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Forecast for Central Texas

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Updated October 20, 2020

Rainfall summary
Temperature summary
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Bob's Blog on Central Texas Weather

Monday, October 19, 2020 3:02 PM

 

It is shaping up to be another unseasonably warm and dry week across the Hill Country, Central and South Texas.  A broad ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere stretching from the Desert Southwest to the Middle-Atlantic States is forecast to remain in place through late week, keeping the cool air up to the north.  Meanwhile at the surface, a moderate onshore flow off the Gulf of Mexico will continue pulling warm, moist Gulf air inland throughout the week, making it feel like late summer.  No rain is predicted across the Hill Country or Central Texas regions this week.  Previous forecasts had indicated a few showers might be possible as atmospheric moisture levels increased.  However, high-resolution data now indicates the atmosphere will be too stable to support rain.

A weak cold front slipped south through much of the Hill Country Monday morning, bringing in cooler air.  However, with little support from the middle and upper atmosphere, the front is already returning north as a warm front.  Expect a partly cloudy sky across the entire region this afternoon.  High temperatures will range from the mid-70s across the northern Hill Country to the mid and upper 80s at most other locations.  Lows Tuesday morning will be in the mid and upper 60s.

Tuesday through Thursday, few changes in the weather are expected.  Each day will feature widespread morning clouds followed by a mostly sunny to partly cloudy sky in the afternoon.  Daily high temperatures will be in the mid and upper 80s while low temperatures will be in the mid and upper 60s.  There will be a slight chance for a few scattered afternoon showers and isolated thunderstorms across the coastal plains region each day this week.  However, rain amounts should be quite low.

A change in the weather is forecast to take place Friday afternoon into Friday evening when a Canadian cold front pushes south out of North Texas.  No rain is predicted along or behind the front.  Temperatures will warm in to the mid and upper 80s ahead of the front but trend noticeably cooler Friday night.  Lows Saturday morning will include the low 50s across the Hill Country, the mid and upper 50s across Central Texas and the low to mid-60s towards the coast.

Sunny weather and pleasant temperatures are forecast this coming weekend.  High temperatures will be in the upper 70s to low 80s.  Low temperatures Sunday morning will be in mid-50s west to the mid-60s near the coast.

Monday’s data indicates big changes in the temperature will take place early next week when a strong cold front blasts through the area.  Forecasts call for the front track across the region Monday with a few rain showers and isolated thunderstorms accompanying the cold front.  However, rain amounts should stay below a quarter inch.  Sunny, dry and much cooler weather will follow the front beginning Tuesday afternoon, continuing through late week.  High temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday will be in the low 70s, warming to the mid-70s for the latter half of the week.  Lows Tuesday and Wednesday mornings will be well in the 30s and 40s across the Hill Country and in the 50s across Central Texas and the coastal plains regions.

Aside from the chance for rain with next Monday’s cold front, dry weather is predicted for the remainder of next week.

Tropical Weather Outlook

The broad area of low pressure which has been meandering across the central Atlantic since late last week strengthen to become Tropical Storm Epsilon Monday morning—the 26th named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.  Epsilon’s October 19 arrival marks the earliest date that any Atlantic season has produced its 26th named storm, surpassing the record held by Delta from November 22, 2005.  In total, 23 of the 26 2020 named storms have set records for being the earliest-arriving for their respective letter; only Arthur, Bertha, and Dolly fell short.

As of 4 pm CDT, the center of Tropical Storm Epsilon was located roughly 730 miles southeast of Bermuda.  Epsilon was nearly stationary.  A slow northward motion is expected Monday night, followed by a northwestward or west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed through midweek.  On the forecast track, Epsilon is expected to threaten Bermuda as a category 1 hurricane on Friday, but it will not be a landfall threat for the U.S.

Maximum sustained winds were near 45 mph with higher gusts.  Gradual strengthening is expected during the next couple of days, and Epsilon is forecast to be at or near hurricane strength on Wednesday.

Have a good week.

