​​
 

Will we see 100 degrees by April?​

A mild winter has led to early-blooming Texas wildflowers and one of the earliest springs on record. LCRA Chief Meteorologist Bob Rose shares his outlook for the wildflower season, and what comes next.​

​​​

Bob's Blog on Central Texas Weather

Rain and Thunderstorms Expected Tuesday Night and Wednesday. Severe Storms Possible.
Monday, March 27, 2017 3:12 PM

The weather pattern will become active this week into next week as a series of low pressure troughs move east from the Desert Southwest.  Each one of these systems will cause rain showers, thunderstorms and bring a potential for severe weather.

Weather conditions are currently quiet across Central and South Texas.  The storm system responsible for producing areas of large hail across parts of North and North Central Texas Sunday night has exited to the northeast.  A cold front associated with the storm system has moved into Texas.  As of early Monday afternoon, the front stretched from Longview to Temple to Rocksprings to north of Del Rio.  The air behind the cold front was considerably drier and just slightly cooler.  South of the front, conditions were warm and quite humid.  The front is forecast to move just past the Interstate 35 corridor this afternoon and stall.  The front is then expected to push back to the north as a warm front Monday night.  This afternoon's weather looks to be mostly sunny across the Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor.  For areas east of Interstate 35, the sky is forecast to be partly to mostly cloudy.  There will be a slight chance for a few isolated rain showers and thunderstorms across the coastal plains region.  Despite the cold front, today's temperature should warm to the low and mid-80s at most locations.  Moisture returning off the Gulf tonight will cause the sky to become cloudy.  Low temperatures Tuesday morning will be in the mid-60s.

A large trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere is currently pushing inland across the coast of California.  The trough is forecast to dive southeast, moving across the southwestern US Tuesday, turning east-northeast and moving across northern Texas Wednesday and Wednesday night.  Ahead of the trough, moisture is forecast to stream into Texas off the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday, causing the sky to be remain mostly cloudy sky.  There will be a slight chance for a few rain showers and thunderstorms across the Hill Country and Interstate 35-corridor regions Tuesday afternoon.  It will be a breezy day, with south winds in the range of 10-20 mph.  The temperature should warm to the low and mid-80s.

The potential for rain and thunderstorms is expected to increase across the region Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.  Scattered thunderstorms are forecast to develop along the  West Texas dry line Tuesday evening as the atmosphere grows increasingly unstable.  These thunderstorms are forecast to increase in coverage and intensity Tuesday evening as they slowly  move to the east.  The thunderstorms are forecast to congeal into a large complex of rain and thunderstorms across the western Hill Country by about midnight.  This activity is then forecast to spread east across the Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning.  The rain and storms are forecast to spread east across Central Texas and the middle Texas coast Wednesday morning into Wednesday afternoon.  The rain should taper off across the Hill Country and Central Texas region Wednesday afternoon and across the coastal plains region Wednesday evening.

Some of the thunderstorms Tuesday night into Wednesday may be strong to severe.  The Storm Prediction Center has placed the Hill Country under a Slight Risk for severe thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night.  SPC forecasters have placed the area east of Interstate 35 under a Slight Risk for severe thunderstorms Wednesday morning into Wednesday afternoon.  The primary severe weather threats are forecast to be damaging straight-line winds and large hail.

Significant rainfall will be possible Tuesday night and Wednesday as the area of thunderstorms moves across the area.  The National Weather Service's rainfall forecast is calling for most locations to see totals to near 1 inch.  However, a couple of isolated totals of 2-3 inches will be possible.

NWS rainfall forecast for the period 7 pm Monday through 7 pm Wednesday:
Rain7.png
 
Sunny, dry and warm weather is forecast Thursday and Friday in the wake of the departing storm system.  Lows Thursday and Friday mornings will include the low 50s across the Hill Country, the mid and upper 50s across Central Texas and the upper 50s to low 60s across the coastal plains.  High temperatures will be around 78-80 degrees Thursday and in the mid-80s Friday.

