Posts Tagged ‘weather’

LinkSwarm for September 22, 2017

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Welcome to the first LinkSwarm of fall! Between a new job, car trouble, dog trouble and iPhone updates, you’re lucky there’s a LinkSwarm at all!

  • Final total for J.J. Watt’s YouCaring campaign: $37,131,967.
  • Death toll in the Mexico City earthquake hits 273.
  • Mexican rescue dog saves over 50 lives.
  • 100% of Puerto Rico is without power following Hurricane Maria.
  • Obama Administration official Samantha Power asked for over 260 unmaskings of American citizens. “She continued to seek identifying information about Americans caught up in incidental surveillance right up to President Trump’s inauguration.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • And Obama’s FBI Director James Comey was apparently eavesdropping on Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “House IT Worker At Center Of Scandal Allegedly Abused Three Muslim Women.” “Multiple women in relationships with Imran Awan, the indicted former IT aide for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, have recently called Virginia law enforcement and alleged being abused by him, police reports obtained under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act show.”
  • President Trump didn’t forget Poland.
  • “The mainstream media failed to see the rise of Donald Trump in 2016. Now it’s overlooking another grassroots movement that may soon be of equal significance— the growing number of liberals “taking the red pill.” People of all ages and ethnicities are posting YouTube videos describing “red pill moments”—personal awakenings that have caused them to reject leftist narratives imbibed since childhood from friends, teachers, and the news and entertainment media.”
  • “Federal Prosecutors Say Anthony Weiner Convinced [15-year old] Teen To Strip, Touch Herself On Skype.” (Hat tip: Director Blue.)
  • “Evergreen State College has settled a tort claim against it from embattled Professor Bret Weinstein and his wife, Professor Heather Heying, for $500,000, according to an email sent to faculty Friday evening.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Article on the decline of NFL ratings offers and explanation in the comments section: “One after another, cogent, thoughtful comments clearly stating the exact reason that life long NFL fans have turned off the TV, dropped their cable subscription, and moved on.” Sample: “There will be no NFL at my house until the employment of players that disrespect our flag and anthem is terminated.”
  • More signs of NFL’s decline in popularity: Los Angeles Rams can’ even sell out their temporary stadium. (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • Flashback: Ted Kennedy, drunken serial sexual molester.
  • Wisconsin appeals court dismisses union lawsuit against right-to-work law.
  • Armed citizen stops would-be rapist near downtown Austin. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • “Scientists create world’s first ‘molecular robot’ capable of building molecules.” No indication these 150-atom “robots” can contain programming or self-replicate, so we’re still a long way from K. Eric Drexler’s nanotechnology…
  • Valerie Plame steps in it:

  • Hurricane Irma Update

    Saturday, September 9th, 2017

    Unlike with Hurricane Harvey, I don’t know the territory well enough to provide any insider insight on the storm. But it’s a big story, and I have a few tidbits of interest.

    Current forecasts have Irma sparing the Miami area the brunt of the storm, instead being expected to track up the west coast of Florida. Good for Miami (though it will still get plenty of wind and rain), bad for St. Petersburg and Tampa. It also means people in Tallahassee, Pensacola and Mobile better start prepping for evacuation or riding out the storm, depending on local authorities and how the storm develops.

    The Miami Herald has a live tracking page up, as does the New York Times.

    There’s also a dedicated @Track_Irma Twitter feed.

    More evacuations ordered:

    But they’ll have to deal with gas shortages.

    Power outages:

    Miami and Miami Beach have imposed a 7 PM curfew.

    Here’s Miami Herald writer Martin Merzer’s classic guide for reporters on what to do while covering a hurricane. “Don’t use your own car. Rent a car. Despite company policy, take every form of insurance offered by the rental company. Don’t park the car under a lovely old tree or in a low spot near the motel.” (Hat tip: Dwight.)

    And here’s a storm route projection video from Mobile, Alabama weatherman Alan Seals, who’s fast becoming the weatherman of choice for hurricane watchers for his clear, concise, no-nonsense delivery.

    Hurricane Harvey Recovery Post

    Monday, September 4th, 2017

    Though it may take up to two weeks for all the flood waters to disappear, Houston is showing some signs of normalcy, such as opening most freeways. Governor Greg Abbott said that Harvey may have inflicted $180 billion in damage on the state.

    More food recovery tidbits:

  • Michael Dell pledges $36 million.
  • JJ Watt’s new YouCaring goal is $20 million, and he’s currently at $18.8 million.
  • Travis County Sheriff Delays Houston Rescue Efforts.”

    As thousands of private citizens bravely responded with their individually owned boats and resources to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, nearby Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez waited to mobilize a single boat crew to assist with the disaster.

