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2017 hurricane forecast​​

Wildflowers are still blooming across Texas, but the start of the Atlantic hurricane season is just weeks away. What can we expect this year?​

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Bob's Blog on Central Texas Weather

A Cold Front is Expected to Bring Rain and Thunderstorms Saturday Night; Some Possibly Severe.
Thursday, April 27, 2017 6:26 PM


Here is a quick update on the potential for rain and thunderstorms this weekend.

Forecasters continue to monitor a potent trough of low pressure that will be ejecting northeast out of the Four Corners region Saturday into Sunday.  This system is expected to pull considerable moisture north from the Gulf of Mexico beginning Friday night.  This will result in a mostly cloudy to cloudy sky Friday night through Saturday.  As the atmosphere grows increasingly moist, a few scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms will be possible across the region by Saturday afternoon.  The probability for rain will be near 30 percent.  Expect a high temperature in the mid and upper 80s.

The most favorable period for rain and thunderstorms looks to occur Saturday night into early Sunday morning when the atmosphere over Central Texas grows increasingly unstable.  At the same time, a cold front associated with the ejecting trough will push southeast out of West Texas.  An area of rain and thunderstorms is forecast to develop out ahead of and along the cold front.  Some of the storms may become strong to severe, producing large hail and damaging downburst winds.

The Storm Prediction Center has placed the eastern Hill Country and most of Central Texas under a Slight Risk for severe thunderstorms between 7 am Saturday and 7 am Sunday.  Do note that eastern Williamson County and Lee County have been placed under an Enhanced Risk for severe thunderstorms.

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The cold front is forecast to reach the Hill Country late Saturday evening and the Interstate 35 corridor around midnight.  The front should push off the middle Texas coast before sunrise Sunday morning.  An area of rain and thunderstorms is forecast to accompany the cold front as it marches to the southeast.  The rain should end from west to east late Saturday night into early Sunday morning.

National Weather Service forecasts suggest weekend rain amounts will be heaviest across the Interstate 35 corridor, with totals to near an inch. Totals to near a half inch are forecast across the Hill Country and the middle Texas coast.

NWS rainfall forecast for the period from 7 pm Thursday through 7 pm Sunday:
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Mostly sunny, breezy and cooler weather is forecast Sunday, with high temperatures in the low 70s.  Lows Monday morning will range from the mid and upper 40s across the Hill Country to the mid-50s towards the coast.

I'll have a more detailed outlook for this weekend and next week in Friday's report.

Bob

Previous Blog Entries

Dry through Friday. Showers and Thunderstorms with a Cold Front Saturday.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 5:57 PM

Forecasters are monitoring weather developments this weekend when a Canadian cold front pushes south through the area.  Unlike the cold front last weekend, this time atmospheric conditions are shaping up to be more favorable for the development of rain showers and thunderstorms—mainly Saturday afternoon and Saturday night.  The probability for rain will be near 50-60 percent, with the rain ending from north to south Saturday night into early Sunday morning.

Rain amounts are forecast to average between 0.25 and 0.5 inches across the Hill Country and between 1 and 1.5 inches across most of Central Texas and the middle Texas coast.

NWS rainfall forecast for the period from 7 pm Tuesday through 7 pm Sunday:
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The front will bring cooler temperatures for Sunday and Monday.  High temperatures both days look to be in the low 70s.  Low temperatures Monday morning will range from low and mid- 40s across  the Hill Country to the low 50s towards the coast.  Temperatures are forecast to warm back to the mid-80s and hold at that level through late week.

Bob

A Slight Chance for Rain Forecast Wednesday. Othewise, Dry and Warm Weather Expected through Friday.
Monday, April 24, 2017 12:17 PM

Canadian high pressure settling into Texas over the weekend brought with it some noticeably cooler and drier air.  High temperatures Sunday were mostly in the middle 70s.  Low temperatures this morning were generally in the mid and upper 40s across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and in the low 50s across the coastal plains.  According to LCRA's Hydromet, the lowest temperature observed this morning was 37 degrees at 4 separate Hill Country locations.

