Posted by: pyeager | July 27, 2011

Tropical Storm Don–Beginning of End of Drought?

By Paul Yeager, author of Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities

Tropical Storm Don has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, and according to the National Hurricane Center, the storm is headed toward drought-ravaged central and eastern Texas, with an initial landfall time of later Friday or Friday night predicted. (Check the NHC site for the latest forecast information.)

Forecast track for Tropical Storm Don

Forecast track for Tropical Storm Don

There are many forecast questions yet to be answers, such as whether the storm will remain over the open water and experience favorable enough upper-level conditions to be upgraded to a hurricane or whether the high pressure system to the east will sharpen enough to all it to take a more northerly track toward the upper Texas coast than currently forecast.

What’s more certain is that the Tropical Storm Don (or Hurricane Don) will bring much-needed rain to a region that is in the throes of a devastating drought.

Drought-relieving or drought-breaking rain from tropical storms and hurricanes is a risky proposition because of the potential to lives and properties that tropical storms bring, along with the risk of too much rain at one time. But the tropical season does often end droughts.

With another active season predicted by the hurricane experts and such a large region experiencing severe drought (see map below), it could be an important weather story in the coming months.

Drought conditions in the U.S.

Drought conditions in the U.S.

 

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