Bob

Previous Blog Entries

A Very Slight Chance for Rain Developing Next Week. Temperatures will Remain Mild

Friday, October 16, 2020 2:54 PM

After a week of warm temperatures, fall-like weather has finally returned to Central and South Texas—at least for a couple of days  A strong cold front pushed south across the region Thursday afternoon and Thursday night with gusty winds and noticeably cooler temperatures. While the front came through dry across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions, an area of scattered rain showers developed along and behind the front as it crossed the coastal plains.  Totals as of midday have generally been between a tenth and a half of an inch over the area between La Grange and Bay City.  It’s interesting to note a small area of moderate to heavy rain developed and persisted over northeastern Wharton and northwestern Fort Bend Counties Thursday evening.  As of 2 pm, an LCRA Hydromet gauge located along the San Bernard River near East Bernard, in northeastern Wharton County, has recorded a 24-hour total 2.91 inches.

Thursday’s cold front has pushed into the western Gulf of Mexico.  Meanwhile, a large dome of Canadian high pressure is sinking south out of the Plains states, bringing in cooler air.  Gusty north winds at 10-20 mph will persist through late Friday afternoon.  This afternoon’s weather will range from sunny across the Hill Country to mostly sunny across Central Texas, to a cloudy sky with scattered rain showers across the coastal plains region.  An overrunning pattern of clouds and rain has set up behind the cold front across the coastal plains and it is forecast to persist through late afternoon.  Additional totals to around a quarter inch will be possible.  Today’s high temperature will generally be in the low 70s across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions but only be in low to mid-60s across the coastal plains region.

A partly cloudy to mostly cloudy sky is forecast across the region Friday night into Saturday morning as light east and southeasterly breezes return to the area.  Lows Saturday morning will include the low 50s across the Hill Country, the low and mid-50s across Central Texas with mid to upper 50s across the coastal plains.

Widespread low clouds are predicted to blanket the region Saturday morning.  These clouds will gradually thin, with the sky becoming partly cloudy Saturday afternoon.  Saturday’s temperature should warm to around 80-82 degrees.  Southerly winds are forecast to increase to a range of 10-15 mph Saturday afternoon and continue Saturday night.  Temperatures will be noticeably warmer Saturday night as warm air spreads north from the Gulf.  Lows Sunday morning will include the low and mid-60s across the Hill Country with mid to upper 60s at most other locations.

Sunday’s weather will feature morning clouds, followed by a mostly sunny sky and warm temperatures in the afternoon.  Expect a high temperature close to 90 degrees.  Lows Monday morning will include the mid-60s across the Hill County and be near 70-72 degrees at most other locations.

A warm and humid pattern is forecast next Monday through Thursday as our region remains under the influence of a moderate wind flow off the Gulf of Mexico.  Each day will feature morning clouds, followed by a partly cloudy sky in the afternoon.  Forecasts do include a slight chance for a few spotty rain showers and isolated thunderstorms each afternoon for areas along and east of Interstate 35 (including Austin).  The probability for rain will only be near 20 percent.  Rain amounts, if any, should only total around a tenth of an inch each day.  High temperatures are forecast to generally be in the mid-80s while low temperatures will be in the low and mid-60s.

A fairly strong cold front is predicted to sink south across Texas next Friday, bringing cooler temperatures.  An even stronger cold front is forecast to sweep through the area next Saturday night into Sunday morning.  Forecasts indicate there will be a slight chance for showers along the first cold front Friday, followed by a somewhat better chance for rain and thunderstorms with the second cold front.  As of now, rain amounts are predicted to remain below a half inch.  High temperatures will be in the low 80s next Friday, cooling to the upper 70s Saturday and the mid-70s next Sunday.

The outlook for the week of October 26th calls for sunny, dry and cooler weather as a large trough of low pressure sets up over the eastern U.S.  Daily high temperatures look to be in the upper 60s to low 70s, with low temperatures in the 50s.

Tropical Weather Outlook

National Hurricane Center forecasters are monitoring a couple of areas of disturbed weather, but neither feature poses a threat to the Gulf of Mexico region.

