Accidents and Disasters

  • Blogs

    August 4, 2014

    Hurricane Season 2014: Hurricane Bertha Has Arrived

    Before digging too deeply into what is going on with hurricane number two of this Atlantic Hurricane Season, can we talk for just a moment about why someone thought Bertha was a good name for a hurricane? I guess if it grew very large, there could be quips about "Big Bertha" from the media. I could ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 31, 2014

    Hurricane Season 2014: Atlantic System No Serious Threat

    Invest 93L, as designated by the National Hurricane Center, is not terribly impressive. Despite predictions it would be nearing tropical storm strength by now, it has floundered, fighting with dry air in the area north of the storm and high wind shear. Would be Tropical Storm Bertha is simply not al ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 28, 2014

    Hurricane Season 2014: Tropics Finally Heating Up as August Approaches

    The National Hurricane Center has designated and area of low pressure in the eastern Atlantic as Invest 93L. It gives these designations throughout hurricane season to make note of systems that have the potential to develop. It is currently giving 93L a 40 percent chance of developing into a tropica ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2014

    Hurricane Season 2014: Tropical Depression No. 2 Not Long for This World

    The tiny tropical depression -- the second of the 2014 hurricane season -- continues to speed westward towards the Caribbean, but with each passing day it is losing the characteristics of a storm rather than gaining strength. Despite having some relatively good conditions, No. 2 is looking pretty ra ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 22, 2014

    Hurricane Seasons 2014: Second Tropical Depression of the Year Spins Up in the Atlantic

    With less than two weeks remaining in July, the 2014 hurricane season, we have our second storm of the year in the Atlantic. The peak of the season is in the second week of September, but the end of July is generally when things begin to heat up over the Atlantic Basin. This second depression of th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2014

    5 Best Meteorologically-Inspired Cocktails For Hurricane Season

    Studies have repeatedly shown that intoxicated persons are 47 percent more likely to survive major weather events than their sober counterparts [citation missing], which is why this hurricane season be sure to include booze as well as water in your emergency kit. And if you need more inspiration as ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 2, 2014

    Hurricane Season 2014: Tropical Storm Arthur Forms as the "Real" Season Begins

    Tracking forecast for Tropical Storm Arthur.The first named tropical storm of 2014 formed in the Atlantic Ocean Monday. Tropical Storm Arthur formed off the coast of Florida and is expected to move gradually to the north and ultimately northeast over the next three to four days. Currently, forecasts ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 28, 2014

    Hurricane Season 2014: Predictions Call for Below Average Year

    To borrow and mangle a quote from Groundhog Day, "Well, it's hurricane season...again." Beginning June 1, anyone who lives along the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea or Atlantic Ocean starts to cast a wary eye on the tropics. As the temperatures warm up through summer, so does most of the Atlantic Basi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 27, 2014

    Turn-Around-Don't-Drown Weather We're Having Today

    Update: We've added a screencap of road closures from Houston Transtar on the next page. A flood warning was issued this morning for Harris County, an upgrade from a flash flood watch overnight. Houston has received around 2 to 4 inches of rain so far since getting hit by rainfall last night, with ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 4, 2014

    Galveston Oil Spill Animal Body Count Continues

    As we've unfortunately learned many times before, a bunch of oil dumped into bodies of water doesn't tend to work out well for the birds and other animals that live in the area. We learned it with Exxon Valdez and it hit much closer to home with the British Petroleum oil spill in 2010. Now the chic ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 26, 2014

    Galveston Bay Oil Spill: A Lesson In a Series of Lessons

    Mark Twain's declaration that "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme" is an appropriate and memorable reminder in the wake of the March 24, Galveston Bay oil spill. It's one more prompt that environmental abuses, whether by negligence, human error, or political gain, need our attention no ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 25, 2014

    Galveston Bay Spill is Killing Spring Migration

    Crews are working to clean up the mess created by more than 150,000 gallons of sticky black crude oil dumped in Galveston Bay on Saturday, but with no end in sight the environmental implications will likely only get worse. So far, Texas Parks and Wildlife officials report they've found three oil-c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 4, 2014

