Rising tides

Click2pins' Geralyn Rangel posted this street flooding from 9/28/2021

A report just released from NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other agencies predicts that coastal sea levels will rise a foot by 2050 but we may get there on the Texas coast faster than that!

Forecasting a significant increase in coastal flooding to the end of this century and beyond, the report includes interactive tools so that us regular folks can drill down a bit to our own areas to find out just what kind of sea level rises are really predicted. For the Texas coast, there is honestly not much comfort. For instance, Galveston by just the end of this decade, 2030, could see a tidal increase of a full foot, or .32 meters:

This is a forecast for an intermediate rise of .32 meters or about 1 foot.

And that is just in eight years at the ‘intermediate rise’ forecast, versus low or high. This kind of increase is considered ‘nuisance flooding’ and doesn’t put lives in danger, but it certainly strains the infrastructure and adds stress to your day! I looked at Corpus Christi for the year 2050 and it came in at 1.6′ or half a meter:

This half meter increase equates to 1.6 feet

A bigger concern arises toward the end of the century. By 2100, the Texas coastline could see a sea level rise of 7.5 to 8.5 feet. Here is the example from Rockport:

This is for a High projection of 2.45meters or 8 feet

You can have a look at the coastal predictions yourself with this interactive tool right here. These agencies are encouraging everyone to explore this and see for yourself what their findings indicate.

Why the rising tide?

There is still plenty of studying to be done but these agencies put the reason for the rising sea levels pretty squarely on “melting glaciers and ice sheets as well as complex interactions between ocean, land and ice.” An increase in greenhouse emissions could make even these projections go higher.

The full report is right here.

In the meantime, after a blustery, cold start to our weekend, it is here! Enjoy and Happy Mardi Gras!

Laissez les bon temps rouler!


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About the Authors:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.