Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tropical Storm Erin Refuses to Die

I found this image over at Dr. Jeff Masters' blog, which is a highly recommended read (at bare minimum) during the hurricane season (of course I'm something of a weather and climate buff to begin with, so my idea of must-reading and anyone else's may diverge just a bit). Here's what Jeff had to say:
The remains of Tropical Storm Erin re-intensified this morning into a major storm that slammed central Oklahoma with rains up to seven inches and wind gusts of tropical storm strength. The radar presentation of Erin's remains (Figure 2) looks remarkable tropical storm-like. I've saved a long animation of this "landcane". Numerous flood watches, flood warnings, and severe thunderstorm warnings have been posted for Oklahoma today.
This is certainly something we don't see every day. In fact, you really should see the animated graphic of the central OK "landcane" for yourselves (so make sure to click the link above to view it).

I get the feeling that after having either lived in or visited extensively various parts of Oklahoma over the past 12 years, the climate has shown signs of becoming more "subtropical." Yeah, I know, the winters still get cold and all that, and if you live up in the higher elevations found in the panhandle, I would never rule out an early April snowstorm. That said, I recall commenting that the ice storms that plagued the high plains region in late December last year seemed eerily like spring-time storms in terms of the amount of precipitation, lightning, and even hail we received even before the precip turned to freezing rain. Usually if you do get rain in December in the panhandle for instance, it isn't much, and certainly not enough to cause "urban" flooding like those storms did. Actually, I'd suggest that the spring and summer storms they've received this year are reminiscent of some of the weather we'd get during my childhood in San Antonio in the 1970s. I'll leave it to the climate experts to sort it all out, but yeah, something seems different.

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