007
The 0300 update still has TD1E at 25kts. NHC forecasts it to 35kts in 36hrs then holding there.
670. weatherboykris
2:33 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
Jedkins,during the weekend,those forecasts are automated.Essentially,it is an average of the GFS/GFS Ensemble/ECMWF.It's funny,that is the only forecast product I know of for which the forecasters gets the weekend off.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
669. Jedkins
1:59 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
looks like the Climate Prediction Center has had a bit of an error with their short term products, well below average temps for the next 6 to 10 days? LOL We are expected to top nearly mid 90's here near the Coast in Florida by mid next week.

Those either have had an error in processing or someone didn't do their job right lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
668. Jedkins
1:55 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
its not even June yet you're insane, some people here are losing their minds from bring on here too much.

Obviously not most of you, but come on, lets look and consider how rediculous its gotten this year, its still friggen may these blogs are flooded with comments as if it was August and we had a mojor hurricane in the atlantic, but instead its over systems that haven't even formed yet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
667. StoryOfTheCane
1:40 AM GMT on May 28, 2007
i wouldn't call it a quiet season yet, its only May 27th
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
666. weathermanwannabe
9:33 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
Good Evening Folks.....It seems to me that it might be a slow start to the season (quiet in early June), but, that should not keep people from stocking up and preparing for what may become a memorable season come July and August...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 716 - 666

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
30 °F
Overcast

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron