Elaine Meinel Supkis
I grew up in the dry/flood climate of Southern Arizona. Either it pours or it is dry as a bone. Global warming simply extends this to more places. Oklahoma just had, in a few hours, the equivelent of the record for June, in rain: 18 inches! And this, without any hurricanes which happen to lurk in the Atlantic, patiently preparing for their curtain cues.
Torrential storms flooded parts of central Texas early Wednesday, stranding people on roofs, in trees and in vehicles, with wind-blown rain falling so hard that some helicopter rescue attempts had to be abandoned.
The worst flooding was in Williamson, Lampasas and Burnet counties in the Texas Hill Country northwest of Austin.
"We got hard facts of 18-plus inches of rain in a couple of those places since midnight," Austin-Travis County emergency medical services spokesman Warren Hassinger said just after 7 a.m.
The record for MONTHLY rain in Oklahoma is 18"! This singular storm comes on the heels of several major storms so it is easily double this today. I looked it up. I used to think a 4" rain was big. But since then, I was nearly killed in a 7" rain storm. The tiny stream on Plank Road, the steep, winding road into Berlin that runs past my own mountain, suddenly surged into a fair-sized river during that storm. My husband was driving us home from pumping out the basement of his parent's home. Suddenly, the water was rushing about the top of our tires as we began to lose control of the car. Behind us was a wall of water and my husband drove very fast to get ahead of it. We were the last car to make it through.
The Sheriffs closed the road and the road was washed away.
I live high above floods but I drive over many rivers and streams to get around, this is the nature of mountains. I do worry about the climate going into flood/drought mode! I live in the 'temperate zone' and we shoudl get the same amount of moisture every month, about 4"+ a month. A month with no rain is a disaster in any month. Too much is bad, of course. We had so many inches of snow last winter, I broke the big snow plow trying to extricate my neighbors from the deep snow! I pushed up snow banks that were more than 12' high.
Barns collapsed all over the region. My larger livestock couldn't poke their heads out of the barn. I had to crawl up onto the roofs of the animal houses to shovel off the deep snow!
Now, with these storms hammering the center of the Grain Belt, we haven't heard the really bad news. What with everyone growing corn for the ethanol gold rush, now we will see all that rot in the fields: corn hates floods when it is ripening! And hail, wind and heavy rain smashes the stalks down. Modern corn makes heavy ears which are vulnerable to winds and rains.
Residents hit by flash floods that struck North Yorkshire are beginning a massive clean-up operation. Villages were cut off, roads washed away and nine people were reported missing during a night of heavy storms.
Two RAF helicopters were scrambled to rescue the missing people when they were tracked down in the market town of Helmsley, which was worst hit.
The flooding followed a weekend of high temperatures across the UK which left four people dead from drowning.
Europe has seen some spectacular storms this last 20 years including the rare tornadoes. These latest storms to hit England didn't flood because of a long rainfall, it was as if a tap were turned on and whoosh went the water. People would like to imagine there is no global warming but this is exactly what it is all about: floods and droughts.
The ultimate engine of global warming is the sun. Mother Nature always has the last say in all supreme matters. This is what 'gods' means: we puny humans can't stay their hands, we can only cope with what they throw at us. And the Sun is a major deity here. One of the biggest local ones. Of course, the Great Attractor, that lurking huge black hole we see far away will eventually eat us up and squish us to nothingness but until then, the sun is our chief.
The sun is now going to start an unusually active cycle and this means we will have really interesting hurricanes and typhoons. The melting of Greenland will greatly accelerate. My father thinks the sun will shut down its engine and rest like it did from 1500-1800 AD. I don't know. It got pretty chilly during that spell.
But then, if any volcano decides to do the caldera hysteria and blow up which happens regularily, we will get a nuclear winter lasting for many years. If it is Yellow Stone that blows up, it could put us all in a freezer. In the news is the genetic scientists hoping to resurrect mammoths. Well, if that happens, it would be a good project, no?