Another large trough of low pressure is forecast to dive southeast from California late this week and take a southerly path across Texas this weekend.  The trough is expected to reach a position over the southwestern US late Friday, with the trough moving across North Texas Saturday and Sunday.  Gulf moisture looks to return to the region Friday night into Saturday morning in advance of the trough.  This will cause the sky to become mostly cloudy.  A few scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms will be possible Saturday afternoon, followed by a better chance for rain and thunderstorms across the entire region Saturday night and Sunday.  Rainfall forecasts indicate this system may produce widespread totals of 1-2 inches.  High temperatures Saturday and Sunday are forecast to be in the mid and upper 70s, with lows in the 60s.

Looking ahead to next week, the first half of the week is shaping up to be dry and warm with high temperatures in the low 80s.  We may see a slight chance for rain late Wednesday into Thursday when a weak cold front pushes across the area.  Rainfall is not expected to be very heavy.  Low 80s should continue for the second half of next week.

Bob

Previous Blog Entries

Sunny and Warm this Weekend. Monitoring a Threat for Rain the Middle of Next Week.
Friday, March 24, 2017 5:30 PM


A narrow line of rain showers and isolated thunderstorms moved across the Hill Country Friday morning and was moving across Central Texas late Friday afternoon.  The area of rain was occurring along the leading of a Pacific cold front.  Atmospheric conditions have been fairly stable across the Hill Country and that limited the develop of significant rain.  Most totals were less than 0.20 inches.  Friday's morning's analysis shows the atmosphere is less stable and more moist across Southeast Texas and the middle Texas coast.  With that in mind, scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible this evening across the coastal plains region in advance of the cold front.  Some of these storms may be strong to possibly severe.  The threat for rain and storms will come to an end around midnight Friday night.  Rain amounts for areas east of Interstate 35 are forecast to average around a quarter of an inch, with isolated totals to near a half inch.

As of late Friday afternoon, the sky had cleared across the Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor.  The sky should continue to clear across Central Texas this evening and across the coastal plains region after midnight.   Lows Saturday morning are forecast to be near 48-50 degrees across the Hill Country, near 52-55 degrees across Central Texas and in the low 60s across the coastal plains.

Saturday's weather is shaping up to be sunny and warm across the entire region.  The temperature should warm to around 80-82 degrees.  Expect a northwesterly breeze at 5-10 mph.  Lows Sunday morning will be in the mid and upper 50s, with low 60s towards the coast.  Mostly sunny, breezy and warm weather is forecast Sunday. The high temperature is expected to be in the mid-80s.

There will be a slight chance for a few rain showers and isolated thunderstorms Sunday night into early Monday morning when another Pacific cold front pushes east across the region.  With only limited moisture in place, rain amounts, if any, should total well below a quarter of an inch.  Lows Monday morning will be in the low 60s.

Mostly sunny, dry and warm weather is forecast Monday.  Expect a high temperature in the mid-80s.

Forecast solutions indicate a large trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere will track southeast out of New Mexico late Tuesday and move east across northern half of Texas Wednesday into Thursday.  Significant moisture is forecast to spread into Texas off the Gulf of Mexico beginning late Tuesday in advance of the trough.  There will be a slight chance for rain showers and isolated thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night, followed by a 60-70 percent chance for rain showers and thunderstorms Wednesday and Wednesday night.  The rain is forecast to exit to the east next Thursday morning when drier and slightly cooler air spreads in behind a Pacific cold front.  Rain amounts from Tuesday night through Thursday morning are forecast to generally total between 1 and 2 inches.  Some of the storms on Wednesday could possibly be strong to severe.  High temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday are forecast to be in the low 80s.

NWS rainfall outlook for the period 7 pm Friday through 7 pm next Friday:
Rain6.png

Sunny, dry and warm weather is forecast next Thursday afternoon and Friday.  High temperatures both days look to be in the low 80s with low temperatures in the 50s.

