Hi y’all, welcome to February!
Meteorologist Caroline Brown here for another edition of Wild Weather around the World! On our last blog we discussed Iowa tornadoes in January and a winter storm in Europe. This week, we’ll be talking weather from New Zealand and Texas. Across the Lone Star State we have seen a wicked winter storm that has crippled roads through West Texas to Dallas and Austin. Across the globe, the big weather story south of the equator was deadly flooding in Auckland. Let’s dive in!
Flooding in New Zealand:
Auckland, New Zealand, had a slow-moving sub-tropical low move through the region, which led to intense flooding. They saw nearly 6″ of rainfall last Friday, in a wet pattern that brought days of heavy rainfall. The intense rainfall rates led to torrents of water flowing through roads and flooding houses, and unfortunately, killing at least four.
There have been sinkholes, landslides and building collapses in the city, which is called home by more than 1.6 million New Zealanders. This rainfall prompted the city to issue a state of emergency. As of now, the total number of folks who have become homeless is unknown.
Ice in Texas:
This one hits close to home, and it’s likely a story you’ve heard about from our meteorologists on-air. There has been an ice storm impacting the state throughout the week, and it wreaked havoc on the highways. Our precipitation fell mostly as freezing rain or sleet. The sleet was able to accumulate on roads, and freeze into black ice, causing cars to spin out and major delays.
Freezing rain and drizzle led to ice accumulation on trees, with some spots seeing over an inch of ice. This was heavy enough that it brought down large tree branches, which damaged property, blocked roads, and brought down power lines.
Here in Houston, we were spared from the ice the rest of the state saw. So why didn’t Houston have icy conditions like the rest of Texas, if we got the same cold front that brought the frigid air? The answer is simple, it’s the Gulf of Mexico! Sitting just 50 miles away from Houston, the Gulf brings warm air, which keeps our temperatures moderate, leaving us with a sub-tropical climate that typically sees milder winters.
This has been a gloomy week across Southeast Texas with a week of cold temperatures, cloud cover and rain in Houston, but the sun will finally return tomorrow! The sunshine returns and we’ll have temperatures warming to the 70s, a picture-perfect weekend! Here’s a picture of my dog Stormy enjoying the rain, although I know she’s going to love the sunshine a lot more!
Stay safe always,