A broad ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere over the south central US is currently causing very stable weather conditions across the region.  At the surface, the large dome of Canadian high pressure that was over our area Sunday has begun moving off to the east.  This has brought a return of southerly winds to all of South and Central Texas.  The air remains dry for now and this will allow temperatures to warm very efficiently this afternoon.  Today's readings are expected to top off near 80 degrees at most locations. Expect south winds to increase to around 10-15 mph.  Low temperatures Tuesday morning will be in the upper 50s across the Hill County, with low 60s at most other locations.

Mostly sunny, dry and warmer weather is forecast Tuesday and Wednesday.  A trough of low pressure tracking east out of the southern Rockies Tuesday will cause the West Texas dry line to surge to the east, allowing dry and warm air from Mexico to spread east across the Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor.  The temperature is forecast to climb to the mid and upper 90s across the Hill Country and to around 90-92 degrees across the Austin and Interstate 35 corridor.  Locations further east should see highs in the mid and upper 80s.  Expect a southwesterly breeze at 10-15 mph.  Low temperatures Wednesday morning are forecast to be in the low 60s across the Hill Country and around 70-72 degrees at most other locations.

There will be a very slight chance for a few rain showers and isolated thunderstorms for areas along and east of Interstate 35 Wednesday morning into Wednesday afternoon when a cold front sweeps southeast out of West Texas.  The lack of significant moisture will limit the development of significant totals of rain.  For areas that do happen to pick up some rain, totals should average well under a quarter inch.  Wednesday's temperatures is forecast to be a bit lower thanks to the passage of the cold front.  High temperatures will generally be in the mid and upper 80s.  The cold front is forecast to push off the middle Texas coast Wednesday evening, allowing slightly cooler air to filter in from the north.  Lows Thursday morning will range from the low and mid-50s across the Hill Country to near 60 degrees near the coast.

Mostly sunny and dry weather is forecast Thursday and Friday in the wake of Wednesday's cold front.  High temperatures Thursday will be mostly in the mid-80s.  Warmer temperatures are forecast Friday as the dry line again spreads east into Central Texas.  High temperatures Friday are forecast to be in the low 90s across the Hill Country and the Austin/Interstate 35 corridor.  Elsewhere, high temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 80s.

A Canadian cold front is forecast to push southeast across the region Saturday afternoon into Saturday night, bringing slightly cooler air.  Forecast solutions indicate an area of rain showers and scattered thunderstorms will develop along the cold front across the Hill Country Saturday afternoon, with the activity spreading southeast Saturday afternoon and Saturday night.  The probability for rain is forecast to be near 20 percent across the Hill Country and near 30-40 percent across Central Texas and the middle Texas coast.  The chance for rain should end from west to east late Saturday night into Sunday morning.  Rain amounts are forecast to only average around a half inch, or less.  High temperatures Saturday will generally be in the mid and upper 80s.  Lows Sunday morning will range from the upper 50s west to the low 70s near the coast.  High temperatures Sunday will be near 78-80 degrees.

Looking ahead to next week, sunny and dry weather is forecast Monday through Wednesday.  High temperatures Monday will be near 80 degrees  High temperatures for much of the rest of the week are forecast to be in the mid and upper 80s.  Low temperatures throughout the week are forecast to be in the 60s.  The long-range solutions indicate a wet and unsettled pattern will develop across the area late next week into next weekend when a trough of low pressure slowly tracks east out of the Desert Southwest.

Bob

 

Tropical Storm Arlene Has Developed in the North Central Atlantic. First Named Storm of the Season.
Thursday, April 20, 2017 4:07 PM

The subtropical depression which developed in the North Central Atlantic Wednesday has strengthened into tropical storm Alene.