Longer-range forecasts indicate there will be another chance for rain and thunderstorms next weekend when a Pacific trough of low pressure tracks east across the state.  This system will have the potential to produce more significant rain.  Have a good weekend.

Bob

Monitoring Chances for Rain Friday and Sunday
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 5:53 PM

Tuesday's forecast data continues to call for a chance for rain and thunderstorms Friday when a cold front moves through the region.  However, rain amounts are now expected to be a little less than what was forecast Monday.  At the same time, the threat for severe weather still looks pretty low.  The front is forecast to push across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions Friday afternoon and Friday evening, and the coastal plains region late Friday night.  The rain is expected to end from west to east Friday night as drier and slightly cooler air spreads in behind the front.  Rain amounts are now forecast to average around a quarter of an inch, with isolated totals to near a half inch.

Tuesday's forecast data now indicates we might see a few rain showers and isolated thunderstorms Sunday afternoon into Sunday evening when a small trough of low pressure over New Mexico tracks northeast, dragging another weak cold front across the state.  A lack of moisture and strong dynamics will keep the probability for rain only be near 20-30 percent.  Rain amounts, if any, should average around a tenth of an inch.

A very active weather pattern is forecast next week when a couple of low pressure troughs from the Pacific track east across the southern Plains states.  The first of these systems is expected to bring a chance for rain and thunderstorms to the region Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday evening.  Rain amounts should average around a half inch.  This will be followed by another chance for rain beginning Wednesday afternoon, continuing through late week.  Today's forecast solutions indicate this period may be fairly wet, with totals in the range of 1-2 inches, possibly more.  Some strong storms will be possible as well.

Stay tuned for further updates over the next couple of days.  It appears our current quiet weather pattern will changing next week.  Meanwhile, warm temperatures do look to continue through the middle of next week.

Bob

Unseasonably Warm Temperatures Will Persist throughout the Week.
Monday, March 20, 2017 1:08 PM

Warm, breezy and quiet weather conditions are in place across Central and South Texas on this first official day of spring.  Today's weather maps show a broad, stable ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere covering the south central US and northern Mexico.  This feature is responsible for the "late spring-like" weather conditions currently in place.  At the surface, a moderate pressure gradient between high pressure over the Gulf of Mexico and low pressure over the southern Plains states is producing very gusty south and southwesterly breezes.

The current warm, dry and breezy weather pattern is forecast to hold in place this afternoon through Thursday.  Late night and early morning clouds will give way to mostly sunny conditions each afternoon.  High temperatures today through Wednesday will be in the middle 80s across Central Texas and the coastal plains region and the upper 80s across the Hill Country.  High temperatures Thursday will generally be in the low and middle-80s.  Low temperatures are forecast to be in the low 60s across Central Texas and in the upper 50s across the Hill Country.

Changes in the current weather pattern are forecast to take place Friday when the ridge of high pressure over Texas shifts east and a trough of low over the Desert Southwest ejects northeast to the Plains states.  The trough will help push a Pacific cold across the region Friday into Friday night.  A few rain showers and thunderstorms will be possible across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions late Thursday night into early Friday morning out ahead of the front.  A line of rain showers and thunderstorms is forecast to develop along the cold front Friday morning as the front moves across the Hill Country.  This line of rain and storms is forecast to push east across Central Texas and the coastal plains region Friday afternoon and Friday evening.  The probability for rain Friday is expected to be near 50-60 percent.  The chance for rain should taper off from west to east Friday night as drier and slightly cooler air spreads in behind the cold front.  Rain amounts Thursday night through Friday night are forecast to generally total around a half of an inch.  The northern counties of Central Texas and the Hill Country could see some totals towards 0.75 inches.  Storm Prediction Center forecasters are closely monitoring weather developments on Friday.  They feel some of the storms may become severe across North and Northeast Texas.  But as of today, it appears the severe weather threat will primarily be confined to North Texas, with a much lower severe weather threat across Central Texas and the middle Texas coast.  Friday's high temperature will be around 80-82 degrees.

