PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
734 PM CST THU DEC 31 2009

     ...MEMORABLE WEATHER EVENTS OVER THE LAST TEN YEARS...

A VARIETY OF WEATHER HAS AFFECTED SOUTHEAST TEXAS OVER THE LAST
DECADE. THE AREA HAS ENDURED RECORD HEAT...HEAVY SNOW AND A RARE
WHITE CHRISTMAS FOR PARTS OF THE AREA...A COUPLE OF HURRICANES AND
SEVERAL TROPICAL STORMS. IT WOULDN`T BE TEXAS IF WE ALSO DIDN`T
SUFFER FROM DROUGHTS FOLLOWED BY FLOODS. WELL...AT LEAST WE
DIDN`T HAVE LOCUSTS. WE POLLED NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EMPLOYEES
TO DETERMINE JUST WHAT WERE THE TOP WEATHER EVENTS OF THE LAST
DECADE TO AFFECT SOUTHEAST TEXAS. HERE ARE THE TOP TEN WEATHER
EVENTS FOR THE LAST TEN YEARS AS DETERMINED BY NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE STAFF:

1. HURRICANE IKE - SEPTEMBER 13 2008 -

IKE WAS A CATEGORY 2 STORM THAT MADE LANDFALL NEAR GALVESTON TEXAS
ON SEPTEMBER 13TH 2008. THE STORM PACKED WINDS OF AROUND 110 MPH
AT LANDFALL AND WAS CLASSIFIED AS A CATEGORY 2 STORM. IKE HAD AN
UNUSUALLY HIGH STORM SURGE AND THE SURGE EXCEEDED 17 FEET AROUND
GALVESTON BAY. THE STORM ALSO BROUGHT HEAVY RAIN TO THE REGION
WITH SOME SPOTS PICKING UP BETWEEN 8 TO 10 INCHES WHEN THE STORM
MADE LANDFALL AND ANOTHER 8 TO 10 INCHES WITH A COLD FRONT THAT
CROSSED THE REGION THE NEXT DAY. THE STRONG WINDS ASSOCIATED WITH
IKE DOWNED POWER LINES...RIPPED ROOFS AND SMASHED WINDOWS THROUGH
OUT THE AREA. ELECTRICAL SERVICE WAS NOT AVAILABLE TO OVER 3
MILLION RESIDENTS AND THE POWERS WAS OUT FOR 5 TO 7 DAYS. 28
DEATHS WERE ATTRIBUTED TO IKE AND DAMAGE ESTIMATES HAVE EXCEEDED
20 BILLION DOLLARS.

2. TROPICAL STORM ALLISON - JUNE 5 2001 THROUGH JUNE JUNE 9 2001

ALLISON WAS A WEAK TROPICAL STORM THAT MADE LANDFALL NEAR
GALVESTON ON TUESDAY EVENING JUNE 5TH. THE STORM DUMPED 8 TO 10
INCHES OF RAIN ACROSS PARTS OF BRAZORIA...GALVESTON AND HARRIS
COUNTIES AT LANDFALL. THE STORM LINGERED ACROSS THE REGION FOR 5
DAYS SLOWLY DRIFTING BACK TO THE COAST. PARAMETERS CAME TOGETHER
FOR TORRENTIAL RAIN TO DEVELOP FRIDAY NIGHT INTO SATURDAY MORNING
(JUNE8-9). RAIN WAS FALLING AT THE RATE OF 4 INCHES PER HOUR.
SEVERAL AREAS IN EASTERN HARRIS COUNTY RECEIVED 25 INCHES OF RAIN
ON FRIDAY NIGHT AND PARTS OF THE HOUSTON AREA RECEIVED OVER 35
INCHES OF RAIN IN 5 DAYS. DAMAGES WERE ESTIMATED NEAR 5 BILLION
DOLLARS AND 23 PERSON LOST THEIR LIVES DURING THIS FLOOD EVENT.

3. CHRISTMAS SNOW OF 2004 - DECEMBER 24 2004

AN ARCTIC COLD FRONT CROSSED THE AREA ON DECEMBER 22 LEADING TO
UNSEASONABLY COLD TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE REGION. A FEW SNOW
FLURRIES DEVELOPED DURING THE DAY ON THE 24TH. AN UPPER LEVEL LOW
MOVED ACROSS SOUTH TEXAS ON CHRISTMAS EVE. THIS FEATURE TAPPED
DEEPER GULF MOISTURE AS IT APPROACHED THE COAST. SNOW DEVELOPED
RAPIDLY IN THE EVENING AND OVERSPREAD MUCH OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS. 6
TO 12 INCHES OF SNOW FELL SOUTH OF THE I-10 CORRIDOR FROM VICTORIA
TO RICHMOND TO GALVESTON. THIS LED TO THE FIRST WHITE CHRISTMAS
FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS IN RECORDED HISTORY. IT WAS ALSO
THE FIRST SIGNIFICANT SNOW EVENT (GREATER THAN 4 INCHES) SINCE
1960.