The first system is a broad non-tropical low pressure system located in the central Atlantic, about 600 miles east-southeast of Bermuda.  The low is producing an area of clouds and showers that appears to becoming better organized.  Additional development of this system is expected, and a subtropical or tropical depression could form during the next few days while the low meanders over the central Atlantic well to  the southeast of Bermuda.  NHC forecasters are giving this system a 60 percent chance for development over the next 5 days.

A second area of disturbed weather is forecast to form early next week over the southwestern Caribbean Sea, to the east of Nicaragua and to the north of Panama.  Some gradual development of this system will be possible through the middle of next week while it remains nearly stationary over the southwestern Caribbean Sea.  NHC forecasters are giving this system a 30 percent chance for development over the next 5 days.


RAMMB-CIRA-Colorado State Universtiry 10/16/2020 12:00 pm CDT

Have a good weekend.

Bob

NOAA Issues Outlook for the Upcoming Winter

Thursday, October 15, 2020 2:07 PM

Signals are pointing toward a mild and drier-than-normal winter for Texas.  That is the latest assessment from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center in Thursday’s annual winter weather outlook release.  In the outlook, CPC forecasters indicated a moderate to strong La Niña would likely be the dominant winter weather feature influencing weather across the U.S. this year.

“With a La Niña well established and expected to persist through the upcoming 2020 winter season, we anticipate the typical, cooler, wetter North, and warmer, drier South, as the most likely outcome of winter weather that the U.S. will experience this year,” said Mike Halpert, deputy director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

In winters featuring a moderate to strong La Nina, the Jet Stream flowing east from Asia is often displaced north up to the Pacific Northwest and western Canada instead of flowing east across the southern U.S.  With most of the storm systems tracking north into Canada, the southern U.S., from California to Florida, misses out on the storms and often sees below average rainfall.  At the same time, the coldest air tends to stay bottled up across Canada instead of flowing south with the jet stream.

Precipitation

According to NOAA’s outlook, wetter-than-average conditions will be most likely across the northern tier of the U.S., extending from the Pacific Northwest, across the Northern Plains, Great Lakes and into the Ohio Valley, as well as Hawaii and northern Alaska. The greatest chances for drier-than-average conditions are predicted in the Southwest, across Texas, along the Gulf Coast and in Florida.  In fact, Far West Texas and southern New Mexico have the highest probability for below normal rain than another other location in the U.S.  More modest chances for drier conditions are forecast in southern Alaska, and from California across the Rockies, Central Plains and into the Southeast. The remainder of the U.S., including the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, falls into the category of equal chances for below-, near-, or above-average precipitation.

Temperature

NOAA’s outlook calls for the greatest chances for warmer-than-normal conditions to extend across the Southern tier of the U.S. from the Southwest, across the Gulf States and into the Southeast.  More modest probabilities for warmer temperatures are forecast in the southern parts of the West Coast, and from the Mid-Atlantic into the Northeast.  Above-average temperatures are also favored for Hawaii and western and northern Alaska.

Below-normal temperatures are favored in southern Alaska and from the northern Pacific Northwest into the Northern Plains, with equal chances for below-, near- or above-average temperatures in the remaining regions.

Drought

The ongoing La Nina is expected to expand and intensify drought across the southern and central Plains, eastern Gulf Coast, and in California during the months ahead.  NOAA’s 3-month drought outlook, looking out through the end of January, calls for drought development across most of Texas during the next three months due to the drier than-normal and warmer than-normal weather pattern.

Keep in mind NOAA’s winter outlook is a look at general weather conditions expected between December and the end of February.  Individual storm systems may bring periods of rain and colder temperatures from time to time, but conditions overall should average drier-and milder-than normal.

Stay tuned for more updates on the upcoming winter as we go through late October and November.