Sunny and just slightly cooler weather is forecast behind the cold front Friday night into Saturday.  Lows Saturday morning will include the upper 40s across the Hill Country, the mid 50s across Central Texas and the low 60s towards the coast.  High temperatures Saturday will be around 78-80 degrees.  Mostly sunny and warmer weather is forecast next Sunday and Monday, with high temperatures back into the low and mid-80s.

An unsettled weather pattern is forecast to take shape next Tuesday through Thursday when a large trough of low pressure slowly tracks east out of the southwestern US.  Abundant moisture is forecast to spread north ahead of the trough, and will cause a good chance for rain and thunderstorms Tuesday night through Thursday.  While there is still much uncertainty this far out, some of the forecast solutions indicate this period could be quite wet.  Details on this period of unsettled weather will become clearer later this week.  Temperatures next Tuesday through Thursday will remain warm, with highs in the upper 70s to low 80s.

March Temperatures Running Unusually Warm
Month to date, temperatures across Central Texas have been averaging between 4 and 6 degrees above normal.

Tom2.png 
Recent high temperatures in the middle 80s and lows in the low 60s are actually more typical of mid-May, rather than the middle of March.  For the first 19-days of March, the temperature at Austin-Camp Mabry has averaged 65.6 degrees.  This is 5.3 degrees above normal and ranks as the 10th warmest March 1-19 on record.

Bob

A Warm and Humid Pattern will Persist as Spring Officially Begins
Friday, March 17, 2017 11:50 AM

Weather conditions look to stay dry and quiet through the middle of next week as a stable ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere sets up across Texas and the south central US.  Warm and humid weather will continue.

On this Friday, satellite images show a widespread area of low clouds blanketing most of South and Central Texas.  These clouds are the result of considerable moisture in the lower atmosphere trapped under a strong temperature inversion located up around 5,000 feet.  Beginning early this afternoon, these clouds should start to thin, with the sky turning partly cloudy by mid-afternoon.  However, the sky is expected to turn overcast by about midnight tonight.  Warm temperatures are expected this afternoon, with highs generally in the low 80s.  Parts of the western and northern Hill Country will see middle 80s.  Low temperatures Saturday morning will generally be in the low 60s.  A moderate pressure gradient will cause breezy conditions this afternoon and tonight.  Expect a south wind at 10-20 mph with occasional gusts to 30 mph this afternoon.  Speeds should decrease to around 10-15 overnight.

Very similar weather conditions are expected across the region Saturday and Sunday.  Morning clouds will give way to a partly cloudy sky in the afternoon.  High temperatures both days should continue in the low 80s, while low temperatures in the low 60s.  Wind speeds are expected to be lower Saturday into Sunday due to a weakening pressure gradient.  Expect south winds at 5-10 mph Saturday and around 10-15 mph Sunday.

Few changes in the weather are forecast next Monday through Wednesday as Texas remains under that stable ridge of high pressure.  Expect a daily pattern of morning clouds and mostly sunny conditions in the afternoon.  High temperatures are forecast to be in the low 80s, with low temperatures mostly in the low 60s.

Some changes in the weather pattern are forecast to take place next Thursday and Friday when the ridge of high pressure over Texas shifts to the east, allowing a West Coast trough of low pressure to track east to the southern Plains states.  While the trough is forecast to stay north of our region, it will help push a Pacific cold front across the area late Thursday into Friday morning.  There will be a slight chance for a few scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms Thursday afternoon in advance of the cold front, with a slightly better chance for rain occurring along the cold front Thursday night into Friday morning.  For areas that do see rain, totals should generally be around a quarter of an inch or less.  Drier and just slightly cooler air is expected behind the cold front next Friday.  High temperatures Thursday will be in the low 80s, falling to the mid and upper 70s on Friday.

Long-range solutions call for dry conditions next weekend, followed by a more unsettled weather pattern the last week of March.  A series of storms systems from the West Coast are forecast to track across the state, bringing a couple of periods of rain.  Stay tuned for more details over the next few days.  Above normal temperatures are forecast to continue for the next couple of weeks.

