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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616. weatherblog
10:32 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Posted By: hurricaneman23 at 10:31 PM GMT on May 27, 2007.

td2 on the way??? what are the chances- 30%??


Doubt it, proabably around 15%. That's being nice...lol
Member Since: July 10, 2006 Posts: 27 Comments: 1623
615. plywoodstatenative
10:32 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
interesting question, any comments on the chance for african dust this year? Or will the dust season be a quiet one?
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614. hurricaneman23
10:28 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
td2 on the way??? what are the chances- 30%??
613. bocaman
10:25 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
kmanislander, I see the vortex you're talking about. It would have to have nearly perfect conditions meaning no wind shear to hold together and have a chance. There are some new storms that have fired around it in the last hour. Will be interesting after midnight to see if the showers around the 1010mb low center increase.
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612. RL3AO
5:27 PM CDT on May 27, 2007
I guess not.
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611. weatherblog
10:24 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
lol...is there anyone here?
Member Since: July 10, 2006 Posts: 27 Comments: 1623
610. RL3AO
4:06 PM CDT on May 27, 2007
New storms starting to pop with TD1-E. This is 40 minutes old.

1
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609. kmanislander
8:52 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
TS 2

Just mailed u back
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608. WPBHurricane05
4:42 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
000
WTPZ41 KNHC 272041
TCDEP1
TROPICAL DEPRESSION ONE-E DISCUSSION NUMBER 4
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP012007
200 PM PDT SUN MAY 27 2007

CONVECTION ASSOCIATED WITH THE DEPRESSION HAS CONTINUED TO DIMINISH
TODAY...AND PRESENTLY THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TO QUALIFY THE SYSTEM AS
A TROPICAL CYCLONE.
THE QUIKSCAT PASS FROM 12Z THIS MORNING
SUGGESTS THAT THE WINDS ARE NO HIGHER THAN 25 KT. INFLOW
FROM THE SOUTH IS BEING CUT OFF BY THE LARGE AREA OF DISTURBED
WEATHER TO THE EAST OF THE DEPRESSION...AND THE THERMODYNAMIC
PREDICTORS IN THE SHIPS MODEL CONTINUE TO BE MOSTLY NEGATIVE. THE
MODEL ITSELF NOW SHOWS ONLY MODEST DEVELOPMENT. IN VIEW OF THE SSTS
AND THE RELATIVELY LIGHT ENVIRONMENTAL SHEAR...THE OFFICIAL
FORECAST STILL ALLOWS FOR SOME REDEVELOPMENT OF THE DEPRESSION...
BUT IF THE CONVECTION DOES NOT RETURN SOON THE SYSTEM WILL
DEGENERATE INTO A REMNANT LOW.

WITH THE DECREASE IN CONVECTION...THE CIRCULATION IS NOT RESPONDING
TO THE MID- TO UPPER-LEVEL EASTERLIES AND THE WESTWARD MOTION HAS
SLOWED. THE INTIAL MOTION ESTIMATE IS 325/2. MOST OF THE MODEL
GUIDANCE SUGGESTS A CONTINUED SLOW MOTION WITH A GRADUAL TURN TO
THE LEFT AS THE DEPRESSION BUMPS UP AGAINST LOWER TROPOSPHERIC HIGH
PRESSURE CURRENTLY CENTERED NEAR 30N/145W. THE 12Z ECMWF CONTINUES
WITH A MORE WESTWARD TRACK...BUT WITH A WEAKENED SYSTEM THIS SEEMS
LESS LIKELY THAN IT DID THIS MORNING. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST IS
SLOWER THAN THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY...AND IS CLOSEST TO THE UKMET
GUIDANCE.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 27/2100Z 13.2N 111.2W 25 KT
12HR VT 28/0600Z 13.3N 111.4W 30 KT
24HR VT 28/1800Z 13.4N 112.0W 30 KT
36HR VT 29/0600Z 13.5N 112.8W 35 KT
48HR VT 29/1800Z 13.5N 113.6W 40 KT
72HR VT 30/1800Z 13.5N 114.5W 40 KT
96HR VT 31/1800Z 13.3N 115.5W 40 KT
120HR VT 01/1800Z 13.0N 116.5W 40 KT

$$
FORECASTER FRANKLIN

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607. Inyo
8:31 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
poor, poor 1-E looks really sick.
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606. Thunderstorm2
4:22 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
kmanislander, you've got WUmail
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605. sarepa
8:18 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
im gonna flight to the blob now on fligtsimulator with ma hurrican hunter
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604. Nickelback
8:09 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Floods Suck!
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603. kmanislander
8:09 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
The center is broad but anyway lets see what, if anything, happens over the next few hrs
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602. stormybil
8:08 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
looks like two seperate blobs at this time . which will be first to form ?
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601. Thunderstorm2
4:09 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
The main ball of convection that was visible this morning has dissipated.
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600. kmanislander
8:08 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
From the 2:05 NHC discussion

