Hurricane Dolly: 5 years later
Tue, 23 Jul 2013 01:22:02 GMT —
July 22 marks the five year anniversary when Hurricane Dolly began leashing its wrath upon the Rio Grande Valley.
Those who were here well remember the storm and the lessons we learned.
From July 22-24, 2008, Dolly dumped as much as 18 inches across portions of the Rio Grande Valley and whipped up winds exceeding 100 miles per hour.
"4-6 hours of 100 mph wind gusts and torrential rains added up," National Weather Service Brownsville office warning coordination meteorologist Barry Goldsmith said.
"It was a busy three days," Goldsmith said.
Dolly was a late bloomer. It didn't develop into a tropical storm until two days before it hit the coast along the Willacy-Cameron County line.
"This came quickly, it had been a tropical storm for a while, it struggled to get going. It was fighting wind shear and finally the trough making the wind shear got out of the way and Dolly rapidly intensified the last day of its trek, Goldsmith said.
The storm cut power to nearly a quarter of a million people and caused more than a $2 billion worth of damage.
While the storm brought destruction, it also brought much needed relief from a year long drought.
Once again south Texas finds itself in an exceptional drought and it will take a lot of rain to get out of it.
"We need a tropical storm or hurricane to come and make a slow move across the region to drop that kind of rain, Goldsmith said.
That kind of rain won't fall this week but Goldsmith isn't ruling out the possibility of a storm this year.
"The forecast for the northwest gulf could be quiet overall, it only takes one storm to make its move on us, threading the needle, squeezing through that crack in that window or door to come here, Goldsmith said,
Be prepared, peak hurricane season for the western gulf of runs from August 15 through the end of September.
The National Hurricane Center is expected to issue an updated hurricane forecast in August.
This year TMs current forecast calls for 13-20 named storms, 7-11 of them reaching hurricane strength.
So far only three tropical storms have formed in the Atlantic this year, none of which reached hurricane status.