Here is irony befitting a Shakespearean tragedy. Gov. Rick Perry finally got what he called on all Texans to pray for — some rain – but it was almost entirely dumped elsewhere and the winds of Tropical Storm Lee merely served to stoke the most brutal wildfires anyone had ever seen.
This unprecedented climate impact is, indeed, Hell and High Water. Time‘s headline is, “Texas Burns as the Rest of the Country Drowns.” But, of course, they have no mention of climate change whatsoever.
How bad is it in Texas? CBS reported this morning:
Since December, wildfires have consumed 3.6 million acres of Texas — an area the size of the state of Connecticut.
Unfortunately, there is no rainfall in the forecast for the foreseeable future.
The Texas Forest Service put out statement saying, “This is unprecedented fire behavior. No one on the face of this Earth has ever fought fires in these extreme conditions”….
Tom Boggus, director of the Texas Forest Service: ”It’s historic. We’ve never seen fire seasons like this. We’ve never seen drought like this. This is that we’re living in, and so people know and understand they’ve got to be extremely careful.”
So much for the standard denier claim that the weather extremes we’ve been experiencing now are nothing special.
Mr. Boggus obviously has one of the hardest jobs in the country, particularly working for a governor whose dual adaptation strategy is prayer coupled with cutting the budget of the Texas Forest Service. So I hate to be the one to disappoint him — BUT this is going to be the briefest ”historic time” in history. In a few decades, assuming we keep listening to people like his Governor, this will be a pretty average summer for Texas (see here). Heck, next summer could be worse!
If only scientists had warned us decades ago it would get hotter and drier with ever worse heat waves, droughts, and wildfires if we kept burning all that Texas Tea…..
Actually Andrew Freedman of the WashPost‘s Capital Weather Gang has a nice run through of the climate science. But first Freedman directs us to yet more jaw-dropping statistics of just how grim things are down in Perry-land, courtesy of state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon on his too-aptly named Climate Abyss blog: