Last week, Austin, Texas, and surrounding communities found themselves flooded after a relentless thunderstorm dropped more than a foot of rain in just a few hours. This astounding rainfall event was the result of a phenomenon known as “training,” and as Austin saw, training can lead to devastating results.
Gone are the days of temperatures in the 90s as the southern U.S. finally joins the rest of the country in the damp, dreary experience that is the arrival of fall. A ribbon of moisture direct from the tropical Pacific Ocean will team up with an approaching low to dump loads of heavy, much-needed rain on the south in the coming days.
One of the biggest weather stories in recent years is the distinct lack of weather in much of the country—the drought is an ongoing, slow-motion disaster in the western United States, but abnormally dry conditions are starting to spread east. More than half of the United States is suffering from an unusual lack of rainfall, with much of the south and East Coast joining the west in their need for water.
Have you had a chance to dry out from Rainpocalypse 2015? I hope so! We’re getting ready to see significant amounts of rain across the central U.S. in a short amount of time, and flash flood watches are in place in anticipation of this environmental ablution as we trudge through the first full week of July.
Three days after landfall and after traveling over more than 850 miles of land, Bill is still a tropical depression as it swirls over Missouri. The storm has produced catastrophic flooding along its path, and more flooding is likely through the Ohio Valley and eventually into the I-95 corridor of the Mid-Atlantic.
As Tropical Depression Bill swirls its way through northern Texas this afternoon, the storm looks more impressive over land than it ever did over the ocean. The storm is still producing very heavy rainfall, and flash flooding is likely as it continues sloshing towards Oklahoma and eventually the Midwest.
After hours of teetering on the edge, the National Hurricane Center finally took the plunge and declared a swirling mass of thunderstorms in the Gulf of Mexico a tropical storm, the second of the Atlantic hurricane season. The greatest threat with Bill is very heavy rainfall that could lead to flash flooding.
A major flash flood event could unfold over the next couple of days as what is likely to become Tropical Storm Bill limps its way towards Texas. What the storm lacks in vivacity it will more than make up for in intense rainfall. The storm will produce flooding rains from Houston to New York City, causing major flash flooding in areas that already have more water than they can handle.
The recent rains over the southern Plains have been nothing less than spectacular, spawning a constant stream of severe thunderstorms that dumped inches of rain in short time, flooding areas that haven’t seen this much in years. The influx of water finally paid off: only a few small parts of Texas and Oklahoma are still in drought.
It’s been a crazy month for severe weather on the southern Plains, with Texas and Oklahoma making a spectacular recovery from drought by drowning under more rain than they’ve seen in years. Leaving behind hundreds of victims and millions (if not billions) of dollars in damage, the rain will finally start to subside this week.
It just keeps getting worse. The gully-washers and toad-stranglers are in full force across Texas and Oklahoma at this hour as the region stares down the barrel of more heavy rain and flooding after years of thirsting for some delicious sky water. Some spots could see double-digit rainfall totals by this time next week.
Remember a couple of years ago when Texas was in such a deep, seemingly-irreversible drought that experts trumpeted it as the next great megadrought, the likes of which would cause Texas to poof into a pile of dust by the end of the decade? The people currently wading through their living rooms remember.
There’s a moderate risk for severe weather across a tiny but heavily-populated portion of Texas this afternoon, including Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco, and Arlington. Intense tornadoes (≥EF-2), very large hail, and destructive wind gusts are possible. Stay alert if you’re in the area today, and prepare to take quick action to ensure your safety. You can keep up with watches/forecasts over at the Storm Prediction Center, and keep track of warnings from your local NWS office.
Cities like Dallas, Fort Worth, and Shreveport are under the gun for what could be an interesting bout of severe weather this afternoon, with storms potentially producing very large hail, damaging winds, and strong tornadoes. If you live in the area, make sure you have a way to receive warnings and a plan if you need to take life-saving action.
If it's daytime in mid-April, it means that there's a risk for severe weather somewhere on the Plains. Texas will be ground zero for the storms for the next few days—today, cities like San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Amarillo could all see hail larger than golf balls, damaging winds, and possibly a tornado or two. Insert your favorite "everything's bigger in Texas" joke here.
Another round of wintry weather tonight will get the south off to an ugly crunch for the second Monday in a row. The first batch of snow and ice is already falling across a swath of real estate from Louisiana to North Carolina, while a more threatening round of sleet and freezing rain will affect Texas and Oklahoma on Monday morning.
Meteorologists have to deal with sharp tongues when forecasts don't pan out, but it's not every day they have to deal with sharp teeth. The National Weather Service released a statement this afternoon announcing that repairs to a Texas weather radar were put on hold "due to complications involving a rattlesnake."