LCRA chief meteorologist Bob Rose writes regularly on weather topics. Do you have a weather question for Bob? Send an email to Bob Rose.
LCRA Chief Meteorologist Bob Rose reflects on wettest October on record for Austin
Although October 2013 was the wettest October in Austin history, and the eighth wettest month ever recorded here, parts of the area are still in a long-term drought because much of the recent rain fell below the Highland Lakes. Some parts of Central Texas received more than 20 inches of rain in September and October. Weather patterns suggest average to above-average rain totals could continue through the end of the year and into early 2014.
Bobís Blog on Central Texas weather
Wednesday Update on the Cold Weather Outbreak WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 04, 2013 05:56 PM
Here’s an update on the cold and wet weather pattern that is headed our way beginning tomorrow, Thursday.
Late this afternoon, the arctic cold front had crossed into Texas and was located just south of the Red River, extending west to near Lubbock. Readings were in the 30s and 40s across Oklahoma and in the 20s across Kansas. The cold front is forecast to slowly sink south overnight, reaching the northern Hill Country around 3 am and the Austin area about daybreak. The front will continue moving south Thursday morning, pushing off the coast late Thursday afternoon. Windy and much colder air will spread in behind the cold front on Thursday. Expect north winds at 20-25 mph. Early morning temperatures in the 50s will fall to the 40s by the afternoon. An area of scattered rain showers is expected to develop along and behind the cold on Friday but the heaviest rains are forecast to occur across East and Northeast Texas. Rain amounts locally will be less than a half inch.
Windy, cold and wet weather will continue Thursday night as an overrunning pattern sets up. The temperature will continue to fall with readings expected to go below freezing across the northern Hill Country Thursday evening and around the Austin area after midnight. Lows Friday morning will include the mid and upper 20s across the Hill Country, near 30-32 degrees around the Austin area, and near 40-42 degrees across the coastal plains. With temperatures falling below freezing late Thursday evening, the rain looks to change over to light freezing rain and light sleet across the northern Hill Country. This precipitation should continue overnight and into Friday morning. Across the rest of the Hill Country and around the Austin area, light rain will fall Thursday night, changing over to light freezing rain early Friday morning. Ice accumulations to near a quarter inch are forecast across the northern and western Hill Country, between San Saba, San Angelo and Mason. Here, travel will become very hazardous. Minor ice accumulations are forecast across the rest of the Hill Country, extending east to the Austin area. The main problems here will be bridges and overpasses. The temperature is forecast to stay above freezing in the area from Bastrop extending southeast to the coast.
Occasional light sleet and light freezing rain are forecast to continue across the northern and western Hill Country throughout the day on Friday as the temperature here only warms to near 30-32 degrees. Further south towards the Austin area, the precipitation is forecast to change back to light rain by midday as the temperature warms to mid and upper 30s. Across the coastal plains region, widespread light rain will continue with a high temperature in the mid 40s.
Much of the precipitation is forecast to taper off across the region Friday evening and Friday night as the wave of low pressure responsible for the overrunning exits to the northeast. However, it will be quite cold with low temperatures Saturday morning in the upper teens to low 20s across the northern Hill Country, the mid and upper 20s across the remainder of the Hill Country and the Austin area, the low 30s from Bastrop to La Grange and the mid 30s across the coastal plains.
Another weak wave of low pressure is forecast to move into Texas on Saturday , causing the development of light precipitation across the region by Saturday afternoon. Saturday’s high temperature is forecast to range from the mid 20s across the northern Hill Country to the mid 30s across Central Texas to around 40 degrees towards the coast. Occasional light rain, light freezing rain and light sleet is forecast to develop across the Hill Country, extending east to the Austin and Bastrop areas Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. Light rain is forecast across the coastal plains region. Lows Sunday morning will range from the low 20s across the northern Hill Country to near 30 degrees in the Austin area, in the low 30s near La Grange and in mid 30s across the coastal plains. Once again, travel may become hazardous across the Hill Country and the I-35 corridor.
There will be a slight chance for light freezing drizzle and light sleet across the Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor Sunday morning but the precipitation should taper off around midday as the wave of low pressure exits to the east. Clouds look to slowly decrease Sunday afternoon. High temperatures Sunday will a little warmer; generally in the upper 30s to low 40s.
A partly cloudy sky is forecast Sunday night, continuing through the middle of next week. But another surge of very cold air is forecast to spread across the region on Monday that will keep the temperature quite cold for most of next week. High temperatures look to stay in the 40s Monday through Thursday. Low temperatures look to be mostly in the 20s. Tuesday night and Wednesday night are shaping up be the coldest nights. Readings could fall to the fall to the teens across parts of the Hill Country on those two nights. Stay tuned for more details.
