Texas floods kill 5

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

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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964. IKE
7:02 AM CDT on May 29, 2007
The Caribbean Sea...
a 1008 mb low is centered over the SW Caribbean Sea near 13n80w.
A surface trough extends S from W of Jamaica near 19n80w to the
low center to Panama near 9n80w. Clusters of scattered moderate
to strong convection are along the coast of N Colombia from
8n-13n between 74w-78w.

That almost has to be what these models are picking up on as moving into the GOM.
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963. HurricaneGeek
7:58 AM EDT on May 29, 2007
Good morning everybody. We have Alvin in the E. Pac. I see.
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962. IKE
6:56 AM CDT on May 29, 2007
That blob is suppose to weaken before it has a chance to bring beneficial rains to north Florida/south Georgia. Could be wrong...

What is obvious from looking at computer models this morning is almost everyone of them has some system coming up through the Yucatan channel, into the SE GOM and affecting Florida...the CMC has it further east then yesterday...moving inland over north Florida in 5-6 days...the latest GFS steers it into south Florida...the 84 hour run of the NAM places the moisture w/a 1008mb low in the SE GOM at 84 hours...the NOGAPS develops it east of the Yucatan at 144 hours.
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961. kmanislander
11:59 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
Good morning all

The SW Caribbean low is back in the 8:05 discussion but in an area devoid of convection. Where there is convection there is no low.

The Caribbean Sea...
a 1008 mb low is centered over the SW Caribbean Sea near 13n80w.
A surface trough extends S from W of Jamaica near 19n80w to the
low center to Panama near 9n80w. Clusters of scattered moderate
to strong convection are along the coast of N Colombia from
8n-13n between 74w-78w.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 16397
960. weatherboykris
11:53 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
Morning guys.
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959. weathers4me
11:43 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
Any chance of that blob in GOM drifting into w FL to drench us or is going to be steered off around us?? IT looks like it had a good burst this morning..
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958. StoryOfTheCane
11:38 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
you will be very wet shortly, Mah, the hurricanes are a'comin
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957. MahFL
7:34 AM EDT on May 29, 2007
Good morning from a very dry Orange Park, Florida.
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956. StoryOfTheCane
11:31 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
shear will be favorable through Wednesday anywhere south of Cuba
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955. StoryOfTheCane
11:28 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
g'morning StormW, interesting SW Caribbean convection
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952. StoryOfTheCane
9:29 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
both are in favorable waters

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951. StoryOfTheCane
9:27 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
got a little SW Caribbean activity, GFS is taking it into the Pacific.
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948. HurricaneFCast
5:15 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
Here's a link to Some VERY useful weather links in my New Forum- Forum Giant- Useful Weather Links
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946. SavannahStorm
4:31 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
Here we go again folks!

It's "I think I see a pinhole eye..." season again.

Have a happy and safe 2007 Hurricane Season!
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945. weatherblog
4:14 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
I think this year, 2007, will turn out very close with the amount of storms and intensity as the year 1933. If you look at 1933 the first storm formed in early May and the next one late June. I think this will be a year very close to 1933. Look for yourselves.
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944. Jedkins
3:58 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
I just thought I'd bring a little reality in, people try to hard to resist the hard ships of life and fail trying, man neads to realized e's not all powerfull, and he needs to realize life has hardships such as storms, and we need to focus more on not building in hurricanes paths so much, making sure avacuations are more efficient.

As for tornados, more people need to be educated so they know what to do, and there needs to be more safe shelters underground and other ways of aleting people to help save lives.

Even then, you cannot completely secure safety, life is not going to be easy many times, and we all should learn to adjust tro that more, which definitely goes for dangerous weather as well.
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943. Jedkins
3:49 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
500 mph winds thats bullcrap stupid pridefull disgners think their construction can withstand 500 mph winds...

They have no clue what 500 mph winds could do, mathematically that will hurl a tank through the air, enough potential desctruvte power to that of a nuclear weopon.

Remember the unsinkable titanic? It sank from an iceberg that made an indirect strike quickly sinking it.

Oh ya, and a highly reinforced production plant that was supposed to withstand any tornado was leveled completey by an f4 tornado in Illinois.

Folks, yes we can make structures stronger, but in the end when money is involved combined with reality(most of the advertised strength is pride, learn to understand it, people tend to have a lot of it.) Untimately we just have to learn to evacuate and not build so close to the coast, or go underground when a tornado approaches, because I don't care what your in, when a strong tornado hits your structure, your risking your life.
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942. HurricaneFCast
3:54 AM GMT on May 29, 2007

Here's the link, i'd really appreciate feedback everyone. It's much appreciated if you join as well, it's a free membership.
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941. HurricaneFCast
3:50 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
There's hardly anything out there right now, rather disappointing. Nothing significant with development potential.