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Here is a discussion about Arlene from long-time National Hurricane Center forecaster Lixion Avila:

"Unexpectedly, the subtropical cyclone became a tropical depression this morning, and then it intensified to a tropical storm. This intensity estimate is based on the cloud pattern presentation on satellite imagery which shows moderate thunderstorm activity surrounding an eye-type feature, and a convective ring in microwave imagery.  Initial intensity is set at 40 kt, although estimates from TAFB (tropical analysis forecasting branch) suggest that the winds could have reached 45 knots around 1800 UTC (1 pm CDT).  Since that time, the cloud pattern has deteriorated somewhat and winds probably have diminished.  Despite the intensification, Arlene is still forecast by all global models to become absorbed by a nearby developing extratropical cyclone on Friday.

Arlene is moving toward the west-northwest at 22 knots, while well embedded in the fast flow surrounding the extratropical low. This general motion around the low is expected until dissipation on Friday.

Tropical storms in April are rare and Arlene is only the second one observed in this month during the satellite era.  It should be noted, however, that this type of storm was practically impossible to detect prior to the weather satellite era".


 

National Hurricane Center forecast for potential track:


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Bob

Wetter and Warmer than Normal Weather Forecast May through July
Thursday, April 20, 2017 10:47 AM


On Thursday, NOAA's Climate Prediction Center issued its monthly seasonal outlook for temperature and precipitation.  The updated outlook indicates the wet pattern, which has been in place across Central Texas since the first of the year, should continue through May and June and possibly into July.  The outlook calls for at least a 40 percent probability for above normal rainfall during May and at least a 33 percent chance for above normal rainfall from May through July.  Keep in mind that May and June are typically top two wettest months of the year for much of our region.  So a forecast for above normal rainfall during this period potentially means quite a bit of rainfall.

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Temperatures should continue to average above normal through summer. The outlook calls for a greater than 40 percent probability for above normal temperatures during May and a greater than 50 percent probability for above normal temperatures from May through July.  While the signal for above normal temperatures is strong, this doesn't necessarily mean that 100-degree temperatures are on the horizon.  Today's outlook is a forecast for the average temperature, which is not just the daytime temperatures, but the nighttime temperatures as well.  With rainfall forecast to be above normal for the next two to three months, it will be much more difficult to achieve triple-digit heat.  But at the same time, the increased moisture will likely keep our nighttime temperatures warm and muggy.

Bob

A Subtropical Depression Forms in the North Central Atlantic Ocean
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 9:57 AM

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center have been monitoring the low pressure system over the north central Atlantic for the past couple of days.  Wednesday morning, the forecasters indicate they are going to upgrade the system to a subtropical depression.  This is highly unusual for the month of April!

Here is the technical discussion issued by the National Hurricane Center (NHC):


 

"The non-tropical low over the north central Atlantic which has been tracked by NHC for the past few days has developed organized convection mainly in a curved band southeast of the center. The system is still embedded within an upper-low, the outflow is minimal and the strongest winds are removed from the center of circulation. Consequently, the low is being classified as a subtropical depression with an initial intensity of 30 kt. These winds are based on recent ASCAT data. It is anticipated that shear and cold waters will not allow intensification, and the subtropical depression is expected to become absorbed by a large extratropical cyclone in about 36 hours or sooner.

The subtropical depression is moving toward the north-northeast at about 10 kt.  A gradual turn to the north and north-northwest around the approaching extratropical low is forecast for the next 24 hours or so."

 

According to the NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks website, only four April tropical or subtropical depressions have formed in recorded history in the Atlantic.  Only one of these, Tropical Storm Ana in 2003, became a named tropical storm.  An unnamed April subtropical storm in 1992 also achieved tropical storm-force winds, and two other April tropical depressions formed in 1981 and 1973.


