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Dog days of summer

 

Ever wonder what the phrase “dog days of summer” means? LCRA Chief Meteorologist Bob Rose explains its origin and whether it will apply to Central Texas this year.​

Bob's Blog on Central Texas Weather

A Slight Chance for Rain is Forecast Next Week. Temperature Trending Slightly Lower.
Friday, July 22, 2016 4:11 PM

 

 

Central Texas remains in the grips of a very hot and dry summertime weather pattern.  Friday's weather maps showed a large, stable dome of high pressure in the upper atmosphere covering most of the southern and central US.  It's this ridge of high pressure that is responsible for the very hot temperature not only across Texas, but across much of the nation as well.  Friday morning, the large ridge was centered over northeastern Oklahoma.  Beginning Saturday, the  large ridge is forecast to slowly shift west in response to a trough of low pressure dipping south out of south central Canada.  By early next week, the ridge is forecast to be centered over the Four Corners region, leaving a weaker ridge in place across Central and South Texas.  This pattern is forecast to hold throughout the upcoming week and even into next weekend.  With the ridge to our west, an easterly wind flow in the lower and middle atmosphere on the periphery of the ridge will help pull scattered clouds and tropical moisture inland.  The combination of a weaker ridge and increased moisture should bring a fairly good chance for scattered rain showers to the middle Texas coast with just a slight chance for isolated rain showers further inland.  Afternoon temperatures should also decrease a couple of degrees. 

For Saturday and Sunday, weather conditions look to stay mostly sunny and hot across the region.  A few isolated rain showers will be possible for areas to the south of Interstate 10 each afternoon.  However, rainfall from the spotty showers should only average around a quarter inch.  High temperatures are forecast to be near 98-100 degreesy.  High temperatures across the coastal plains should be in the middle 90s.

For Monday through Friday, mostly sunny and hot weather will continue.  However, the probability for scattered rain showers and thunderstorms across the coastal plains region will increase to around 40-50 percent as tropical moisture and weak disturbances spread inland off the Gulf.  A few isolated rain showers and thunderstorms may also spread inland to parts of Central Texas and the eastern Hill Country each afternoon.  As of now, the probability for rain here is only forecast to be around 20 percent.  High temperatures look to be in the mid and upper 90s across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and in the mid 90s across the coastal plains.

Friday's forecast data indicates rain amounts over the next seven days will for the most part, fairly low.  The highest totals are expected to occur along the middle Texas coast, where amounts of 0.5-1 inch are forecast.  Further inland, totals are forecast to average between 0.25 and 0.50 inch.       

National Weather Service rainfall forecast for the period 7 pm Friday through 7 pm next Friday:
Rain5.png 
Looking beyond late next week, Friday's forecast data indicates the ridge will remain centered across the western US next weekend and through the first half of the following week.  This means the potential for spotty afternoon rain showers should continue.  Unfortunately, significant rain is not expected.  High temperatures look to stay mostly in the upper 90s.  The upper ridge is forecast to begin spreading back towards Texas around August 2nd, bringing back the dry and hotter weather pattern.  High temperatures are forecast to return to around 100 degrees for the Hill Country and Central Texas through most of the week.

Tropical Weather Update


Weather conditions across the tropical Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico are currently very quiet.  There are no systems in place which pose a threat for tropical development for at least the next 5 days.

In the central tropical Pacific, tropical storm Darby is forecast to move over or very close to the Hawaiian Islands this weekend.  A tropical storm warning has been issued for the Big Island along with the islands of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe.  At 4 pm CDT, tropical storm Darby was centered about 280 miles east-southeast of Hilo, Hawaii and moving to the west at 12 mph.  This general motion is expected to continue through Saturday, with Darby turning more to the northwest on Sunday.  Maximum sustained winds are near 60 mph and some slightly weakening is forecast over the weekend.  According to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center, Darby's forward motion is expected to slow slightly Saturday followed by a turn toward the northwest on Saturday night. On the forecast track, the center of Darby is forecast to pass over or near the Big Island on Saturday and Maui on Saturday night. Darby is forecast to bring winds to near 60 mph, very heavy rain and large swells to the Islands beginning late Friday night, continuing through Saturday night.   