    North vs. South: 5 Weather Events and Natural Phenomena Neither of Us Can Handle

    A friend of mine from New Jersey recently remarked on Facebook that the conditions that brought Atlanta to a standstill last week people in New Jersey call "Thursday." My response was that people in Texas referred to "Superstorm Sandy" as an afternoon thunderstorm. That's the thing about weather. I ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 9, 2013

    Say Goodbye to Hurricanes (Say Goodbye My Baby)

    With apologies to Billy Joel, I doubt anyone along the Texas coastline is as sad to see hurricane season go as he was to part with Los Angeles, but for several weeks now, hurricane season for our neck of the woods has been done. And while hurricane season officially runs through the end of November, ... More >>

  • News

    September 19, 2013

    Hurricane Ike: Then and Now

    Photographer Daniel Kramer returns to the scene of Houston's most recent tropical nightmare.

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2013

    Weather Week: Tropics Should Begin to Die Down, but Rain Chances Increase

    The Houston area received a good dose of rain Monday afternoon as our typical warm, muggy and occasionally rainy summer forecast played out. Still, we are way behind where we need to be when it comes to precipitation. We may not be at 2011 levels of drought, but we are very dry regardless. Any rainf ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2013

    UPDATE: Hurricane Ingrid in the Gulf Won't Threaten Texas, but May Bring Rain

    Update: Ingrid made landfall this morning. It appears she isn't much of a threat to Texas for rain, unfortunately, but we will have a good chance at tropical moisture by the end of the week from the Gulf. More on that tomorrow in my regular weekly weather update. The second hurricane of the year is ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 13, 2013

    Hurricane Ike: Then and Now in Photos

    Five years ago today was the anniversary of Hurricane Ike. When it swept through Houston in 2008 - and was subsequently swept under the rug by national media thanks to a collapsing economy - it packed much more punch than anyone expected. A massive storm that, at one point, filled almost the entire ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 13, 2013

    Weekend Weather: Tropical Storm Ingrid Could be Brewing in the Gulf

    It's Friday again, thank God. The weekend brings with it quite a lot actually. There are some pretty big football games, an Astros home stand and quite possibly a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico. At the moment it is hot and will continue to get hotter. Expect it to reach the mid to upper 90s to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2013

    Two Tropical Storms in the Atlantic and Neither is a Threat to the U.S.

    For the first time this hurricane season, the Atlantic has two tropical storms simultaneously. Tropical Storm Gabrielle re-formed and should pass over Bermuda this week before gradually moving north, well east of the U.S. coastline. Tropical Storm Humberto has a very good chance to be this season's ... More >>

  • News

    August 29, 2013

    Do The Twist(er): Local Musician Chases Storms For Fun and Profit.

    Hank Schyma doesn't come off as insane... until you see his videos.

  • News

    August 29, 2013

    The Dark Wall: Legendary Tornado Chaser Tim Samaras's Last Ride

    The story of Tim Samaras and the largest tornado ever documented.

  • Blogs

    August 29, 2013

    Do The Twist(er): Local Musician Chases Storms For Fun and Profit

    Hank Schyma doesn't come off as insane. Not at first. He speaks clearly and eloquently about being a storm chaser, and as you're talking with him, it seems like a perfectly reasonable thing. Hank Schyma, front man for Houston band the Southern Backtones, has been chasing storms for more than a deca ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 28, 2013

    Rock You Like a You Know What: Why Hurricane Season Should Heat Up and Stop Being So Lame

    Since 1995, the Atlantic Basin has been in a period of higher-than-normal activity for tropical storms. This is a phenomena referred to as the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation. It basically means that for periods of 20-40 years (or longer), there is an increase in storm activity across the Atlanti ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 20, 2013

    Weather Week: Back to School, Back to Summer...for Now

    That dreaded first morning back to school (for kids and parents) this year was punctuated with surprisingly cool weather. While northerners may be used to sub-70 degree August mornings (or sub-50 in some cases), Houstonians are not exactly acclimated to that kind of "cool" weather this time of year. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 19, 2013

