Weather

Texas A&M UniversityWarm temperatures in Texas dominated the month of October, so much so that the month will go down as the fourth warmest October in the state’s history, according to figures from the State Climatologist at Texas A&M University.

John Nielsen-Gammon, Regents Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M who also serves as State Climatologist, says the month also tied for the sixth driest since official record keeping began in 1895.

“So far, we know that 215 records were set all across the state, from Alpine to Amarillo to Brownsville and Beaumont,” Nielsen-Gammon says.

“About 70 percent of those records were set during the period Oct. 16-20.  Every single station reported above-normal temperatures for the month.  The warmest areas relative to normal were the northern Panhandle, the Midland-Odessa area and the area northeast of Dallas.”

Numerous national records have also been set in much of the Southwest, Midwest and Northeast, with many stations recording October temperatures 20 degrees above normal.  Also, many northern cities have yet to record their first freeze, and areas such as Denver had no measureable snowfall in October.

Does it mean another warm winter is in store?

“October’s weather doesn’t mean much going forward, but the combination of a long-term warming trend and a likely La Niña (cooler than normal waters in the Central Pacific Ocean that tend to influence weather patterns) event does mean that winter is likely to be warm across Texas,” he added.

“We’re seeing drought spreading across much of the state, with core drought areas in East Texas and South Texas.  At this point, November is looking quite a bit wetter than October, but the overall outlook for the winter favors drier than normal conditions.”

 

Texas A&M UniversityStudying hurricane and tropical storm development from three million years ago might give today’s forecasters a good blueprint for 21st century storms, says a team of international researchers that includes a Texas A&M University atmospheric sciences professor.

Robert Korty, associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M, along with colleagues from China, Norway, and the University of Wisconsin, have had their work published in the current issue of PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).

The team studied storm development from the Pliocene era, roughly three million years ago, and chose that time period because it was the last time the Earth had as much carbon dioxide as it does now, and the changes in climate from it can play a major role in storm formation and intensity.

Using computer models and simulations, the team found an increase in the average intensity during the period and the storms most often moved into higher latitudes – to a more northward direction.

“There seems to be a limit on how strong these ancient storms might be, but the number getting close to the limit appears to be larger during warmer periods,” Korty explains.

“They reached their peak intensity at higher latitudes, following an expansion of tropical conditions with warming. It is consistent with smaller changes in the same patterns that we have observed over recent decades and project to continue over the next 100 years. I think it gives us greater confidence in some trends we are witnessing about how storms may change in future years.”

Researchers today know that the oceans continued to be relatively warm during the Pliocene era, though there has been some uncertainty where waters were warmest.  Their study found that the increase in average intensity and in the poleward expansion occurred regardless of where the greatest change in temperatures occurred in the Pliocene.

Korty says the study adds more evidence “that future storms are likely to be stronger in their intensity and to remain strong even as they move out of the tropics.”

The study was funded by the National Science Foundation.

 

Fort Bend CountyFORT BEND COUNTY, TX – Since the catastrophic flooding in May of this year, Fort Bend County has provided services to meet the needs of the thousands of residents impacted by the flood. From simple barricades across impassable streets, to rescue and evacuation, to temporary shelter and long-term recovery for the dozens of families actually flooded out of their homes; “business as usual” for Fort Bend County has been far from business as usual.

This past May, a large storm system moved through Texas, drenching the Brazos River watershed just upstream of Fort Bend County. The Brazos River rose to 54.8 feet at the Richmond river gauge, almost four feet higher than any event in the last sixty years. The flood inundated 17% of the county –148 square miles.

“This has been the biggest flooding disaster in the memories of most of our residents,” says Fort Bend County Judge, Robert Hebert, “and its impact is going to be felt in our community for a long time.” The resulting flooding damaged well over a thousand homes out of approximately 50,000 residents affected and forced the coordination of almost 800 rescues.

Many residents received flood insurance payments, FEMA grants, or Small Business Association loans, but that money only helps jump-start their recovery process. The County is now pursuing additional state and federal funds to help residents recover more fully, including funds to help offset costs of construction or sale of the affected property. This is, of course, in addition to the swift actions on the part of the County to ease the tax burden on affected homeowners, waive permitting fees for those who chose to rebuild and pay for contractor support to expedite the recovery process. For some, this will not be enough.

The County has also collaborated with the United Way to facilitate a Long Term Recovery Committee to help meet additional needs of the residents recovering from this disaster. The Long Term Recovery Committee (Fort Bend Recovers) is comprised of non-profits, faith-based organizations, community groups, businesses, and local governments working to find unique solutions for residents, like a furniture donation warehouse and a long-term recovery fund.

The County also opened a first-ever Flood Recovery Center. “We wanted to make it even easier for residents to get the help they needed to recover, so we moved several critical departments under one roof.” Judge Hebert adds, “In total 5 county departments staffed the center for 9 days and helped over a hundred residents get answers to their recovery questions.”

Fort Bend County has only begun traversing the long road to recovery, but with the County Judge, the County Commissioners, and the combined effort of county departments, progress is being made. The strong leadership and collaborative efforts of citizen volunteers, private businesses, non-profit organizations and local governments willing to come together in support those experiencing flood damage, reinforces why Fort Bend County is one of the best places in the United States to live, work and play.

Hurricane photoWhat is the situation?

Tropical Storm Nicole, the fourteenth named storm of 2016, has formed in the central Atlantic Ocean. There is no threat to Texas.