Friday 1 pm CDT satellite image of tropical storm Darby (courtesy NOAA-NASA GOES Project)
JJA.png

Austin Summer Climate Tidbits

We're now more than half way through meteorological summer, and data through July 21st indicates the temperature at Austin-Camp Mabry has averaged 85.3 degrees, ranking as the 10th warmest June 1-July 21 on record.  The temperature for the same period has averaged 84.1 degrees at Austin-Bergstrom and this ranks as the 16th warmest such period on record.

The average temperature for July 1-July 21 has averaged 88.5 degrees at Austin-Camp Mabry.  This ranks as the 3rd warmest July 1-July 21 on record.  Data for Austin-Bergstrom shows the temperature has averaged 87.0 degrees and this ranks as the 10th warmest such period on record.

Minimum temperatures for July 1-July 21 have averaged 77.6 degrees at Austin-Camp Mabry and this ranks as THE warmest July 1-July 21 on record.  Minimum temperature at Austin-Bergstrom have averaged 75.6 degrees and this ranks as the 9th warmest such period on record.

Stay cool and let's hope we see some of those rain showers develop next week.

Have a good weekend. 

Bob

Previous Blog Entries

Some Minor Changes in the Weather Pattern Expected Next Week
Thursday, July 21, 2016 6:53 PM


The hot and dry summer pattern drags on across Central and South Texas.  Thursday's analysis of the upper atmosphere showed a broad ridge of high pressure stretching from the southwestern US to the Middle Atlantic States.  The strongest and most stable part of the ridge was situated over the southern Plains states, including the Central Texas region.

An afternoon satellite image showed very few clouds, much less any rain occurring anywhere across the Plains states or across Texas.  With strong sunshine, the ridge was producing very hot temperatures over much of the nation.

CPCOutlk.png                                                                                NOAA-NASA GOES Project

Today's forecast data continues to indicate the ridge will remain over the same general area through Saturday, producing more sunny, hot and dry weather.  For Central Texas, that means high temperatures between 98 and 101 degrees.

The ridge is forecast to weaken beginning Sunday when a trough of low pressure over south central Canada tracks to the southeast.  This will force the center of the ridge west to a position over the southern Rockies early next week and even further to west during the latter part of next week. With the position of the ridge shifting more to the west, it will allow an easterly flow to set up off the Gulf of Mexico, pushing a small amount of tropical moisture inland.  At the same time, with a weaker ridge in place, afternoon temperatures should lower a couple of degrees.

For Sunday and Monday, weather conditions will likely remain dry across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions, while isolated rain showers and thunderstorms will be possible across the coastal plains.  High temperatures both days will be near 98-100 degrees with middle 90s towards the coast. Tuesday through Friday, a few isolated rain showers will be possible over parts of Central Texas and the eastern Hill Country.  A slightly better coverage of rain showers is expected across the coastal plains region.  High temperatures look to be in the upper 90s, with middle 90s towards the coast.

Looking beyond late next week, Wednesday's forecast data is calling for the center of the high pressure ridge to remain over the western and southwestern US through the first week of August.  An easterly flow off the Gulf of Mexico into Texas is forecast to continue.  This means a slight chance for coastal showers will continue with just little to no rain across the rest of the region.  High temperatures look to stay around 98-100 degrees.  While not great, conditions could certainly be hotter for the first week of August.

Drought Conditions Beginning to Return
It's no secret it has so far been a very dry and hot summer across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions.  For much of the area, the last significant rain occurred in early June and there has been little to no rain ever since.  With temperatures running well above normal during this same period, the ground has been drying out quickly.  The combination little to no rainfall and well above normal temperatures means drought conditions are returning to the region.  

