Monday, June 19, 2006

Houston Flooding

Well, it is that time of the year. Hurricane season usually brings in the onslaught of large amounts of water to the Greater Houston area. However, it usually comes in the form of a tropical system that comes in from the Gulf. However, today, a low pressure system has stalled over the area and is stuck between 2 high pressure systems that is pretty much blocking it from moving. In the South-east part of town, there is T.S. Alison amounts of flooding, approximately 10 inches of rain within 3 hours. Many streets around the Hobby Airport area were flooded and there was water surrounding the runways at Hobby.

One thing that would help prevent this kind of flooding is the reducing of urban sprawl. There is too much concrete and concrete does not absorb rain water, that is the job of the earth, with the help of trees, grass, etc. Now this would not have made a great impact on this situation, but it would have helped a little bit.

One interesting thing is that this system is acting just like Tropical Storm Alison from 2001. TS Alison hit Galveston and passed through the Greater Houston area and then went as far north as about Conroe, and then returned to the Houston area, drowning most of the city this time, and then made its way towards New Orleans. It did not have a good steering current (high pressure system) and it was just being held in place for the most part, moving with what energy that it had or could gather from the local air currents. Being that this has happened for a second time and that it has not really happened before, I am curious if this is something associated with changing atmospheric conditions or if this could just be sheer coincidence... Only time can tell...

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