Sunday, April 2, 2017

Texas Tornadoes To Lead To Northeast Floods?

My yard and driveway in St. Albans, Vermont was a mess of
snow, slush and mud Saturday evening. It'll start to melt
fast this week but the thaw will raise the flood risk. 
You'll probably hear news later today out of Texas and Louisiana about severe storms, tornadoes and floods afflicting that part of the country.

A very strong, dynamic storm system was in Texas this morning, and it was already causing all kinds of havoc.

Usually, storms that produce tornadoes and severe weather peak in the afternoon and evening, when the strongest, most numerous twisters and damaging storms happen.

The heat of the afternoon sun adds energy to the atmosphere, fueling dangerous thunderstorms.

That'll be the case today, but the Texas severe weather had already started early this morning, when there is more of a lull in the action.

That's because the storm is so strong, it can produce dangerous weather without any help from the sun.

As of 7:30 a.m eastern time, there was already a tornado watch up for much of Texas, including Austin and San Antonio.  There've been a couple of tornado warnings already, and flash flood warnings too, well west of those cities.

The dangerous weather - floods, tornadoes, big hail and high winds - will keep spreading north and east as the day wears on.

It will be an interesting day in Texas and Louisiana let me tell ya.

Up here in New England, we're going to feel the effects of that Texas storm by Tuesday. Don't worry: We won't get any tornadoes, gigantic hailstones or horrible winds.

But it looks like we'll get plenty of precipitation.

The storm coming from Texas will be warmer than the one we just had, so there won't be nearly as much snow as what we had Friday and Saturday. (The big winner in Vermont from Saturday's storm was 15.8 inches in Rochester, with a widespread coating of five to 12 inches around the Green Mountain State.)

There might be a brief mix of snow at times near the beginning and end of the storm, and maybe a little accumulation in the mountains.  Northern Maine could also get several inches of snow from this.

Otherwise, this will mostly be a drenching rain. Combined with melting snow, I imagine rivers and streams will begin to rise on Tuesday.

At this point, I think any flooding from the Tuesday storm will mostly be small streams, and urban  and street flooding from snow and ice clogged drains. Also, we'll get things like basement flooding, as the ground is still partly frozen, and water might not have anywhere to go but your basement.


A second, possibly very wet storm due at the end of the week poses an even greater flood danger from Vermont and much of the rest of the Northeast.

The Thursday and Friday storm looks even warmer than the one coming along Tuesday, so a lot of rain and more rapidly melting snow could cause real trouble.

We'll keep an eye on that one.

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