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Posts Tagged ‘hurricanes’

What happened to the hurricanes?

This had been predicted to be one of the busier hurricane seasons of recent years. It turned out to be one of the quietest. What happened? “A combination of conditions acted to offset several climate patterns that historically have produced active hurricane seasons,” explained Gerry Bell, NOAA’s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster. “As a result, we […]

Ike floodgate update

Call it Ike Dike 2.0 if you want. Five years after Hurricane Ike devastated the upper Texas coast, a group of Houston scientists presented details Tuesday about a proposed gate to protect the Houston Ship Channel and much of the Bayou City’s industrial base during another hurricane. Meeting at Rice University, the scientists generally agreed […]

Welcome to hurricane season

Today is the start of hurricane season for 2013, and we should expect a bumpy ride for the next few months. NOAA predicts an above normal, and possibly a hyper-active hurricane season: 13-20 named storms 7-11 hurricanes 3-6 major hurricanes This is about 50 percent more activity than occurs during a normal season. The main […]

Busy hurricane season predicted

Start stocking up on batteries and bottled water. Forecasters agree: The coming Atlantic hurricane season looks like a busy one. A number of factors, principally higher-than-normal temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean where most tropical storms form, indicate this season will see a flurry of tropical activity. “A wild season is on the way,” predicted Joe […]

Do July showers bring August hurricanes?

So we had a nice, wet, not too hot July that among other things help erase the drought in Harris County. What could possibly be bad about that? Increased risk of hurricanes, that’s what. [Impact Weather forecaster Chris] Hebert studied the 20 wettest and 20 driest Julys on record for Houston and found a striking […]

Here comes El Niño

Our hurricane season could be short. The formation of Tropical Storm Debby last weekend in the Gulf of Mexico brought the tally of Atlantic storms to four this season, the earliest that’s ever happened. But despite the quick beginning, scientists say this season may have a much quicker end, with an El Niño system likely […]

Friday random ten: Hurricane season

We are officially in hurricane season now, and though Texas missed out on TS Debby, we know there’s more to come. So here are ten storm songs to get you through. 1. Full Force Gale – Van Morrison 2. Ready For The Storm – Gordian Knot 3. Ill Wind – Lonette McKee 4. Stormy Weather […]

Calculate your storm risk

That hurricane risk calculator is now ready for your input. Using the Storm Risk Calculator produced by the city of Houston and Rice University, users can enter an address and learn the risks for rainfall, power outage, storm surge and rain damage. For example, Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s house in Midtown has a low risk […]

How bad would a big hurricane be to Houston?

Very bad. I trust you are not surprised by this. When a really strong hurricane next blows through Houston, its winds – not its waters – pose the greatest threat to inflict damage unimagined by most living here. Tropical Storm Allison produced a virtually worst-case flooding scenario in 2001, racking up $5 billion in damages. […]

The Ike Floodgate

We have a recommendation for how to prepare for a future Hurricane Ike. A giant floodgate at the entrance to the Houston Ship Channel, coupled with a 130-mile wetlands recreation area, should be built to protect Houston from hurricane storm surges, a research team from five Texas universities recommended Monday. The two-year study led by […]

Hurricane season is mostly behind us

Normally, this would be considered good news. Ironically, even as the Atlantic tropics reach their peak and Texas marks the anniversaries of 1961′s Hurricane Carla on Sunday and 2008′s Hurricane Ike next Tuesday, chances of a hurricane making landfall on the state this year are falling. “Historically, hurricanes rarely impact the Texas coast after mid-September, […]

Friday random ten: Blowin’ in the wind

Those of us here on the Gulf Coast are quite familiar with hurricanes and all they can bring with them, so we have much sympathy for those on the East Coast who are in the path of Hurricane Irene. Whether you hunker down or get out of town, we wish you all the best as […]

Time for the annual “Are we ready for a big storm?” story

The answer, of course, is no, not really. After Tropical Storm Allison’s devastating floods, the Houston area widened its bayous and hardened its infra­structure. After Hurricane Rita’s deadly gridlock, the state revamped storm communications and evacuation plans. Yet since Hurricane Ike’s enormous surge wiped out coastal communities and its $30 billion in damages dwarfed those […]

