The Great Texas Drought 2011

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Huntn, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    I know some high level politician's are making a case to pray for rain, but besides God withholding rain to Texas, my understanding is that La Nina is being blamed. I just don't understand why a ridge of high pressure would park itself over Texas and refuse to move. I've always thought high and low pressure systems are on the move, basically being blown by the weather. Any meteorologist care to comment? As a resident of Houston, I'm curious...

    Read more about it at Texas Drought 2011: State Endures Driest Seven Month Span on Record-
  2. killerrobot, Aug 28, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011

    killerrobot macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2007
    That's a tough question to answer in a paragraph or two...

    The first thing to understand is that the "being blown by the weather" is actually air being heated and cooled. Usually air is heated greatly at the equator due receiving more direct sunlight all year round. The opposite is true at the poles. "Weather" is then created by the masses of hot air (low pressure systems) displacing/being displaced by the masses of cold air, (high pressure systems).

    Two things are causing the low pressure system to hover over Texas more right now than usual. La niña and the fact that it's summer time in the Northern hemisphere. La niña is associated with cooler ocean temps around the equator in the Pacific. So it's creating much weaker low pressure systems that don´t have as much force to move against the high pressure systems. Second, summertime is is warming the North American continent and weakening the usually strong high-pressure systems that come from the North pole. Throw in the global climate change, the fact that eastern Texas is surrounded by desert-like climates, as well as the fact that it's hurricane season in the Atlantic and you've got yourself a highly altered weather system which can produce a 7 month draught, and allow pressure systems to stay rather stagnant.

    Hope that highly unofficial explanation helps some.
  3. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    I think we all know why there is a lot of hot air in Texas this year.
  4. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I've been told it's also self-perpetuating. The prolonged lack of moisture makes it harder for a moist mass of air to move into the area to produce rain.

    Thankfully we've had some relief today from the heat, and it's supposed to be in the 80's all week long. I'll take it, even without the rain.
  5. steve2112 macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2009
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    You can have some of our rain. We got 10" in my area since Friday, thanks to TS Lee. I was sweating bullets last night when the water got within a few inches of my front door.

    Anyway, my brother lives in the DFW area, and he has been telling me how brutal it has been this year with all the days of 100+ temps and no rain. I got a good view of it when I flew into DFW last week on the way home. I swear, the whole state was brown.

    Of course, the storm did make things worse as the winds from the backside of the TS whipped up those fires around Austin. Too bad they didn't bring any rain with them.
  6. Peterkro macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2004
    Communard de Londres
    In spite of texans self proclaimed bigger and better ideas I think claiming a great drought in one year is a bit much even for them,Australians for all their self promotion tend to measure droughts in decades not in one year.
  7. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Yup, we've just broken our most recent drought. Started in ~1998. Finished last year.

    Lots of kids in schools out west who had never seen rain.

    Doesn't make this one in Texas any less bad though, hope the rains come soon to y'all.

    Did I say it right? "Y'all?"
  8. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    Perhaps, but when cattle start dying and they tell us we can't cook out because of the fire hazards, we have to start our bitching. :p

    Next Aussie I meet in person, I'm going to ask him/her to say "y'all" out loud, just so I can hear how it sounds. :D
  9. chrono1081, Sep 7, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011

    chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    It kind of makes me mad when I see all the people on my friends list on facebook bitching about the rain we have been receiving (we never receive a ton, but we received a good amount all day yesterday). There are many places that would kill to have rain.

    I always try and explain to them that as soon as they are without rain, they will wish they had it. (I lived four years in the middle east, I understand what its like and sympathize with these poor people in Texas).

    Lol you sure did! I'd rather hear "y'all" than "yins" (which is what most people where I live in Pennsylvania say) since y'all is "you all", yins doesn't have an equivalent.

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