It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Oh, Bother




Hermine has our number.

Update 8 Sep: The number is five.

Fortunately for us in East Austin, the line has moved a teensy bit to the west. Of course, that may not be fortunate on the whole, because the hill country to the west is more prone to flash flooding. There was still a massive wall of cumulus tower taking up half the sky a couple of hours ago but things are back to normal now. Here's the cume:


My neighborhood got about 5" (12 or 13 cm or so). The creek behind our house handled it without difficulty.

Looks like Round Rock is in the bullseye. It will be interesting to see how a prosperous Texas suburb handles a 15"/24 hour rainfall. I expect it will come through like a trooper.

Nice pix here and here. Most of the flood damage shown is from the next county north, much of it at a low-lying trailer park, the rest around Round Rock and Georgetown in the bullseye. The last few are wind damage in far south Texas (Raymondville) near the landfall site.


The San Gabriel river (above) often trickles so slowly through Georgetown that you can't really tell which way is downstream.


A few folks around here were pretty badly hit, especially in this low-lying trailer park.


and some modestly wealthier folk had a hell of a mess in their back yards.

There's some really amazing sights in this video (preceded by commercial message) for anyone familiar


with Barton Spring Pool. (Yes, that is the sissy stairway leading down to the shallow end of the pool.) Apparently this is not unprecedented at Barton Springs.


One of my mother-in-law's most endearing habits is to say something sort of peculiar, pause, and then say "In Polish, it rhymes!" There are things you wouldn't expect to rhyme in English that rhyme in Texas ("bend" and "wind" for instance). Here we have another example: in Texas, "around" rhymes with "drown" (and has the same number of syllables).


More informative signage.


A well known Austin small business was hit.


The pictures of the parks still being relandscaped from the prior massive flood are a good indication of how desperately this part of the world wants to be wild. Droughts and floods and nothing in between. That's Texas for you. Nothing unusual hereabouts, just your everyday 15 inch downpour on parched land.

Perhaps I'm taking this too lightly, but we did get off easy. Hermine wasn't even a Cat 1, remember, just a strong tropical storm.


I guess, there's no telling what the future holds for Texas, but what the future holds for everyone else is, basically, Texas. Hang onto yer hats.

6 comments:

Robert said...

According to the latest radar estimate, 14.6 inches of rain have fallen in Williamson County. Which is roughly half the peak amount of the Thrall, TX rain storm (Sep 9-10, 1921) that generated epochal flash flooding. Here's a comprehensive Monthly Weather Review article on the 1921 storm. I can't easily find the recurrence interval for 14 inches in Williamson county.

The city of Austin has a good summary of significant floods, I hope Hermine doesn't add another entry.

Rob Carver said...

I found the recurrence interval for the streamflow of the San Gabriel River in Georgetown. It's 97.67% as of 400AM CDT, which is roughly a 50-year flood.

Rob C

Alexander Ac said...

Hmmm, and there are widespread floods in Mexico:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-11226611

and drought similar to that of 2005 is developing in Amazonia, possibly connected to increased atlantic hurricane activity - moisture cannot be everywhere!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-11172581

"Amazon river level in Peru at 40 years low"

Aaron said...

Can we say that: http://www.weather.gov/oh/hdsc/PF_documents/TechnicalPaper_No40.pdf is no longer valid?

Patrick said...

"I guess, there's no telling what the future holds for Texas, but what the future holds for everyone else is, basically, Texas. Hang onto yer hats."

That being the case, do you have any thoughts on who to go to for a good solid hat nowadays?

Hank Roberts said...

> hat

MT's looks good. But I think this one tops my wishlist:

http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2010/01/jules-pics-1112010-014400-am.html