Hurricane Harvey [UPDATED]

It has been a quiet 8 years since Hurricane Ike came to Texas, but now we’re looking at a hurricane that could dump FEET of rain on southeast Texas. Meet Hurricane Harvey, a Category 1 storm with winds of 80 mph (as of Thursday afternoon). He’s expected to get stronger – possibly Cat 3 – and make landfall near Corpus Christi sometime Friday evening. I’ll update as I can.

Hurricane Harvey Local Statement Special Advisory Number 17 National Weather Service Houston/Galveston TX AL092017 118 PM CDT Thu Aug 24 2017:

Harvey has intensified into a hurricane early this afternoon. Harvey is expected to continue to strengthen possibly becoming a major hurricane on Friday before landfall. At this point, Harvey could become a high end category 3 hurricane. The primary impact from Harvey remains heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding for southeast Texas. There is also the threat for tropical storm to hurricane force winds and storm surge along the coast. The most likely arrival time for tropical storm force winds to reach the upper Texas coast is during the day on Friday. Since the wind fields have expanded in Harvey, higher storm surge can be expected up the Texas coast. Source: www.weather.gov

[UPDATE Friday 08-25-2017]

Hurricane Harvey Local Statement Intermediate Advisory Number 20A National Weather Service Houston/Galveston TX AL092017 725 AM CDT Fri Aug 25 2017:

Harvey has continued to strengthen this morning to a high-end category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph. Harvey is forecast to continue strengthening and will most likely become a major hurricane today before it makes landfall along the Middle Texas Coast later tonight. The primary impact from Harvey over Southeast Texas remains prolonged significant heavy rainfall that will induce extreme widespread flooding through at least the beginning of next week. Tropical storm force winds, with occasional hurricane force wind gusts, and storm surge will occur along the coast as early as this afternoon and persist through Tuesday. Coastal flooding due to storm surge and wave run up will remain an issue throughout the weekend and into the beginning of next week as strong onshore winds will continue to pile water up along the coastline. Again, the primary emphasis and greatest threat to life and property will be the extreme rainfall amounts that will likely lead to a potentially catastrophic and prolonged flash flooding event. Source: www.weather.gov

[UPDATE Saturday 08-26-2017]

Harvey came ashore late last night as a Cat 4 – wind speeds of 130 mph – near Port Aransas, Texas. We’re doing well – only about 2.5 inches of rain so far.

Hurricane Harvey Local Statement Intermediate Advisory Number 24A National Weather Service Houston/Galveston TX AL092017 713 AM CDT Sat Aug 26 2017:

Hurricane Harvey has weakened to a Category 1 and is producing torrential rainfall and isolated tornadoes across Southeast Texas as it slowly drifts to the NNW. The primary impact from Harvey over Southeast Texas remains prolonged significant heavy rainfall that will induce extreme widespread flooding through at least the beginning of next week. Flash flooding has already begun across portions of Southeast Texas. Tropical storm force winds are possible through around noon Saturday for the southwestern portions of Southeast Texas. With the strongest winds tonight, storm surge will be slow to recede through Sunday, particularly west of Sargent. Elevated tide levels will continue through Tuesday. Tornadoes will continue to form this morning, especially across the coastal counties and first inland tier. Again, the primary emphasis and greatest threat to life and property will be the extreme rainfall amounts that will likely lead to a potentially catastrophic and prolonged flash flooding event over the coming 3 to 5 days. Source: www.weather.gov

[UPDATE Sunday 08-27-2017]

Flooding rain is predicted for at least the next 4 days.

Tropical Storm Harvey Local Statement Advisory Number 28 National Weather Service Houston/Galveston TX AL092017 432 AM CDT Sun Aug 27 2017:

A catastrophic and life-threatening flash flooding event is unfolding across Southeast Texas this morning. Five Flash Flood Emergencies have already been issued for the Houston Metro area overnight, some of which remain in effect this morning. Bands of heavy rainfall will continue to drop devastating amounts of ADDITIONAL rainfall across the area over the next several days. Tornadoes have also been occurring across Southeast Texas over the last day or so and will continue through the next several days. Coastal flooding may be an ongoing issue along the coast where winds will continue to push water onshore, particularly south of Sargent. Elevated tides will cause the recession of coastal flood waters to be slow, likely lasting into the first part of the week. Wind gusts to tropical storm force are still ongoing, primarily in the southwestern portions of the area towards Matagorda Bay. Though there are currently multiple hazards present across the area, the greatest threat to life and property remains the ongoing extreme rainfall and subsequent prolonged and catastrophic flash flooding. Source: www.weather.gov

[UPDATE Monday 08-28-2017]

It’s quiet this morning. Rain is in the area and some is coming to BCS, but for the most part we’re calm. Now we wait and see how bad the flooding is/will be – there’s a Flash Flood Watch until Wednesday night.