The National Weather Service and its partners released an updated drought monitor on Thursday.
DM.jpg
While the drought monitor didn't depict actual drought across Central Texas, it did show some patches of "abnormally dry".  The first level of drought was shown along the Rio Grande, between Del Rio and Laredo and also across northeast Texas.

The drought monitor authors acknowledged that conditions were deteriorating across Central Texas, but they felt the current hot and dry spell is not all that unusual…at least not just yet.  According to the authors, dry and hot spells are fairly common across Central Texas in the summer. Most of them typically last around 40-50 days.  So the current dry spell is within this general window, but will fall outside the window in another week.  If the rain stays dry and hot into next week, expect the depiction of drought to rapidly expand across much of the region in next week's drought monitor.

Let's hope next week's isolated rain showers bring at least some limited relief.

Bob

Summer Pattern Drags on but Minor Changes Possible Next Week.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 5:57 PM


A hot and mostly dry July weather pattern continues in place across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions.  This pattern can be traced to presence of a stable ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere located over the region.  For the past week or so, this ridge has been centered over northern Mexico and the Desert Southwest.  But over the past couple of days, the ridge center has drifted northeast and is now situated over northern Oklahoma.  With the ridge shifting northeast, it will bring very hot temperatures not only to Texas, but to most of the continental US throughout the week.

Tuesday morning's analysis at 30,000 feet showed the sprawling ridge of high pressure covering most of the US, with the center being located over the southern Plains states:

Augp.png 
An east and northeasterly flow around the base of the ridge is pulling Gulf moisture inland to the coastal plains region, resulting in isolated to scattered rain showers and thunderstorms.  This pattern of spotty showers is expected to continue through late week.  Daily rain amounts are forecast to average around a quarter inch at best.  Unfortunately, most of the scattered showers are not expected to make it much further inland than the coastal plains region due to the very stable atmosphere.

Mostly sunny and hot weather conditions are forecast Wednesday, continuing through the weekend as the ridge of high pressure remains in the same general area.  Daily high temperatures are forecast to generally be near 98-101 degrees, with some of the highest readings expected Friday and Saturday.

As I mentioned in Monday's report, some minor changes in the weather pattern are forecast to take place next week.  Tuesday's forecast data continue to indicate the large ridge of high pressure over the central US will decrease in intensity and shift from the southern Plains states to the western US beginning early next week.

Here is a look at the forecast of the upper atmosphere at 18,000 feet for next Wednesday, July 27th. Note the ridge over the western US and a weak trough of low pressure in place across the central Plains:

Data.png
 
While weak high pressure will remain over Texas, the focus for the most intense heat and most stable weather is forecast to shift from the central US to the western US.  Meanwhile, this shift in the position of the ridge will also cause an enhanced easterly wind flow from the Gulf of Mexico into Texas.  The increased moisture may result in the development of spotty rain showers across the region for most of next week.  As of now, rain amounts are not expected to be very heavy, but this could change were some sort of tropical disturbance to get pulled inland.

With a weaker ridge in place, temperatures next week are forecast to trend down about 2-4 degrees.  High temperatures throughout the week are forecast to be mostly in the mid to upper 90s.  Low temperatures will stay in the mid and upper 70s.  Today's forecast data indicate the ridge is forecast to remain across the western US going into the first week of August, possibly longer.

While widespread, soaking rains don't appear likely, the opportunity for spotty showers does look to increase over the next couple of weeks.  And maybe the temperature won't be quite as hot.  Stay tuned for more details.