Here is a satellite image of the subtropical depression as of Wednesday morning:
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                                                                                 NOAA-NASA GOES Project

Bob

 

Generally Dry and Warm through Friday. Slightly Cooler Temperatures Expected this Weekend.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 5:59 PM

The area of low pressure that was located over Central Texas Monday, shifted to southeast Texas late Monday night into Tuesday morning.  The low produced a widespread area of heavy, persistent rain along the middle and upper Texas coast.  Most totals averaged between 1 and 3 inches.  But the heaviest rains fell just south of Houston, over parts of Brazoria and Galveston Counties.  Doppler radar and surface reports indicated totals of 8-10 inches of rain fell near the towns of Danbury and Santa Fe.  The rain produced considerable street flooding and water inundated several homes.

NWS estimate of rain falling between 4 pm Monday and 4 pm Tuesday:
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Across Central Texas, some rain affected parts of Fayette, Lee and Bastrop Counties Tuesday.  But the Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor remained dry.  Some additional rain showers and thunderstorms will be possible across the middle Texas coast Tuesday night as the area of low pressure remains just offshore of the upper Texas coast.  Rain totals overnight should average between 0.25 and 0.5 inches, but isolated totals of 1-2 inches will be possible.

Our weather pattern looks to trend generally dry Wednesday through Friday as a stable ridge of high pressure over northern Mexico spreads east over Texas.  Some scattered rain showers will still be possible across the coastal plains region Wednesday due to lingering moisture, but totals should be less than a half inch. Mostly sunny and warm weather is forecast each day.  High temperatures are forecast to be in the low 80s Wednesday and into the middle 80s Thursday and Friday.  Low temperatures will be in the mid and upper 60s.

Forecast solutions continue to indicate a significant cold front will push south across Central and South Texas late Friday night into Saturday morning.  The chance for rain doesn't look as strong as it did on Monday.  The atmosphere out ahead of the front is now forecast to be a bit more stable than previously thought.  As a result, the probability for rain will only be near 20-30 percent and rain amounts are forecast to only average around a quarter of an inch.  The rain is forecast to quickly end from northwest to southeast behind the cold front Saturday morning into early Saturday afternoon.  Mostly sunny, breezy and cooler weather is forecast Saturday afternoon.  Expect high temperatures in the mid-70s.  Clear and very pleasant weather is forecast Saturday night through Monday as a dome of Canadian high pressure settles over the state.  Lows Sunday and Monday mornings will include the mid and upper 40s across the Hill Country, the low 50s across Central Texas and mid to upper 50s across the coastal plains.  High temperatures Sunday and Monday will be in the mid and upper 70s.

Longer-range forecasts call for a sunny, dry and warm weather pattern will be in place next Tuesday and Wednesday, with high temperatures in the mid-80s.  An approaching through of low pressure out of the Desert Southwest is expected to cause an increasing chance for rain and thunderstorms beginning next Thursday, continuing into next weekend.  This slow-moving system has the potential cause widespread, soaking rains. Stay tuned for more details.

Bob

Rain Showers and Thunderstorms through Monday Evening. Some Locally Heavy Rain Possible.
Monday, April 17, 2017 2:22 PM

A large complex of thunderstorms developed over northeastern Mexico and tracked into southwestern Texas, including parts of the western Hill Country, Sunday night.  This system moved east across Deep South Texas, but  some of the rain did spread north over parts of Edwards, Kimble, Gillespie and Kerr Counties.  Much of eastern Edwards and eastern Sutton Counties received more than an inch of rain overnight.  Meanwhile, totals were mostly below a quarter of an inch across Gillespie and Kimble Counties.

