HOUSTON - There is a defined time of year in Houston when we KNOW it's going to rain. That's spring! Sure, you can get tropical systems that'll flood the city in the fall, and sometimes in the winter we'll have an entire week of showery, drizzly weather. But ... late spring -- April, May and early June -- are THE months where we regularly get soaked!
Sometimes this period is called the, "spring floods" and other times, "the monsoon". It's a time when cold fronts stall -- not strong enough to push any farther south -- and tropical moisture is wrung out of the air like one might twist a wet towel, as southerly Gulf winds collide with drier continental air. Slow moving, moisture-laden thunderstorms result and flooding soon follows with rainfall rates over 4" per hour at times. You can see it from space.
For the third year in a row, the Free Press Summer Fest concert has been impacted by rain. This time it forced the cancelation of their headliner, Lorde, angering thousands of patrons. They demanded refunds since FPSF proudly touted it would continue, "rain or shine." Obviously, the organizers didn't consider flash flooding and lightning in that guarantee. Maybe next year the phrasing on those tickets will be amended.
Now, here we are in early-June and it looks like we'll catch the HUGE break in the bad weather through the weekend. If only FPSF was this weekend! We'll enjoy hot sunshine. It's a pattern which might transition us into a climatologically drier time of the year: summer.
Meteorologically, during summer's we typically catch only hit or miss thundershowers through the week with an occasional tropical system in an odd year. The oil-like Texas gumbo clay in our yards, from all this rain, will start to crack like a dry lake in the desert, and we'll be forced to water our foundations.
But this is Texas. Floods are ended by droughts. Droughts are ended by floods! Are we shocked?
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