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Spinning Up Out of the Gulf

In Southern and Central Texas, The Gulf of Mexico can have a huge influence on our weather patterns.

Tell tale radar signature of a Gulf Low

What typically happens is a low pressure system forms out over the Gulf and the counter clockwise rotation brings the warm moisture laden air right up over Texas where it meets the cool air that came down from up in Montana or South Dakota and the rain thing happens. They call it a Landcane as opposed to a Hurricane. Odd stuff happens in Texas – it just does.

We knocked off work yesterday with an erratic weather forecast in place for Thursday. The meteorologists were all over the place — no rain, 20%, 40%. So we just didn’t pay any attention and went about our business. Imagine my surprise when the Weather Radio started going off in the Old Girl about 7pm.

The rain pounds down in Calvert, TX

Severe thunderstorms, 60mph winds, hail, flash flood warnings….it was a spring time weather happening for sure. We have been in the typical summer time weather cycle here in Calvert, TX for the past 6 weeks. Hot, dry and humid day after day. The dust had been pulverized to fine talcum powder and coated the vehicles and leaves of the trees. The oilfield trucks running the gravel road raised such a cloud of dust that the prevailing south wind would blow it all the way to where the Old Girl was parked. I had not had a window open in weeks. One of the big dozers moving across the cleared area would raise a plume of choking dust and even walking raised little dust clouds.

So when the clouds opened up last night and the torrents of rain began, I was relieved. We needed it. It rained all night and most of Thursday.

Negotiating a muddy driveway

Total rainfall for the past 24 hours is approaching 3.5″ and we have not been out of the 70’s all day. Refreshing after weeks of heat and dust.

We will probably see this weather pattern again this summer — when a hurricane makes landfall. Hurricane season started June 1 and on my list of things to do this weekend is to get all the propane tanks filled.

End Note: 30 Days in the Hole by Humble Pie from the Smokin’ album.  No particular reason  — it just cycled up on the Zune as I was finishing this entry and after first hearing it almost 40 years ago, I still dig it.

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