As of midday, the complex of rain and storms from overnight had moved into the Gulf of Mexico.  However, weather radar showed additional scattered thunderstorms had developed across parts of South Texas associated with an area of low pressure centered to the southwest of San Antonio.  Additional rain showers and thunderstorms are forecast to develop across the entire region this afternoon as the area of low pressure slowly moves to the east.  The probability for rain will be near 50 percent across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and near 70 percent across the coastal plains.  Widespread severe storms are not expected, but a couple of the storms could produce large hail along with strong and gusty winds.  The rain and thunderstorm activity is expected to last into the evening hours, but should diminish across the Hill Country and most of Central Texas around midnight.  Rain totals are forecast to average between 0.5 and 1 inch, but isolated totals to near 3 inches will be possible.  Today's sky will stay mostly cloudy and high temperatures will be near 80-82 degrees.

Forecasters are also monitoring a large east-to-west line of rain and thunderstorms located over North Texas, just south of the Red River.  The area of rain and storms is slowly sinking to the south.  It's not clear if this line of storms will hold together throughout the afternoon.  Should it maintain itself, thunderstorms could move into the northern Hill Country and the northern counties of Central Texas this evening.

On Tuesday, partly cloudy and dry weather is forecast across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions as a stable ridge of slowly spreads east out of Mexico.  Additional scattered rain showers and thunderstorms are expected across the coastal plains region when a portion of today's low pressure system lingers near the coast.  The probability for rain will be near 30-40 percent.  Additional rain amounts to around a half inch are forecast.  High temperatures Tuesday will generally be in the low 80s.

A mostly sunny, warm and humid weather pattern is forecast Wednesday through Friday as a ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere holds in place across the south central US.    Daily high temperatures will be mostly in the mid-80s while low temperatures will be in the mid and upper 60s.

Forecast solutions indicate a Pacific trough of low pressure will move from the Desert Southwest to the central Plains states late Friday into Saturday.  This system appears to be moving too far to the north to have any direct impact on Central Texas weather.  However, the trough will help push a weak Canadian cold front across Texas on Saturday.  An area of rain showers and thunderstorms is forecast to develop just ahead of and along the cold front during the day Saturday.  There are even some indications a squall of thunderstorms could develop along the cold front.  As of now, rain amounts are forecast to average around a half inch.  The rain is forecast to end from northwest to southeast Saturday afternoon into Saturday evening as noticeably cooler and drier air spills in behind the front.  Saturday's high temperature is forecast to be in the low and mid-70s across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and in the low 80s across the coastal plains.

Clear and cooler weather is forecast Saturday night.  Low temperatures Sunday morning will include the upper 40s across the Hill Country, with low and mid-50s at most other locations.  Sunny and pleasant weather is expected Sunday, with high temperatures in the low and mid-70s.

Looking ahead to next week, sunny and dry weather is forecast Monday through Wednesday as a ridge of high pressure holds over the area.  High temperatures look to return to the low and middle 80s.  A chance for rain and thunderstorms is forecast next Thursday and Friday when a trough of low pressure over northern Mexico and the southwestern US moves to the east.   No significant change in the temperature is forecast.    

Possible Subtropical Development in the Atlantic
Satellite images show a non-tropical low pressure system located over the central Atlantic, about midway between Bermuda and the Azores Islands.  This system is producing an area of gale-force winds to the west of the center.  The low pressure system is currently producing only limited shower activity, but environmental conditions could favor additional development and this system has some potential to become a subtropical cyclone over the next day or so as it moves generally eastward.

 

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                                                                                                         NOAA-NASA GOES Project

 

National Hurricane Center forecasters are giving this system just a 30 percent chance for subtropical or tropical development over the next 5 days. This system poses no threat to any land areas.

Bob

Isolated Rain Showers Possible through Saturday. A Better Chance for Rain Sunday and Monday.
Thursday, April 13, 2017 2:56 PM

Thursday morning, a large complex of rain and thunderstorms developed across West Texas in the area between Del Rio and San Angelo.  This system produced totals of 2-3 inches across the western half of Val Verde County with some much lighter totals occurring across the the western Hill Country.  The large complex of rain and storms dissipated early this afternoon and redevelopment appears unlikely.

