The Blob: It's real and it's back! Does it mean more Houston floods?
You know and I know it floods in Houston and there are a LOT of reasons why: Tropical systems, back-building thunderstorms, slow-moving cold fronts, El Niño Pacific Moisture.
So here is one phenom I want to point out today: The Blob.
The Blob is abnormally, super warm water in the Gulf of Alaska that continues down the coasts of Canada and the United States. You can see from today's sea surface temperature anomaly much warmer than normal water in that region, which I've circled:
This Blob of very warm water began in 2013 and really showed up in 2014 then began to subside in 2016. And now it appears to be back bigger and badder and blobbier than before:
Look at all that dark red representing warmer than normal water. So what's the big deal? Warm water = warm moist rising air. That moist air gets picked up in the Jet Stream and will drop somewhere as huge amounts of rain the United States.
We had big floods in May of 2013 and again in May of 2014:
And, as you all will well remember, our Memorial Day Floods occurred in 2015 and then Tax Day Floods happened in 2016. BOTH of those floods occurred due to Pacific Moisture. The same time the Blob was hanging out.
If there is a saving grace, we also had a VERY strong El Niño from 2014-2016 and that adds even more moisture into the equation. We do not have a strong El Niño right now and none is forecast anytime soon:
Follow that red line and you can see it's just above the 0, or neutral line.
You can read more about The Blob here. It plays havoc with marine life, coral reefs, and the ski season. Will it play havoc with us and bring more flooding? That's to be seen, but it's something I'll be watching carefully.
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