Tropical Storm Harvey Local Statement Advisory Number 32 National Weather Service Houston/Galveston TX AL092017 428 AM CDT Mon Aug 28 2017

The life-threatening flooding event around the Houston metro continues through tonight, as water rescues are still occurring in the area. Though comparatively less rainfall has fallen across the area tonight than last night, this speaks more to the unfathomable amount of rainfall last night. Per observations, a widespread 3 to 7 inches of rain has still fallen in the past six hours across much of the area, with more to the east of the Houston metro around I-10. Given the completely saturated ground, this amount of rainfall and future expected heavy rainfall will keep the flooding threat at the forefront of this storm. Tornadoes have also been occurring, and while their rate has slowed overnight, this threat will continue as well. Coastal flooding may be an ongoing issue along the coast where winds will continue to push water onshore, particularly south of Sargent. Elevated tides will cause the recession of coastal flood waters to be slow, likely lasting into the first part of the week. As Harvey drifts back towards the Gulf, the potential for tropical storm force winds will also extend up the coastline. Ultimately, of the multiple hazards present with this storm, the greatest threat to life and property remains the ongoing extreme rainfall and its consequent prolonged and catastrophic flash flooding event. Source: www.weather.gov

[UPDATE Tuesday 08-29-2017]

Harvey continues as a tropical storm, moving slowly back to the Gulf, throwing tornadoes and flooding rains to New Orleans and beyond.

Tropical Storm Harvey Local Statement Advisory Number 36 National Weather Service Houston/Galveston TX AL092017 446 AM CDT Tue Aug 29 2017:

The catastrophic and life-threatening flooding event around the Houston metro continues this morning with water rescues and evacuations still ongoing across the area. A light to moderate rain continues to fall this morning, with the heavier rates now confined to Chambers County. Given the completely saturated ground, any amount current of rainfall and future expected rainfall will exacerbate conditions and hinder the recession of flood waters. Elevated tides will cause the recession of coastal flood waters to be slow, likely lasting into midweek. Historic flooding is likely on many area rivers and bayous, and many evacuations are already underway. The effect of this historic river and bayou flooding will remain ongoing long after the rains end. As Harvey drifts just off the Upper Texas Coast, the potential for tropical storm force winds will also extend up the coastline. A tornado or two cannot be ruled out today, however the threat for tornadoes has decreased substantially since yesterday. Ultimately, of the multiple hazards present with this storm, the greatest threat to life and property remains the ongoing prolonged and catastrophic flooding event. Source: www.weather.gov

[UPDATE Wednesday 08-30-2017]

Texas is done with Tropical Storm Harvey. Today it’s slowly moving toward Louisiana. The forecast still has it going north in the next few days – the forecasts so far have been wrong.

Greater Houston is devastated. More than 5,000 square miles are under water; one spot east of Houston received 51 inches of rain in 5 days; over 40,000 homes have been damaged.

Many buildings in Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, Victoria, and Rockport – were Hurricane Harvey made landfall – were damaged.

Hurricane Earl

HurricaneEarl2016I haven’t written much about hurricanes on here because there hasn’t been much activity near me. There’s currently a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico that is expected to make landfall over Belize and the Yucatan peninsula tomorrow.

The center of Earl was located about 150 miles east of Belize City, Belize, as Wednesday evening, with maximum sustained winds around 75 mph. Earl’s forward speed had slowed over the past 24-48 hours, moving west at 14 mph. Source: weather.com

Earl isn’t expected to affect the US.

Perhaps the best reason we haven’t had any storms is because of high pressure “bubbles” sitting over Texas and surrounding states. It’s believed that El Nino is the cause: shifting the jet stream far north and allowing high pressure fronts to stay put over the southwest US.

Hurricane Patricia [UPDATED]

Hurricane Patrica

(CNN) Hurricane Patricia — the strongest hurricane ever recorded — weakened slightly Friday as it barreled closer to Mexico’s Pacific coast, with sustained winds decreasing to 190 mph and gusts to 235 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory.

We’re getting ready for the rain storm of rain storms. Hurricane Ike in 2008 was the last big storm to flood this area; Patricia could be 2 times as bad. Local weatherman is predicting 3-5 inches, but the national weatherman made it look like 12 inches. Only time will tell. We may be locked in for 2 days or it might be just some rain.

UPDATE 10-24-2015 10:00

TSPatricia20151024At 7:00 AM this morning Patricia was down graded to a Tropical Storm with winds of 50 MPH. By 10:00 AM maximum sustained winds were 35 MPH – further down grading the storm to a Tropical Depression.

More then half of Texas is in for a sizable amount of rain over the next couple of days.

Drought to Flood

Temperature and Rain 2015It was just 4 years ago that Texas was facing the worst drought in over 100 years. This year we’ve had above average rain fall. It’s making a dent in the drought.

