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Texas' "extreme" drought is over
05-25-2015, 05:17 PM (This post was last modified: 05-25-2015 05:22 PM by Miguel.)
Post: #1
Texas' "extreme" drought is over
Quote:Look east, California.

Five years of extreme drought have come to a dramatic end in Texas and Oklahoma as a month of heavy rains has replenished reservoirs, dampened parched soil across both states and unleashed floodwaters on vulnerable residents.

A downpour this weekend pushed rivers far over their banks in central Texas, where flooding devoured hundreds of rural homes between Austin and San Antonio. At least 2,000 people fled to emergency shelter as helicopters rescued residents from rooftops and bridges snapped apart like Graham crackers. At least one person was dead and three others were missing as of Sunday afternoon.

...Sunday's flooding in Texas was especially dramatic in the town of Wimberley, population 2,582, where Hays County officials estimated more than 350 homes have been destroyed.

The Blanco River rose from about 5 feet at 10 p.m. Saturday to more than 40 feet at 1 a.m., well past its record high of 33 feet, according to National Weather Service river data.

^ 12 people are still missing, nine of them were from two families staying in the vacation home of dentist from Corpus Christi that was swept away. One man survived. He was found 12 miles down river and suffered a fractured sternum, broken ribs, and concussion.

[Image: CF4pxBUVIAA1wp9.jpg]

Quote:The Texas flooding comes after months of wetter-than-normal weather and less than a week after officials logged an absence of extreme drought in any part of Texas or Oklahoma for the first time in five years.

The category "extreme drought" means that officials expect major crop and pasture losses along with widespread water shortages or restrictions.

At the peak of Texas' brutal drought in 2011 — which drew comparisons to the Dust Bowl days of the Great Depression — 97% of the state was under extreme drought or worse. A year ago, it was 40%.

Now, it's 0%. The figures in Oklahoma are similar.

That's compared with 67% of California under extreme drought or worse right now.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-texa...tml#page=1

Quote:Lake Travis (big lake near Austin) storage is up 200,000 acre feet in the last week. That's about a 65 billion gallon increase.

[Image: CF4r4k6UgAAXVz1.jpg]

Lake Travis is up 20 feet. It's 30 feet from returning to its normal level.
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05-25-2015, 05:54 PM
Post: #2
RE: Texas' "extreme" drought is over
Well, hmmm, does flooding ultimately relieve drought issues, since it leaves a path of destruction of homes, businesses, etc., but the run off doesn't usually help?

But -- OK, if it works for you!

California, on the other hand - well, actually the West Coast is suffering the consequences of the "warm blob" in the Pacific Ocean, and it seems unlikely our situation will change in the near future. I won't attempt to explain, but hopefully our Halien climatologist will chime (no pressure -- Tongue).
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05-25-2015, 06:00 PM (This post was last modified: 05-25-2015 06:01 PM by Miguel.)
Post: #3
RE: Texas' "extreme" drought is over
The ground is saturated because we've had good solid rains for a month, that makes flooding more likely.

Quote:The nonstop Texas-Oklahoma rains are probably being influenced by a building El Niño in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, whose warm waters tend to bring rain to the southern U.S., said Bill Patzert, a climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge.

If a full-blown El Niño develops, that could mean rain for Southern California next winter, and it could mean trouble too, he said.

"The headlines that you're writing today about Texas and Oklahoma, you could be writing about California in January," Patzert said. "There's something to remember about El Niño — he's a good boy and he's a bad boy because he can deliver drought relief that's much-needed. But all that water coming so fast is like trying to catch water out of a fire hose with a champagne glass."

He also cautioned Californians against putting too much hope in El Niño to end the state's drought.

"Everybody is thinking of El Niño as the great wet hope, as the great drought buster," he said. "The building El Niño is having some impact on the heavy weather we're seeing in Oklahoma and Texas, but we're a long way from seeing the equivalent rains in California next winter."
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05-25-2015, 06:17 PM
Post: #4
RE: Texas' "extreme" drought is over
(05-25-2015 06:00 PM)Miguel Wrote:  The ground is saturated because we've had good solid rains for a month, that makes flooding more likely.

Quote:The nonstop Texas-Oklahoma rains are probably being influenced by a building El Niño in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, whose warm waters tend to bring rain to the southern U.S., said Bill Patzert, a climatologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge.

If a full-blown El Niño develops, that could mean rain for Southern California next winter, and it could mean trouble too, he said.

"The headlines that you're writing today about Texas and Oklahoma, you could be writing about California in January," Patzert said. "There's something to remember about El Niño — he's a good boy and he's a bad boy because he can deliver drought relief that's much-needed. But all that water coming so fast is like trying to catch water out of a fire hose with a champagne glass."

