Sunday, July 31, 2011

Thanks for nothing, Don!

Last May, as the Houston area suffered the effects of a springtime drought, I remarked that I "would prefer that Houston's next opportunity for significant rainfall not come courtesy of a hurricane or something."

Well, as the region prepares to enter my least-favorite month, it still is in sore need of some wet weather. We've had a few storms here and there, but it hasn't been nearly enough and I'm now beginning to think that a tropical system is indeed going to be our best bet for some significant, drought-busting precipitation.

Which is why I wasn't the only Houstonian who spent the last few days hoping that Tropical Storm Don would head this way and dump a few much-needed inches on the city. I can handle the winds and the relentless local media hype of a tropical storm, as long as it brings rain but doesn't become another Allison. Hell, at this point I would even welcome a category 1 hurricane.

Alas, Don veered away from the upper Texas coast this weekend and made landfall in the vicinity of South Padre Island, bringing the Houston area nothing more than a few rainbands' worth of scattered showers. And with a high pressure system firmly in place over the region and highs expected in the 100s for the coming week, there is truly no relief in sight.

Knowing our luck, the region's extended drought is going to be broken sometime in August or September with a massive hurricane, which will trigger another evacuation gridlock nightmare, unleash a storm surge which will wipe out all those nice beach houses that have just been rebuilt after Ike, submerge the city under 20 inches of rain, bring ashore 100-mph winds that will knock over trees and tear roofs off houses, and leave me and my neighborhood without electricity for two weeks.

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