The Start of Astronomical Spring (and the end of winter)
The Vernal Equinox will occur Monday, March 20th at 5:29 am CDT.  At the start of spring, the sun crosses the equator, heading north toward the tropic of Cancer.  On the day of the equinox, the amount of daylight and darkness is approximately the same all across the Earth.  Day and night are both roughly 12 hours in length.  For example, the sun will rise in Austin on Monday at 7:34 am and set at 7:42 pm.

A lot of folks seem to think you can get eggs to balance on the equinox.  Well, sorry to bust this misconception.  Science tells us there is nothing special about gravity on the day of the equinox; you can probably stand eggs on their end on almost any day of the year.  Basically, there is no relationship between the equinox and balancing eggs.  So don't waste your time with this; they'll behave the same on every other day of the year.

Have a good weekend.

Bob

NWS Outlook for Spring and Summer: Be Prepared for Warmer than Normal Temperatures.
Thursday, March 16, 2017 6:34 PM


The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center issued its monthly seasonal climate outlook Thursday, containing information from the latest long-range computer-forecast solutions and long-term climate trends.  The new outlook takes into account a neutral Pacific.  There are still a couple of lingering vestiges of La Niña in the western Pacific, but overall, the atmosphere and oceans are classified as ENSO neutral.

In most years, there is little influence form El Niño or La Niña on Central Texas weather between early spring and late summer. According to CPC forecasters, the majority of the outlook for temperature and precipitation this spring and summer comes from an ensemble of U.S. long-range forecast solutions.

The National Weather Service's outlook for the month of April and the 3-month period of April-May-June calls for above normal temperatures across all of Texas, as well as the eastern two-thirds of the contiguous U.S.  It appears the pattern which brought an early start to spring will continue during April and spring, with little cool air expected.

In regards to rainfall, the outlook for both April and April through June indicates there are slightly above normal odds for wetter than normal conditions for areas generally along and to the east of Interstate 35.  For areas to the west of Interstate 35, including the Texas Hill Country, the outlook indicates there is little trend; there are equal odds for above, below or near normal rainfall.     

AccuPrecip.png
Climate Prediction Center outlook for April and April through June.
 

Looking ahead to summer, CPC's outlook again shows a strong signal for warmer than normal temperatures across all of Texas, as well as most of the U.S.  Granted, this sounds very uncomfortable.  But do keep in mind, this doesn't necessarily mean we will see an endless string of 100-degree temperatures.  This is an outlook for the average temperature, which is made up of the high temperature and the low temperature.  Unusually warm overnight temperatures, similar to what we saw last summer, may again have a strong influence on the overall average temperature.  From the data I am seeing, this summer will not compare to the hottest summer on record we experienced in 2011. 

The outlook shows no trend for rainfall this summer.  There are equal chances our region will see above, below or near normal rainfall.  As of now, the chances for widespread drought development appear low.
 
Data.png
Climate Prediction Center outlook for June through August.


The outlook beyond this summer is somewhat uncertain and hinges on whether we'll see the development of El Niño sometime this summer or fall.  Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific are warming and the majority of the long-range forecast solutions call for the development of El Nino later this year.  In fact, the model solutions together are showing a nearly 70 percent chance for the development of El Niño by fall.  Stay tuned for more updates.

Friday's report will contain an updated outlook for this weekend and next week.

Bob

Satellite View Confirms Spring has Sprung
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 5:42 PM


I've talked much over the past few weeks about the early start to spring across Central Texas.  On the ground, there's no doubt spring is here; the wildflowers are in full swing, grasses and weeds have started growing and most trees have leafed out.  And now from outer space, its evident spring is underway.

Here is a true color view of what Central and South Texas looked like just after local noon Tuesday, as seen by NASA's Terra polar orbiting satellite, traveling 438 miles above Earth:

2012RainDeparture.pngImage courtesy of Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (LANCE) system operated by the NASA/GSFC/Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) with funding provided by NASA/HQ. 

