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Agriculture Today

Repeat of 1998?

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September 15, 2011 | 2,793 views | Post a comment

Local weather watcher Jim Helmke had a lengthy conversation with John Zeitler, science officer for the National Weather Service in New Braunfels, and shared data they discussed on Aug. 4, comparing the summer of 1998 to today.

“Interestingly, and of concern was the fact that we may come out of this La Niña and go into El Niño, but that could -- could -- be a very short-lived cycle and possibly return to La Niña and another bout of dry, hot weather,” Helmke wrote.

“Also discussed [were] the prevailing climate patterns shifting to the north and east ... i.e., the North and the South will be seeing more severe weather events earlier and more intense ...”

“Even more of concern was a disturbing similarity to 1998, referred to above, of a hot -- although not as severe as this year -- dry summer, resulting in possible (again, possible -- not very likely) of more than 20 inches of rain in 24 hours, as experienced back then. Weather repeats in cycles, although not time-predictable, over a given period.

“This area and surrounding Texas is long overdue a major, serious weather event ... a level 3+ hurricane, EF2+ tornado, hailstorm, flood, windstorm, or the like. No, I am not alarmist, but complacency is a common attitude. It may not happen, but our guard should not be relaxed.

“We need the rain; however, Texas is either feast or famine. ... Hopefully, [the] climate will be moderate and give to us the life-giving, sustaining rain we need. ... Be watchful!! Stay alert, stay ready!”

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