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Hurricane Season 2007: Erin (Atlantic)
Tropical Depression Erin's Remnants Now Soaking Missouri, Oklahoma Flooded
Image displaying rainfall amounts from TRMM

Since Friday, August 18, Oklahoma and Texas received a soaking from the remnants of what was Tropical Storm Erin. On August 20, Erin's remnants were raining on Missouri and flash flood watches were in effect for the southwest and central parts of the state, while flash flood warnings were in effect for several counties in southwest Missouri. Flood warnings mean flooding is happening now, watches mean flooding is likely to occur. The National Weather Service Hydrometeorological Prediction Center NWS/HPC, located in Camp Springs, Md. has taken up the watches and warnings for Erin's remnants since she moved inland and weakened from a tropical depression to a remnant low pressure system. According to NWS/HPC, surface observations show Erin's circulation had dissipated. At 1:27 p.m. EDT, National Weather Service Doppler radar showed a large area of rainfall from Erin's remnants moving easterly in south central Missouri, and skirting the Arkansas border. Rainfall of 1 to 3 inches is expected across the region.

This image is a flood map generated from data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. Note the red (about 12 inches of rain) and yellow areas over Oklahoma, and yellow areas over Texas, indicating heavy rainfall from Erin's remnants. This image was generated August 20, and depicts the previous week of rainfall. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

Below are selected storm total rainfall amounts (in inches) through 3:00 a.m. CDT Monday, August 20, 2007:

Location (Oklahoma unless specified) Rain (inches)
Geary (9.8 WNW) 11.03
Fort Fobb 9.04
El Reno 8.33
Norman (2.3 NNE) 8.12
Minco 6.43
Mustang (2.1 WNW) 6.38


Edmond (1.6 W)


Oklahoma City 5.39
Apache 5.30
Watonga 4.60
Lawton Muni. Airport 4.42
Joplin, Missouri 2.55

Image credit: NASA/SSAI/Hal Pierce.

Tropical Storm Erin Brought Heavy Rain to Texas

Image of Tropical Storm Erin from TRMM

The summer of 2007 saw record rainfall and flooding across parts of the Lone Star State. Tropical Storm Erin, which recently made landfall just north of Corpus Christi, is now adding even more heavy rain to the region. Corpus Christi had already received over 18 inches of rain in July, a record for the month.

Erin began as a tropical depression on the night of 14 August 2007 (local time) in the central Gulf of Mexico. The system had little time to develop as it moved northwestward straight towards Texas. It made landfall as a weak tropical storm early on the morning of the 16th of August. This first image shows Erin in the Gulf of Mexico as it was approaching the Texas coastline. The image was taken by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (or TRMM) satellite at 18:05 UTC (1:05 pm CDT) on the 15th of August 2007 and shows the horizontal pattern of rain intensity within the storm. Rain rates in the center of the swath are from the TRMM PR, and those in the outer swath come from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI). The rain rates are overlaid on infrared (IR) data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner (VIRS). TRMM shows that Erin was weak and poorly organized. There is no evidence of an eye, the system is asymmetric with most of the rain north of the center, and there is very little banding or curvature in the rain field. At the time of this image, Erin was a weak tropical storm with maximum sustained winds reported at 35 knots (40 mph) by the National Hurricane Center. However, even weak systems are capable of producing heavy rain and flooding.

Image of recent rainfall from TRMM

The TRMM-based, near-real time Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (MPA) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center monitors rainfall over the global Tropics. This next image shows MPA rainfall totals for the period 10 to 17 August 2007 for the northwest Gulf Coast and the surrounding region. The band of heavy rain lies directly along the path of Erin. The highest rainfall totals for the period (shown in red and orange) are on the order of 150 to 200 mm (~6 to 8 inches) over the central Texas Gulf Coast. One to two inch amounts (blue and green areas) extend northwestward into central West Texas in association with the remnants of Erin. So far, up to 7 people are reported to have died as a result of the storm.

TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA. Image credit: NASA/SSAI/Hal Pierce, Caption credit: NASA/SSAI/Steve Lang.

Tropical Depression Erin Drenching Texas, Moving Westward

Satellite image of Tropical Depression Erin
Click image to enlarge.

Tropical Depression Erin formed quickly and made landfall in eastern Texas on Thursday, August 16 bringing more than 9 inches of rain to some areas.

Tropical Depression Erin is the area of clouds swirling over Texas in the lower left-hand corner of this satellite image. The image was created with data from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, (GOES-12), which is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The image was created on August 17 at 8:15 a.m. EDT (12:15 UTC) by NASA's GOES Project, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

At 5:30 a.m. EDT, Friday, August 17, Tropical Depression Erin was located about 40 miles southwest of Junction, Texas. Erin's center was located near latitude 30.2 north and 100.3 west longitude. At that time a band of heavy rain continued to spread northwestward toward west Texas ahead of the circulation center. Erin's winds are down to 15 mph, with a few higher gusts, and her minimum central pressure is 1008 millibars.