Bob

Few Weather Changes Expected this Week
Monday, July 18, 2016 12:46 PM

Some minor changes in the weather pattern have shown up today's analysis.  A plume of tropical moisture began pushing inland from the Gulf of Mexico Sunday, causing a few scattered rain showers across the coastal plains.  This morning, that area of moisture pushed further inland, causing the development of a few spotty rain showers over parts of parts of Central Texas.  Most rain amounts have only totaled a few hundredths of an inch.  However, one LCRA gauge located along Cedar Creek, near Bastrop, recorded 0.28 inch from one of the rain showers.  Widely scattered rain showers have also been occurring across the coastal plains region.  Spotty rain showers and a couple of isolated thunderstorms will be possible for locations generally to the east of Interstate 35 this afternoon and early evening as the area of moisture slowly spreads to the north.  The probability for rain will only be near 20 percent across Central Texas and near 30 percent across the coastal plains.  Rain amounts will average less than a quarter inch.  Otherwise, this afternoon's weather will be mostly sunny and hot.  The temperature is forecast to reach the upper 90s across the Hill Country, the mid and upper 90s across Central Texas and the low to mid 90s across the coastal plains.

The chance for rain should diminish across Central Texas Tuesday as the ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere strengthens over the region.  The center of that high pressure ridge is forecast set up over southern Oklahoma Tuesday and continue over that same general area through Saturday.  With center of the ridge setting up that close, it will cause our atmosphere to become drier and quite stable.  While a couple of spotty showers will still be possible across the coastal plains region, most other locations will stay dry.  The weather will be mostly sunny and hot Tuesday through Saturday.  High temperatures across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions look to be near 98-101 degrees.  High temperatures across the coastal plains region will be in the mid 90s.

Wind speeds will be lighter this week compared to last week, due to a weaker pressure gradient across the state.  Expect a south wind with speeds mostly in the range of 5-10 mph and occasional gusts to 15 mph.

Today's forecast data indicates some changes in the weather pattern will take place next week when the center of the high pressure ridge shifts from the southern Plains states to the western US around Nevada and Utah.  This will leave a much weaker ridge of high pressure in place across Texas.  At the time, moisture is forecast to increase and spread inland off the Gulf of Mexico.  Both of these developments should lead to the development of scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms across the region beginning around next Tuesday, continuing through late next week.  Some of today's solutions are actually calling for a fairly decent coverage of rain showers by late next week.  The forecast for rainfall this far out is still quite uncertain, but it does appear a small break in the pattern will develop.  With a weaker ridge in place and more clouds around, high temperatures next week are expected to be a little lower; mostly in the mid 90s.

It's interesting to note today's long-range solutions are not showing the ridge of high pressure quickly returning to Texas beyond late next week.  So this small break in the pattern could possibly continue into the first part of August.

Tropical Update
Weather conditions continue to be very quiet across the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and the tropical Atlantic.  Satellite images do not show any systems which pose a threat for tropical development for at least the next 5 days.

Rain11.png                                                                              NOAA-NASA GOES Project

African Dust
The large area of Saharan dust which was over Central Texas late last week pushed north and exited the region over the weekend.  The wind pattern over the Gulf and Caribbean has shifted over the past couple of days.  As a result, additional dust is not expected across our region this week.        

Bob

The July Heat and Dry Weather Not Ending Anytime Soon.
Friday, July 15, 2016 5:15 PM



A sunny, hot and dry weather pattern will continue this weekend and all of next week as our region remains under the influence of a stable ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere.  This type of pattern is very typical for the middle and latter parts of July.   In fact, for the Hill Country and Central Texas regions, the period from mid-July through mid-August is typically the driest and hottest period of summer and the year.  That doesn't mean it mean it won't rain at any time over the next 30 days.  But the probability for seeing significant or soaking rains this time of year is quite low.

The atmosphere is currently too dry and too stable to support the development of rain and thunderstorms.  However, the coastal region from Corpus Christi to Beaumont, could see a few isolated afternoon rain showers beginning Saturday afternoon as a weak area of low pressure and tropical moisture move inland off the Gulf.  With more moisture in place, a few spotty afternoon showers will be possible Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  The probability for rain will only be 20 percent.  Rain amounts, if any, will be less than a quarter inch.  Additional spotty afternoon showers look to continue across the coastal plains region through the first half of next week.  Unfortunately, this tropical moisture likely won't make any further inland than about the Interstate 10 corridor.

Forecast solutions call little to no change in the current hot and dry weather pattern across our region this weekend and next week. The large ridge of high pressure currently centered over the Desert Southwest is forecast to slowly shift northeast and set up across Kansas and Oklahoma by Tuesday and remain there through the end of the week.  The ridge will cause continued dry and hot weather across Central and South Texas next week.  High temperatures this weekend and early next week should remain in the range of 98-101 degrees.  However, high temperatures may tick up a degree or two by next Wednesday as the ridge sets up a little closer to our area.  High temperatures next Wednesday through Saturday are forecast to be near 99-102 degrees.  Low temperatures will be in the mid and upper 70s.

Wind speeds are forecast to be a little lower this weekend and next week, compared to the very strong winds we saw earlier this week.  A weaker pressure gradient is forecast across the state over the next few days.  This will lead to wind speeds of 10-15 mph in the afternoon and evening periods and 5-10 mph overnight.

Looking beyond late next week, no significant changes in the hot and dry pattern are forecast.  However, the center of the high pressure ridge is forecast to shift from the Plains states to the central and southern Rockies beginning next weekend.  With the ridge center that far to the north and west of Central Texas, it may allow some moisture to spread inland from the Gulf, possibly opening the door for a spotty rain showers the last week of the month.  With the ridge a little further away, high temperatures should come down a couple of degrees as well.

African Dust
If you happened to notice today's sky was sort of milky white, it's because another cloud of Saharan dust  spreading across Central Texas out of the Gulf of Mexico.  This dust has no effect on our weather and it didn't even help shave a degree or two off the temperature.  The area of dust showed up pretty nicely on this visible satellite image taken early Friday afternoon:

AugT.png                                        Image courtesy NASA SPORT  

The dust is forecast to slowly clear out to the north tonight and Saturday and the sky should be a little bluer Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

Tropical Weather Update
Weather conditions remain very quiet across the tropical Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.  There are no systems in place which pose a threat for tropical development over the next 5 days.

An Unusually Warm July
The first half of July has been unusually warm across Central Texas thanks to numerous sunny days and persistent high pressure.  Data through July 14th shows the temperature across the region has generally averaged between 2 and 4 degrees above normal.  At Austin-Camp Mabry, the temperature has averaged 4.2 degrees above normal and the first 14 days of the month rank as the third warmest July 1-14 on record.  At Austin-Bergstrom, the temperature has averaged 4.6 degrees above normal and the first 14 days of the month rank as the 5th warmest July 1-14 on record.

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Although afternoon temperatures have been a little hotter than normal, no records have been set.  The biggest reason the average temperature has been so high this month is due to the unusually warm overnight temperatures.  At Austin-Camp Mabry, the average low temperature so far has been 78.0 degrees and this ranks as the warmest average minimum temperature on record.  At Austin-Bergstrom, the average low temperature so far has been 76.9 degrees and this ranks as the 3rd warmest average minimum temperature on record.

 

With the current pattern not backing down anytime soon, July 2016 is on track to be one of the warmest Julys on record.

 

Stay cool and stay hydrated.  Have a good weekend.

Bob

Hot and Dry Weather Pattern to Continue.
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 6:41 PM

The summer doldrums have set in across Central and South Texas.  A broad and strong area of high pressure in the upper atmosphere in place across the southern US continues to cause a dry and very hot weather.  Afternoon temperatures have been quite hot, reaching triple digits at several locations.  But it's not just the heat in the afternoons that's making it so uncomfortable; the temperature isn't cooling off much at night.  Low temperatures recently have only dipped close to 80 degrees for many locations along and east of Interstate 35.  The sunny, hot days and warm, muggy nights are making the weather very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous.

