Tropical Storm Harold brings heavy rain and high winds to Texas

Tropical Storm Harold has made landfall on the south-east coast of Texas, bringing more heavy rain and high winds to the southern US. The storm has prompted multiple flash flood and tornado warnings, which are expected to last into the afternoon. The National Weather Service officials have predicted 1-3in (2.5-7.6cm) of rainfall in under an hour in some regions.

This comes just a day after Storm Hilary caused historic amounts of rain and flooding in parts of California and Nevada. Storm Hilary resulted in mudflows, downed powerlines, and trapped cars, causing significant damage. While these storms may seem like isolated incidents, they highlight the impact of climate change on extreme weather events.

According to the National Weather Service, two additional tropical storms are currently moving west towards the US, posing a potential threat. The Texas deluge is expected to continue with rain, wind, and hail as it tracks westward across the hot and dry Texas landscape. Scattered instances of flash flooding are also possible, and residents have been advised to stay indoors to avoid flying debris.

In addition to Tropical Storm Harold, another storm named Tropical Storm Franklin is predicted to bring heavy rainfall to Puerto Rico beginning on Wednesday. The impact of climate change on the frequency and intensity of storms is still unclear, but rising sea surface temperatures contribute to the formation of more intense storms with extreme rainfall.

The world has already experienced a 1.1C increase in temperature since the industrial era began, primarily due to human activities. Without significant efforts to reduce emissions and combat climate change, temperatures will continue to rise, exacerbating the conditions for extreme weather events like tropical storms and hurricanes.

The current situation in Texas serves as a reminder of the importance of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Governments must prioritize implementing policies and strategies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in infrastructure that can withstand and mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events.

As individuals, we can also play a role in addressing climate change. By reducing our carbon footprint, promoting sustainable practices, and demanding action from our leaders, we can contribute to a more resilient and sustainable future.

In conclusion, Tropical Storm Harold’s impact on Texas, coupled with the recent Storm Hilary and the potential threat of other tropical storms, highlights the urgent need for climate action. It is essential to prioritize efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in adaptation measures to mitigate the impacts of extreme weather events.