would take almost 40 inches of rain to bring many locations out of the drought.
What could possibly put a dent in such a deficit? A tropical storm or hurricane,
June 1st marks the beginning of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season. According
to the official seasonal outlook issued by NOAA, the number of named storms
this year may be average or just below.
The official forecast is for 8 to 13 named storms. 3 to 6 of those named storms
could become hurricanes with 1 to 2 becoming major hurricanes - category 3
or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
Despite less activity expected this year, it only takes one tropical system to make
it a "bad" year. For example, Hurricane Andrew was the only hurricane to strike
the US in 1992. But, it went on to become the most expensive hurricane on record
until Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
What would it take to get a tropical system into Texoma?
The graphic above is not a forecast.
First, no one wishes for a destructive tropical system to impact any location.
There is no denying the powerful force that hurricanes and tropical storms posses.
Even weak tropical storms and hurricanes can cause major problems.
The best case scenario would be for a weak tropical storm or minimal hurricane to
make landfall along the Texas Gulf coast, preferably in a low populated area, travel
quickly enough to avoid major flooding near coastal areas, then travel towards Texoma
to bring much needed drought relief. It would not take a major hurricane to bring much
Tropical systems typically travel around the clockwise flow of high pressure.
To get tropical moisture from the remnants of a tropical storm or weak hurricane
it would have to be steered by an area of high pressure over the Gulf of Mexico
or southeastern United States. The flow around the high pressure would carry
the tropical system into the Texas Gulf coast. As the storm moves inland, it weakens
and the winds around the western edge of the high pressure would curve the
remnants north into Texoma.
IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE. CLICK PAGE 2 TO CONTINUE
A classic example of this occurred in August of 2007 when Tropical Storm Erin made
landfall in San Jose Island, TX. The remnants traveled northwest and caused flooding
near Abilene before curving north into Texoma. Tropical Storm Erin brought portions
of Texoma anywhere between 1 and 3 inches of rain. See image below courtesy the
Hydrologic Prediction Center (HPC).
Tropical moisture can also impact Texoma from the eastern Pacific Ocean. This usually
happens when tropical systems moving into Mexico and the sub-tropical jet stream
carries remnant moisture into western Texas.
The most active part of hurricane season is typically late August through late September.
It remains to be seen if any tropical systems will impact Texas this year.
Meteorologist Eric Jeansonne
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