Time for the annual “We’re in for a busy hurricane season” forecast

And indeed, forecasters say we are in for another active year, as was the case last year. Here’s SciGuy with some discussion. [S]easonal forecasters did a pretty good job of calling last year’s extraordinarily active season. So while there’s no way we can say precisely where storms might make landfall this year, it’s a fairly […]

Amicus briefs filed in Galveston beach case

Good for you, Vince Ryan. Harris County today joined other public agencies and activists in urging the Texas Supreme Court to reconsider a recent opinion that critics contend blocks public access to most beaches on Galveston island. County Attorney Vince Ryan filed a friend-of-the court brief on behalf of the county and the Texas Conference […]

Patterson on the Open Beaches ruling

I must say, I enjoyed Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson’s op-ed on the recent Open Beaches ruling by the State Supreme Court. The man can bring the snark, I’ll give him that. Two points of interest besides that: Texans, you see, can be such a hard-headed lot. Most of us ignorantly thought passing the Texas Open […]

State Supreme Court asked to reconsider open beaches verdict

Good luck with that. Galveston has joined key state agencies in pleading with the court to reconsider a ruling that favors private property rights over public access to Texas shores. “I think the Supreme Court really needs to understand the impact of its ruling. It’s not just a theoretical question — they just changed Galveston […]

The cost of closing the beaches

The recent Supreme Court ruling predictably leads to the enrichment of a lucky few. Although Carol Severance’s lawsuit killed the largest beach resanding project in Texas history, her four Galveston beach properties won’t suffer. Instead, she could walk away with more than $2 million from the sale of her hurricane-damaged houses at pre-storm prices. The […]

Is this the end for truly open beaches?

From last week: The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday the state cannot take private property for a public beach when a storm moves the vegetation line landward — a decision that may lead to restricted access along the coast. Texas law allows anyone to place a blanket on the beach, right up to the vegetation […]

House committee hearings on emergency preparedness in Houston on Friday

The House Select Committee on Emergency Preparedness will be holding some hearings in Houston on Friday at the George R. Brown Convention Center. From the email I got about this: Those testifying at the hearing include Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski, representatives of the GLO, RRC, TCEQ, the Harris County Sherriff’s […]

Active hurricane season predicted

Hurricane season officially begins today, and it looks like it will be a busy one. As we have previously discussed, there’s ample reason to expect a very active hurricane season this year. And so it wasn’t too surprising this morning when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the parent agency of the National Hurricane Center, […]

The end is near for hurricane season

One of the better things about the onset of fall is the threat of a hurricane greatly diminishes. To be fair, more than two months remain before the official end of hurricane season on Nov. 30, and the seas remain plenty warm for low pressure systems to spin into tropical storms. But for Texas the […]

Locke’s crimefighting plan

In the past week or so I’ve had several Mayoral candidate issue papers hit my inbox. As there was one from each campaign, I thought I’d try to do a little analysis of each of them. We’ll start today with Gene Locke‘s Seven Point Plan to Keep Houston Safe, which you can see here. Locke’s […]

Too quiet?

It’s been very quiet on the hurricane front so far this year – not a single named storm in the Atlantic as yet. The good news, as SciGuy notes, is that this means the projections for the number of named storms we’ll eventually see have been revised downward. The bad news is that as usual, […]

Hurricane season quiet so far

That’s nice, but it doesn’t mean we’re in good shape. Although the first Atlantic named storm typically forms by July 10, the real activity doesn’t usually begin until August, and a lull in early season activity doesn’t necessarily presage a weak overall season. The 2004 season, for example, didn’t see its first storm until Hurricane […]

Hot enough for ya?

Yeah, it’s really hot out there. Houston’s relentless heat wave prompted the National Weather Service today to declare a “Heat Emergency,” a designation that air temperature and humidity is a potential health threat for all people and is particularly dangerous for high-risk groups. The emergency designation is expected to last through Friday, said Houston health […]

Time to replace that portable TV

I don’t have a portable TV, so I hadn’t given the matter of their obsolescence due to the digital transition any thought, but if you have one, you ought to be aware of it. Though Americans were given four extra months to prepare for the nationwide switch from analog to digital signals, the conversion date […]