Archive for July, 2010

Bolivar After Ike
July 30, 2010

Twenty feet is the 100-year floodplain, but this still may be too low.  Homes built above 20 feet survived Hurricane Ike, while every home at 19 feet and below was washed away on Bolivar.  Timothy Reinhold, chief engineer for the Institute for Business & Home Safety, says homes built on the shoreline should be 26 feet, the 500-year floodplain.  He believes Texas should follow Florida’s lead and enact building codes that exceed international residential codes.

Alan and Lynn Bunn’s home after Ike and June of 2010


July Rain Amounts
July 29, 2010


Click image to view Thursday’s webcast:

Hole-Punch Clouds
July 28, 2010


If jet aircraft climb or descend under certain atmospheric conditions, they can inadvertently “seed” mid-level clouds.  Through this process aircraft leave behind holes or channels in the clouds.  The key is water droplets in the clouds have to be below five degrees Fahrenheit.  As air is cooled behind aircraft the water droplets freeze and drop toward earth creating what are known as hole-punch or canal clouds.  To read the complete article click here:

Hole Punch Clouds

To view other weather quiz answers click here:

Past Weather Quiz Answers

Storm Shots!
July 27, 2010


Photo by: Owen Conflenti, Houston

It took Owen two years to get a good lightning shot, but it was worth the wait.  An excellent phot by our morning anchor.

Photo by: Stephanie & Patrick Kennedy, Katy

Strong thunderstorms that brought hail and heavy rain fell on parts of southeast Texas Sunday evening.  The Kennedy’s acted quickly to protect their car from the hail falling by finding two trees to hide under. (This was their home.)

To view other hotshot pictures click here:

Hotshot Photos 2010

Tropical Storm Bonnie
July 23, 2010

Bonnie will be entering the Gulf of Mexico Saturday and, because of its fast movement, will make land Sunday afternoon/night, most likely in Louisiana as a tropical storm.  Southeast Texas is in the cone, but, as you can see, all of the models have Bonnie hitting Louisiana or Mississippi.  Unless it travels on the left hand side of the cone, our effects should be minimal.  We’ll see a few more clouds Sunday and possibly some rain, but, because we’ll be on the dry or “clean” side of this storm, we’ll miss most of the action.  Watch the Bonnie webcast below for an in depth look at the storm and how it will affect the oil spill. 

Bonnie’s Effects on Us and the Oil Spill
July 23, 2010


Click image to view your Hurricane Bonnie Webcast:

What is the Hottest Part of the Day?
July 20, 2010

I often get asked when is the hottest part of the day.  Most people think it is noon.  On today’s webcast I explain why late afternoon is the hottest part of the day and I also show you the latest flare up in the Tropics.  Click image to view Tuesday’s webcast.

Tour of the Hurricane Center
July 12, 2010

Click on the picture to view the National Hurricane Center tour on Saturday, June 19.  Perfect timing! Frank and I got to see how the forecasters track and predict the path and intensity of Hurricane Alex. (It was a depression at the time.)

Frank and I with Hurricane Center Director Bill Read.  He used to be the Meteorologist in Charge at the Houston/Galveston office.  He’s really good man and it was a fascinating tour.

National Hurricane Center

Ocean Currents Bringing Oil to SE Texas
July 9, 2010

So far, hurricane season has not been kind to southeast Texas when it comes to oil.  I’ve put together a webcast so you can see how ocean currents are driving the oil toward us. I often hear people say that the winds are moving the oil. This isn’t true. From day one, ocean currents have been steering the oil toward the Louisiana coast, Florida and the loop current. Hurricane Alex brought in strong seas that were moving from the southeast toward the northwest.  The seas over the oil rose 4 to 6 feet and the oil that was just beneath the surface was steered west for the first time. Tropical Depression No. 2 did the same thing. The strong easterly seas will go down starting tonight, but we are seeing the effects tropical systems have on ocean currents. I’ve said this from day one: The key is getting the oil stopped or it will keep showing up in different cities all along the Gulf Coast.   

Click the image to view why we are finding oil in Galveston.

Record July Rainfall
July 8, 2010

This is pretty incredible considering May was the third warmest month on record, and June tied as the sixth warmest month.  Houston had a complete turn around this July with the eighth wettest month on record — and we are only seven days into the month.  (These numbers do not reflect the rain falling Thursday morning.)  You often hear me say that tropical systems are “drought busters.” Hurricane Alex and Tropical Depression No. 2 brought heavy rain into southeast Texas and neither made a direct hit.

Bonnie Is Next
July 5, 2010

While many of us took the weekend off to enjoy family and celebrate our country’s independence, the tropics kept brewing.  An area of thunderstorms is moving into the Gulf of Mexico and the early models have this in Texas Wednesday.  Almost all of the models have this becoming Tropical Storm Bonnie, but, because there isn’t a center of circulation, we shouldn’t put too much stock in where the future track is or how strong it will get.  Right now this doesn’t look like will intensify the way Alex did last week.  It is a large mass of rain with different low pressure areas trying to form at the same time — one at the surface and another in the upper levels of the atmosphere.  This system may run out of time organizing itself.  This is good because it will have a hard time becoming a hurricane.  Unless this takes a drastic turn to the right, I think we should at least expect a rainy and cloudy middle of the week with coastal flooding possible (maybe more.)  Keep up with the weather this week — a lot can change in a short amount of time.  For more details watch my Tracking the Tropics Webcast.

What’s Next In Tropics
July 2, 2010

We are watching a low pressure area in the Gulf of Mexico.  There is a very small chance that this could become a tropical storm, but, as we saw with Alex, if it can stay over the warm Gulf waters it can strengthen. We, of course, will watch this for you all weekend.

Our model that is exclusive to KPRC Local 2 shows the low on land bringing heavy rain into the mouth of the Mississippi River at about 3 p.m. Sunday.  A couple of other models show that rain here on Sunday.

How To See a Rainbow
July 1, 2010


Always remember rain to the front, sun to the back to see a rainbow.

Photo by: Michael Horan, Spring

To view other weather quiz answers click here:

Past Weather Quiz Answers