Mason County News
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Even a Tropical Storm Provides Hill Country Excitement
Wednesday, August 6, 2008 • Posted August 6, 2008

On Sunday, it was just an area of disturbed weather. By 1:00 p.m., it was a named Tropical Depression, and by 5:00 p.m., it was Edouard.

This morning (Tuesday), it came ashore near the Texas/Louisiana border. And normally, for those of us in the Hill Country, that would be the end of the story.

Except for the high pressure that sitting over the middle of the country. That makes Edouard a possible Mason County player.

By the time you read this, we'll know whether or not the predictions for central Texas were accurate. The ones that I've been looking at this morning indicate that the center of what remains of Edouard should be over Brownwood by Wednesday noon. And, we should have rain (up to two inches), by the end of the day on Wednesday.

I guess we wouldn't all be so excited and anxious about this scenario, except that we REALLY are needing the rain.

It has topped 100 degrees multiple times during July, and there has been little precipitation. In summers such as this, everyone knows that the only way we're going to get any significant rainfall is if we have a tropical system move into the area. And, as Dolly showed just a couple of weeks ago, if they don't move inland in the right direction, they won't have any effect on our weather.

I regret that we have such disregard for our brethren along the coast, though we do pray that they will be spared any significant damage; but, it's our only hope for rain during hot summers. I've talked about our apparent disregard for the welfare of coastal residents before; and, we all understand that for a tropical system to reach us up here in the northern hills, it's got to first track across a lot of country. And, even then, it may fizzle out before it ever arrives.

This particular high pressure dome seems capable of shredding almost any development in the upper atmosphere. On radar, I watched the first spiral bands of Edouard simply disappear as they came into contact with the oppressively heavier air of the high. One can only hope that Edouard is determined, direct, and fast. Only then will he be able to punch a hole in the high and let loose the moisture we so badly need.

So we wait.

Every thirty minutes or so, I check back with radar and satellite photos to see how things are progressing. I look at storm tracks, and read National Weather Service discussions about the storm. I try to ignore the heavily populated areas currently being hammered by 50-60 mile per hour winds, torrential rains, wild lightning and the occasional tornado. I stay focused on increasing cloud cover and steering winds.

By Thursday, it will all be fading. We will know if Edouard had the chutzpah to swagger into central Texas and provide what we needed. We will also know if our neighbors in Houston, The Woodlands, Bryan, Georgetown, Burnet and Brownwood fared well, or if they need our assistance to recover from the storm.

And by Friday, we will be scouring the tropical weather sites once more, looking for the next potential rainmaker. Still cognizant of what such storms can do; but, also aware of the need for such systems to maintain the balance of temperature and moisture on the Blue Marble, and more specifically, for such systems to restore our landscape after weeks of baking sunshine.

Hope you got rain!

It’s all just my opinion, but it’s what I wish would happen.

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