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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316. KYhomeboy
1:18 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
Again FLBoy I think your missing the picture. Forecasting models use past storms in the form of statistical data to make appropriae assumptions. All storms may be different...but for example...we know that all systems have a few things in common such as relatively low wind shear, warmer waters etc.... Differences can be accounted for as obviously EVERY storm is different, but refernces can be made for existing storms.
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315. Skyepony (Mod)
1:17 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
Here's a windsat of the caribbean blob.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 209 Comments: 39076
314. RL3AO
8:18 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Posted By: WPBHurricane05 at 8:10 PM CDT on May 26, 2007.
RL3AO it should be 8 PT or 11 ET if I am correct.


Nope. I just looked it up. All EPac storms have advisories intiated at 5 or 11 am or pm PT.
312. hurricane23
9:18 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
The beginings of wilma...

Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
310. Skyepony (Mod)
1:13 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
Quikscat isn't down, the website is having troubles. you can still acsess it through nexsat (under winds)
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 209 Comments: 39076
308. MichaelSTL
8:13 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
I can show you more examples if you want... and from different months.... and Wilma did not have the best conditions at first; why else did it take two days to go from depression to tropical storm?
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306. WPBHurricane05
9:11 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
HE UPPER-LEVEL FLOW PATTERN REMAINS EXTREMELY
FAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT...WITH LOW SHEAR AND GOOD ANTICYCLONIC
OUTFLOW...AND THERE IS A DEEP SUPPLY OF WARM WATER IN THE NORTHWEST
CARIBBEAN. THE RAPID INTENSIFICATION COMPONENT OF THE SHIPS MODEL
IS INCREASINGLY SUGGESTING THE LIKELIHOOD OF RAPID DEVELOPMENT...
BUT A BETTER DEFINED INNER CORE STRUCTURE NEEDS TO FORM FIRST.

Never mind. After reading a discussion for Wilma , it appears that she was in perfect conditions.
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305. KYhomeboy
1:08 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
Thats not really the point hurricane23. Its more of an issue that one musn't get too comfortable that this system is pretty much dead. Though the atmospheric components were near perfect or that storm, there are still similarities...for example the large, and well established envelope without much deep convection. Past stats and observations can be used to help assess new situations.
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304. 0741
1:09 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
is quikscat down?
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303. Skyepony (Mod)
1:04 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
Got a lone ship just over a 100nm SW of the caribbean blob. Wind is going the right way near 10 kts, 1010mb.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 209 Comments: 39076
302. WPBHurricane05
9:09 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
RL3AO it should be 8 PT or 11 ET if I am correct.
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301. WPBHurricane05
9:07 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
I thought shear was very high when Wilma first formed.
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300. RL3AO
8:06 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
When will the first advisory be issued? 11 PT?
299. FLBoy
1:07 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
What year and month was Wilma Michael? How does that have anything to do with May 2007?
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298. hurricane23
9:04 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
STL your talking about the best atmospheric conditions in place ive ever seen in the wilma situation.Conditions were favorable on all levels.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
297. FLBoy
1:06 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
Unified surface analysis.
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296. KYhomeboy
1:04 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
Can certainly see some similarities in structure. From disorganized to organized.
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295. KYhomeboy
1:03 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
MichaelSTL....really good point
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294. FLBoy
12:59 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
Here's Monday's surface forecast.
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293. MichaelSTL
8:01 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Here is an example of what I was talking about earlier in Wilma, NRL's imagery archive is a very good way to see what past storms did while developing (note that NRL doesn't have any imagery from Wilma when it was an invest because they are so slow in updating invests that Wilma was already a TD by the time they got around to it...):



It is best seen near the start and end.
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292. Skyepony (Mod)
12:59 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
So is the P a mistake?

East Pacific Ocean Basin: Imagery

DATE/TIME LAT LON CLASSIFICATION STORM
27/0000 UTC 12.8N 110.6W T1.5/1.5 90E
26/1800 UTC 13.1N 110.2W T1.0/1.5 90P
26/1200 UTC 11.5N 111.0W T1.0/1.5 90E
26/0600 UTC 12.4N 109.8W T1.5/1.5 90E

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 209 Comments: 39076
291. KYhomeboy
12:58 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
LOL. Time will tell. Lets see what this thing looks like tomorrow morning.
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290. 0741
12:55 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
is quikscat down
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288. FLBoy
12:48 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
ITCZ Enhanced Convection!

Go Cane!
I love when I hear someone else say that!
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287. FLBoy
12:45 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
This is the 2007 season....not the 04 or 05 season.
Forget fast and furious spin-ups.
This is the factual reality of tropical cyclogenisis.
If there is a persistant LLC with or without heavy convection....oh yeah, that's how it starts.
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286. WPBHurricane05
8:47 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
NA

01ENONAME.25kts-1006mb-129N-1100W
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285. WPBHurricane05
8:46 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
Navy has TD 1E!!
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284. TheCaneWhisperer
12:44 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
Posted By: FLBoy at 12:22 AM GMT on May 27, 2007.

