Updated: Where did this come from?

September 12th, 2007

It rained on me all the way to work this morning. When I got to my desk, I checked the radar to see how long I could expect the rain to last. There was just a hint of circulation in the clouds, but it appeared to be centered over land and had no organization. It looked like the rain would pass us by, and sure enough by about 10 AM, the rain had stopped.

So imagine my surprise when around lunchtime I saw a Twitter update about a tropical storm forming in the gulf. I checked the radar, and sure enough there was the unmistakable circulation of a storm just offshore. It was just a tropical depression at the time, but has since strengthened into Tropical Storm Humberto.

Batten the hatches, dog the doors.


The forecasts all call for rain, but vary on how much. Channel 13 said to look for four to six inches. The Chronicle said to expect ten or more.

(Speaking of the Chronicle: congratulations to Eric “SciGuy” Berger, who was named as a finalist for a 2007 Online Journalism Award. Eric does a good, non-sensational job of covering the whole tropical storm phenomena: not just storm-by-storm coverage, but coverage of the science of storm forecasting. Eric also does a rational, evenhanded job of covering the debate over global warming. I trade email with Eric from time to time and have met him on a couple of occasions. He’s a heck of a nice guy and I hope he wins that award.)

The storm is moving slowly, and the nightmare scenario is that it will stall over Houston; the ground is already wet with recent rain and a stalled storm would almost certainly mean flooding. The forecasts don’t call for Humberto to stall, but it’s hard not to worry about Humberto turning into Allison, the tropical storm that brought so much flooding back on 2001. Humberto is expected to make landfall on the Brazoria or Galveston county shores around midnight tonight. After that the forecasts vary again: I’ve heard reports that the rain will clear off by late morning, and other reports that it could rain all day. Can I just stay home tomorrow?


Thursday morning: Humberto strengthened into a category-1 hurricane before making landfall, but in doing so it moved well to the east, missing the Houston area entirely.

Bit of a disappointment actually.

One Response to “Updated: Where did this come from?”

  1. Gin Says:

    This is a rather fun graphic as well, also from wunderground.com: http://icons.wunderground.com/data/storm_radar/Humberto_landfall.gif?cache=175 I see two swirls, the original that you must have noticed, and the second, stronger one that fed off of the first one. Neat. I could watch these animated gifs for hours. I’m such a weather nerd. ;)