Parts of central Texas are bracing for flash flooding as heavy rain is likely there tomorrow. We'll miss the flooding, but more rain is expected Friday and Saturday. Its all being caused by a dip in the jet stream out in far West Texas. This is typical of an El Niño weather pattern, which took a break just before the arctic outbreak last week. Dips in the jet stream to our west lift the air ahead of it. Large-scale lift near the Gulf of Mexico develops wide areas of rain. The dip will also create a low pressure system in the southern Gulf which will slide up the coast Friday. As it does so, get ready for some gusty winds, especially along the coast. It wouldn't surprise me to see 30-40 mph gusts as the low moves along and those high winds will raise tide levels along the coast. High tide tomorrow occurs between 3 and 5 pm and its during that time that the Bolivar Peninsula and the west end of Galveston Island could see minor coastal flooding.
Meanwhile, the big news story has been the astounding earthquake in Haiti and some of you have e-mailed wondering why there wasn't a tsunami. According to the USGS, the earthquake, while strong (magnitude 7.0) was shallow so the seismic waves didn't create radiating waves in the Caribbean. Also its possible that the shift in the tectonic plates that caused the earthquake were horizontal instead of vertical. A vertical shift, like the one in 2006 caused the deadly tsunami in the Indian Ocean. Tsunami or not, this deadly quake has left countless thousands in this island nation homeless without water, food or medical attention.
I hope you'll join me in doing what you can to assist them in their recovery. An excellent way is through our Hope for Haiti drive at area Randalls stores. Its as easy as making a donation at the checkout and your financial donation goes directly to the Red Cross.
I received these photos today showing the dramatic before and after conditions around the Presidential palace in Port Au Prince. Here is the before:
And the after. Notice the collapse of the tan wall at the bottom of the picture:
This country has truly endured great hardships recently; they here hit four times by tropical storms and hurricanes in 2008. Let's hope the international outpouring of aid gets to where it is needed quickly.