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Bob's Blog on Central Texas Weather

A Wet and Soggy Weekend Expected. Signficant Totals of Rain are Forecast.
Friday, December 2, 2016 2:34 PM

Ingredients are coming together that are expected to produce a prolonged period of rain and scattered thunderstorms across Central and South Texas.  This morning, a powerful trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere was located over southern California and western Arizona, moving to the south-southeast.  The trough is forecast to settle over northern Mexico this weekend before lifting northeast across Texas on Monday.  The approaching trough is already causing a return flow of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico into Texas, resulting in a widespread blanket of clouds.  Forecast data indicates the air that will be spreading north from the Gulf over the weekend will contain an unusually high content of water vapor, and this will likely lead to significant totals of rainfall.   Weather radar this afternoon showed rain showers developing and spread north across our region out of Deep South Texas.  The rain is expected to increase in areal coverage over the Hill Country, Central Texas and coastal regions this afternoon and tonight as an overrunning rain pattern gets underway.  In general, a pattern of steady moderate rain showers and isolated thunderstorms is forecast across the entire region Saturday through Monday.  Pockets of moderate to heavy will be possible from time to time as weak waves of low pressure track north out of Mexico.  The rain and thunderstorms are forecast to end from west to east late Monday afternoon into Monday evening as the upper trough exits the region.

A warm front is forecast to push inland along the middle Texas coast Saturday, causing the atmosphere here to become moderately unstable.  Counties along the coast may see the development of some short-lived supercell thunderstorms Saturday into Saturday evening.  Some of the storms may be capable of producing isolated tornadoes and waterspouts.  However, the main threat will be heavy rain.  The threat for severe storms across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions Saturday through Sunday will be quite low.  Strong thunderstorms will be possible across most of the region Monday as strong dynamics from the upper trough overspread the region.

Significant totals of rain are forecast to occur over the next 3 days.  Fortunately, the high totals of rain are not expected to occur all at once but will be spread out over a 3-day period.  Do note the highest rain totals are forecast to occur to the east of Interstate 35 and especially across southeast Texas, to the east of a College Station to Victoria line.  The National Weather Service's 3-day rainfall forecast calls for general totals of 2-3 inches across the Hill Country region with 3-5 inches totals across Central Texas.  Totals of 5-8 inches are forecast across the coastal plains of the middle Texas coast.

NWS rainfall forecast for the period between 6 pm Friday and 6 pm Monday:
Rain6.png
 
These high totals of rain will likely lead to considerable runoff and potential flash flooding.  The National Weather Service will be issuing a Flash Flood Watch for the coastal counties later this afternoon.

The temperature will be fairly cool over the weekend with high temperatures mostly in the low and mid-50s.  Low temperatures will be in the upper 40s to low 50s.  The coastal areas will see highs in the mid and upper 60s with lows in the 50s.  Readings should be a few degrees warmer on Monday.

Sunny and warmer weather is forecast Tuesday, with high temperatures around 68-70 degrees.
 

Forecast solutions continue to indicate an arctic cold front will push south out of western Canada next week.  This front is expected to bring some of the coldest air our region has seen in about 2 years.  The front is forecast push south across Texas during the day on Wednesday, moving out into the Gulf of Mexico late Wednesday afternoon.  A few showers and isolated thunderstorms are forecast along the front, but totals should average less than a quarter inch.  Sunny and dry weather will follow the cold front Thursday through Saturday.  Windy conditions are expected behind the cold front Wednesday afternoon and evening, with northwesterly winds blowing in the range of 15-25 mph with gusts to 35 mph.

But the big story will be the cold temperatures.  A hard freeze is forecast across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions Friday and Saturday mornings.  A freeze is expected across the entire region Friday morning and again Saturday morning.  Here is rough idea of the types of temperatures I expect we will see late next week:

 

  • Low temperatures Thursday morning will include the upper 20s to 30 degrees across the Hill Country, the low and mid-30s across Central Texas and the upper 30s to 40 degrees across the coastal plains.
 

  • High temperatures Thursday look to be in the mid and upper 40s.
 

  • Low temperatures Friday and Saturday mornings will include low 20s across the Hill Country, the mid and upper 20s across Central Texas and the upper 20s to 30 degrees across the coastal plains.
 

  • High temperatures Friday will be in the low and mid-40s.
 
A quick warmup is forecast next weekend as the cold air mass moves off the east.  High temperatures should be back in the 60s and lows in the 40s.

I urge everyone to keep a close eye on weather developments this weekend and into Monday.  Also, use this time and the time early next week to make your cold weather preparations.

Bob

Previous Blog Entries

Update on the Weekend Rains. An Outbreak of Arctic Air Expected Next Week.
Thursday, December 1, 2016 7:05 PM

The final numbers are in and to no surprise, weather conditions during November were much warmer than normal, with a mixed picture on rainfall. Rainfall was wetter than normal for most of the Hill Country and the Austin area, but was below normal elsewhere.