Tuesday's totally clear sky allowed for an amazing view!  Take note of the greenish-color to the landscape, especially for areas to the east of Interstate 35.  This greenish color is the greening up of the landscape, thanks to the arrival of spring. All of the trees, grasses and vegetation are all contributing to the greenish color.  Tinges of green can even be seen to the west of the Interstate 35 where there is more rock, than vegetation.  All of this green color means spring is well under way.

Today's satellite view shows many interesting features, including the large streets and highways which make up the larger cities.  Houston's intricate road system is especially apparent as is the interstate 35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio.  Geographic features such as river valleys and lakes can be see across the Hill Country.

vis2.jpg

A much larger satellite view Tuesday afternoon showed clear skies covering Texas and the southwestern US.  Meanwhile, the large area of clouds associated with the powerful East Coast Nor'easter is clearly visible.

Tuesday's forecast solutions indicate a dry and warm weather pattern will hold in place through early next week.  The temperatures should reach close to 80 degrees Friday and peak in the low 80s this weekend and early next week.  No chilly weather is expected over the next 10 days to two weeks.  A chance for rain showers does look to develop around the middle of next week.

Bob
Generally Dry and Mild Weather Expected this Week into the Weekend.
Monday, March 13, 2017 2:52 PM

Weather conditions are quiet across Central and South Texas on this Monday.  The area of low pressure responsible for the widespread rainfall across our region Saturday has moved well off to the northeast.  Satellite images shows low clouds are slowly clearing across South Texas.  Today's weather maps showed a cold front across North Texas that was moving to the south.  As of early this afternoon, the front stretched from Longview to Llano to near Wink.  The front should push south across the Hill Country and most of Central Texas this afternoon, pushing off the middle Texas coast this evening.  While a stray rain shower or two will be possible along the cold front, most areas will likely stay dry.  Clouds will decrease and the sky should become partly cloudy behind the cold front.  Expect northerly winds to increase to a range of 10-15 mph once the front moves through.  Today's temperature is forecast to generally warm to the mid and upper 60s.  The sky should be clear tonight, allowing for the development of some chilly temperatures.  Lows Tuesday morning will include the upper 30s to 40 degrees across the Hill Country, in the low 40s across Central Texas and middle 40s towards the coast.

Mostly sunny, dry and very pleasant weather is forecast Tuesday and Wednesday as a dome of Canadian high pressure holds across the region.  High temperatures both days will be in the low 70s.  Low temperature Wednesday morning will be in the upper 40s to low 50s while lows Thursday morning will be in the mid and upper 50s.

Warmer and more humid weather is forecast beginning Wednesday night, continuing through Friday as southerly winds return off the Gulf of Mexico.  Moisture spreading north from the Gulf will cause the sky to be mostly cloudy on both days.  Some occasional light rain or drizzle will be possible Thursday and Friday mornings, but no organized or significant rain is expected.  High temperatures Thursday will be in the mid-70s, warming to the upper 70s on Friday.  The low temperature Friday morning will be in the low 60s.

Mostly sunny, dry and warm weather is forecast this weekend as a large, stable ridge of high pressure over the southwestern US spreads across Texas.  Temperatures will be warm, with highs both days near 80 degrees.  Lows will be in the upper 50s to low 60s.

Looking ahead to next week, mostly sunny, dry and warm weather is forecast Monday through Wednesday as the ridge remains across Texas.  Daily high temperatures are forecast to be in the low 80s.  Low temperatures will be in the low and mid-60s.  Long-range forecasts call for the pattern to become a bit more unsettled late next week as the ridge over Texas breaks down and a series of low pressure troughs begin moving east from California.  These systems look to bring our region at least a slight chance for rain.  High temperatures should stay around 80 degrees.