“Human nature only remembers the near term, and we quickly forget we’ve been in drought for years. One wet spring won’t get us out of it.” A quote from Brian Fuchs. Source: The Scoop Blog with Dallas Morning News

Sometimes it feels like feast or famine.

Most of the lakes around here are closed or partially closed due to flooding. Memorial Day will be a wash out for Lake Somerville.

I guess we’ll see how long this lasts.

Tropical Storm Isaac

TS Isaac as of August 27, 2012

This storm forced a change in plans for the Republican National Convention. The RNC was scheduled to open on Monday in Tampa, Florida, when Isaac turned north and started running parallel to Florida’s west coast. They delayed the start of the RNC until Tuesday, August 28, 2012.

Several news sources are saying that Isaac is cutting a path through the Gulf of Mexico that’s eerily similar to the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans and the region nearly seven years ago to the day.

Isaac’s potential landfall as a Category 2 hurricane as early as Tuesday prompted evacuations along a wide area of the Gulf Coast and sent people out to stock up on staples. As of 5 p.m. EDT Monday, Isaac remained a tropical storm with top sustained winds of 70 mph. Its center was about 255 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River, and it was moving northwest at 12 mph. Source: Fox News

UPDATE: Hurricane Isaac

Hurricane Isaac 2012-08-28

As of this afternoon, Texas A&M Aggies postponed this weekend’s football game with Louisiana Tech until October 13. It is best that people don’t travel to Ruston, LA (north central Louisiana), with Isaac approaching.

Isaac, a massive storm spanning nearly 200 miles from its center, made landfall at about 6:45 p.m. near the mouth of the Mississippi River. But it was zeroing in on New Orleans, about 90 miles to the northwest, turning streets famous for all-hours celebrations into ghost boulevards. Source: Fox News.

Texas faces worst dry spell since 1895

Texas drought 2011-09-11

Texas isn’t the only place affected by heat and drought.

August was yet another busy month for global weather extremes. Highlights included record-busting heat and drought (again) in the south-central portions of the U.S.A. The climatological summer of June-August was the 2nd warmest since accurate measurements began in 1895. An intense heat wave also affected southern Europe in mid-month. Severe tropical storms lashed the eastern seaboard of the USA (Irene) and the Philippines and Japan. Torrential rains caused devastating flooding and landslides in Nigeria and Uganda. But the 2nd most important extreme weather story (2nd to the USA heat wave and drought) was the record cold wave and blizzard that hit New Zealand on August 14-15. Source: Weather Extremes : August 2011 Global Weather Extremes Summary : Weather Underground.

This drought and summer-heat is still going, and may continue until summer 2012. It did cool off last week though – lows in the mid-50’s, highs in the low 90’s – but we’ve only seen 1 inch of rain since August 1. That cool off is 2 weeks ahead of schedule. Usually we have a cool spell during the 3rd week of September.

Since January 1, state and local firefighters and crews from across the country have battled 18,887 wildfires over more than 3.5 million acres in Texas, according to state officials. Source: More wildfires erupt in Texas as it faces worst dry spell since 1895 – CNN.com.

Back in June I reported about Global Weirding and the number of counties in exceptional drought. Well, as expected, the trend continued into September. As of September 6, 81% of counties are in exceptional drought – the worst on the Drought Monitor’s scale.

See how fast wildfire spreads – Texas Parks and Wildlife

Global Weirding Serves Texas Worst Drought Since Dust Bowl

Almost two years after the drought of 2009, Texas is worse off than ever before. This summer, there are almost 4 times as many counties experiencing “exceptional” drought than in 2009 and almost 2 times as many than in 2006.

Just how hot is it? On May 25 – 27 days before the start of summer – we reached 100° F in Brazos county! If that’s a trend, I expect 45 – 60 days of 100+ degree days this summer. That is insane hot!

To our relief, it has rained and we got maybe 1/2 inch the last two nights. That will probably prolong the grass’ life another week or two. Check back in September, Texas might be in Dust Bowl 2.0. Meanwhile, crops and livestock are holding on for dear life.

To compound the trouble – or as a result of drought – Texas has experienced the worst fires ever too. More than 2 million acres have burned and it is only June – we have at least 90 days of dry, hot conditions ahead.

The tinder-dry conditions in Texas have spawned thousands of wildfires that have killed two firefighters, scorched about 2.3 million acres and destroyed about 400 homes since November. Source: Severe drought in Texas worst in map’s history | Star-Telegram

More time off the clock

Now it seems with every major earthquake, (in theory) our days are getting shorter.

Richard Gross, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, calculations indicate that by changing the distribution of Earth’s mass, the Japanese earthquake should have caused Earth to rotate a bit faster, shortening the length of the day by about 1.8 microseconds. “Earthquakes change the Earth

I wonder what the effects of a faster-spinning planet are to people? Will we get stronger, taller? Will the weather get more violent because of magnetic pole changes?