    The Last Hurricane: Houston Has Been Lucky Since Alicia 30 Years Ago

    On my first day of high school, my parents drove me from my aunt's house. We were all living there because our house on the north side of town still had no power thanks to Hurricane Alicia, a storm that hit Houston 30 years ago this past weekend. And while Alicia may not have been a monster storm -- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 16, 2013

    Weekend Weather: Cooler Weekend and a Tropical Disturbance in the Gulf

    Before you start pulling out your sweaters, when I say "cooler," I mean "not quite as unbearable but basically still brutal." Fact is, a trough of low pressure moved through the area and that should lead to slightly milder temps and drier weather as we move into the weekend. There is still a chance ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 15, 2013

    Tropical Storm Erin Forms, Caribbean Disturbance Weakens

    As we enter the peak of hurricane season (August 15 actually marks that day), it seems fitting that there are two disturbances in the Atlantic. Fortunately, neither seem to be a significant threat to anyone at this point. The first is the one closest to us. A disturbance over the extreme Western Ca ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 13, 2013

    Weather Week: Summer Pattern Engaged, Hurricane Season Peaks

    You'll have to excuse my smugness as I've spent the last week in a place where the high temperature never got above 85. One day it was 79 and the evenings were downright chilly. But, now that I'm back in Steamroom, Texas, I'll happily accept the fact that summer is, in fact, winding down. I know it ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2013

    Monday Marks the Peak of Hurricane Season - Weather Museum Gets You Prepared with New App

    If you just moved here or you just don't pay attention, you might not realize that the peak of hurricane season begins in just 10 days. August 15 marks the beginning of the busiest portion of the Atlantic hurricane season and lasts through mid September. The Weather Museum -- bet you didn't know the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2013

    Tropical Storm Dorian Way Out There, but Worth Watching

    On Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center designated the system they had been watching way out in the Atlantic as Tropical Storm Dorian, our fourth named storm of the hurricane season. Dorian is way the hell out in the Atlantic just off the coast of Africa making it a Cape Verde storm. These storm ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 17, 2013

    On the Eve of the Busy Season for Hurricanes, Now Is the Time to Prepare

    For about four months along the Texas coastline, people with relatively no interest in weather other than casual conversations in grocery store waiting lines ("Sure is hot outside." "Yup.") suddenly become experts in sea surface temperatures, El Niņo and vertical wind shear. Welcome to hurricane sea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 10, 2013

    Tropical Storm Chantal Fizzling, But Could Be an Indicator of a Very Busy Season

    The Atlantic's third named storm of the year is barely holding itself together this morning. Tropical Storm Chantal is briskly moving through the waters of the Caribbean towards the west at about 28mph, but it is showing signs of disintegration. In fact, the National Hurricane Center is calling for ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 9, 2013

    Weather Week: Humidity Returns and the Tropics Begin Stirring

    In 2011, during the midst of the state's worst drought in decades, Houston was without something we who live here have come to expect: rain. People I have spoken with who have never visited here have this vision of Houston as Dry Gulch, a cowboy town complete with 10-gallon hats and tumbleweeds. The ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2013

    Hurricane Season 2013: Tropical Storm Chantal Forms in the Atlantic

    Our third named storm of the season is Tropical Storm Chantal in the southern Atlantic near 10 degrees north. The National Hurricane Center designated Chantal last night as it began to form a surface circulation southeast of the Lesser Antilles. Chantal is moving quickly to the west-northwest and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 3, 2013

    BP Just Wants To Be Loved (And To Not Pay For The Gulf Oil Spill)

    The folks over at British Petroleum want the world to know they feel real bad about that explosion and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico back in 2010. Last week, the company even took out a nice-sized ad in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, saying as much. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2013

    Second Tropical Depression of the Year Forms in the Caribbean

    It is mid-June and we already have another tropical disturbance to deal with. In this case, it is a depression that has formed near Belize in the western Caribbean Sea. It formed rather quickly and is expected to traverse portions of Central America and Mexico before emerging in the Bay of Campeche. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 6, 2013