Previous Blog Entries
Enjoy Wednesday's Mild Weather. Much Colder Air Arriving Thursday and Staying a While. TUESDAY, DECEMBER 03, 2013 04:41 PM [+] Click to view this entry
Here’s an update on the blast of arctic air that will be arriving Thursday and persisting into next week. Today’s forecast model data indicates this air headed towards Texas may actually be a few degrees colder than was forecast Monday and a little colder than what we experienced a couple of weeks ago. Widespread precipitation is forecast to occur Thursday through Saturday morning. The temperature is forecast to be cold enough across the Hill Country and parts of Central Texas for the precipitation to become a mixture of sleet and freezing rain Friday night through Saturday. A break in the precipitation is forecast Saturday late Saturday afternoon but additional light rain or possible frozen precipitation is forecast Saturday night into Sunday morning. The temperature is going to be quite cold Thursday, continuing through the middle of next week. And note that parts of the Hill Country may remain below freezing for more than 24 hours Friday through Saturday.
Forecasters continue to monitor a large area of bitterly cold air that is currently spilling south out of Alaska and western Canada into the northern Plains states. The cold air will continue to slowly press to the south tonight and Wednesday, reaching northwest Texas late Wednesday night. The front is forecast to reach the northern Hill Country just before daybreak Thursday, spreading southeast across Central Texas Thursday morning and the coastal plains region Thursday afternoon. An area of rain showers and scattered thunderstorms is forecast to develop along and behind the cold front as it moves to the south. Light rain showers look to continue Thursday night as well. Conditions will turn windy and much colder behind the front. Temperatures will briefly warm to the 60s ahead of the front early Thursday but quickly fall into the 40s Thursday afternoon. Expect a north wind at 10-20 mph.
Windy, cold and wet weather will continue Thursday night as an overrunning pattern sets up across the region. Temperatures will fall to the 30s Thursday evening. Lows Friday morning will include the upper 20s to low 30s across the Hill Country, the middle 30s across Central Texas and around 40 degrees across the coastal plains. The rain may change over to freezing rain and sleet across parts of the Hill Country late Thursday night into Friday morning as the temperature falls below freezing . Rain amounts Thursday into Thursday night are forecast to generally be between 0.254 and 0.5 inches.
Friday’s weather is shaping up to be cloudy, breezy and cold with a good chance for light rain showers throughout the day. The temperature is forecast to only warm to the mid and upper 30s across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and the low 40s across the coastal plains. The temperature across parts of the western and northern Hill Country may not even make it above freezing. Light precipitation looks to continue Friday night into Saturday morning as the temperature trends colder. Readings are forecast to trend below freezing across the Hill Country and most of Central Texas late Friday night into Saturday morning. Lows Saturday morning will be in the low and mid 20s across the Hill Country, the upper 20s across Central Texas and the low 30s across the coastal plains. With the temperature trending below freezing Friday night, some of the precipitation will change over to light freezing rain and light sleet across much of the Hill Country and Central Texas, including the Austin metropolitan area. Low accumulations are currently forecast.
Saturday’s weather is forecast to be cloudy and cold with occasional light precipitation throughout the day and into Saturday night. The temperature is not expected to warm much with high temperatures only in the low and mid 30s across the Hill Country, the mid 30s across Central Texas and near 40 degrees towards the coast. A mixture of light rain, light freezing rain and light sleet is forecast across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions throughout the day and into Saturday night. Lows Sunday morning will range from the upper 20s across the Hill Country to the mid 30s towards the coast.
Light sleet, light freezing rain and light rain looks to continue across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions Sunday morning but the precipitation should taper off by afternoon as the overrunning pattern diminishes. Sunday’s temperature will warm to around 40 degrees across the Hill Country, the low and mid 40s across Central Texas and the upper 40s towards the coast.
Forecast solutions indicate another weak wave of low pressure will move across the region Monday causing a chance for more light precipitation. Freezing precipitation is not forecast as temperatures should warm into the 40s. Another cold front is forecast to push across the region Monday afternoon into Monday night bringing an additional surge of cold air to the region. The sky will clear late Monday night into Tuesday and remain mostly clear through next Thursday. However, the temperature will be quite cold with highs in the 40s to low 50s and lows in the 20s and 30s. As of now, Tuesday night is shaping up to be coldest night next week and we may see some very cold readings.
More details on Wednesday.