Please people, Join my New Forum Website, It's a great site and I need new members to start posting. There's plenty of topics, including the weather, to start, the more the merrier and there is no bandwidth limit either. You can start your own forum on my site by requesting to make a new group, related to weather if you wish. The main reason is, though, I literally just finished the initial creation tonight, so it's BRAND new, and I need feedback REALLY bad, so please at least join and message me with some feedback, i'm open to any comments or suggestions on it. Sorry to bother everyone, but i'm just trying to gain some info here to better my website, eventually i want it to build into a 24/7 resource for weather info and any breaking news etc.
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940. franck
3:43 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
Yes, concrete and steel from here out, and no blunt faces. When the first high rise goes from a tornado or hurricane, that type of building will come to a dead stop..thankfully.
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939. TheCaneWhisperer
3:28 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
Ever heard of SIPS Kell? It is the after Katrina Home able to withstand 500mph winds and 8000 sq ft home can be built in 6 months! We're going to be installing cabinetry in many of the new SIPS homes here in Florida!
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937. TheCaneWhisperer
3:27 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
Another note! If you look at 2007 dry counties and compare it to the UCF probabilies, it looks like UCF may be running with this theory!

Also of note! I typed in UCF Hurricane Predictions and it listed fellow WU Blogger Skyepony as the second source, congrats!
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936. kellnerp
10:43 PM EDT on May 28, 2007
There are already methods that can build cost effective buildings that will withstand hurricanes and some tornados. They are also energy efficient.

I was in New Orleans recently and the convention center I was in had the most over reinforced roof trusses I have ever seen outside of a military installation. Nobody is going to want to spend for that kind of construction. Domes provide a support free interior space and are ideal for large rooms like gyms, but with just normal construction practice can be made proof against both hurricanes and tornados owing to both their inherent strength and their shape which does not give the wind as much bite. The other thing about a dome is that the part of the structure that is key to it's strength is low to the ground and most of the time is on the ground and therefore very difficult to damage.


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935. weatherblog
2:51 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
I live in Northern Broward...fortunately only 1 week. Had to wait 5 months for cable. grrrrrrr...lol
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934. HurricaneFCast
3:04 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
Latest and Gentleman, Alvin has entered the building. Sounds threatening huh? Lol.
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933. HurricaneFCast
3:03 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
Looks like our Caribbean blob has vanished. He's playing Hide-and-Seek.
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932. TheCaneWhisperer
2:56 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
Here is the monthly rainfall archive for South Florida! Little note, that article and what it speaks of is South Flordia only! I did some searching and it looks pretty darn accurate! Notice the dry counties in 2005 and 2006 and where storms hit!
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931. marlinsfan1
10:47 PM EDT on May 28, 2007
I live in Pinecrest, and we were out for 2 and a half weeks
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930. kmanislander
2:34 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
well I'm out of here for tonight.
C U all tomorrow
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928. kmanislander
2:26 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
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927. Alec
10:26 PM EDT on May 28, 2007
yo randyman......Im on break....working at NWS hoping to get experience in the field.....how's the weather where you are?
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926. kmanislander
2:25 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
Now the QS pass is showing a circulation near 81W !. Must be very weak

img src=http://manati.orbit.nesdis.noaa.gov/img/quikscatcur_ds.map?441,227 width=640 height=480>
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 16397
925. Randyman
2:24 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
Posted By: Alec at 1:23 AM GMT on May 29, 2007.

Are there any big rivers in the East Tx area? because I can remember when FL had flooding problems, the rivers would crest after the event...

Not necessarily 'big rivers' but there are plenty of rivers that will crest during periods of excessive rainfalls...this in turn may affect communities nearby...What's up Alec? Long time since we've talked...
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924. Alec
10:23 PM EDT on May 28, 2007
bama.....good example...tropics are sooooooooo boring the media has to relive those memories....
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923. Bamatracker
2:19 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
hehe....the local news is showing katrina pictures.
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922. Alec
10:19 PM EDT on May 28, 2007
well, you're always in the loop here.....every burst of convection is closely monitored!
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921. kmanislander
2:17 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
Won't be much action over the loop current for a long time with shear and water temps where they are in the GOM
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920. Bamatracker
2:17 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
hey at least we are paying attention and getting ready. Lots of folks dont really know whats going until they are under a warning.
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919. Alec
10:17 PM EDT on May 28, 2007
Yeah...I get excited when a little cu deck forms in the loop current....LOL
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918. kmanislander
2:13 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
The fact that we actually had something to talk about in the Caribbean this early is interesting in and of itself. Typically the start of the season is very slow until about mid to late July, even in years with a June storm.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 16397
917. Alec
10:12 PM EDT on May 28, 2007
Posted By: snowboy at 10:11 PM EDT on May 28, 2007.

hey folks, don't want to spoil your fun but May is pretty early to be obsessing about Caribbean blobs..

Thats what Ive been trying to tell the forum......But, hey if you want a stormtop lecture, makes for some interesting fun...LOL
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916. Bamatracker
2:11 AM GMT on May 29, 2007
Heck no snowboy!!! never too early to blob watch!!! LOL
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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