    Firstborn: Tropical Storm Andrea Forms in Gulf of Mexico

    It seems like only yesterday we were here talking about the opening of hurricane season. Well, technically, day before yesterday. And just like that, we have our first named storm. Last night, the National Hurricane Center upgraded the disturbance formerly known as 91L to tropical storm status and i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 4, 2013

    Hurricane Season Is Here: Please Return Your Hatches to Their Properly Battened Position

    Welcome to Hurricane Season 2013: the Search for Spock, or something. As most of us along the Gulf Coast know, the Atlantic hurricane season officially opens (Remember, hunters, your bag limit is two storms per season, so wear bright colors and stay low. Good luck!) on June 1 and runs through Novemb ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 29, 2013

    Texas Leads in Carbon Emissions, Environmental Group Tries to Tie Them to "Monster" Tornadoes

    The Environmental Defense Fund sent out a press release detailing the fact that Texas leads the nation in carbon emissions according to information provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. According to their report, Texas emitted 652.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2010, ne ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 22, 2013

    Oklahoma Storms: What Is It Like Living in Tornado Alley?

    This summer will mark my 10-year anniversary of moving to Houston. I don't miss Oklahoma often, but the last two days have been particularly hard. I've been glued to the Internet and NPR, absorbing the news with an emotion that can only be described as helplessness. Moore, Oklahoma, the area hardes ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 16, 2013

    Weather Sucks: Thank God We Only Have Hurricanes to Deal with in Houston

    "It's already here!" -- Twister Overnight in north Texas, a rash of tornadoes killed at least six people and injured many more. There could be another outbreak of twisters tonight as dry, cool air from the north slams into warm Gulf air over Texas. It's unfortunately a common occurrence for an area ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2013

    And So It Begins: We Have Our First Tropical Depression of the Year

    There comes a time every May where the days start to get a little longer, the temperatures start to get a little hotter and our eyes turn to those big bodies of water flanking us that we've been ignoring the last few months. Hurricane season may start June 1, but the truth is hurricanes form when th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2013

    Hunker Down: The Hurricane Forecasts Are Out. Five Things to Keep in Mind

    It's that time again. No, not hurricane season, it's hurricane predictin' season, partner. So, get out yer slide rule and a room full of super computers. Grab the nerdiest guy you can find and shelter in place because this is going to be a wild ride. Every year in April, the forecasters begin layin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 5, 2013

    Ready for Hurricane Season? The Predictions Are Starting to Come In

    Last year when the world was held rapt at the plight of northeastern residents during "Super Storm" Sandy, we along the Gulf Coast chuckled. Not at the suffering of the people there. In fact, we understand those poor people and what the went through better than just about anyone. We were laughing ov ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 7, 2012

    Kings X Drummer Jerry Gaskill Loses Home In Hurricane Sandy

    Rocks Off readers of a certain age will fondly remember Jerry Gaskill as the drummer from pioneering proto-grunge/metal band King's X. Perhaps many of you, like us, even had tickets to trio's show earlier this year at Warehouse Live that was cancelled after Gaskill had a heart attack. More bad news ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 29, 2012

    Advice on Handling Hurricane Sandy From the Gulf Coast (i.e. Hurricane Central)

    Hey, East Coast, how you doin'? Sorry, our Jersey accent is a little rusty. We along the Gulf Coast have been watching with interest the furor over Hurricane Sandy as it makes its way towards the Jersey Shore. Maybe the hurricane wants to do some gambling. Maybe it wants to renact the entire movie S ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2012

    Breaking News: Funnel Cloud Warning for Fort Bend County

    Click 2 Houston is passing on a weather report warning of possible funnel clouds this morning in Fort Bend County. The report says that rapidly developing thunderstorms coupled with "a very buoyant atmosphere" will lead to funnel clouds. Their report follows:

  • Blogs

    September 3, 2012

    Five Lessons Learned from Hurricane Isaac

    The circus has finally left New Orleans as they begin their clean up after Hurricane Isaac dropped boatloads of rain on the Big Easy earlier this week. Despite some dire early warnings and a near-miss of the GOP convention in Tampa Bay, Isaac was fairly tame by hurricane standards. That didn't stop ... More >>

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