4. LABOR DAY WEEKEND HEAT WAVE - AUG 29 THROUGH SEP 5

A HEAT WAVE FOR THE AGES! OPPRESSIVE HEAT GRIPPED PARTS OF TEXAS
DURING THE SUMMER OF 2000 BUT WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED THAT THE
TEMPERATURE WOULD EXCEED 100 DEGREES FOR EIGHT CONSECUTIVE DAYS?
THE MERCURY REACHED 112 DEGREES AT COLLEGE STATION ON SEPTEMBER
4TH WHILE HOUSTON RECORDED A TEMPERATURE OF 109 DEGREES. THESE ARE
THE WARMEST TEMPERATURES EVER RECORDED FOR THESE LOCATIONS. NOT TO
BE OUTDONE...HOUSTON HOBBY AIRPORT RECORDED A HIGH TEMPERATURE OF
108 DEGREES AND GALVESTON RECORDED A TEMPERATURE OF 104 DEGREES.
THESE ARE ALSO THE WARMEST TEMPERATURES EVER RECORDED.

5. TORNADO OUTBREAK - NOVEMBER 17 2003

24 TORNADOES TOUCHED DOWN IN A 15 HOUR PERIOD OVER SOUTHEAST
TEXAS. THIS WAS THE LAST SIGNIFICANT TORNADO OUTBREAK THE AREA HAS
ENDURED. DAMAGES WERE ABOUT 8 MILLION DOLLARS. IN ADDITION TO THE
TORNADOES...HEAVY RAIN DEVELOPED AND TRAINING STORMS PRODUCED
HEAVY RAIN AND FLOODING OVER PARTS OF FORT BEND...HARRIS AND
MONTGOMERY COUNTIES.

6. HEAVY RAIN EVENT - APRIL 18 AND APRIL 28 2009

AFTER A RATHER DRY START TO THE YEAR...CONDITIONS CHANGED RAPIDLY
IN APRIL. TWO SIGNIFICANT RAIN EVENTS AFFECTED PARTS OF SOUTHEAST
TEXAS. THE FIRST RAIN EVENT WAS ON THE 18TH. HEAVY RAIN AFFECTED
MOST OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS BUT AS THE AREA OF PRECIPITATION PUSHED
SOUTH...A CLUSTER OF STRONGER STORMS DEVELOPED ALONG CLEAR CREEK.
THE HARRIS COUNTY OEM RAIN GAGE AT BAY AREA BOULEVARD AT CLEAR
CREEK REPORTED A ONE HOUR RAINFALL OF 6.90 INCHES (HIGHER THAN
ALLISON). SOME LOCATIONS RECEIVED 24 HOUR RAINFALL TOTALS IN
EXCESS OF 10 INCHES. ANOTHER CLUSTER OF STRONG STORMS DEVELOPED ON
APRIL 28TH OVER WESTERN HARRIS COUNTY. ANOTHER 8 TO 10 INCHES OF
RAIN FELL AND FLOODED OVER 2100 HOMES IN JERSEY VILLAGE AND BEAR CREEK.

7. HURRICANE RITA - SEPTEMBER 24 2005

RITA WAS A STRONG CATEGORY 5 STORM WHILE OVER THE CENTRAL GULF OF
MEXICO AND WEAKENED TO A CATEGORY 3 WHEN IT MADE LANDFALL NEAR
JOHNSON BAYOU LOUISIANA. THE STORM CAME ON THE HEELS OF KATRINA
AND AWARENESS WAS AT AN ALL TIME HIGH. THE METEOROLOGICAL EFFECTS
WERE MINIMAL. UNSEASONABLY WARM TEMPERATURES AFFECTED THE REGION
AND HOUSTON RECORDED A 100 DEGREE HIGH TEMPERATURE ON SEPTEMBER
27TH. THIS IS THE LATEST DATE THAT THE CITY HAS RECORDED A 100
DEGREE TEMPERATURE. THE SOCIOLOGICAL EFFECTS WERE HUGE. THE
LARGEST PEACE TIME EVACUATION IN AMERICAN HISTORY ENSUED AS 3
MILLION PEOPLE TRIED TO FLEE THE APPROACHING STORM. GRIDLOCK ON
AREA ROADS TRAPPED RESIDENTS ON AREA HIGHWAYS.