There are some bloggers here claiming Invest 92L has been made official because of a satellite view reposition.
There is no Invest 92L at this moment!


ITCZ Enhanced Convection!
283. FLBoy
12:42 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
Oh well....we have a couple areas of low level circ in the SW Carib. More energy is available. We shall see.
The short term motion is not important.
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282. WPBHurricane05
8:41 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
All I really see is a trough with a low level circulation to the west. It looks kind of disorganized right now to me. Although there is always tomorrow so we shouldn't wright it off just yet.
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281. IKE
7:41 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Posted By: hurricane23 at 7:41 PM CDT on May 26, 2007.
At this rate it will hit south america by tommorow morning.


I agree.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
280. IKE
7:40 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
The direction that it's currently heading is... away from the US and the islands.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
279. hurricane23
8:39 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
At this rate it will hit south america by tommorow morning.

The trend has been of decreaseing covection over the past couple of hours lets see what it looks like tommorow.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
278. stoormfury
12:26 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
the system is still holding on. the convection seems to be waxing and waning. this is expected.i believe that convection will flare up again in the early morning. we will have to wait and see. the system is not an invest as the navy has not posted anything on their web site.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2722
277. MichaelSTL
7:36 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
I wouldn't discount it... weak storms (disturbances to depressions) usually have bursts of convection that blow up then disappear to be replaced by another burst some time later; this is why you have to look at it on a long time scale, like 24 hours (and why the NHC does the same).
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276. IKE
7:36 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Posted By: hurricane23 at 7:32 PM CDT on May 26, 2007.
IKE it looks like a ESE movement at the present time.


I agree...it's headed for South America right now.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
275. MichaelSTL
7:36 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
There is still record cold and snow going on so there is no global warming. This is pure madness.

ROTFL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Global warming... duh... and learn to trust scientific data that shows that world temperatures are indeed rising...

Based on preliminary data, globally averaged combined land and sea surface temperature was the warmest on record for January-April year-to-date period and third warmest for April.

Global land surface temperature was warmest on record in April. Temperatures were above average in Europe, Alaska, western U.S., eastern Brazil, northwestern Africa, and most of Asia. Cooler-than-average conditions occurred in the Middle East Region and the eastern half of the contiguous U.S.
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274. FLBoy
12:35 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
LOL....what exactly does "Poof" smell like?
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273. hurricane23
8:33 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
Deep reds are almost gone i smell poof.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
272. FLBoy
12:33 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
Yeah, I like when the state guys are involved!
This could get interesting next week.
Sorry about Texas drowning this week....but you have to share that rain and energy.
Florida might get a piece of somebody's energy late next week.
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271. hurricane23
8:30 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
IKE it looks like a ESE movement at the present time.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841
270. C2News
12:27 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
global warming is not real and I wish it wouldn't be blamed for droughts and floods. It is really ticking me off how much it is talked about with no significant proof of it. Areas go through climate patterns. There is still record cold and snow going on so there is no global warming. This is pure madness.
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269. FLBoy
12:29 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY RUSKIN FL

FOR FRI INTO SATURDAY THE MODELS ARE SIMILAR ALOFT WITH THE TROUGH
SHIFTING EASTWARD OVER THE GULF AS THE RIDGE CONTINUES TO SLIDE EAST.
THERE IS LESS AGREEMENT AT THE SURFACE. THE DGEX AND ECMWF BOTH HAVE
RIDGING OVER THE STATE FROM THE ATLANTIC WITH A INVERTED TROUGH
SOUTH OF FL (DGEX) OR OVER THE GULF (ECMWF). THE GFS TRACKS A LOW OR
TROUGH NORTHWARD OVER FL TO THE SOUTHEAST. FOR NOW WILL FAVOR THE
DGEX AND ECMWF WITH CONTINUED EASTERLY FLOW .
BUT THIS WILL WEAKEN
ENOUGH FOR AFTERNOON SEA BREEZES WHICH ALONG WITH THE APPROACHING
UPPER TROUGH WILL SUPPORT A SLIGHT CHANCE TO CHANCE OF TSTMS.
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268. catastropheadjuster
12:23 AM GMT on May 27, 2007
I know this isn't the blog for this but can someone help me, i got a toshiba today and i have down loaded yahoo and firefox but everytime i click on a link someone puts up it tries to load and then says non responsive and i have to shut it down and i don't know what to do. Can someone please help me. I would greatly appreciate it.
Member Since: August 24, 2006 Posts: 21 Comments: 3683
267. IKE
7:26 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
This from the 8:05 PM EDT discussion...referencing the low in the SW Caribbean....

"THE LOW IN THE SW PORTION TO MOVE SLOWLY NE."...

if it keeps moving NE...it's adious for rain reaching Florida.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
266. hurricane23
8:22 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
I dont know JP deep reds are slowly dying down the past few hours.
Member Since: May 14, 2006 Posts: 8 Comments: 13841

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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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