Looking at temperature, readings generally averaged between 4 and 6 degrees above normal.  For many locations, it was one of the warmest November on record.

Untitled.png 
For precipitation, totals generally averaged between 1 and 2 inches above normal across the Hill Country and the Austin area.  Burnet County was the big winner, with the southern part of the county seeing totals between 4 and 5 inches above normal.  Meanwhile, to the east of Interstate 35, totals generally averaged between 1 and 2 inches below normal.  Colorado County had totals 1-2 inches above normal while Wharton and Matagorda Counties saw totals that were 2-3 inches below normal.

November rainfall departure from normal:
AccuPrecip.png
 
Austin's November weather wetter and much warmer than normal.  Here is a breakdown of specific data for Camp Mabry and Austin-Bergstrom Airport:

Austin-Camp Mabry

 

  • November's average temperature of 65.7 degrees was 4.7 degrees above normal and ranks as the third warmest November on record, dating back to 1897.
 

  • November's rainfall of 3.11 inches ranked as the 33rd wettest November on record.
 

  • September through November's average temperature of 74.6 degrees was 3.9 degrees above normal and ranked as the second warmest autumn on record dating back to 1897.
 

  • September through November's rainfall totaled 5.37 inches, which was 4.46 inches below normal. This total ranked as the 33rd driest September through November on record.
 

 

 Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

 

  • November's average temperature of 64.6 degrees was 6.2 degrees above normal and ranked as the sixth warmest November on record, dating back to 1942.
 

  • November's rainfall of 2.43 inches ranks as the 29th wettest November on record.
 

  • September through November's average temperature of 72.8 degrees was 4.4 degrees above normal and ranked as the fourth warmest autumn on record dating back to 1942.
 

  • September through November's rainfall totaled 5.87 inches, which was 3.85 inches below normal.  This total ranked as the 23rd driest September through November on record.

 

 

Thursday's forecast data continued to show a wet and cool weather pattern developing Friday, continuing into Monday.  Light rain showers look to begin Friday afternoon, becoming more widespread by Friday night.  A steady light to moderate rain will continue Saturday through Sunday.  Rain and scattered thunderstorms are forecast Sunday night through Monday afternoon.

Updated rainfall forecasts continue to call for significant totals of rain over the next 4-day period.  The rain will be spaced out, with totals of 1-2 inches expected Saturday through Monday.  Overall, the highest totals are expected to occur over areas to the east of Interstate 35 and especially across the coastal plains region.  The updated National Weather Service 5-day rainfall forecast is now calling for totals of 2-3 inches across the Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor, totals of 3-5 inches across Central Texas and totals of 5-8 inches for areas to the south of Highway 59.


 

NWS rainfall forecast for the period from 6 pm Thursday through 6 pm Tuesday:
Rain5.png 
The rain should taper off from west to east Monday afternoon into Monday evening.

Thursday's data is again indicating there will be an outbreak of arctic air into Central and South Texas late next week.  The strong cold front is expected to push through the area sometime next Wednesday afternoon, with much colder temperatures expected next Thursday and Friday.  Today's data suggests there will be a freeze over parts of the region Thursday morning and a freeze for the entire region Friday morning.

As of now, it appears low temperatures next Thursday morning will dip into the 20s across the Hill Country, with 30s at most other locations.  Friday will be even colder with lows in the teens and 20s across the Hill Country, in the 20s across Central Texas and in the upper 20s to low 30s across the coastal plains.

These temperatures are rough estimates at this point and will fluctuate a little as we get closer to the event.  But everyone should use the next several days to make their cold weather preparations.  These temperatures will be some of the coldest we have seen in a couple of years.

I'll have a more detailed update on Friday.

Bob

Widespread Rain and Chilly Temperatures Sill on Track for this Weekend.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 6:21 PM

No significant changes showed up in Wednesday's forecast data regarding the widespread rain forecast to develop Friday afternoon, continuing through Monday.  The trough of low pressure responsible for causing the wet, unsettled pattern is forecast to slowly track east across northern Mexico this weekend then eject to the northeast Monday afternoon.

In advance of the upper trough, occasional light rain is forecast to develop Friday afternoon, with the rain increasing in intensity Friday night.  A steady light to moderate rain is forecast Saturday through Sunday.  Rain and a few thunderstorms are forecast Monday, with the rain ending from west to east Monday afternoon.

The updated 7-day National Weather Service rainfall forecast, for the period from 6 pm Wednesday through 6 pm next Wednesday still calls for significant totals of rain over the upcoming period.  The latest forecast does shows slightly lower totals across the Hill Country but somewhat heavier totals for areas to the south of Interstate 10.