Bob

Two Cold Fronts this Week but Our Weather Looks to Stay Dry

Monday, October 12, 2020 1:43 PM

Dry and quiet weather conditions continue across the region as we start off this new week.  Just when we thought summer temperatures were behind us, summer made an unpleasant return on Sunday, causing the temperature to climb above 100 degrees across most of the Hill Country.  Widespread mid and upper 90s were reported across Central Texas while coastal areas saw readings in the low and mid-90s.  For several locations, this was the latest, or very close to the latest in the year for such hot temperatures.  Fortunately, Sunday’s heat is on its way out as cooler air is spreading into Texas behind a cold front.  As of early Monday afternoon, the cold front stretched from Longview, to near San Marcos to north of Del Rio.  The front is forecast to continue pushing south this afternoon and  should move off the middle Texas coast this evening.  No rain is expected along or behind the cold front as the atmosphere will be too dry.  An area of dust originating in West Texas is being observed just behind the front.  A large dome of Canadian high pressure building south behind the cold front will cause breezy north winds at 10-15 mph, with occasional gusts to 25 mph.  Today’s sky will be sunny.  Afternoon high temperatures will range from the low 80s across the Hill Country to the mid and upper 80s across Central Texas to the low 90s across the coastal plains.

Clear and noticeably cooler conditions are predicted for Monday night.  Wind speeds should decrease to 5-10 mph after sunset.  Lows Tuesday morning will include the low 50s across the Hill Country, the mid-50s across Central Texas and the low to mid-60s across the coastal plains.

Sunny and dry weather is forecast Tuesday through Thursday as our region remains under a broad, stable ridge of high pressure.  However, temperatures will trend warmer.  Highs Tuesday will generally be in the upper 80s.  Highs Wednesday will range from the mid-90s across the Hill Country to the low 90s across Central Texas to the upper 80s near the coast.  Highs Thursday will generally be in the mid-80s.  Lows Wednesday morning will include the mid and upper 50s across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and the mid-60s across the coastal plains.  Lows Thursday morning will be in the low and mid-60s.

A strong cold front is forecast to sweep south across Texas Thursday when a vigorous trough of low pressure pushes east across the Plains states.  No rain is forecast with the front when it crosses the Hill Country and the Austin/Interstate 35 corridor.  However, there may be just enough moisture in place to produce a few scattered rain showers along the cold front for areas east of Interstate 35 Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening.  Rain amounts, if any, should only average around a tenth of an inch.

Windy conditions look to develop behind the cold front beginning Thursday afternoon, continuing through Friday afternoon.  Expect northerly winds at 20-30 mph, with occasional gusts of 35-40 mph.

Noticeably cooler temperatures will follow the cold front Thursday night through Saturday:

  • Lows Friday morning will include the upper 40s across the Hill Country, the low and mid-50s across Central Texas and the upper 50s to low 60s across the coastal plains.
  • High temperatures Friday will generally be in the low 70s, with mid-70s towards the coast.
  • Lows Saturday morning will include the mid and upper-40s across the Hill Country, be near 50-52 degrees across Central Texas and in the mid-50s across the coastal plains.
  • High temperatures Saturday will be in the upper 70s.
  • Lows Sunday morning will range from the mid-50s west to the low 60s near the coast.

Forecasts call for sunny and dry conditions this weekend and all of next week as our region remains under the influence of a stable, ridge of high pressure situated over the Southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico.  Two cold fronts are forecast to push across Texas next week.  The first front is expected Monday night with the second one next Thursday.  No rain is expected with either front.  High temperatures Monday through Thursday are forecast to generally be in the upper 70s to low 80s.  Low temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 50s to low 60s.  Temperatures are predicted to trend slightly cooler late next week.

Tropical Weather Update

National Hurricane Center forecasters are monitoring an area of showers and thunderstorms associated with a tropical wave located over the central tropical Atlantic, about 750 miles east of the Windward Islands.  This system continues to show signs of organization and slow development of this system will be possible during the next day or so while it moves westward near 15 mph.  Strong upper-level winds are expected to limit further development by midweek.  NHC forecasters give this system a 30 percent chance for development over the next 5 days.

Elsewhere, weather conditions are quiet and tropical storm development is not expected.

