Tracking Tropical Storm Bill Through Dallas

Tracking Tropical Storm Bill Through Dallas

June 23, 2015 7:21 pm Published by

Tropical Storm Bill caught meteorologists’ attention when it began as a small series of thunderstorms over the Yucatan Peninsula on June 12th, 2015. The low-pressure system moved north, gathering strength over the Gulf of Mexico until it was organized enough to be classified as a tropical storm in the early morning hours of June 16th. It made landfall on Matagorda Island at 11:45AM CDT on June 16th with peak wind speeds of 60mph, and had the potential to gain intensity over land due to Texas and Oklahoma’s soaked soils from previous storms. Instead Bill lost strength as it moved through Texas and was reclassified as a tropical depression at 4:00AM CDT on June 17th, and by the time it hit Dallas maximum wind speeds had dropped to about 35-40 mph at the National Weather Service’s Fort Worth weather station.

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A true-color image of the storm that would be later named Bill, captured by MODIS on the Aqua satellite at 2:15PM CDT on June 15th as it moved over the Gulf of Mexico.

Bill brought severe rain to Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana, with a peak rainfall of 13.28 inches near El Campo, Texas. This region of Texas experienced many storms in the weeks before Bill, so this additional storm caused dangerous floods. In Dallas and Fort Worth the rainfall totals were much lower, with peak 24-hr rainfall totals of about 1-2 inches and 2-3 inches respectively (you can order free Precipitation Reports on our site to check address-specific rainfall totals!).

We have a weather sensor network live in Dallas that captured temperature, pressure, humidity, and wind measurements throughout the storm. Bill passed over Dallas between 5:00AM and 6:00PM on June 17th. There is a clear fall in pressure throughout the storm, and then a rise in pressure as the storm passes, signaling the return to more normal levels of atmospheric pressure. In most areas of Dallas the roof-level wind speeds were lower than airport-measured winds; our network of stations measured roof-level peak wind gusts of 15 – 35 mph.

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If we focus on just one station we can see a detailed view of the temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed, and wind direction measurements. As the pressure dropped, wind grew faster and the direction of wind origin shifted from the east, to the south, then finally to the west.

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By hosting a weather station, you can have access to this kind of real-time and historic data collected right on your property! If you’re in our current or planned coverage areas, we’re actively looking for sites and would love to talk to you. You can submit your information here and we’ll reach out to you to get more information on the installation site.

You can always check out the weather from our live feed of data from our station in Somerville, Massachusetts. Have fun exploring our data!