Rain11.png 
In general, totals across the Hill Country are forecast to average between 1 and 1.5 inches.  Totals of 1.5-2 inches are forecast along the Interstate 35 corridor, with totals of 2-3 inches expected across most of Central Texas.  To the south of Interstate 10, totals of 3-5 inches are forecast.

Chilly temperatures are still in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday with high temperatures in the low and mid-50s.  Low temperatures look to be in the mid-40s.

Slightly warmer weather is forecast Monday and Tuesday with high temperatures in the low and mid-60s.

Today's forecast data continues to indicate a strong cold front will push south across our region sometime late next Wednesday, ushering in some of the coldest air our region has seen in over a year.  A freeze appears likely across the Hill Country and parts of Central Texas Thursday morning and across both regions Friday morning.  High temperatures next Thursday are forecast to be mostly in the 40s, warming to around 50 degrees next Friday.  Somewhat milder readings are expected next week.  It still appears the weather will be dry late next week into next weekend, so there should be no problems with frozen precipitation.

I'll pass along another update on both weather situations on Thursday.

Bob
    

Wet and Chilly Conditions Expected this Weekend. Even Colder Air Possible Next Week.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 6:03 PM


I want to take closer look at the damp, wet weekend that appears to be setting up for Central and South Texas this weekend.  Tuesday's forecast data continues to call for a vigorous trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere to track south along the US West Coast Wednesday and Thursday, arriving at a position over northwestern Mexico on Friday.  The trough is forecast to slowly move east-northeast across Mexico this weekend, finally moving out across Texas next Monday.

At the surface, a cool Canadian air mass settling into Texas Wednesday is forecast to be in place through late week.  On Friday, a reinforcing mass of cool air is forecast to sink into Texas, bringing in cooler air that should continue into early next week.  When the trough reaches northwestern Mexico on Friday, it is expected to cause the development of southerly winds in the lower atmosphere across Texas.  These warmer breezes flowing up and over the cool air mass at the surface will bring a widespread bank of clouds to the region beginning early Friday morning.  Occasional light rain showers will likely follow Friday afternoon.  The probability for rain will be near 40 percent Friday afternoon, increasing to near 70 percent Friday night. 

A very efficient overrunning rain pattern is expected to continue Saturday and Sunday as weak disturbances out ahead of the main upper trough flow across Texas, lifting more warm moist air up and over the cool air mass at the surface.  Widespread totals of 0.5-1 inch are forecast across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions both days.  To the south of Interstate 10, totals look to be higher, with daily totals in the range of 1-2 inches.  The probability for rain will be around 70 percent on Saturday and near 50 percent on Sunday.

Additional widespread rain showers are forecast to continue Monday as the upper trough exits Mexico and moves across Texas.  The probability for rain will be near 40 percent.  Additional rain totals to around a half inch are forecast.  The rain should end from west to east Monday afternoon as the trough exits the region.

Significant totals of rain are forecast between Friday afternoon and Monday afternoon.  The National Weather Service's 7 day rainfall forecast, for the period from 6 pm Tuesday through 6 pm next Tuesday, calls for totals in the range of 1-2 inches for locations west of Interstate 35.  Totals of 1-3 inches are forecast for areas east of Interstate 35.  For locations to the south of Interstate 35, totals of 3-4 inches are forecast.

Rain10.png 
The other big story this weekend will be the chilly temperatures due to the widespread clouds and rain.  High temperatures Saturday will only be near 48-50 degrees, while high temperatures Sunday will be in the mid-50s.  High temperatures Monday look to be around 58-60 degrees.  Low temperatures Saturday and Sunday mornings will be in the mid and upper 40s.  Lows Monday morning will be in the low and mid-40s.

Looking ahead to next week, a strong Canadian cold front is forecast to push south across our region Wednesday afternoon, bringing some of the coldest air so far this autumn.  Freezing temperatures will be possible for much of the region next Friday morning.  An area of rain showers will likely accompany the front but dry and cold weather looks to follow Wednesday night through Friday.  Lows Thursday morning will range upper 20s across the Hill Country to the upper 30s near the coast.  Lows Friday morning will include the mid and upper 20s across the Hill Country, the low 30s across Central Texas and the mid-30s towards the coast.  High temperatures Thursday and Friday will generally be around 50-52 degrees.

Slightly warmer readings are forecast next weekend.

Bob

Generally Dry and Cooler Weather this Week. Widespread Rain Expected this Weekend.
Monday, November 28, 2016 12:38 PM

The weather pattern will be quite active over the next couple of weeks, with several cold fronts moving through the area.  Today, a Pacific cold front is pushing southeast across the region, causing a few rain showers but mainly bringing drier and slightly cooler air.  At midday, the cold front stretched from Navasota to La Grange, to south of San Antonio.  Forecast data indicates a few rain showers and thunderstorms may accompany the cold front this afternoon when it moves across the coastal plains region.  The rain and cold front should push offshore this evening.  Rain amounts, if any, should be less than a quarter inch.  Ahead of the cold front, weather conditions across the coastal plains region will be partly cloudy, breezy and warm.  Expect a high temperature in the low 80s along with gusty south and southwesterly winds in the range of 15-25 mph.