A Nice Soaking Rain for Areas East of Interstate 35
An area of low pressure tracking northeast out of Mexico brought widespread clouds and rain to the region Friday night through Saturday night.  Weather radar and surface reports indicate the rains were heaviest along and to the east of Interstate 35, where totals were generally between 1 and 1.5 inches.  Meanwhile, to the west of Interstate 35, the rains were considerably lighter, with most locations seeing less than a quarter of an inch.  In Austin, Camp Mabry's rainfall between Friday and Monday morning totaled 0.74 inches.  At Austin-Bergstrom, Friday through Sunday's rain totaled 0.68 inches.

NWS estimate of rain falling between noon Friday and noon Monday:
FF.png
Month to date rainfall for areas along and to the east of Interstate 35 is running well above normal.  However, for locations to the west of Interstate 35, totals to date are generally between 0.5 and 1 inch below normal.

Have a good week.

Bob

Periods of Rain and Thunderstorms Expected through Saturday Night. Dry Sunday and Early Next Week.
Friday, March 10, 2017 2:21 PM

An elongated area of low pressure situated over northern Mexico will keep the weather pattern across Central and South Texas unsettled today through Saturday night.  This area of low pressure helped cause the development of rain showers and thunderstorms across parts of Central Texas Thursday afternoon and evening.  For locations that did see rain, most totals averaged between a quarter and a half inch.  A large thunderstorm brought heavy rain to central Hays County, where totals to near 2.5 inches were observed.  Further south, totals to around 4 inches occurred in the area between San Antonio and Gonzales.  In Austin, just a trace of rain was recorded at Austin-Camp Mabry and Austin-Bergstrom.

As of early Friday afternoon, weather radar showed a large area of rain and thunderstorms across South Texas, generally between Laredo, Corpus Christi and Victgoria.  Circulation around the low pressure system over northern Mexico is expected to pull this area of rain and storms north into Central Texas and parts of the Hill Country this afternoon and evening.  High-resolution forecast solutions call for the rain area to be fairly widespread, with much of the activity diminishing late this evening.  The probability for rain will be near 60 percent this afternoon and evening, decreasing to 20 percent after midnight.  Developing thunderstorms are not expected to be severe but they will produce dangerous lightning.  Rain amounts this afternoon and evening are forecast to average between 0.25 and 0.5 inches.  But similar to Thursday, isolated totals of 2-3 inches will be possible.  The sky is expected to stay mostly cloudy this afternoon and tonight.  The temperature will warm to around 78-80 degrees.  The low temperature Saturday morning will include the upper 50s across the Hill Country, with low 60s at most other locations.  Expect a southeasterly wind at 5-10 mph.  For the northern counties of the Hill Country and Central Texas, the wind is expected to shift to the north this evening and overnight behind a weak cold front.

Saturday's weather is shaping up to be mostly cloudy as the area of low pressure remains over northeastern Mexico.  Circulation around the low is forecast to bring periods of rain showers and scattered thunderstorms to the region throughout the day, continuing into Saturday evening.  The probability for rain at any given location will be near 60 percent.  Severe thunderstorms are not anticipated.  Saturday's temperature is expected to warm to the mid-70s.

The area of low pressure over Mexico is forecast to eject northeast across South Texas Saturday night.  This will allow a Canadian cold front over the southern Rockies to quickly track south through the state.  The front is forecast to reach the northern Hill Country around midnight Saturday night and the Austin area a couple of hours before sunrise Sunday morning.  The front should push off the middle Texas coast by late Sunday morning.  A fairly solid area of rain showers and thunderstorms is forecast to develop along and just behind the cold front as it sinks south through our region.  Although widespread severe weather is not forecast, some of the storms may be strong, possibly producing gusty winds and small hail.  The rain should end shortly behind the cold front as drier and more stable air spreads into the area.  Rain amounts Saturday through Sunday morning are forecast to generally average between 0.25 and 0.5 inches, with isolated totals to near 2 inches possible.


