Here’s a question for you: What was the cause of the largest human evacuation in history? The surprising answer is 2005’s Hurricane Rita. Hurricane Rita? The one-time Category 5 storm that made landfall on the border of Texas and Louisiana? The #10 costliest tropical storm on record? The one that, unless you live (lived) nearby, you might not even remember? Yes, Hurricane Rita.
Tag Archives: Houston
I’ve been waiting most of the spring for the trails within Sam Houston National Forest to open. Unfortunately (until yesterday) nearly all the trails have been closed because of the potential for widespread falling trees and the deadly hazards they pose to anybody using the trail systems. Falling trees tend to hurt. And kill.
While the stock market packs on another day of gains, the temperatures are set to move in the opposite direction over the next few days. Both trends are welcome news, given the past several months of market volatility and scorching temperatures.
On the 3rd floor, we had no such flooding concerns but the vibrations and the groaning of the building made us all wonder how much more it could stand. And the Melcher Building is a big building — we knew it could withstand a lot, but we all know hurricanes can bring out the best and worst in building design.
Since February 1st, the Houston area – not to mention a grand swath of the south-central U.S. – has experienced one of the driest periods in recorded history and it looks like any change in the weather pattern will be slow to occur over the next month or two as strong upper-level high pressure remains over the area. The record dry spell is mainly being contributed to by a strong La Niña event (cold Pacific water) during the past winter into the spring. Even though La Niña is quickly dissipating, the residual effects of that weather pattern combined with very dry soil are enhancing the record-setting dry conditions over much of Texas.
The past several months the weather has been extremely active. We’ve seen anything from a record number of tornadoes to record flooding along the Mississippi. In Texas we’ve been dealing with wildfires as a result of the on-going exceptional drought (see the image below) that is occurring across parts of Texas, New Mexico and western Louisiana. The Houston area, for example, is currently over 12.21 inches below normal in terms of rainfall.
Yesterday was the first day of the annual Offshore Technology Conference, the largest offshore exploration and drilling trade show and conference in the world. Celebrating it’s 42nd year, OTC is a five-day conference held in the Energy Capital of the World each year in May. Despite worldwide economic setbacks, this year’s show is expected to have the highest attendance since 1982; the current average attendance at the show is around 70,000.
We’ve certainly seen our share of severe weather across the eastern half of the country the past few weeks. This week is no different as a strong upper level disturbance will combine with a series of low pressure systems and interact with warm, moist, and unstable air to produce an elevated risk of strong to […]
Over Houston yesterday I’m sure many eyes strained skyward as a somewhat large weather balloon lifted off from the University of Houston campus on the southwest edge of downtown. Mixed in amongst helicopters, commercial airliners* outbound from Hobby Airport and the migratory birds returning from wintering south of the border, a scientific payload of weather instruments lifted from the grassy fields of the U. of H. campus to eventually reach upwards of 45,000 feet (specialized high-altitude weather balloons can reach 120,000 feet).
Who isn’t tired of the cold weather because I certainly am! The spring and fall are without a doubt my favorite two seasons and I’m beginning to think that spring can’t get here fast enough (even though this week has been pleasant in Houston). It’s always difficult to know how to dress this time of […]