    Sheriff Hernandez did not authorize mobilizing deputies to assist with rescue efforts until Wednesday – waiting on a formal ‘mutual aid request’ before mobilizing. The request guarantees that departments will be reimbursed for costs incurred and also serves as part of an organized effort.

  • The gas shortage is real (and we’ve been feeling it up here in Austin as well), but I expect it to be temporary, as Gulf Coast refinaries closed during the storm are already coming back online. Check Gas Buddy to see if gas is available in your area, though they don’t seem to have Sam’s or HEB, two places I typically buy gas, and both of whcih have been out this week.)
  • President Trump visits Houston.
  • If your liberal Facebook friends are passing off satire as real news, let them know that Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church was not screening refugees based on tithing.
  • Tweets:

    At 98K and rising, this may be the most retweeted thing from Hurricane Harvey:

  • Hurricane/Flood Update for August 31, 2017

    Thursday, August 31st, 2017

    Welcome to a short, extra late Hurricane/flooding update, since I was busy much of the day working on this giant post about my library on my non-political blog.

    The death toll from Harvey is now up to 38.

    Some links:

  • Beaumont had their water supply knocked out by the flood.
  • Waters begin to recede in Port Arthur, but tons of homes and businesses are still flooded.
  • The BBC offers up a rainfall total map for Harvey. 40+ inches over five days is pretty hard to plan for…
  • Vice President Mike Pence and Governor Greg Abbott visit Rockport.
  • President Donald Trump has pledged $1 million of his own money for Hurricane relief.
  • Direct FEMA Assistance website.
  • Salvation Army disaster recovery.
  • JJ Watt has raised $10 million for flood relief so far, including $1 million from Wal-Mart. Update: over $12 million now, and headed for a new $15 million goal.
  • Charlie Hebdo brings the dumbeth. My reply:

  • Houston Flood Update for August 29, 2017

    Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

    The Great Houston Flood continues. Though rainfall has slackened, many parts of Houston are still flooded.

    Major items:

  • Addicks Reservoir overflows over spillway:

    Water levels in the Addicks and Barker reservoirs reached record levels early Tuesday, said Jeff Lindner, ‎Meteorologist at Harris County Flood Control District.

    Water in the Addicks Reservoir reached 108 feet early Tuesday, causing it to flow over the top of the spillway.

    The overflowing reservoir comes days after authorities announced controlled releases of water from both of the inundated dams.

    Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers expect the Barker Reservoir will also have uncontrolled releases in the coming days. Uncontrolled releases from both dams are expected to flow into Buffalo Bayou and increase the waterway’s already high levels.

    The water spilling out of the Addicks Reservoir Tuesday morning will likely reach subdivisions north of Tanner, left of west Eldridge Parkway to West Little York, and over to Beltway 8, Lindner said.

    Affected subdivisions include:

    Twin Lakes
    Eldridge Park
    Lakes on Eldridge
    Lakes on Eldridge North
    Independence Farms
    Tanner Heights
    Heritage Business Park

  • One third of Friendswood homes are still flooded.
  • Flooding along the Brazos River in Brazoria County is expected to happen today.
  • Last night mandatory evacuations for Inverness Forest and Northgate in north Harris County were issued due to Cypress Creek flooding.
  • President Donald Trump is visiting Texas today to inspect the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, starting with Corpus Christi.
  • Still a lot of road closures, especially on the east side of town.
  • HEB has reopened some area stores, though only until 3 PM today.
  • A series of Tweets that explain how Houston flood control plans developed, and why an evacuation notice for the entire city was not practical. (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Legal Insurrection’s Kemberlee Kaye is reporting from her home in Houston. She also touches on the impossibility of evacuating the entire city.
  • List of school closures in Houston. Short answer: All of them.
  • A roundup of debunked rumors from Harvey. No sharks on the freeway, no planes flooded on the runway.
  • Two dumbasses trying looting homes following Harvey. Both get shot. Which part of “Texas” was unclear?
  • The Houston Texans final preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys has been moved to Arlington.
  • Houston Astros to Texas Rangers: “Hey, we got this 1000 Year Flood thing going on here. Want to swap our upcoming home-and-home series?” Rangers: “Die in a flood.”
  • Update: Breaking news:

    Update 2

    Houston police officer drowns in Harvey flood waters:

    The officer, an HPD veteran who has been with the department for more than 30 years, was in his patrol car driving to work downtown Sunday morning when he got trapped in high water at I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road.

    Search and rescue crews are currently recovering his body. The department has not yet formally notified the officer’s family.

