Texas Floods

Flooding in Texas the past two weeks has become symbolic of the concern that the warming climate is contributing to more extreme weather.  Yes AND no.  Yes, it does make sense that a warmer atmosphere will contribute to increased volatility; more heat in heat waves, more rain in wet patterns.  However, it is also the very nature of Texas weather to go from drought to flood.  Texas is uniquely positioned geographically for huge swings in precipitation.  Western Texas is arid, nestled up against the southern Rocky Mountains which catch whatever is left of any moisture coming across from the Pacific on the subtropical jet stream.  Southeast Texas is wet, straddled against the warm and humid Gulf of Mexico.  A stalled out weather pattern tends to favor one extreme or the other.  That being said, the potential contribution of the warming climate should not be ignored.  Nor should it be considered the only factor.  Meteorologist John Wheeler