Another surface feature is a trough
that is located from 20n79w to a 1010 mb low near 12.5n78.5w.
Quikscat imagery from this morning indicates westerly winds
south of the low center.
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599. Bamatracker
8:07 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
i dont see a "center" right now. Unless you are just talking about the center of a trough.
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598. Thunderstorm2
4:06 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
I would just leave it. That thing ain't going to come back.
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597. kmanislander
8:06 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
TS2
I have to disagree with you. Take a look at the vis loop linked

Link
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596. weatherblog
8:05 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Be back l8er.
Member Since: July 10, 2006 Posts: 27 Comments: 1623
595. kmanislander
8:03 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Right under the cold(red)cloud tops. Compare this image to the vis image and you can see the streamers representing where the air is being drawn into the center. I admit it is not much now but it is on the increase

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594. Thunderstorm2
4:01 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
That isn't the center, that's just a little thundestorm that has popped out of nowhere. The center was more NE of that.
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593. Bamatracker
8:01 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Looks like the blob are getting small...it better fire up and sustain it for a couple of days if it has a chance.
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592. southbeachdude
7:59 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Where?
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591. kmanislander
7:53 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
In this vis close up the low center is easy to see



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590. kmanislander
7:50 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
The low itself is, and has been, stationary for over 24 hrs near 12.5N 79W
It is not moving off to the NE. The convection that we see being pulled off in that direction is not associated with the low center as far as I can tell
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588. hurricane23
3:48 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
Correct.
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587. kmanislander
7:46 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Posted By: hurricane23 at 7:45 PM GMT on May 27, 2007.

Nothing to worry about there this entire mess continues to slowly moves NE in the atlantic.Not a threat for any significant development in that area.

Are you referring to the low North of Panama ?
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586. hurricane23
3:43 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
Nothing to worry about there this entire mess continues to slowly moves NE in the atlantic.Not a threat for any significant development in that area.
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585. TheRingo
3:30 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
A LOW AMPLITUDE TROPICAL WAVE HAS BEEN INTRODUCED OFF THE W
AFRICAN COAST ALONG 16W FROM 3N TO 10N...MOVING WEST ABOUT 15
KNOTS. SCATTERED MODERATE TO STRONG CONVECTION COVERS THE AREA
WITHIN TWO DEGREES EITHER SIDE OF THE WAVE AXIS.
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584. kmanislander
7:41 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Panama obs

Bocas del Toro has N winds @12mph
Colon has South winds @9mph with a surface pressure of 1010 mb
The low just North of Colon is still very much there
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583. HIEXPRESS
7:37 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Hey from luv-bug world. It's a drought, but it rained at my house 5 of the 7 days this week. Take a look>
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/rfcshare/precip_analysis_new.php
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582. Thunderstorm2
3:38 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
Nice looking waves but they will get sliced and diced when the move of their home turf..lol
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581. hurricane23
3:36 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
Indeed still close to the equator and not much development expected but look out july and august.Lets hope this trofiness is still present.
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580. kmanislander
7:33 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
H23

Those storms are still far South but come mid July we had better watch out. They are very strong for this early in the year. Lets see if they continue into the season
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579. hurricane23
3:31 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
Good afternoon...

Nice waves rolling of africa for this time of the year but likely run into unfavorable conditions before its to long.Lets hope waves like these dont roll of africa in august and september.

waves
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578. Thunderstorm2
3:29 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
s
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577. kmanislander
7:26 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Posted By: Thunderstorm2 at 7:25 PM GMT on May 27, 2007.

That SW Caribbean LCC is Gone...lol


Don't count it out just yet. It was this time yesterday that it started getting its act together
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576. kmanislander
7:24 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
good afternoon all
Deep convection is beginning to refire over the center of the Southern Caribbean low. A comeback may be underway

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575. Thunderstorm2
3:24 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
That SW Caribbean LCC is Gone...lol
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574. RL3AO
2:20 PM CDT on May 27, 2007
Posted By: keywestdingding at 1:56 PM CDT on May 27, 2007.
wow!!! IS IT THE END OF MAY OR THE MIDDLE OF AUG OUT THERE IN TROPICS!!!!!!!!!!!


Why do you say that?
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573. WPBHurricane05
3:01 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
Is sarepa there? Time for your flight. Hope you enjoy it. Tried taking off from Jamaica but a storm came through...with strong winds...the visibility had to be 1/4 mile.
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572. keywestdingding
6:53 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
wow!!! IS IT THE END OF MAY OR THE MIDDLE OF AUG OUT THERE IN TROPICS!!!!!!!!!!!
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571. nash28
6:10 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Or if you are a Lethal Weapon fan as I am, it has been "decaffinated"
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570. IKE
1:01 PM CDT on May 27, 2007
Posted By: WPBHurricane05 at 1:00 PM CDT on May 27, 2007.
Yikes! What happened to Depression 1E???


It's been de-headed.
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569. WPBHurricane05
1:59 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
Yikes! What happened to Depression 1E???

NA
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568. nash28
5:45 PM GMT on May 27, 2007
Carribean system still hanging in there even under increased shear.
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566. WPBHurricane05
1:42 PM EDT on May 27, 2007
NA

Cool spring system over the Great Lakes.
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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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