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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114. RL3AO
3:28 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
You have to love the GFDL. Always makes you laugh.
113. Patrap
3:20 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
The 10 day GFSx Link
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111. Thunderstorm2
4:10 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
Wooops, i was thinking about the other ones...lol

Sorry
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110. Levi32
12:09 PM AKDT on May 26, 2007
Posted By: Thunderstorm2 at 12:08 PM AKDT on May 26, 2007.
90E is losing some convection.

Look at this thw GFDL brings 90E down to a 960 hPa Hurricane. That is amazing for a Globel Model.


TS2, the GFDL is not a global model lol. It's a special high-res model for hurricanes only. That's why it sees pressures that low. It was DESIGNED to do that.
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109. Thunderstorm2
4:08 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
I've got paragraphs up on my blog about the SW Caribbean and 90E.

Feel Free to check them out.
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107. Patrap
3:07 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Tropical RAMSDIS Link
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106. louisianaboy444
8:07 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
yeah but somehow the hurricanes found a way to get both of us in 05 with katrina on your side and rita on our side haha hopefully that is not the case this year
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104. Levi32
12:07 PM AKDT on May 26, 2007
Hmm....mid-level center is still displaced to the east under the main convection. The LLC and the mid-level low are now fighting each other for dominance. Either one of them has to win, they combine together, or the whole thing falls apart. Keep an eye on the position of this vort max north of Columbia. It's basically the position of the mid-level center.

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103. Thunderstorm2
4:07 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
90E is losing some convection.

Look at this thw GFDL brings 90E down to a 960 hPa Hurricane. That is amazing for a Globel Model.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
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102. pottery2
3:56 PM AST on May 26, 2007
Hello. I'm back after some computer probs. Be back later to catch up. I'm formerly " pottery ". Hi there, Kman and others........
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101. hurricane23
4:05 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
Guys things sure getting interesting down there in the SW caribbean with convection now developing near the possible developing surface low.Adrian
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100. Dawgfan
8:06 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
The smoke from the wildfires in Southwest Georgia continue to flow into the Valdosta, Georgia area. The winds have come from the east all week and the visiblity has been about 1/2 mile. Myself and many others have suffered from the bad air quality and it looks like nothing short of heavy rainfall or a change or wind directions will help.
I believe that I am allergic to the smoke and have had numerous sinus problems even though I am not ordinarily sensitive to other things like pollen.

We have received only about one inch of rain since April 1st and the decline in average rainfall actually started in September of 2005. The normal pattern is for us to receive our highest monthly rainfall total in June caused by seabreeze induced afternoon thunderstorms. I have never seen a dry June and I am hoping that this June proves to be wet enough to put out these wildfires.

What seems to be so odd to me is this dry pattern started after the wettest three months I've ever seen in June, July and August of 2005.
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99. Patrap
3:05 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Aiiiyee! Cher..you be close by 3 hours west.
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98. Patrap
3:03 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
The season is upon us . There will be plenty of posts once the fray starts. Best to ignore the bickering,Flag it and enjoy the good insight an wealth of knowledge from around the country here. Best site on the web still.Hands down.
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97. Levi32
12:03 PM AKDT on May 26, 2007
Posted By: louisianaboy444 at 7:52 PM GMT on May 26, 2007.

i got a question and not to sound mean or anything but everyone is talking about oo i'm old and oo when u get to my age lol are yall all adults in here am i the youngest person in here at 16 years of age? because i feel like i'm the only "kid" in here sometimes


LOL you're not alone. I'm 15 and a half. First started posting at 14. You're not the only "harfling" lol! :)
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96. louisianaboy444
8:03 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
i'm not far from you patrap i live near the lafayette area
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94. Patrap
3:00 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
My daughter is Junior now at 16 with a 4.0GPA in Dominican High here in New Orleans.Son is 14.5 yrs old too.Hes a musician and sports player.
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93. kmanislander
8:00 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
bbl
have a few things to do
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15798
92. Patrap
2:57 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
Thats okay louisianaboy444..in 1969 I was 9 and I thought I could fly the mission for Neil and Buzz .So dont feel your not a factor here. We all welcome in the Drs. Blog. Glad to have a young mind with a good attitude. It keeps us old folks on our toes too.
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91. louisianaboy444
7:57 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
i mean this in the kindness of manner but alot of you in here are old enough to be my father or even grandfather asking is what i do because asking questions is the only way to gain knowledge lol and i thank all of yall because the knowledge i learn from yall will help me on my road to becoming a meteorologist in the future!
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90. kmanislander
7:54 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Posted By: louisianaboy444 at 7:52 PM GMT on May 26, 2007.

