Texans, including Governor Rick Perry, have been hoping and praying for rain for months to abate the baking heat and break the extreme drought that has gripped almost their entire state. When tropical storm Don formed in the Gulf of Mexico and headed toward Corpus Christi, some Texans thought that their prayers were about to be answered.
Unfortunately, tropical storm Don lost strength as it neared the coast, and its path over land only provided a slight sprinkling of rain to the far southern part of Texas. So the drought and heat continue.
The Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center (GES DISC) provides several tools providing views of Don. The GES DISC also provides daily updated images of hydrological conditions in the United States and around the world. Rainfall anomaly images from the Current Conditions Related to Droughts and Floods analysis map page illustrate the severity of the drought in Texas.
It's hard to believe that anyone would hope for a tropical storm or hurricane to hit their state, but in the case of Texas, a slow-moving drenching downpour from a tropical system would seem like an answer to a prayer. In fact, in many southeastern states, rainfall from tropical systems is usually an important provider of rain during the summer months.
Figure 1. Global merged IR animation showing Tropical Storm Don making landfall along
the southeast Texas coast. (This animation was generated with the Hurricane Data Analysis Tool).
Figure 2. Rainfall accumulation map for Tropical Storm Don, July 29-31, 2011. The visualized data are the 3B42RT data product, from the experimental Near-Real-Time TRMM Multi-Satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA-RT) in TOVAS Giovanni.
Figure 3. 60-day rainfall anomaly in the United States. Dark blue areas (circled by yellow) indicate that less-than-normal
rainfall was received during the past 60 days. (This figure was obtained from the Current Conditions Related to Droughts and Floods analysis map page.) Click on the image to view it larger.