Archive for June, 2010

A Big BP Problem!
June 29, 2010


This is a potential huge problem!  Most storms that track into the Gulf of Mexico don’t form far enough away to give five days notice.  Take Alex for example.  It formed Friday in the Caribbean and some of the initial models had it going right over the oil on Wednesday.  That’s five days but a shut down wasn’t called because of the uncertainty in the forecast.  What if those models had been correct?  The model forecast are good three days out, five days there is quite an error spread.  Let’s hope BP isn’t tested on this. 

If BP did have to tear down it would take an additional five days to get it back up and running.  That could mean 12 -15 days the oil keeps spilling with no one even trying to stop it. 

To view other weather quiz answers click here:

Past Weather Quiz Answers



How Alex Will Affect Us
June 29, 2010

As you can see, unless there is a dramatic change in the forecast, Alex will not make a direct hit on SE Texas.  But that doesn’t mean we won’t feel any affects.  A coastal flood watch is in effect with seas going up 6-9 feet.  Heavy rain will be the story for the greater Houston area.  We’ll receive 2-4″ through Thursday with some spots getting more and of course that means there is the potential for flooding. 

Alex should become a hurricane tonight and may make land as a category 2 storm.

How Far North Will This Storm Go?
June 28, 2010

The trend since Sunday has Alex tracking more north toward the Texas coastline.  Notice how most of the models are moving the storm into Texas.  With warm Gulf waters and low wind shear, Alex should become a category 2 or 3 hurricane by Wednesday making land Thursday.  Because of its compact size and track, oil recovery should not be interrupted.  However, because of the counterclockwise flow around a hurricane, we will see increased seas moving more oil toward the coastline.  Not good news. 

The closer Alex gets to us in southeast Texas, the more seas will increase along the coast. I’ll have more on this tomorrow.  A Texas landfall should bring  periods of heavy rain to us Wednesday and Thursday.  I’ve seen storms like this hit Brownsville and cause flooding in Houston because of the outer rain bands.  I hope everyone reading this has a plan and is prepared no matter what happens.  Please keep coming back to the blog and watch me in the morning and Frank in the afternoon for the latest developments. 

The Summer Solstice
June 21, 2010


To view Monday’s webcast click image

Gulf Oil Spill: Worst Case Scenario
June 18, 2010

Bill Read, the National Hurricane Center director, met with the Houston Chapter of the American Meteorological Society Thursday night.  Every day he fields calls about the Gulf oil spill.  He shared the worst case scenario with the oil spill disaster. 

Click image to view the webcast.

What the image is showing is the storm surge levels from a major hurricane hitting Texas and missing the oil spill.  Gradually, the ocean rises three to six feet and the oil moves into Florida and Louisiana.  It would be better if a hurricane like this moved directly over the spill because then it will help dilute the oil.  The heavy rain and winds from the hurricane would be better for the marshes than a slow lifting of the oil on shore. 

The odds of a category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane flowing this path and hitting southeast Texas are extremely small, but as you can see, the potential damage caused by this is tremendous.

How Large is the Oil Spill?
June 10, 2010

I made a webcast showing the size of the oil spill relative to where we live in southeast Texas. Two weeks after the spill the entire area was as large as Harris County. Now look at it. This has to be stopped. Unfortunately, it looks like the only hope is a relief line that will be put in August at the earliest.

Click image to view web cast:

The Young Scientists Club
June 2, 2010


Another giveaway this Wednesday. If you are riding out any storm, you want to make sure the kids have something to do. The Magic School Bus is one option. Leave a comment if want one and one person will win one of the boxes.  To get more information on the Young Scientists Club click here: 

Hurricane Giveaway
June 1, 2010

To help get you prepared for this hurricane season we’re giving away this Energizer emergency battery kit.  If you win you’ll get a flashlight, battery-powered radio, cell phone charger and extra batteries.  Even if you don’t win, you should be prepared for a power outage with one flashlight per person in the family and additional batteries.  Don’t use candles, approximately 15,000 house fires are caused by candles. In 2008 many residents were without power for a few days to several weeks because of Hurricane Ike.  To win the kit simply respond to this post with a way your family prepares for the hurricane season or something you’d like to do different to make sure you are ready for any storm.