Record Heat Sunday

Austin-Camp Mabry’s high temperature of 99 degrees Sunday not only set a record high temperature for the date, but it was also the second latest 99 degree temperature on record dating back to 1897.  The latest 99 degree on temperature was set on October 12, 2015.  And the latest 100 degree temperature on record was set October 2, 1938.

Bob

Hot Temperatures this Weekend, Turning a Little Cooler Next Week. No Rain in the Forecast.

Friday, October 9, 2020 2:07 PM

Hurricane Delta Update 

Although Delta has weakened some since sunup, Delta remains a dangerous category 2 hurricane.  As of 3 pm CDT, the center of Hurricane Delta was located about 50 miles south of Cameron, Louisiana.  Delta was moving to the north-northeast at 14 mph and this motion should continue through Saturday morning.  Maximum sustained winds were near 105 mph, with higher gusts.  Delta is a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Slow weakening is expected before landfall, with rapid weakening expected after the center moves inland.


RAMMB-CIRA/Colorado State U 10/09/2020 2:00 pm

On the latest forecast track, the center of Delta should make landfall along the coast of southwestern Louisiana sometime late Friday afternoon or evening then move across central and northeastern Louisiana Friday night and Saturday morning.   Interestingly, Delta is predicated to make landfall very close to the same location where Hurricane Laura made landfall just 6 weeks ago.

Early Friday afternoon, rain bands associated with Hurricane Delta were spreading inland along the upper Texas coast, between Galveston and Port Arthur.  A few spotty light showers have been reported across parts of Wharton and Matagorda Counties this morning, but totals so far have been less than a tenth of an inch.  There will be a 40 percent chance for additional light showers across the middle Texas coast this afternoon, with the rain tapering off this evening.  Totals should average around a tenth of an inch or less.  Coastal areas will see northeasterly winds at 20-25 mph this afternoon, but wind speeds should decrease to around 5-10 mph this evening and overnight.  Clouds along the western periphery of the hurricane are expected to keep today’s sky mostly cloudy.

For the Central Texas and Hill Country, no direct impacts from Delta are expected this afternoon or tonight.  There will be a 20 percent chance for a few spotty light showers for areas southeast of Austin this afternoon.  Otherwise, this afternoon’s weather is expected to be partly cloudy and warm with high temperatures generally in the middle 80s.  Expect a light northeasterly wind at 5-10 mph.

This weekend, a mostly sunny, hot and summer-like weather pattern is forecast to develop across much of Texas as the remnants of Delta track northeast to the Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys.  The combination of strong high pressure building over the state and southwesterly breezes is expected to push afternoon temperatures both days well into the 90s.

  • High temperatures Saturday will include the middle 90s across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and the lower 90s across the coastal plains region.
  • High temperatures Sunday are forecast to be near 98-100 degrees across the Hill Country, be in the mid and upper 90s across Central Texas and be the low to mid-90s across the coastal plains.

A Pacific cold front is predicted to track southeast across Texas Monday, bringing in slightly cooler air.  The front is forecast to spread across the Hill Country Monday morning and push off the middle Texas coast Monday evening.  Atmospheric conditions will be too dry for any rain along the front.  High temperatures Monday will be near 88-90 degrees across the Hill Country, in the low to mid-90s across Central Texas and the lower 90s towards the coast.

Sunny, dry and warm weather is forecast Tuesday through Thursday as our region remains under the influence of a weak ridge of high pressure.  Daily high temperatures are predicted to be in the mid and upper 80s. Low temperatures will range from the mid and upper 50s across the Hill Country to the low and mid-60s near the coast.

Forecasts call for another cold front to sweep across our region next Friday, bringing another push off cooler air.  Once again, the atmosphere is expected to be too dry for any rain to develop along the front.  Sunny and dry weather is forecast Friday and next weekend.  High temperatures will be in the low and mid-80s with low temperatures in the upper 50s to low 60s.

