Some Memorable Storms Have No Name

June 19th, 2006
 

The weather forecast had predicted a couple of days of rain, but nobody said it was going to be this severe. At 5 AM Sunday morning the sounds of thunder and rain woke me up. This morning, it was thunder that woke me up at 4 AM. There was no rain, but an amazing light show. The lightning was like a strobe, flashing 5 to 10 times a second, I’d estimate. It was eerie and beatiful at the same time. Then, at about 4:30, the rains came.

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By about 5 AM, I decided that I wasn’t going to be able to fall back asleep, so I took a quick shower, dressed, and drove to work. The rain was steady, but not especially hard. With my wipers on I had no trouble seeing, and I didn’t see any water across the road or even piling up in the gutters. It seemed to be a rainy day, but no worse.

It was much worse to the north, especially up around Hobby airport where over 10 inches of rain fell in the space of about 90 minutes. One of my co-workers wasn’t able to get through the high water, so he turned around and went back home. My neighbor Carlos told me he waited on the feeder nearly three hours near the airport road exit; he eventually turned around and came home. Jackie’s Fred did the same; Fred got close enough to work to see his building, but couldn’t get into the parking lot. Everybody got a day off but me.

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A lot of people are comparing this to tropical storm Allison, which caused extensive flooding in Houston just over five years ago. As I like to tell it, Allison came ashore at Galveston, drove up I-45 toward Houston, circled the city for a few days on I-610, then drove back down I-45 to Galveston. What we’re seeing today isn’t nearly as bad as Allison was, but for people with flooded cars or homes, it’s bad enough.

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The forecast for this evening is that the low pressure system that’s hanging over the city will circulate new storms over the city, so we could go through this all over again tomorrow. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the weather tonight; in the morning, if conditions don’t look favorable, I’ll just call my boss and say “MaƱana”.




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