Mild through Wednesday but Much Colder Air Returning Thursday and into the Weekend. MONDAY, DECEMBER 02, 2013 12:00 PM [+] Click to view this entry
Very mild temperatures will be in place today through Wednesday before another arctic cold front moves through the area Thursday, bringing another blast of very cold air. Today’s forecast data indicates temperatures behind this next front will be as cold, if not a couple of degrees colder than what we experienced with last week’s cold spell. Scattered light rain showers are expected along and behind the cold front Thursday afternoon into Friday morning, with another period of light rain developing Saturday through Sunday. Parts of the Hill Country and possibly parts of Central Texas could experience a mixture of rain, freezing rain and sleet Saturday into Sunday morning. The exact details on the forecast for frozen precipitation are still somewhat unclear at this time. This period of very cold temperatures looks to last through about the middle of next week.
Mostly sunny weather is in place across the region on this Monday. The system responsible for the clouds for the past couple of days has exited to the northeast. Mostly sunny weather looks to continue this afternoon and again on Tuesday. Some patchy fog will develop across parts of the region late tonight and early Tuesday morning but the fog will burn off by late morning. Today’s temperature should climb to around 78-80 degrees, reaching the low 80s on Tuesday. Expect a southwest wind of 5-10 mph today, increasing to 10-15 mph on Tuesday. Wednesday’s weather will start off partly cloudy but clouds will increase during the afternoon, causing a mostly cloudy sky. Wednesday’s high temperature will generally be in the upper 70s to 80 degrees.
A deep trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere is forecast to take shape across western Canada and the western US during the middle of the week, allowing very cold air from northern Alaska to spill south into the Rockies and Plains states. The leading edge of this cold air is forecast to reach northwestern Texas Wednesday night, and the northern Hill Country early Thursday morning. The front should press south across Central Texas and the coastal plains regions Thursday morning into Thursday afternoon. Scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms look to develop along and behind the cold front Thursday afternoon, continuing into Friday. The rain should taper off Friday afternoon into Friday evening. Rain amounts are not expected to be very heavy; generally in the range of 0.25-0.50 inches.
Much colder temperature will follow the cold front Thursday afternoon into Thursday night. Readings look to fall to the 50s Thursday afternoon and into the 30s Thursday night. Lows Friday morning are forecast to be near 30-33 degrees across the Hill Country, in the middle 30s across Central Texas and upper 30s across the coastal plains. With readings falling close to 30 degrees across the Hill Country Thursday night, some of the rain could change over to freezing rain over parts of that area. Meanwhile, the precipitation should stay all liquid across Central Texas and the coastal plains. Friday’s weather will be windy and cold with high temperatures near 40-44 degrees. Lows Saturday morning will range from the upper 20s across the Hill Country to the mid and upper 30s across the coastal plains.
A weak area of low pressure tracking northeast out of Mexico this weekend is expected to cause overrunning clouds and light precipitation across the region through Sunday afternoon. With the temperature staying very cold, the precipitation may change over to a mixture of freezing rain and sleet across parts of the Hill Country and Central Texas beginning Saturday morning, continuing through Sunday morning. Again, details surrounding the extent and coverage of the frozen precipitation are not very clear at this point. The precipitation should taper off Sunday afternoon into Sunday evening. High temperatures Saturday will be in the upper 30s to low 40s, rising to the low and middle 40s on Sunday. Lows Sunday morning will range from the mid 20s across the northern Hill Country to the mid 30s across the coastal plains region.
Next week’s weather is shaping up to be mostly sunny but cold. High temperatures Monday through Wednesday will be in the 40s to low 50s with low temperatures in the 20s and 30s. Milder temperatures should return next Thursday and Friday.
I’ll pass along more details on this weekend’s cold temperatures and the threat for frozen precipitation over the few days.
Here is a brief update on expected weather conditions for the long holiday weekend.
A quiet and generally dry weather pattern is forecast today through Sunday. A few light rain showers may develop over parts of Central Texas and the coastal plains region Sunday afternoon and evening, but rain totals will be very low. Otherwise, a cool and dry pattern will be in place. A freeze is forecast for all locations tonight into early Thursday morning.
Here are some weather details on the long holiday weekend:
Today, a cold dome of Canadian high pressure is building south into Texas out of the Plains states, bringing a reinforcing shot of cool air. Today’s weather will be sunny with a high temperature near 50-52 degrees. Expect a north wind at 10-15 mph. Wind speeds will diminish and become light this evening, making conditions very favorable some of the coldest temperatures so far this autumn. A freeze is forecast at all locations. Lows Thursday morning will include the low and mid 20s across the Hill Country, the upper 20s across Central Texas and near 30 degrees across the coastal plains.