Another area of rain developed east of Interstate 35 Thursday morning.  Here, scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms developed and pushed north from the coast in a zone of moisture convergence.  An LCRA Hydromet gauge located at the Fayette Power Plant near La Grange, recorded 0.41 inches of rain for one of the highest rain totals.

Additional spotty rain showers and isolated thunderstorms will be possible across the entire region this afternoon as moisture is drawn inland off the Gulf of Mexico.  The probability for rain will be near 20-30 percent at any given location.  Where it does rain, totals should average around a quarter of an inch.  All of the rain activity is forecast to diminish around sunset.   Expect the sky to be partly to mostly cloudy this afternoon along with high temperatures near 80 degrees.

Just a slight chance for spotty rain showers and isolated thunderstorms is forecast Friday and Saturday as a very moist flow off the Gulf of Mexico continues.  The probability for rain each day will be near 20 percent and totals should average around a quarter inch, or less.  Expect a high temperature near 80-82 degrees.

Forecast solutions call for a weak trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere over northern Mexico to track east across Texas late Sunday through Monday.  This system is expected to pull considerable moisture inland, resulting in the development of scattered rain showers and thunderstorms beginning Sunday afternoon.  Spotty rain showers and thunderstorms look to continue through Tuesday morning.  Severe thunderstorms are not expected.  Rain amounts over the 2-day period are forecast to generally total between 0.25 and 0.50 inches.  High temperatures both days are forecast to be around 80 degrees. 

Note that the sky is shaping up to be cloudy Sunday morning and mostly cloudy Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning.  Sunrise Easter Sunday in Austin will be at 7:02 am.

Partly cloudy, dry and warm weather is forecast next Tuesday afternoon through Thursday as the trough exits to the northeast.  Daily high temperatures are forecast to be in the low and middle 80s.  Longer-range forecasts call for a large trough of low pressure to reach the reach the southwestern US and the southern Rockies sometime late next week.  The trough is forecast to track east-northeast next weekend and is expected to bring our region scattered rain showers and thunderstorms.  No significant change in the temperature is forecast over the next 10 days.

Bob

Just a Slight Chance for Rain Forecast Thursday and Friday.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 6:26 PM


Although widespread heavy rains didn't materialize as forecast Monday night into Tuesday, three locations across the Hill Country/Central Texas region did see some very high totals of rain.

The following National Weather Service graphic shows the estimated amount of rain falling between 4 pm Monday and 4 pm Wednesday:

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The highest totals of rain appear to have occurred across northern Bell and southern Coryell Counties, where amounts of 10-12 inches were reported.

The second highest total of rain appears to have occurred in southern Hays County, near San Marcos, where amounts of 6-8 inches were reported.  A gauge located 4 miles west-southwest of San Marcos recorded 8.86 inches of rain.

The third highest total of rain occurred across eastern Mason and western Llano Counties, where amounts of 4-5 inches were reported.  An LCRA Hydromet gauge located along Willow Creek in east-central Mason County recorded 5.00 inches of rain.

Spring is here and high totals of rain are certainly possible, when just the right atmospheric conditions come together.

No heavy rain is forecast across Central Texas over the next few days as our region remains under a moist flow off the Gulf of Mexico.  An isolated rain shower or two will be possible Thursday and Friday afternoons, but no significant totals of rain are expected.  Generally dry weather is forecast Saturday.  High temperatures each day should be near 80-82 degrees.

The next significant chance for rain looks to occur Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning when a trough of low pressure tracks northeast out of Mexico. This system is forecast to cause the development of scattered rain showers and thunderstorms across the region.  The probability for rain will be near 30-40 percent, with the most favorable period for rain occurring Monday.  Rain amounts are forecast to generally total around a half inch.  As of now, severe storms are not expected.

Medium-range forecasts call for generally dry and warm weather next Tuesday through Thursday with high temperatures in the low and middle-80s.

Bob

 

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