For the Hill Country and Central Texas regions, weather conditions this afternoon will be mostly sunny, breezy and mild.  Expect a high temperature in the low 70s along with westerly winds in the range of 10-20 mph along with gusts to near 30 mph.  The combination of gusty winds and low relative humidity levels will cause an elevated fire weather threat for the Hill Country region.  Here, relative humidity levels are forecast to fall below 30 percent this afternoon.  The sky will be clear tonight and temperatures will be noticeably cooler.  Lows Tuesday morning will generally be in the mid and upper 40s, with low and mid-50s expected towards the coast.

Tuesday's weather is shaping up to be mostly sunny and mild.   High temperatures will generally be in the low 70s.  Expect light west and southwesterly winds at 5-10 mph.  A Canadian cold front is forecast to push southeast out of Northwest Texas Tuesday evening and Tuesday night, bringing cooler air.  The front is forecast to reach the northern Hill Country Tuesday evening and the Austin area around midnight.  The front should push off the coast before sunrise Wednesday morning.  No rain is expected with the front when it moves across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions.  However, a few rain showers will be possible across the coastal plains region Tuesday evening.  Rain amounts, if any, should total well below a quarter inch.  Low temperatures Wednesday morning are forecast to be near 40 degrees across the Hill Country, in the low and mid-40s across Central Texas and in the low 50s across the coastal plains.

Sunny and dry weather is forecast Wednesday and Thursday as a dome of Canadian high pressure settles across Texas.  High temperatures both days are forecast to be in the low and mid-60s, with upper 60s expected towards the coast.  A light freeze will be possible across parts of the Hill Country Thursday morning.  Low temperatures Thursday morning will include the low and mid-30s across the Hill Country, the mid and upper 30s across Central Texas and the low 40s across the coastal plains.  Lows Friday morning will range from the low 40s across the Hill Country to the upper 40s across the coastal plains.

The sky is forecast to quickly become cloudy Friday out ahead of a large trough of low pressure moving into the southwestern US.  Considerable moisture is forecast to spread north from the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific ahead of the trough.  A few light rain showers will be possible by Friday afternoon and Friday night as an overrunning pattern begins to set up.  Friday's high temperature is expected to be around 60-62 degrees.  Lows Saturday morning will be mostly in the mid-40s.

A wet and cool weather pattern is forecast to develop this coming weekend into next Monday as the trough of low pressure over the southwestern US slowly moves to the east.  The trough is forecast to move across Texas this weekend, exiting to the northeast sometime on Monday.  The approaching trough is expected to cause the development of widespread overrunning rain showers Saturday that will likely continue Sunday into Monday.  The rain should taper off next Monday.  The latest rainfall forecasts call for 3-day totals of around 1-1.5 inches across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions.  Totals of 2-3 inches are forecast across the coastal plains region.  

NWS rainfall forecast for the period from 6 am Saturday through 6 am Monday:
Rain7.png

Temperatures are forecast to stay quite chilly due to the widespread clouds and rain.  High temperatures Saturday through Monday are forecast to be in the low and mid-50s.  Low temperatures will be in the upper 30s across the Hill Country, the low 40s across Central Texas and the upper 40s across the coastal plains.

Looking ahead to next week, the large trough of low pressure is forecast to exit northeast on Monday.  A dry weather pattern is forecast for most of the week.  However, temperatures look to stay somewhat cool with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s.  There are some strong hints that even colder air will spread south into the region sometime late next week.

Tropical Weather Update
Hurricane Otto moved across Costa Rica and Nicaragua last Thursday and Friday before exiting into the eastern tropical Pacific.  Otto lost its tropical characteristics and diminished upon reaching the eastern Pacific.  Weather conditions are currently quiet across the tropical Atlantic.  There are no systems in place which pose a threat for tropical development over the next 5 days.  The Atlantic and eastern Pacific hurricane seasons will officially end this Wednesday, November 30th.

Bob

Pleasant Weather for Thanksgiving but a Slight Chance for Rain Thursday Night into Friday.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016 12:11 PM

A cold front pushed across the region Tuesday night, bringing rain and thunderstorms to parts of the region.  Although the wind did get a little gusty, there fortunately was no severe weather.  Rain totals generally averaged around a half inch across the eastern Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor.  A small area of 1-inch totals occurred over northern Colorado County and southern Austin County.  Meanwhile, most of the Hill Country received little to no rain.

