Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Houston, We Have A Problem

The Houston Chronicle showed
this chaos on the city's freeways  
The latest city to be tortured by the epic storms and flooding across the South is Houston.

Torrential rains fell across that city last night, and freeways are under water. The Houston Chronicle reports people are still stranded on freeways.

Most stranded motorists wisely opted not to drive into flooded areas, but when they turned around to go another way, they found their escape routes abruptly flooded out, too.

Schools are closed in Houston, buses aren't running and commuters are being urged to stay home instead of driving to work.

Six to 11 inches of rain fell on the Houston area Monday.

An epic line of torrential storms crossed most of Texas from west to east during the day Monday, aggravating the intense flooding that has clobbered the state and neighboring Oklahoma for days now

According to Reuters and other news organizations, at least five people have died and 12 are missing after the flooding over the last few days. Homes were swept away along the Blanco River in near San Marcus, Texas.
A bridge after the flood in Wimberly, Texas. Photo from
the Associated Press  

One of the deaths was the homecoming queen of a high school whose car was swept off a road by floodwaters as she was driving home from the senior prom. The governor of Texas likened some of the flash floods to tsunamis.

The nation, and the world, have been getting more and more of these intense precipitation events.

Especially in or near summer. Last summer, Detroit and the Washington DC area were clobbered by these types of intense flooding downpours.

You can't attribute every single flash flood to climate change, but the fact that these epic floods are occuring more frequently falls in line with what climate scientists have been telling us for years now

While climate change can cause droughts in some areas, it can also create more intense storms. Hotter air holds more moisture than cooler air. So if the atmosphere wants to unleash a storm and downpour, the air is now often able to dump more rain than in storms decades ago.

So you get the type of thing you got in Texas this week:  Record flooding.

The storms across the South aren't done yet. However, the storms and rain coming in the next few days mostly don't look as if they'll be as intense as those over the past few days.

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