Looking out into the week of October 19th, forecasts call for few changes in the weather pattern.  Mostly sunny and dry weather is expected.  High temperatures will be in the low and mid-80s.  Low temperatures will be mostly in the low and mid-60s.

Tropical Weather Outlook

National Hurricane Center forecasters are monitoring a tropical wave in the far eastern tropical Atlantic, several hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.  This system is producing a large area of disorganized showers and a few thunderstorms.  The wave is expected to move generally westward or west-northwestward at about 15 mph. Environmental conditions could be conducive for some gradual development of the system this weekend or early next week while it is located over the tropical Atlantic, well east of the Lesser Antilles.  However, upper-level winds are forecast to become unfavorable for further development by about the middle of next week.  NHC forecasters give this system odds of only 20 percent for development over the next 5 days.

International Space Station Visible Friday, Saturday and Monday Evenings

The International Space Station (ISS) will be making some good passes across our sky Friday, Saturday and Monday evenings.  For folks in Austin, the transit Friday evening will begin about 8:28 pm while the transit Saturday evening will begin about 7:40 pm.  Find out the exact times and where to look for your specific location using the NASA web page https://spotthestation.nasa.gov

Have a good weekend.

Bob

 

Hurricane Delta Growing Stronger Again. Few Impacts Expected Locally.

Thursday, October 8, 2020 4:53 PM

Confidence is increasing major Hurricane Delta will make landfall somewhere over southwestern Louisiana late Friday afternoon or Friday evening.  Delta strengthened Thursday as it moved over the warm, open waters of the southern Gulf of Mexico.  The storm has once again attained major hurricane status.  In satellite imagery, an eye can now be seen in the cold cloud tops of the central dense overcast.  Conditions are nearly ideal for intensification to continue into Thursday night.  But as Delta moves northward over the western Gulf of Mexico on Friday, upper level winds look to increase from the southwest due to a trough over Texas.  At the same time, Delta will be reaching cooler waters located over the northern Gulf.  Both of these factors should lead to some degree of weakening before the hurricane makes landfall Friday evening.

As of 4:00 pm CDT, the center of Hurricane Delta was located about 345 miles south of Cameron, Louisiana.  Delta was moving toward the northwest near 12 mph and this motion, with a reduction in forward speed is expected Thursday evening.  A turn toward the north is forecast to occur late Thursday night, followed by a north-northeastward motion Friday and Friday night.  Reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 115 mph.  Delta is now a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Additional strengthening is possible Thursday night followed by some slight weakening when Delta approaches the northern Gulf coast on Friday.  Rapid weakening expected after the center moves inland Friday night through Saturday.


RAMMB-CIRA-Colorado State University 10/08/2020 3:50 pm CDT

Thursday afternoon’s National Hurricane Center track forecast has not changed appreciably since Wednesday.  Based on the current forecast track, the center of Delta will move over the western Gulf of Mexico Thursday evening, the northwestern Gulf of Mexico on Friday and move inland somewhere over southwestern Louisiana Friday afternoon or Friday night.  The cone of uncertainty at landfall has narrowed and now stretches from the Texas/Louisiana border to near Lafayette, Louisiana.

Clouds on the northwestern periphery of Delta spread inland across the coastal plains region on Thursday.  By late afternoon, the clouds had reached as far west as the Interstate 35 corridor.  Weather radar also showed a few spotty light rain showers were beginning to spread inland over South and Southeast Texas Thursday afternoon.  However, surface reports indicated very little of this rain was reaching the ground.

Light shower activity is predicted to increase in areal coverage across the coastal plains region Thursday night and continue Friday morning and Friday afternoon.  Storm totals should average less than a quarter inch.  Spotty light rain showers are forecast across parts of Central Texas Friday morning into Friday afternoon, but totals should average less than a tenth of an inch.  All of the rain should diminish Friday evening.  Dry weather is forecast Friday night through the weekend.

Summer-like temperatures are forecast this weekend as our region comes under the influence of strong sinking air in the middle atmosphere in the wake of hurricane Delta.