NWS estimate of rain falling between 9 am Tuesday and 9 am Wednesday:Tom2.png
As of late morning, the cold front was moving off the middle Texas coast and into the Gulf of Mexico.  A large dome of high pressure centered over Colorado was spreading into Texas behind the cold front, bringing drier and slightly cooler air.  Today's weather will be sunny and pleasant with temperatures warming close to 70 degrees.  The sky will be clear tonight.  Low temperatures Thursday morning will range from the low 40s across the Hill Country to near 50 degrees towards the coast.  Expect a north wind at 10-15 mph this afternoon.  Wind speeds should decrease to around 5-10 mph overnight

Thanksgiving Day weather is shaping up to be mostly sunny and very pleasant.  The temperature should warm to the low and mid-70s.  Expect a light southeasterly wind.

Some changes in the weather are forecast to take place Thursday night into Friday morning when a weak cold front sinks southeast out of the Rockies.  The front is forecast to reach the northern Hill Country around midnight Thursday night, the Austin area just after daybreak on Friday and the coastal plains region around midday Friday.  A modest area of moisture is forecast to spread north from the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico Thursday night ahead of the front, causing the sky to become cloudy.  There will be a 20-30 percent probability for rain and thunderstorms across the region out ahead of and along the cold front Thursday night beginning after midnight, continuing into Friday morning.  Rain amounts are forecast to be quite low due to the lack of moisture and strong atmospheric dynamics.  For locations that do see rain, totals should average less than a quarter inch.  The threat for rain should end from north to south Friday afternoon as cooler and drier air spreads in behind the cold front.  Friday's temperature is forecast to warm to around 65-68 degrees.  The low temperature Saturday morning will be in the mid and upper 40s, with low 50s towards the coast.

Partly cloudy and somewhat cool weather will be in place Saturday as a broad dome of high pressure sets up across Texas.  High temperatures will generally be in the mid-60s, with low-70s expected towards the coast.  Low temperatures Sunday morning will be in the low 50s.  A mostly cloudy sky is forecast Sunday but there will be a slight chance for a few rain showers by Sunday night.  Sunday's temperature should warm to the low 70s.

Forecast solutions call for a large trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere to sink south into northwestern Mexico Monday. This system is forecast to track east-northeast, moving across Texas Monday night into Tuesday morning.  Scattered rain showers and thunderstorms are forecast to increase in coverage across the region beginning Monday afternoon, continuing till about midday Tuesday.  Today's forecast data suggests rain totals will be in the range of 0.25-.50 inches.  The rain should end from west to east Tuesday morning when a fairly strong Canadian cold front moves across the region.  Dry and sunny weather is forecast next Wednesday and Thursday.  A storm system moving out of the southwestern US looks to bring an area of rain to Texas late next Friday into Saturday.

Monday's temperature should warm to around 70 degree while temperatures on Tuesday should only warm to around 65-68 degrees.  Wednesday's high temperature is forecast to be in the mid-60s, warming to around 70-72 degrees Thursday and Friday.  Low temperatures next week are forecast to generally be in the upper 40s to low 50s.  There are some signs the temperature will trend colder around December 4th or 5th.

Tropical Weather Update
Otto strengthened into a hurricane Tuesday afternoon.  But increasing wind shear Tuesday night caused Otto to weaken back to a tropical storm.  As of late Wednesday morning, tropical storm Otto was located in the southwestern Caribbean Sea, roughly 220 miles east-southeast of Bluefields, Nicaragua.  Otto is moving toward the west-northwest near 5 mph.  A turn toward the west with an increase in forward speed is expected tonight and Thursday.  On the forecast track, the center of Otto will move onshore near the Nicaragua/Costa Rican border on Thursday, reaching the Pacific coast of southern Nicaragua or northern Costa Rica early Friday.  Maximum sustained winds remain near 70 mph with higher gusts.  Otto is forecast to become a hurricane again on Thursday before weakening over Central America after landfall.

bob3.jpg  
I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday.

Bob

Rain and Thunderstorms Tuesday Night. Dry and Pleasant Weather Expected Wednesday into Thanksgiving Day.
Tuesday, November 22, 2016 5:24 PM

Forecasters are closely monitoring weather developments late this afternoon in advance of a strong trough of low pressure that is tracking east out of New Mexico.  Southerly breezes off the Gulf of Mexico have been pulling considerable moisture north from the Gulf, resulting in a cloudy sky across the eastern half of the state.  Weather radar late this afternoon showed scattered rain showers developing along the Interstate 35 corridor.  Additional rain showers and even a few isolated thunderstorms are expected across the region this evening and overnight as the atmosphere grows increasingly moist and unstable.


The threat for strong to severe thunderstorms is forecast to increase overnight for areas roughly along and east of Interstate 35, from Austin to Waco and Dallas. This zone, extending east from Interstate 35 into East Texas, appears to be the best location where strong atmospheric lift will intersect a strong flow of moist air spreading north from the Gulf of Mexico. The Storm Prediction Center has placed this area in a slight risk for severe thunderstorms.  The Austin metro area is included in this slight risk for severe storms.  Large hail and damaging winds and isolated tornadoes will be the greatest severe weather threat.