    Hence the lack of a name at this point.

    “The officer’s death is the 15th fatality in Texas claimed by Hurricane Harvey.”

    Update 3

    Bridge collapse in east Houston:

    I think this is the bridge:

    Update 4

    HPD officer who drowned today identified as Sergeant Steve Perez:

    Update 5

    Some insight into the scope of the problem:

    3:49 p.m.: How much of Harris County is actually covered by water?

    According to meteorologist Jeff Lindner, between 20 and 30 percent of Harris County is under water as of Tuesday afternoon.

    Harris County is 1,777 square miles. Let’s take the low end of Lindner’s estimation — 20 percent. That would be 355.4 square miles.


    Bigger than the entire city of Austin.
    Bigger than 15 times the size of Manhattan, which is about 23 square miles.
    Bigger than 7 times the size of San Francisco, which is about 47 square miles.

    University of Tampa associate professor fired for saying Hurricane Harvey was ‘karma’ for Texas voting for Trump. Which I’m sure went over really well in another Hurricane-prone state that also voted for Trump…

    Update 6

    Houston death toll now stands at 24.

    The convention center is full of storm refugees, so they’re opening up the Toyota Center and NRG Stadium.

    Houston Suffers Catastrophic Flooding

    Sunday, August 27th, 2017

    Houston in now suffering from catastrophic, historic flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey:

    Tropical Storm Harvey officially became Houston’s worst storm on record overnight, dumping heavy rains across the city and into overflowing bayous, leaving swaths of the city submerged in floodwater.

    “It’s catastrophic, unprecedented, epic — whatever adjective you want to use,” said Patrick Blood, a NWS meteorologist. “It’s pretty horrible right now.”

    Brock Long, FEMA’s administrator, said on CNN that Harvey is “a storm the United States has not seen yet.”

    Some parts of Houston have gotten more than 20 inches of rain, and at least five people have died.

    Houston’s CBS affiliate KHOU is off the air because their office has flooded.

    Here’s some video. Street flooding:

    Flooding and tornadoes:

    Drone-eye view of neighborhood flooding, I think from somewhere in suburban SE Houston:

    Compilation of various flooding footage, including bats swimming because they can’t get back to their home under the bridge (and some NSFW language at the end):

    And keep in mind Houston suffered severe flooding not only from Ike in 2008, but also in the Memorial Day flood in 2015.

    Update: 15 seniors rescued from Dickinson nursing home.

    Some official tweets:

    Update 2:

    Ben Taub hospital being evacuated due to flooding and power failures.

    Update 3

    It’s bad:

    FEMA director says Harvey could be worst to ever hit Texas.

    In a telephone interview with The Washington Post, Federal Emergency Management Agency Director William “Brock” Long said Harvey could top all previous Texas storms in terms of total damage.

    “This will be a devastating disaster, probably the worst disaster the state’s seen,” Long told The Washington Post from FEMA headquarters in Washington.

    Casualties, thankfully, remain well below record Texas storms.

    The 1900 hurricane that hit Galveston, essentially scrubbing the island by tossing the bay across it, killed an estimated 6,000 to 12,00 people.

    1:35: Two Houston-area airports cease flights

    Hobby and Bush Intercontinental airports have ceased operations until further notice.

    Roughly 850 travelers are stranded at the two Houston-area airports.

    Hobby Airport closed around 3:30 a.m. when water reached the runways. Roughly 500 travelers were stuck at the airport Sunday morning. The airport facilities haven’t suffered any structural damages. Bush followed suit.

    11:14 a.m.: MD Anderson closed Sunday and Monday

    With roads in the Texas Medical Center impassable, MD Anderson Cancer Center said outpatient services, surgeries and all appointments are canceled for Sunday and Monday.

    “Statewide, Abbott said there are 316,000 people without power, not including the Houston area.”

    “As of 1 p.m., more than 76,000 customers in the area were without power.”

    Cruise ships are unable to dock in Galveston because the port is closed and they couldn’t go anywhere if they could disembark due to flooded roads.

    Note: Houston water has NOT been shut off.

    Update 4

    Six Houston deaths total including a homeless man in La Marque who may have just dropped dead.

    Update 5

    Mandatory evacuations have been called for parts of La Grange as well as parts of Fayette County along the Colorado River.

    La Grange is more than 100 miles inland of the Gulf of Mexico…

    Also, President Trump is coming to visit on Tuesday.

    Update 6

    Took a break to take care of three downed trees in my front yard using lopers and a hatchet. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be sore tomorrow…

    Footage of the aftermath of Harvey’s destruction in Rockport.