Unfortunately, Wednesday's forecast data calls for few, if any changes in the current weather pattern over the week to next ten days. The large ridge of high pressure which is currently centered over northern Mexico is forecast to slowly expand northeast to cover much of the US by the middle of next week.  Fortunately for Central Texas, the center and most intense part of the ridge is forecast to be located over the central Plains states and the Midwest.  The powerful, massive ridge is forecast to cause a heat wave next week across much of the country; especially across the Midwest. Central Texas will be far enough away from the ridge center to see just a continuation of the current level of heat.  Here is a look at the forecast 18,000 foot level of the atmosphere for the middle of next week, according to the Global Forecast System forecast model:
  
Augp.png
Across Central Texas, sunny, hot and dry weather looks to continue through late next week.  Daily high temperatures through the period will be near 98-100 degrees with low temperatures in the mid and upper 70s.  A few isolated rain showers and thunderstorms will be possible across the middle Texas coast Thursday, continuing through early next week as a small area of tropical moisture pushes inland.  The probability for rain will only be 20 percent and totals will generally average less than a quarter inch.

Looking out beyond late next week, the center of the upper ridge is forecast to remain over the Midwest and Ohio Valley.  There are some signs a couple of weak tropical waves may push inland along the Texas coast during the last week of July.  These waves might possibly bring a few isolated rain showers to the coastal plains region and parts of Central Texas.  At the same time, additional clouds might at times help drop the temperature a couple of degrees.  Aside from these features, it appears the hot summertime pattern will continue.

Average Date for the Hottest Temperature of Summer
Wednesday's temperature reached 101 degrees at the Austin-Camp Mabry observation site.  This reading tied with the 101 degree temperature recorded on June 28th for the hottest temperature so far this summer.  But the temperature will likely get even hotter over the next few weeks.  According to long-term climate records, the hottest temperatures of the summer across the Hill Country and Central Texas typically occur during the second week of August.  For areas around Matagorda Bay, the hottest temperatures typically occur during the 3rd week of August.
 
US-Warmest-Day-of-the-Year-Map.jpg

Of course, these dates are just averages and the hottest temperatures of the summer could occur anytime over the next few weeks.  But any way you slice it, we have a lot more heat still to come this summer.  And the hottest temperatures are likely still to come.

Stay cool and hydrated my friends.

Bob

A Persistence Forecast for the Next Ten Days.
Monday, July 11, 2016 5:52 PM

Few, if any changes in the weather are expected this week as our region remains under the influence of a stable ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere.  That very slight chance for rain that was forecast earlier for mid and late week has now been dropped.  This week's weather is shaping up to be sunny, dry and hot with very little day to day change. Daily high temperatures will generally be near 98-100 degrees across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and in the mid 90s across the coastal plains.  Low temperatures will be around 78-80 degrees, with some mid 70 degree readings forecast across the Hill Country.  Factoring in the relative humidity, peak heat index values will generally be around 102-107 degrees.  Breezy conditions are forecast to persist throughout the week.  Expect south winds in the range of 10-15 mph, with occasional gusts to 20 mph.

Looking ahead to this coming weekend and early next week, some of the forecast model data is calling for a weak area of low pressure to push inland across South Texas out of the Gulf of Mexico.  Moisture associated with the low pressure system may cause a few isolated rain showers and thunderstorms for areas east of Interstate 35 Sunday and Monday.  Otherwise, little to no change in the weather is forecast this weekend or next week.  With the ridge of high pressure in place, mostly sunny and hot weather will continue.  Daily high temperatures look to remain around 98-100 degrees next week.

The latest long-range forecast data calls for the current hot and dry weather pattern to persist through at least late July.

Tropical Weather Update
Weather conditions across the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico remain very quiet.  There are no systems showing up which pose a threat for tropical development for at least the next 5 days.

Weather conditions are anything but quiet in the eastern tropical Pacific.  The third hurricane so far this month, Celia, developed over the weekend.  As of late Monday afternoon, Celia was located about 1200 miles west-southwest of the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula.  Celia is moving to the west at 9 mph over the open Pacific ocean.  Maximum sustained winds were near 100 mph.  Slow weakening is forecast over the next few days.  The National Hurricane Center is forecasting this system will pass north of Hawaii sometime late this weekend.