While isolated to scattered rain showers and thunderstorms are forecast to develop this evening and tonight, the most favorable period for rain and storms is forecast to occur after midnight, when a cold front associated with the New Mexico trough pushes east out of West Texas.  A broken line of rain showers and thunderstorms is forecast to develop along the front when it pushes southeast out of West Texas.  The activity is forecast to be somewhat limited when it moves across the Hill Country, but the activity is forecast to increase in intensity and coverage when it moves into the Interstate 35 corridor and areas to the east.

This afternoon's updated National Weather Service rainfall forecasts call for totals of 0.10-0.25 inches across the Hill Country.  Totals of 0.25-0.50 inches are forecast along the Interstate 35 corridor, extending southeast to the middle Texas coast.  Parts of Bastrop, Lee and Fayette Counties could see totals to near 1 inch.

National Weather Service rainfall forecast for the period from 6 pm Tuesday through 6 pm Wednesday:
Rain10.png

The threat for rain and storms should end from west to east across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions by daybreak Wednesday.  The rain and storms should push out of the coastal plains region by late Wednesday morning.  Sunny and mild weather is forecast Wednesday with temperatures warming to around 70 degrees.

Otto Becomes the Seventh Hurricane of the 2016 Season
Satellite images Tuesday afternoon indicated that Otto was continuing to strengthen.  The overall satellite pattern become more symmetric, with a large mass of intense convection near the center. Satellite wind estimates showed the wind speed to be around 65 knots, making Otto the seventh hurricane of the 2016 season.  Otto is the latest hurricane formation on record in the Caribbean Sea dating back to 1851,eclipsing the mark of Martha (1969) by about a day.

analog.png                                                                                        NOAA-NASA GOES Project 


As of late Tuesday afternoon, Otto was centered in the southwestern Caribbean Sea, about 305 miles east-southeast of Bluefields, Nicaragua.  Otto was moving to the west at near 2 mph.  Otto is forecast to move a little faster toward the west or west-northwest over the next couple of days.  On the forecast track, Otto is expected to approach the coasts of Costa Rica and Nicaragua on Thursday.  Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 mph with higher gusts.  Additional strengthening is expected for the next couple of days until landfall.

I'll pass along another update for the long Thanksgiving weekend on Wednesday.

Bob

Rain Showers and Thunderstorms Expected Tuesday into Tuesday Night. Thanksgiving Day Weather Should be Pleasant.
Monday, November 21, 2016 3:55 PM

The first freeze of the season occurred across the Hill Country and parts of Central Texas Sunday morning.  Observations showed freezing temperatures occurred across parts of the area extending all the way south to about Interstate 10.  Mid and upper 30s were recorded across the middle Texas coastal plain.  Officially, the temperature did not drop to freezing in Austin or San Antonio.  Austin-Camp Mabry recorded a low of 35, Austin-Bergstrom reached 33 and San Antonio's temperature hit 34 degrees.

Satellite images showed a clear sky across Central and South Texas this afternoon.  Southerly winds have increased to around 10-15 mph and these breezy conditions should continue overnight.  Clouds will increase and the sky will become cloudy overnight.  Some patchy drizzle will even be possible toward daybreak.  Lows Tuesday morning will be noticeably warmer; ranging from the upper 50s across the Hill Country to the low 60s near the coast. 

Today's weather maps showed a strong trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere situated over southern California and western Arizona that is moving to the east-northeast.  The trough is forecast to reach Northwest Texas Tuesday afternoon and move into southern Oklahoma Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.  Considerable moisture will be drawn north from the Gulf of Mexico in advance of the trough tonight into Tuesday.  This will result in a cloudy sky along with a chance (50 percent) for scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms by Tuesday afternoon.  The highest probability for rain and thunderstorms (70 percent) is forecast to occur Tuesday night into Wednesday morning in advance of an associated cold front pushing east out of West Texas.

Forecast solutions show the strongest area of moisture convergence ahead of the trough and cold front will set up in an area roughly between the middle Texas coast to just east of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  This area is expected to see the highest amounts of rain, with totals generally between 1 and 1.5 inches.  Totals are forecast to be considerably lower across the Hill Country, mainly around a quarter inch, or less.

NWS rainfall forecast for the period between 6 pm Monday and 6 pm Wednesday:
Rain10.png
 
Today's forecast data is indicating some of the thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night could be strong to severe.  The Storm Prediction Center has placed the Interstate corridor and most of east-central Texas under a Slight Risk for severe thunderstorms.  The Austin metropolitan area is included in this slight risk area.  The main threat from any of these storms will be large hail and damaging downburst winds.  Temperatures Tuesday afternoon should reach the low and mid-70s.