8. EARLIEST SNOW ON RECORD - DECEMBER 4 2009

SNOW IS RATHER RARE ACROSS SOUTHEAST TEXAS AND TO GET MEASURABLE
SNOW IN EARLY DECEMBER IS EVEN MORE RARE. AN UNSEASONABLY COLD AIR
MASS WAS IN PLACE AND A WEAK UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE APPROACHED
THE AREA FROM THE NORTHWEST. RAIN DEVELOPED EARLY IN THE MORNING
AS THIS FEATURE TAPPED GULF MOISTURE. TEMPERATURES WERE IN THE
LOWER 40S AT THE ONSET OF THIS EVENT BUT AS THE RAIN CONTINUED TO
FALL...WELL SO DID THE TEMPERATURES. THE RAIN QUICKLY CHANGED TO
SNOW AND ACCUMULATING SNOWS ENSUED. 2 TO 5 INCHES OF SNOW FELL
FROM EDNA TO WHARTON TO RICHMOND WITH AROUND AN INCH ACROSS
HOUSTON. SNOW FELL FOR 8 TO 9 HOURS ACROSS SOUTHEAST TEXAS. THIS
IS ALSO THE FIRST TIME THAT ACCUMULATING SNOWS HAVE FALLEN IN
CONSECUTIVE YEARS AT HOUSTON. BOTH COLLEGE STATION AND GALVESTON
REPORTED SNOW FLURRIES.

9. HEAVY RAIN EVENT - JUNE 19 2006

A SLOW MOVING UPPER LEVEL LOW OVER EXTREME EAST TEXAS DRIFTED
SLOWLY WEST DURING THE EARLY MORNING HOURS OF JUNE 19TH. INTENSE
RAINFALL DEVELOPED WITH PARTS OF LIBERTY...CHAMBERS AND EASTERN
HARRIS COUNTY RECEIVING 8 TO 12 INCHES OF RAIN. HOBBY AIRPORT
RECEIVED 5.75 INCHES OF RAIN IN 75 MINUTES AND 9.29 INCHES OF RAIN
BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND NOON. OVER 3300 HOMES IN HARRIS COUNTY SUFFERED
SOME LEVEL OF FLOOD DAMAGE.

10. HURRICANE CLAUDETTE - JULY 15 2003

CLAUDETTE MADE LANDFALL NEAR PORT O CONNOR AS A STRONG CATEGORY 1
STORM. IT WAS THE FIRST LAND FALLING HURRICANE IN THE HOUSTON
GALVESTON WARNING AREA SINCE HURRICANE JERRY IN 1989. THE STORM
SURGE IN MATAGORDA COUNTY REACHED 9 FEET AND RAINFALL TOTALS
AVERAGE BETWEEN 6 AND 8 INCHES. WIND SPEEDS WERE BETWEEN 75 AND 90
MPH. OVER 200 HOMES WERE DESTROYED IN MATAGORDA COUNTY AND OVER
1400 HOMES SUFFERED SOME FORM OF DAMAGE.

HONORABLE MENTION...

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM EVENT - MAY 2 THROUGH MAY 4 2000

THIS EVENT IS MEMORABLE BECAUSE THE NOAA P3 RESEARCH AIRCRAFT WAS
IN GALVESTON FOR THE GALVESTON HURRICANE TOWN HALL MEETING. THE
AIRCRAFT WAS DAMAGED AND COULD NOT RETURN TO IT`S HOME BASE.

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM AND HEAVY RAIN EVENT - DECEMBER 23 2003

THE EVENT LAST 18 HOURS AND PRODUCED WIDESPREAD WIND DAMAGE AND
SOME MINOR FLOODING

SNOW EVENT - DECEMBER 10 2008

LAST YEARS SNOW EVENT THAT DUMPED 1 TO 2 INCHES OF SNOW OVER A
LARGE PORTION OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS WITH HEAVIER AMOUNTS OVER THE
EASTERN HALF OF THE REGION. AT THE TIME...IT TIED FOR THE EARLIEST
SNOW ON RECORD.

NOT SO HONORABLE MENTION...

EVENTS THAT DIDN`T MAKE THE CUT INCLUDE HURRICANE HUMBERTO...
TROPICAL STORM ERIN...TROPICAL STORM EDOUARD...TROPICAL STORM
GRACE...TROPICAL STORM FAY...THE MARCH 30 2002 F3 TORNADO THAT ROARED
THROUGH SHORE ACRES AND SUMMER OF 2009 DROUGHT AND RECORD HEAT
DURING JUNE.

AS VOTING GOES...IKE...ALLISON...THE CHRISTMAS SNOW AND THE LABOR
DAY HEAT WAVE WERE UNANIMOUS AND THESE EVENTS APPEARED ON EVERY
BALLOT. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IKE AND ALLISON WAS ONLY 3 VOTES.
THE LAST DECADE WAS INTERESTING FOR THE AMOUNT AND VARIETY OF
WEATHER EXTREMES.

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