A tropical depression has developed about 290 miles south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico.  This system is in an environment that is favorable for development and this system could become a tropical storm as early as Monday night.


Rain10.png 
                                                                                     NOAA-NASA GOES Project
 
African Dust
If you've noticed the sky has been somewhat hazy for the past couple of days, you can blame it on a large plume of dust spreading north across Texas that originated from the Saharan Desert in Africa. Trade winds carried the dust across the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico and into Texas. 

Dust.JPG  
According to the TCEQ, this area of dust will continue to spread across the eastern two-thirds of Texas Tuesday, then decrease on Wednesday.  However, another burst of dust is forecast to return late week and into the upcoming weekend.  The dust causes the sky to become gray and hazy and it diminishes air quality due to the suspended particulates.

Bob

No Signficant Weather Changes Expected over the Next Week.
Friday, July 8, 2016 3:35 PM



A persistent hot and dry weather pattern continues across Central and South Texas, thanks to a broad ridge of high pressure covering the southern US.  Friday's analysis showed the ridge being centered over northeastern Mexico.  Despite the ridge not being directly overhead, the atmosphere across our region remains very dry and stable.  As a result, weather conditions will likely continue mostly sunny, dry and hot today through Tuesday.  Daily high temperatures will generally be in the upper 90s while low temperatures will be in the mid and upper 70s.  A moderate pressure gradient  between high pressure over the Gulf and lower pressure across the Plains states will keep the breezy conditions in place through early next week.  Expect southerly winds with speeds in the range of 10-15 mph.

Some slight changes in the pattern are forecast to take place the middle of next week when the ridge across Texas splits, with one part shifting to the Desert Southwest and the other part shifting to the southeastern US.  Much of Texas will be positioned between the two ridge centers, causing the atmosphere to become a little less stable.  It will also allow a small amount of tropical moisture to spread north from the Gulf.  As a result, there will be a slight chance for a few afternoon rain showers and isolated thunderstorms for areas mainly to the east of Interstate 35 next Wednesday through Friday.  The probability for rain will only be 20 percent across Central Texas and near 30 percent across the coastal plains.  Rain amounts across Central Texas should be very low, averaging less than a quarter inch.  Totals across the coastal plains may be slightly higher.  High temperatures next week are forecast to stay in the upper 90s.  The threat for triple-digit heat will be low.

Long-range forecasts call for a continued slight chance for rain next weekend.  But the ridge is forecast to build back across Texas the week of the 18th, causing the slight chance for rain to diminish.  Hot and dry weather should resume.  Updated long-range forecast data suggests hot and mostly dry weather will likely persist through at least the middle of August.

Topical Weather Update
Weather conditions across the Atlantic basin are very quiet.  There are no systems in place which pose a threat for tropical development for at least the next 5 days.

 

 

Rain7.png
                                                                                                            NOAA-NASA GOES Project

Sunset Sky Show:  When the sun goes down Friday night, step outside and look west.  Jupiter and the crescent Moon will be side-by-side in the sunset sky. If possible, try to catch them before the sky fades to black.  There is a special beauty to the sight of two bright heavenly bodies framed by twilight blue.  (Spaceweather.com)

Have a good weekend.

Bob

A Persistence Forecast for at Least the Next Week.
Wednesday, July 6, 2016 6:25 PM

Few changes in the weather are showing up in today's forecast data.  We're unfortunately at that point of summer where we typically see few day-to day changes.  This persistent pattern is the result of a very stable ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere covering the southern US.  Wednesday's analysis showed the center of the high pressure ridge was directly over Central Texas:

DroughtStudy.png
       

Today's forecast data calls for the high pressure ridge to remain across Texas through the weekend and early next week.  With the ridge in place, we should see very little change in the weather.  Daily high temperatures will be near 98-100 degrees across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and in the middle 90s across the coastal plains.  Low temperatures will be in the upper 70s.  A moderate pressure gradient is expected to keep a nice southerly breeze in place at least through the weekend.  Expect southerly winds at 10-15 mph, with occasional gusts to 20-25 mph.