AugT.png 
The chance for rain looks to end across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions late Tuesday night as drier and more stable air spreads in behind the cold front.  The chance for rain should diminish across the coastal plains region Wednesday morning.  Sunny and dry weather is forecast Wednesday afternoon.  Expect a high temperature around 68-70 degrees.  Low temperatures Thursday morning will range from the low and mid-40s across the Hill Country to the low 50s near the coast.

Weather conditions are shaping up to be mostly sunny Thanksgiving Day.  Expect a high temperature in the low and mid-70s.

There will be a slight chance for light rain showers across the region Thursday night into Friday morning when a weak trough of low pressure moves northeast out of Mexico.  With limited moisture in place, totals of only a few hundredths of an inch are forecast.  Low temperatures Friday morning will generally be in the low 50s.

Partly cloudy and dry weather is forecast Friday afternoon through Sunday.  High temperatures Friday and Saturday will be in the upper 60s, warming to the low 70s on Sunday.  Low temperatures should be mostly in the 40s across the Hill Country and in the low 50s across the rest of the region.

Looking ahead to next week, today's forecast solutions call for a cold front to push across the area sometime on Monday.  As of now, just a slight chance for rain is forecast with the front.  The front will bring cooler temperatures for Monday and Tuesday, with a surge of even cooler air expected for the second half of the week.  Overall, high temperatures are forecast to be in the 60s with low temperatures in the 30s and 40s.

Tropical Weather Update
The area of disturbed weather which has persisted over the southwestern Caribbean Sea for the past week strengthened earlier this morning into tropical storm Otto. Otto is the 15th named tropical cyclone of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season.  As on noon CST, Otto was centered in the southwestern Caribbean Sea, about 315 miles east of Bluefields, Nicaragua.  Maximum sustained winds were near 50 mph. Otto is currently stationary but a westward drift is expected over the next couple of days.  Otto could strengthen into a hurricane  over the next couple of days before it moves inland somewhere near the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  Otto is forecast to bring very heavy rain to portions of Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama over the next 2-3 days.

National Hurricane Center 5-day forecast for tropical storm Otto:
SfcAnal.gif
 
Bob

Colder Temperatures this Weekend. The Next Chance for Rain Expected Tuesday.
Friday, November 18, 2016 3:38 PM

The strongest cold front so far this autumn was pressing south across Texas Friday afternoon.  As of mid-afternoon, the front stretched from Lufkin to Hallettsville, to Cotulla.  The front is moving to the southeast at around 20 mph and will move across the coastal plains region this afternoon, pushing off the coast shortly after sunset.  Earlier this morning, a small area of rain showers developed along the cold front when it moved across the Hill Country.  However, most totals here were less than a tenth of an inch.  Meanwhile, a fairly widespread coverage of rain showers and thunderstorms has developed across the coastal plains region in advance of the cold front.  Some of this rain has been locally heavy.  An LCRA Hydromet gauge located in northeastern Wharton County, near East Bernard has recorded 2.23 inches as of 3:30 pm.  Another gauge located at Midfield in northwestern Matagorda County has recorded 2.40 inches.  General totals of 0.5-1.5 inches are forecast across the coastal plains region this afternoon as the front moves to the south.  The rain should taper off this evening as drier and cooler air spreads in behind the cold front.

Windy and much cooler weather is being observed across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions this afternoon behind the cold front.  2 pm temperatures were generally in the upper 50s to low 60s across the Hill Country and in the mid and upper 60s across Central Texas.  Breezy northerly winds of 10-20 mph with gusts to 30 mph were being reported.  These strong winds will likely continue this evening but should subside to around 10-15 mph overnight.  The sky will clear this evening and remain generally clear through the weekend.  With a clear sky and dry air in place, the temperature is expected to be fairly cool.

  • Low temperatures Saturday morning will include the mid and upper 30s across the Hill Country, the upper 30s to low 40s across Central Texas with low and mid-40s towards the coast.
 
  • High temperatures Saturday will be in the upper 50s across the Hill Country, be around 60 degrees across Central Texas and in the low to mid 60s across the coastal plains.
 
  • The coldest point of the weekend is expected to occur Saturday night into Sunday morning when the wind goes calm.  A light freeze is expected across a large part of the Hill Country and possibly even across some of the low valleys of Central Texas.  Low temperatures Sunday morning will include the upper 20s to low 30s across the Hill Country, the mid 30s across Central Texas and around 38-40 degrees across the coastal plains.
 
  • Sunday's temperature should warm to the mid-60s as a light south wind resumes.
 
  • Low temperatures Monday morning will range from around 40 degrees across the Hill Country to the upper 40s near the coast.