    Compilation of more Houston flooding, including some overlap with previous clips (the KHOU flooding):

    Update 7

    Both FEMA and the Coast Guard are on the scene assisting with rescue operations.

    6:13 p.m.: Harvey flooding forces release from Addicks and Barker

    Col. Lars N. Zetterstrom with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced late Sunday afternoon that rising levels in the Addicks and Barker reservoirs will force authorities to release water from both dams. Based on the corps data, the rising waters will place residents and their homes in dangerous situations.

    “We will have to release water to reduce the risk flooding in the Houston metropolitan,” he said. “Until we realize the actual rise we can predict how many homes would be impacted.”

    Homeowners near the reservoirs will likely have water seep into their homes prior to the release.

    Some of the released water will flow into the Buffalo Bayou and increase the already bulging water levels. This will lead to officials issuing a voluntary evacuation for residents living along bayou.

    The corps plans to release water by 2 a.m. Monday at Addicks and 11 a.m. at Barker.

    Harvey Makes Landfall as Category 4 Hurricane

    Friday, August 25th, 2017

    Hurricane Harvey barrelled into the Texas coast around 10 p..m. Friday as one of the most powerful hurricane to strike the Texas coast in decades.The Category 4 storm made landfall between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor, according to the National Hurricane Center.”

    Remember, by the time Hurricane Ike hit Texas, it was only a Category 2 hurricane. Ike caused over $27 billion in damage and left 37 people dead.

    “Forecasters said it has the potential of being the strongest hurricane to hit Texas since Hurricane Carla in 1961, which killed 34 and injured 465 when it made landfall near Port Lavaca. The storm had maximum sustained winds near 130 mph with higher gusts ”


    The National Weather Service issued flash flood watches for the following counties: Harris, Fort Bend, Brazoria, Galveston, Montgomery, Waller, Liberty, Grimes, Chambers, Brazos, Colorado, Austin, Washington, Jackson, Burleson and Wharton.

    Harvey is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 15 to 35 inches, with isolated pockets of 40 inches through next Wednesday. The weather service said “rainfall of this magnitude will cause catastrophic and life-threatening flooding.”

    Part of Rockport High School has collapsed.

    President Donald Trump, as requested by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, issued a disaster proclamation:

    Here’s a report from the coast in Corpus Christi at 5 PM, when the storm was still offshore and only a category 3, and it’s still almost blowing the reporter over:

    Residents of the rest of the state should get ready for a whole lot of rain over the next few days…

    Hurricane Harvey Update: Officially Category 3

    Friday, August 25th, 2017

    Harvey has officially been upgraded to a Category 3 Hurricane.

    Texas officials announced mandatory evacuations for all seven counties on the coast: Calhoun County, San Patricio County, Refugio County, Brazoria County, Jackson County, Victoria County and Matagorda County. In four of those countries, officials ordered their entire county to evacuate and warned those who chose to stay behind that their rescue could not be guaranteed. Voluntary evacuations have been urged for residents in other areas.

    Galveston is already experiencing flooding and there have been tornado warnings in Galveston and Brazoria counties.

    Here’s the Governor’s official hurricane information page.

    Stay safe…

    Hurricane Harvey Update

    Thursday, August 24th, 2017

    Harvey is expected to be a Class III Hurricane by the time it makes landfall on the Texas coast late Friday or early Saturday. Predictions are for as much as 30 inches of rain in some places, as well as up to a 12 foot storm surge in coastal areas.

    Mandatory evacuations have been issued for Aransas Pass and Calhoun County, as well as parts of Brazoria and Matagorda Counties.

    Texas Governor Greg Abbott has preemptively declared 30 counties disaster areas, which automatically makes a lot of state resources available to local officials.

    Here’s a list of official closures in the Texas Coastal Bend area.

    If you live on or near the Texas coast between Brownsville and Port Lavaca, now would be a darn good to to load up your car, tape your windows, lock your doors and evacuate.

    Even in central Texas, be prepared for flooding in low-lying areas, avoid low water crossings, and have adequate food and water supplies in the event of a loss of power.

    In short: Don’t be this guy:

    Meanwhile, in South Dakota…

    Thursday, September 11th, 2014

    Rapid City just got an inch of global warming.

    An early September winter storm in the Black Hills has dumped more than 6 inches of snow in the area, while Rapid City received its earliest snowfall in more than 120 years.

    Jon Chamberlain, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Rapid City, said almost 1 inch of snow had fallen in downtown Rapid City by 8:30 a.m. while 2 inches was measured in higher elevations in town.

    The snowfall in Rapid City is the earliest in the city since 1888, the NWS said.

    At what point do all those cold weather anecdotes add up to climate?