America celebrated its 239th birthday on July 4th, when America declared Independence from Great Britain in 1776. The best way to celebrate it, shooting off fireworks. Last week was rather west for Southeast Texas. This Summer has been wet so far and not really hot. It is yet to reach 95°F in Houston area (as of July 6, 2015). Not bad.
The rains that hit Houston area dumped some really heavy rain of up to 4 inches on July 1. Flood was a problem as the ground is very wet from Spring rains, especially from May and Tropical Storm Bill. However, the heaviest rain has fallen in Central Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. They saw 7 day rainfall totals of over 11 inches! They have problems with flooding, like in Texas.
So, why all the wet weather lately? The culprit is El Nino. The water off the coast of South America is very warm as seen in this map.
The El Nino is forecasted to get stronger. This means that Fall and Winter will likely be wetter for Texas and drought ridden California. Usually when there is El Nino in Fall and Winter, there is an increase chance for flooding. Texas has seen floods in El Nino Fall like in 1940, 1994, 2002, 2004, and 2006. Floods have occurred in El Nino Winter like 1913, 1958, and 1991.
In the immediate forecast, which is up to 14 days, let’s see what it will be like using analog forecasts. Let’s start with 6 to 10 day analog forecast.
7/1/1982-A dry start to July in Southeast Texas. Heavy rain falls on 7/13. Bush Intercontinental: 3.59″; Hobby: 0.02″; Galveston: 0″. Bush Intercontinental records its second wettest 7/13.
7/7/1983-Southeast Texas has strings of wet days from 7/13-16. Rainfall totals between 7/12 to 7/16 are Bush Intercontinental: 4.87″; Hobby: 6.61″; Galveston: 5.94″. Houston records its third wettest 7/13. Galveston records its second wettest 7/13 and wettest 7/14 recorded.
7/5/1998 & 7/23/1998-Texas is in a heat wave for July 1998 to early August 1998.
7/18/2007-Southeast Texas sees a wet July. Upper Texas Coast has second wettest July after 1900 of 12.29″.
7/8/1986-Southeast Texas is in midst of a dry July.
7/6/1990-A unusual cold front sweeps the nation between 7/10 to 7/13. Houston sees coolest 7/13 of 67°F, while coolest 7/14 (62°F) and 7/15 (64°F) on record.
7/2/1970-Houston sees a record low of 63°F on 7/6.
This analog forecast is up to July 14, when New Horizons is closest to Pluto. I look forward for that for sure. Based on the analog forecast, it could either dry and hot or wet. Keep in mind, this up to 10 days. We can go the extra mile and look up to 14 days.
7/6/1986 & 7/11/1986-Southeast Texas is in midst of a dry July.
6/30/1982-A dry start to July in Southeast Texas. Heavy rain falls on 7/13. Bush Intercontinental: 3.59″; Hobby: 0.02″; Galveston: 0″. Bush Intercontinental records its second wettest 7/13.
7/29/1989-Hurricane Chantal makes landfall on Upper Texas Coast as a Category 1 hurricane on 8/1. It claims 13 lives and does $100 million (in 1989 US Dollars) in damages. Many areas see 8 to 12 inches of rain including totals as high as 20 inches.
7/22/2002-Houston sees heavy rain on 7/13 to 7/17. Bush Intercontinental: 6.76″; Hobby: 5.48″. Bush sees its wettest 7/13 of 5.40″.
8/1/2007-Tropical Storm Erin develops on 8/15 from Tropical Depression 5. It makes landfall as a Tropical Depression near Lamar, Texas. Erin dumps heavy rain mostly in Southeast Texas. Many areas see 5 to 8 inches of rain with totals as high as 12 inches over Oklahoma after it redeveloped into a Tropical Storm. Erin claims 21 lives $248.3 million (in 2007 US Dollars) in damages.
Some of the analog dates are interesting as they have tropical cyclone landfall in 1989 and 2007. Chantal and Erin formed close to land in the Gulf of Mexico, which El Nino seasons generally favor. I am not saying that will happen, but a realm of possibility. The analog dates that stand out in the 8 to 14 day forecast have rain returning.
I think this week will be a typical July day with scattered showers and thunderstorms. By next week, we could see widespread rain returning.