Rain is the main problem with Erin. Many areas are already soaked, and the rains continue to fall, so flood watches and warnings are in effect for much of southwest into south-central Texas. The areas that received the highest amounts of rainfall were the Lockwood area in Houston, where rain totals measured 9.61 inches, and San Antonio's Stinson Municipal Airport with 9.60 inches.

Erin continues to move west-northwestward around 17 mph. She is expected in west Texas later Friday where heavy rainfall between 2 and 5 inches, with up to 7 inches in some spots, is expected to cause some problems.

How Much Rain Did Erin Bring to East Texas?

Here are some total rainfall amounts from the National Weather Service, as of 1:00 a.m. CDT on August 17:

Location Rain (inches)
Lockwood (Hunting Bayou) 9.61
Sens Rd 9.25
Little Cedar Bayou @ 8th St 8.31
Sims Bayou at Martin Luther King 7.52
South McGregor Way 7.05
Houston-Clover Field 3.18
Houston-Intercontinental 2.59
Houston-Will Hobby 2.22
Houston-Hull Field 1.12
Stinson Muni Arpt 9.60
Kelly AFB 7.22
San Antonio Intl Arpt 5.73
6 WSW Boerne 5.84
Hondo Muni Arpt 5.01
Palacios Muni Arpt 3.86
Randolph AFB-Universal City 3.17
Junction-Kimble Co. Arpt 2.13
Galveston-Scholes 2.12
Victoria Rgnl Arpt 1.69
Austin-Mueller Muni Arpt 1.38
Angleton-Lake Jackson 1.32

Rob Gutro (additional text from NHC reports)
Goddard Space Flight Center
Image credit: NASA

Tropical Depression Erin Soaking East Texas

Tropical Storm Erin

Tropical Storm Erin quickly weakened to a tropical depression when she made landfall on the Texas coast near Lamar during the early morning hours of Thursday, August 16, 2007.

At 7:00 a.m. CDT the tropical storm warning for the Texas coast was been discontinued. At that time, the center of Tropical Depression Erin was located near latitude 28.0 north and longitude 97.2 west, near Lamar, Texas. That's about 25 miles northeast of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to 35 mph with higher gusts. The depression should continue to weaken as it moves over land today. Estimated minimum central pressure is 1006 millibars. The depression is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph and this motion is expected to continue, bringing the center farther inland today.

Total rain accumulations of 3 to 6 inches are expected across much of central and southern Texas with possible isolated maximum amounts of 10 inches. Isolated tornadoes are possible near the middle Texas gulf coast today.

On Thursday the local forecast for Corpus Christi, Texas includes a flash flood watch, as Erin's showers and thunderstorms could produce heavy rains. A forecast high of 86F is expected with a heat index to 98F. Southeast winds will blow between 20 and 26 mph, and gusts to 32 mph. Showers and thunderstorms will continue through Saturday until the evening hours, when Erin's remnants will be west of the area.

In this infrared image from August 15, created by data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder on NASA's Aqua satellite, Tropical Storm Erin lurks off the Texas coast. This AIRS image shows the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of the Earth in cloud-free regions. The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up the top of the hurricane. The infrared signal does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the Earth, revealing warmer temperatures (red). This infrared image shows large areas of strong convection surrounding the core of the storm (in purple).

Image credit: NASA/JPL

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Tropical Depression Erin Forms Quickly, South Texas on Watch

GOES image of Tropical Storm Erin

Late Tuesday night August 14 at 11:00 p.m. EDT when most people were sleeping on the east coast, the Gulf of Mexico awakened and spawned the fifth tropical depression of the Atlantic Ocean season. Twelve short hours later on Wednesday morning the depression grew into Tropical Storm Erin.

Erin is now poised to bring rain and winds to the south Texas coast and a tropical storm watch has been posted. The watch is in effect for the Texas coast from Freeport southward and for the northeast coast of Mexico from Rio San Fernando northward. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 24 hours.

At 11:00 am EDT Wednesday, August 15, 2007, the National Hurricane Center identified Erin's center near latitude 25.6 degrees north and longitude 93.5 degrees west or about 275 miles (450 km) east-southeast of Brownsville, Texas and about 310 miles (500 km) east of La Pesca, Mexico.

Currently, maximum sustained winds are near 35 knots (40 mph) with higher gusts to 45 knots (51 mph). Erin is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 knots (11 mph), and Erin is forecast to be near the lower or middle Texas coast Thursday. Estimated minimum central pressure is 1005 millibars.

In this satellite image Erin is the area of clouds in the Gulf of Mexico. The image was created with data from Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, (GOES-12), which is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The image was created on August 15 at 8:15 a.m. EDT (12:15 UTC) by NASA's GOES Project, located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

The forecast track brings Erin over land in extreme southern Texas and brings her along the Texas/Mexico border over the next 72 hours before dissipating.

Image credit: NASA GOES Project/NOAA

Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

(From NHC Reports)