Sunny and warmer weather is forecast Monday as southerly winds increase off the Gulf of Mexico.  Expect a high temperature in the low 70s.  The sky looks to become mostly cloudy Monday night into Tuesday in advance of a trough of low pressure pushing east out of the Four Corners region.  This trough is expected to drag a cold front across Central Texas late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.  Today's forecast solutions indicate an area of rain showers and isolated thunderstorms will develop just ahead of and along the cold front.  The probability for rain will be near 40-50 percent.  Rain totals of 0.25-0.50 inches are forecast across the Hill Country and the I-35 corridor.  East of the I-35 corridor, totals are forecast to average around 1-1.5 inches.

 

National Weather Service rainfall forecast for the period from 6 pm Friday through 6 pm Wednesday:

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The rain should end from west to east Wednesday morning as drier and slightly cooler air moves in behind the cold front.  Tuesday's temperature should reach the low 70s but cool to the low and mid-50s Tuesday night.  Wednesday's high temperature should be around 68-70 degrees.  Lows Thursday morning will range from the low 40s across the Hill Country to the low 50s towards the coast.

Sunny, dry and mild weather is forecast Thanksgiving Day and next Friday in the wake of Wednesday's cold front.  High temperatures both days look to be in the upper 60s.  Low temperatures Friday morning will be in the low and mid-50s.

Long-range forecasts call for the sky to become mostly cloudy next Saturday when a weak wave of low pressure tracks east across the southern Plains states.  Little to no rain is expected.  Mostly sunny and dry weather will follow next Sunday.  High temperatures both days should be in the low 70s with lows around 58-60 degrees.

Tropical Weather Update
National Hurricane Center forecasters continue to monitor a disorganized area of clouds and showers over the southwestern Caribbean Sea, associated with a broad low pressure area.

 

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Upper-level winds are currently only marginally conducive for tropical cyclone development so any development over the next couple of days should be slow to occur.  After that time, environmental conditions are expected to be improve and a tropical depression could form early next week while the low moves slowly and erratically.  This system poses no threat to Texas or the western Gulf of Mexico.  NHC forecasters are giving this system a 60 percent chance for tropical cyclone development over the next 5 days.

Elsewhere across the tropical Atlantic, weather conditions are quiet as the tropical weather season winds down.  Tropical cyclone development is not expected over the next 5 days.

Have a good weekend.

Bob

Weather Changing from Summer to Winter this Weekend. Mild Temperatures Expected Next Week.
Thursday, November 17, 2016 5:45 PM


Few changes showed up in Thursday's weather forecast data.  The strong cold front is forecast to reach the northern Hill Country around daybreak Friday morning and the Austin area by late morning.  The front should push off the middle Texas coast in the late afternoon.  An area of rain showers and thunderstorms will likely accompany the cold front. Today's forecast data did call for slightly higher totals, compared to Wednesday's data. 

National Weather Service rainfall forecast for the period from 6 pm Thursday through 6 pm Friday:
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Totals to around a quarter inch are forecast across the Hill Country. Totals of 0.25-0.25 inches is forecast across the Interstate 35 corridor and totals of 1-1.5 inches is forecast for areas between La Grange and Bay City.  The rain should diminish quickly behind the cold front.

Dry and colder weather will follow Friday night through Sunday night.  Expect a slight chance for rain Tuesday night through Wednesday morning when a weak cold front pushes south through the area.  As of now, Thanksgiving Day weather is shaping up to be mostly sunny and mild with a high temperature around 68-70 degrees.  Generally dry and mild conditions look to continue through the Thanksgiving weekend.

I'll have a more complete report concerning next week's weather in Friday's report.

I wanted to pass along an interesting report released by NASA's Spaceweather.com concerning the sun and the current solar cycle:

SUNSPOT CYCLE AT LOWEST LEVEL IN 5 YEARS: The sun has looked remarkably blank lately, with few dark cores interrupting the featureless solar disk.  This is a sign that Solar Minimum is coming.  Indeed, sunspot counts have just reached their lowest level since 2011. With respect to the sunspot cycle, you are here:

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The solar cycle is like a pendulum, swinging back and forth between periods of high and low sunspot number every 11 years. These data from NOAA show that the pendulum is swinging toward low sunspot numbers even faster than expected. (The red line is the forecast; black dots are actual measurements.). Given the current progression, forecasters expect the cycle to bottom out with a deep Solar Minimum in 2019-2020.

Solar Minimum is widely misunderstood.  Many people think it brings a period of dull quiet. In fact, space weather changes in interesting ways. For instance, as the extreme ultraviolet output of the sun decreases, the upper atmosphere of Earth cools and collapses. This allows space junk to accumulate around our planet. Also, the heliosphere shrinks, bringing interstellar space closer to Earth; galactic cosmic rays penetrate the inner solar system and our atmosphere with relative ease.  Meanwhile, geomagnetic storms and auroras will continue--caused mainly by solar wind streams instead of CMEs. Indeed, Solar Minimum is coming, but it won't be dull.

Bob

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