Some of Wednesday's forecast data is calling for a slight weakening in the strength of the ridge the middle and latter parts of next week.  Should this take place as forecast, it may result in a very slight lowering of the temperature and possibly a few isolated rain showers for locations to the east of Interstate 35.  My confidence is not all that high in this forecast.  In general, it appears that persistence will likely rule and we'll see very little change in the weather and temperature through all of next week.

Tropical Update
Conditions across the tropical Atlantic remain very quiet and there are no systems which pose a threat for tropical development for at least the next 5 days.

In the eastern tropical Pacific, conditions continue to be very active with a major hurricane and developing tropical depression.

analog.png                                                                                                NOAA-NASA GOES Project

Hurricane Blas was located late Wednesday afternoon about 110 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula.  Maximum sustained winds were near 125 mph, making Blas a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale.  Blas is moving to the west-northwest at 12 mph and this general motion should continue for the next couple of days.  Blas is forecast to gradually weaken Wednesday night into Thursday as the storm moves over cooler waters.

An area of disturbed weather developed into tropical depression 4 Wednesday afternoon.  The system was centered about 570 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico. Maximum sustained winds were near 35 mph and gradual strengthening is forecast over the next couple of days.

Bob

Few if Any Changes in the Weather Expected this Week.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016 3:30 PM



A dry, hot and stable weather pattern remains in place across Central and South Texas, thanks to the presence of a broad ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere covering the southern US.  Both the ridge of high pressure and the quiet pattern are common features during the month of July.  In fact, early July through the middle of August is typically the driest part of summer for our region.  Any rain we see in the coming weeks will most likely be the result of moisture or disturbances pushing inland off the Gulf of Mexico.  Over the past few days, the ridge has strengthened to the point to where it is now even suppressing the spotty shower activity along the middle Texas coast.

Across North Texas, the ridge has weakened and it has allowed a couple of complexes of thunderstorm to track south out of the southern Rockies.  One the storm complexes moved across North Texas Monday, producing 3.2 inches of rain at the DFW Airport.  Some of this rain managed to track as far south as Brownwood and the Pecan Bayou watershed, but rain amounts here were generally less than a quarter inch.  Another complex of rain and storms is tracking east-southeast across North Texas this morning, but the activity is expected to stay well to the north of the Hill Country and Central Texas.

Forecast solutions call for few, if any changes in the weather pattern through the end of the week.  Mostly sunny, dry and hot weather conditions will continue.  Daily high temperatures will be near 98-100 degrees across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions, and in the middle 90s across the coastal plains.  Factoring in the relative humidity, peak index values this week will generally be between 105 and 110 degrees.  Fortunately, a breezy south wind with speeds of 10-20 mph will be in place throughout the week.

There are indications the ridge across Texas will weaken some late this weekend, continuing into early next week.  Should the forecast solutions be correct, the temperature may back down a couple of degrees during this period.  At the same time, a few spotty showers could return to the coastal region.  Aside from this small development, no significant change in the weather pattern is expected next week.  Weather conditions should continue sunny, hot and dry with high temperatures staying around 98-100 degrees.

Tropical Weather Update
Weather conditions across the Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico remain very quiet.  Tropical cyclone formation is not expected here for at least the next 5 days.

In the tropical eastern Pacific, forecasters are monitoring hurricane Blas, located several hundred miles southwest of the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula.  Blas is moving west-northwest into the open Pacific and the system should dissipate by this weekend.  An area of disturbed weather is located several hundred miles south of Manzanillo, Mexico.  Environmental conditions are favorable for this system to strengthen into a tropical depression by the end of the week as it moves to the west-northwest, away from Mexico.  Neither of the two systems should have any impact on Texas weather.

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                                                                                                            NOAA-NASA GOES Project


Bob

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