What you need to do:

Even though the 2016 Hurricane Season is winding down, residents of the Texas Gulf Coast should continue to be aware of the potential for tropical weather. Whether you are in an evacuation zone or you just need to be able to ride out the storm, the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM) has resources to help you be ready for anything at www.readyharris.org.

HCOHSEM’s ReadyHarris mobile app puts the power to build a personalized preparedness plan in the palm of your hand. The free app is available for both Apple and Android. Click here to download now.

Where you can learn more:

National Hurricane Center
Interactive Zip-Zone Evacuation Map
Houston-Galveston National Weather Service Office
Ready.gov – Hurricanes

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Hurricane photoWhat is the situation?

Tropical Storm Matthew has formed near the Caribbean. It is the 13th named storm of 2016.

What you need to know:

Tropical Storm Matthew poses no threat to Texas.

Keep in mind that there is still a good chance for tropical storms or hurricanes to form late in the season. The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management reminds residents to remain vigilant. Prepare now by having an emergency plan, assembling an emergency supply kit and by staying informed. Go to www.readyharris.org for resources or download our free ReadyHarris mobile app to help you create a personalized preparedness plan. Click here to download it now. Hurricane season runs through November 30th.

Where you can learn more:

Tropical Weather Information: National Hurricane Center

Local Forecast: National Weather Service

Preparedness & Emergency Information: www.readyharris.org
www.readyharris.org
For more information visit the Regional Joint Information Center website at www.readyharris.org

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harris county alertsSeptember 20, 2016

What is the situation?

Tropical Storm Lisa has formed in the Atlantic. It is the 12th named storm of 2016.

What you need to know:

Tropical Storm Lisa poses no threat to Texas.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the Atlantic basin is experiencing its most active season in three years. The Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management reminds residents to remain vigilant. Prepare now by having an emergency plan, assembling an emergency supply kit and by staying informed. Go to www.readyharris.org for resources or download our free ReadyHarris mobile app to help you create a personalized preparedness plan. Click here to download it now. Hurricane season runs through November 30th.

Where you can learn more:

Tropical Weather Information: National Hurricane Center

Local Forecast: National Weather Service

Preparedness & Emergency Information: www.readyharris.org
www.readyharris.org
For more information visit the Regional Joint Information Center website at www.readyharris.org

September 14, 2016Hurricane photo

What is the situation?

Tropical Storm Julia formed in the northeast Atlantic on Tuesday evening. It is the tenth named storm of 2016.

What you need to know:

Tropical Storm Julia made landfall early Wednesday morning and poses no threat to Texas.

We are now at the peak of hurricane season and the Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management reminds residents to remain vigilant. Prepare now by having an emergency plan, assembling an emergency supply kit and by staying informed. Go to www.readyharris.org for resources or download our free ReadyHarris mobile app to help you create a personalized preparedness plan. Click here to download it now. Hurricane season runs through November 30th.

Where you can learn more:

Tropical Weather Information: National Hurricane Center

Local Forecast: National Weather Service

Preparedness & Emergency Information: www.readyharris.org
http://www.readyharris.org/”>www.readyharris.org
For more information visit the Regional Joint Information Center website at www.readyharris.org

Hurricane photoWhat is the situation?

Tropical Storm Hermine has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and is forecast to make landfall along the Florida Gulf coast by Thursday evening. Hermine is the eighth named storm of 2016.

What you need to know:

Tropical Storm Hermine poses no threat to Southeast Texas.

Any tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico can be a potential threat to the Texas coast during hurricane season. Make sure your emergency kit and disaster plans are up to date. Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do in the event you have to evacuate or shelter in place due to tropical weather.

Go to www.readyharris.org for additional resources and download our free ReadyHarris mobile app to help you create a personalized preparedness plan. Click here to download it now.

Where you can learn more:

National Hurricane Center
Interactive Zip-Zone Evacuation Map
Houston-Galveston National Weather Service
Ready.gov – Hurricanes
www.readyharris.org

For more information visit the Regional Joint Information Center website at www.readyharris.org

Harris County Fire Marshal LogoHarris County – On August 17 at approximately 7:11 p.m., Harris County Fire Marshal’s investigators were called to assist Cy‐Fair Volunteer Fire Department with a three‐alarm fire at the Yorktown Crossing Apartments in the 15000 block of Yorktown Crossing Parkway. Cy‐Fair, Jersey Village, Westlake, ESD 48, Houston, and Spring Fire Departments responded to the scene. Twenty‐four units were affected by the fire and there were no injuries.

“After a thorough scene examination, investigators determined the fire started in the attic of the apartment complex and was caused by a lightning strike,” said Lieutenant Scott Schoonover.

The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office Investigations Division is responsible for fire, arson, and explosion investigations in unincorporated Harris County.

harris county alertsWhat is the situation?

Tropical Storm Fiona has formed in the Atlantic Ocean. It is the sixth named storm of 2016.

What you need to know:

Tropical Storm Fiona poses no immediate threat to Texas Coast.

With the peak of hurricane season underway, Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management urges all residents to prepare for the next storm by having an emergency plan, assembling an emergency supply kit and by staying informed. Go to www.readyharris.org for resources or download our free ReadyHarris mobile app to help you create a personalized preparedness plan. Click here to download it now.

Where you can learn more:

Forecasts: National Weather Service

Preparedness & Emergency Information: www.readyharris.org

Tropical Weather Information: National Hurricane Center

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