Thanksgiving Day and Friday will feature a sunny to mostly sunny sky and slowly warming temperatures. Light southeasterly winds will return Thursday and continue into the weekend. The high temperature Thursday will be in the mid 50s, warming to near 60 degrees on Friday. Low temperatures Friday morning will include the low and mid 30s across the Hill Country, the mid 30s across Central Texas and the upper 30s to 40 degrees across the coastal plains.
The sky looks to become mostly cloudy Saturday through Sunday as clouds and moisture spread northeast out of the Pacific and across Texas. A weak trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere is forecast to track northeast out of the Desert Southwest late Saturday into Sunday. This system may help generate a couple of light rain showers over the eastern half of Texas Sunday afternoon into Sunday night. But the probability for rain will only be 20 percent. Rain amounts, if any, will total less than a tenth of an inch. The high temperature Saturday will be in the mid 60s, warming to the upper 60s on Sunday. The low temperature Sunday morning will generally be in the middle 50s.
Looking ahead to next week, mild and dry weather is forecast Monday and Tuesday with temperatures reaching the low 70s. A slight chance for rain looks to develop Wednesday into Thursday as the temperature remains very mild. A cold front is forecast to sweep south through the area sometime late Thursday bringing colder temperatures for next weekend.
After several days of cold, damp and dreary weather, sunshine has finally returned to Central and South Texas. This recent spell of cloudy, wet weather was caused primarily by a large area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere that tracked east from southern California. The low pulled warm air and moisture north over the layer of very cold air that was in place at the surface. Today, that same area of low pressure tracked east-southeast across Central Texas as can be seen on this morning’s analysis of the upper atmosphere:
The low was expected to produce a few snow flurries across the region early this morning, but moisture levels turned out to be too low for much snow. A little snow was observed across parts of Llano and Mason Counties in the Hill Country. And about mid-afternoon, the low produced a few snow flurries and patches of sleet just north of Houston. But with the low moving off to the east, the atmosphere is drying out and becoming more stable. A mid afternoon satellite image showed the clouds clearing from west to east out of the state. Note that swirl of clouds in the western Gulf of Mexico that notes the position of the low pressure system:
Breezy and cold weather will be in place across the region tonight. Under a clear sky, the temperature is forecast to fall to or go below freezing at most locations. Lows Wednesday morning will be in low and mid 20s across the Hill Country, the upper 20s to low 30s across Central Texas and the low to mid 30s across the coastal plains. Expect a north wind with speeds of 10-15 mph.
A weak cold front will bring a reinforcing shot of cold air to the state on Wednesday. With a clear, sunny sky, the temperature looks to warm to near 50-52 degrees. Expect a north wind at 10-15 mph. Very cold temperatures will develop Wednesday night into Thursday morning as wind speeds diminish. Wednesday will likely be the coldest night of the week with a hard freeze developing across the Hill Country and a good part of Central Texas. Lows Thursday morning will include the low and middle 20s across the Hill Country, the mid and upper 20s across Central Texas and be close to 30 degrees across the coastal plains. The weather on Thanksgiving Day will be sunny and pleasant with high temperatures generally in the middle 50s. A light southeasterly wind looks to develop on Thursday. Another cold night and a light freeze are forecast Thursday night. Low temperatures Friday morning will be near 30 degrees across the Hill Country and in the low 30s at most other locations.
The weather pattern will continue sunny on Friday. Readings will turn a little warmer, with high temperatures generally in the low 60s and lows Saturday morning in low and middle 40s. Mostly sunny weather will continue Saturday with high temperatures generally in the low and middle 60s.
Today’s forecast solutions indicate a weak trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere will drop south along the West Coast and reach a position off the west coast of southern California on Sunday. The low will begin to pull clouds and moisture north into Texas off the Pacific, resulting in a mostly cloudy sky Sunday into Monday. A few light rain showers may develop Sunday night into Monday morning but rain totals, if any, will be very low. High temperatures Sunday and Monday will be near 68-70 degrees while low temperatures will be near 50-52 degrees.
Mostly sunny and dry weather looks to return next Tuesday and Wednesday as the weak trough of low pressure exits to the east. Daily high temperatures will be near 70-72 degrees. Long-range forecasts indicate another slight chance for rain will develop Wednesday night into Thursday when a Canadian cold front moves across the region. Rain amounts are not shaping up to be very heavy. Dry and cooler weather will follow the cold front Thursday into Friday. The air behind the cold front late next week isn’t expected to be nearly as cold as what we saw this past weekend. Dry weather looks to continue into next weekend.