He also cautioned Californians against putting too much hope in El Niño to end the state's drought.

"Everybody is thinking of El Niño as the great wet hope, as the great drought buster," he said. "The building El Niño is having some impact on the heavy weather we're seeing in Oklahoma and Texas, but we're a long way from seeing the equivalent rains in California next winter."

Well, yeah, for the month of rain that you've had! Is the ground truly saturated or is it just so hard (from the drought) that it can't really absorb much to begin with?

In any case, I'm putting more stock in the "warm blob" than El Niño at this point.
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05-25-2015, 10:23 PM (This post was last modified: 05-25-2015 10:29 PM by Miguel.)
Post: #5
RE: Texas' "extreme" drought is over
It's saturated. The rains are not only frequent but long in duration.

More about that vacation home that was swept away:

Quote:The elder McComb said his son became separated from the rest of the families after the house was knocked off its foundation. The home, with people still inside, floated precariously down a river. The house struck a bridge, and began to disintegrate as it continued to move, he said.
^ His parents were in Hawaii celebrating their 44th wedding anniversary

A woman received a call from her sister, his wife, who was inside the home:
Quote:"We're in a house floating down the river, I'm with the children, call mom, and pray for us."
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05-26-2015, 06:36 PM (This post was last modified: 05-26-2015 06:39 PM by Miguel.)
Post: #6
RE: Texas' "extreme" drought is over
This is kind of neat. It's aerial footage of the Trinity River in Dallas shot by a drone. The Trinity is normally a narrow channel that runs along the trees you see in the video, surrounded by a grassy areas on both sides. There are earthen levees to contain floodwaters.





This weekend the river was at the 40-ft flood stage and people came out to see it. The bridge with the people on it was an old roadway that was converted to a pedestrian bridge when they built the way-overpriced signature bridge next to it. There are plans to spend a billion dollars to convert the area around the river below into a major park

The plans include a controversial toll road inside the levee on the side closest to downtown Dallas. It's controversial because people voted for the park only to learn about the road afterwords, and they don't want an expressway near the park.

In other weather-related news, Houston was hit hard yesterday. They had 11 inches of rain overnight, which caused major flooding.
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05-26-2015, 07:11 PM
Post: #7
RE: Texas' "extreme" drought is over
(05-26-2015 06:36 PM)Miguel Wrote:  This is kind of neat. It's aerial footage of the Trinity River in Dallas shot by a drone. The Trinity is normally a narrow channel that runs along the trees you see in the video, surrounded by a grassy areas on both sides. There are earthen levees to contain floodwaters.





This weekend the river was at the 40-ft flood stage and people came out to see it. The bridge with the people on it was an old roadway that was converted to a pedestrian bridge when they built the way-overpriced signature bridge next to it. There are plans to spend a billion dollars to convert the area around the river below into a major park

The plans include a controversial toll road inside the levee on the side closest to downtown Dallas. It's controversial because people voted for the park only to learn about the road afterwords, and they don't want an expressway near the park.

In other weather-related news, Houston was hit hard yesterday. They had 11 inches of rain overnight, which caused major flooding.

Eleven inches overnight? Wow! No wonder there is major flooding!

Oh, and the toll road that appeared after a vote? Well, maybe you have something on Seattle there (and probably other major cities -- and small towns), but Seattle has two stadiums (baseball and football) that its citizens voted down, but TPTB managed to push through anyway. Given the football team's success in the last couple years, I suspect much of the anger/resentment/controversy has subsided, but there is still the fact that the voters' decision ultimately meant nothing.
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05-26-2015, 09:09 PM
Post: #8
RE: Texas' "extreme" drought is over
I'm not sure who benefits from the toll road. I don't think downtown needs it because the area's employment base is spread out.

[Image: 0711075mapDN.png]

That area between MLK Boulevard and Fair Park is right near downtown but a sketchy area. Maybe this is a stealth plan to encourage development there.

This is what the area around the bridges normally looks like:

[Image: MHH+1.jpg]
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05-27-2015, 07:20 AM
Post: #9
RE: Texas' "extreme" drought is over
Hmmm ... a toll road would "encourage development"??? Must be a different mentality than that held in the PNW, where people will drive many more miles to avoid a toll bridge across Lake Washington.

My sympathy goes out to those impacted by the destruction of all the flooding.
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05-27-2015, 12:00 PM
Post: #10
RE: Texas' "extreme" drought is over
Miguel, do you think there could be any weather/flood issues for PMJ shows in Texas?
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