i got a question and not to sound mean or anything but everyone is talking about oo i'm old and oo when u get to my age lol are yall all adults in here am i the youngest person in here at 16 years of age? because i feel like i'm the only "kid" in here sometimes


Weather as a hobby is shared by persons of all ages. You may be the youngest posting at the moment ( we have no way of knowing that )but you are not the first of your age on here as far as I recall
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15798
88. Patrap
2:55 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
More Real-time GOES Atmospheric Products, GOES Water Vapor Loop of Gulf and Caribbean Link
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87. Patrap
2:54 PM CDT on May 26, 2007
GOES IR Loop of Gulf of Mexico Link
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86. louisianaboy444
7:51 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
i got a question and not to sound mean or anything but everyone is talking about oo i'm old and oo when u get to my age lol are yall all adults in here am i the youngest person in here at 16 years of age? because i feel like i'm the only "kid" in here sometimes
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85. louisianaboy444
7:49 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
i am very smart when it comes to weather but you guys make me look like an amateur sometimes haha
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83. kmanislander
7:48 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
1800UTC shear map

shear continues to slacken significantly in the area where the low is trying to organise

Link
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15798
82. louisianaboy444
7:46 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
i am only 16 but weather is my passion and my dream is to be a meteorologist in a few years after i go through college and i'm mostly in here to learn but i have some knowledge that i can put in every now and then but not near as much as some of you guys do....
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81. kmanislander
7:42 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
What I enjoy most of all is the opportunity not only to learn from those who are technically qualified in the field but also to see how the different pieces of information posted by everyone comes together to complete the picture.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15798
80. nash28
7:39 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Well said StormW.
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79. kmanislander
7:37 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Thanks stormw. I am definitely in the latter category LOL
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15798
78. stoormfury
7:24 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
The ares of disturbed weather in the sw caribbean continues to become better organised. convection has been on the increase and there seems to be good outflow in the sw quardrant and a little to ne.conditions continue to become more favourable for development. the area might be called an invest very soon
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77. WeatherfanPR
7:37 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Hello everyone,nice to see you all again. Get ready for:

HURRICANE SEASON 2007 ROLLERCOASTER

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75. seminolesfan
7:32 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
if the gfs is acurate the chances of precipitation will be in the range of good to likely.

pop-probability of precipitation
cat-category
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74. 0741
7:25 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
their circulation down their but shear still pulling storm to east but in lastest sat pic you can storm trying to go round weak low and i see that miami weather service talking about low in carribbean and gfs started again with low in carribbean
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73. WPBHurricane05
3:28 PM EDT on May 26, 2007
IF
GFS TURNS TO BE RIGHT WE MAY SEE POPS IN THE GOOD CHANCE/LIKELY CAT


Sorry, but can any one tell me what this means. Thanks in advance.
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71. kmanislander
7:20 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Posted By: louisianaboy444 at 7:18 PM GMT on May 26, 2007.

wheres the actual area of circulation is it down just north of panama?


Yes it is, near 12.5N 80W
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15798
70. SLU
7:16 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Even if this system doesn't develop, the rather active tropical weather pattern in May could very well be a sign of the kind of season which we might have this year. I can't remember ever seeing such an active pattern in May.
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69. louisianaboy444
7:16 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
wheres the actual area of circulation is it down just north of panama?
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68. seminolesfan
7:09 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
IR SATELLITE / 850-700MB MEAN WINDS also shows signs of low/mid level rotation.
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66. nash28
7:12 PM GMT on May 26, 2007
Hey JP! Good to see you. Well, buckle up:-) Season has started.
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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.