 

NWS rainfall forecast for the period from 6 pm Friday through 7 pm Monday:

Rain11.png 

 
Clouds will slowly decrease Sunday morning, with the sky becoming partly cloudy Sunday afternoon.  Sunday's weather is shaping up to be breezy and quite a bit cooler, with high temperatures around 60-62 degrees.  Expect a northeasterly wind at 10-20 mph for most of the day.  Wind speeds should decrease to 5-10 mph by Sunday evening.  Low temperatures Monday morning will include the low 40s across the Hill Country, with middle 40s at most other locations.

Mostly sunny and dry weather conditions are forecast next Monday through Friday as a broad ridge of high pressure sets up over the Desert Southwest and northern Mexico.  High temperatures are forecast to be near 68 degrees Monday and around 70-72 degrees on Tuesday.  A dry cold front is forecast to push south through the region Tuesday night, bringing  a reinforcing shot of cool air.  High temperatures Wednesday will be in the upper 60s, warming to the low and mid-70s on Thursday and Friday.  Low temperatures will be in the 40s next Tuesday morning and in the 50s for the rest of the week.

Long-range solutions call for a slight chance for rain next Friday night and Saturday morning when a Pacific cold front pushes through the area.  Rainfall is not expected to be very heavy.  Dry and mild weather conditions are forecast next weekend, with high temperatures remaining in the 70s.  The longer-range solutions continue to show a mild weather pattern for our region over the next couple of weeks.  There are currently no signs of any arctic air or freezing temperatures headed towards Central Texas.

Time Change Weekend
Just a reminder this is time change weekend, as we switch to Daylight Saving Time.  The time change will occur Sunday morning at 2:00 am, when we will "spring forward" to 3 am.  Remember to set your clocks ahead one hour before going to bed Saturday night.

Bob

February and Winter Climate Stats for Texas and the U.S.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 6:19 PM

Last week, I shared data on Austin's February and winter climate data.  Today, data for Texas and the nation was released.

For the Lower 48 states February weather conditions were somewhat freakish. The month's average temperature of 41.5 degrees, some 7.3 degrees above normal, which was more typical of March when the average temperature is 41.2 degrees.

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, announced Wednesday February 2017 was the second warmest February in 123 years of record-keeping, trailing February 1954 by just 0.2 degrees. For areas east of the Rocky Mountains, it was the warmest February ever recorded.

One of the month's primary indicators of warmth was the lopsided number of record warm temperatures compared to record cold. NOAA stated 11,743 daily record highs were set while only 418 record lows were recorded -- a ratio of 28 to 1.  NOAA stated for 1,151 of those cases, the daily record highs were the warmest ever observed during February.

For the winter period (December through February) the average U.S. temperature for December through February was 35.90°F and this tied with 1997-87 for sixth place among the 122 years of recordkeeping, according to Wednesday's NOAA report.  The only cooler-than-average pocket this past winter was the northwestern corner of the country, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Warmth was overwhelming from the southern Rockies northward and eastward.  According to NOAA, the states of Texas and Louisiana recorded their warmest winters on record, and every state east of the Mississippi River recorded a top-ten warmest winter.

DM.jpg
Statewide rankings for average temperature during winter 2016-17 (December through February), as compared to each Dec-to-Feb since 1895. 1 denoting the coldest month on record and 122 the warmest month. Image credit:  NOAA/NCEI.

Regarding winter precipitation, above-average precipitation spanned most of the West into the Northern Plains and Great Lakes, where 10 states were much wetter than average.  Areas of above-average precipitation were also observed in the Central and Southern Plains (including Texas), the Southeast and the Ohio Valley.  Nevada and Wyoming had their wettest winter on record.  In contrast to recent winters, California had its second wettest December-February with 184 percent of average precipitation. Only the winter of 1969 was wetter for the state. 

Below-average precipitation was observed in the mid-Mississippi River Valley and parts of the Mid-Atlantic and coastal Northeast. Missouri was much drier than average, but no state was record dry for winter.

WVapor.jpg

Image credit: NOAA/NCEI

Bob

 

View RSS feed