  • High temperatures Saturday will include the mid-90s across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and the low 90s across the coastal plains.
  • High temperatures Sunday are forecast to be around 98-100 degrees across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and the mid-90s across the coastal plains.

A cold front looks to spread southeast across the region Monday, bringing slightly cooler temperatures for Monday afternoon and all of next week.

Bob

Delta Becomes a Dangerous Hurricane. Some Rain Possible Across Southeast Texas.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 3:41 PM

As of 4:00 pm CDT Tuesday, the center of Hurricane Delta was located over the western Caribbean Sea, about 215 miles east-southeast of Cozumel, Mexico.  Delta was moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph.  A west-northwestward to northwestward motion is expected over the next couple of days. A slower northwestward to north-northwestward motion is forecast to begin on Thursday, and a northward motion is expected Thursday night and Friday.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 145 mph with higher gusts.  Delta is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  Some additional strengthening is possible before the center reaches the coast Yucatan peninsula Wednesday.  Although some weakening is likely when Delta moves over the Yucatan peninsula, re-strengthening is forecast when the hurricane moves over the southern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday night and Thursday.


RAMMB-CIRA/Colorado State U 10/06/2020 2:40 pm CDT

Forecast Track

The center of Delta is expected to pass southwest of the Cayman Islands through early this afternoon, and move over the northeastern portion of the Yucatan peninsula late tonight or early Wednesday.  Delta is forecast to move over the southern Gulf of Mexico Wednesday afternoon, and be over the southern or central Gulf of Mexico through Thursday.  Delta will continue to move west-northwest then turn northwest over the south-central Gulf of Mexico as the hurricane reaches the western edge of a mid-level ridge positioned near the central Gulf of Mexico and ahead of an incoming trough over northwest Texas.   This will likely force the hurricane to turn toward the north Thursday into Friday over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. When this turn occurs and how sharp the turn is will determine the ultimate landfall location along the Gulf coast.

The National Hurricane Center’s official track forecast call for Delta to make landfall somewhere along the south central Louisiana coast Friday night.  But do note the cone of uncertainty at landfall now runs from eastern Galveston Bay, to near Mobile, Alabama.

Potential Impacts to the Middle Texas Coast and Central Texas   

Based on the current forecast track, direct impacts to Southeast Texas are expected to be minimal.  But any westward adjustment to the forecast track would bring greater impacts to the area.  Northeasterly winds are forecast to increase to a range of 10-20 mph from Austin southeast to the middle Texas coast Thursday afternoon and continue through Friday.

Today’s forecast data indicates some outer rain bands on the west side of Delta may spread over parts of Southeast Texas and possibly the eastern counties of Central Texas beginning Thursday night and continue through Friday afternoon.  Rain amounts, if any, should total less than a quarter inch across the middle Texas coast and less than a tenth of an inch from Bastrop to Columbus.

NWS Rainfall Forecast for the Period 7 pm Tuesday through 7 pm Friday:

 Bob

 

A Fall-Like Pattern will Persist through Late Week. Watching the Tropics

Monday, October 5, 2020 2:20 PM

A quiet, pleasant fall weather pattern continues across Central and South Texas.  A deep trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere over the eastern U.S. is allowing a series of cold fronts to bring cool, Canadian air into Texas while keeping the moist and warm Gulf air to our south.  Forecasts call for the current weather pattern to remain in place all week.  Although daytime temperatures are expected to trend a bit higher this week, low relative humidity levels will keep conditions fairly pleasant.

High temperatures this afternoon will generally be in the middle 80s, warming to the upper 80s on Tuesday.  High temperatures Wednesday through Friday will be near 88-90 degrees.   Lows this week will be in the mid and upper 50s across the Hill Country, in the low 60s across Central Texas and in the mid to upper 60s across the coastal plains.

Changes in the weather pattern are forecast to take place this coming weekend and early next week as both the eastern trough and the southwestern ridge weaken.  Forecasts call for a Pacific cold front to push east across Texas sometime next Tuesday into Tuesday night.  Ahead of the front, warm moist air will return off the Gulf of Mexico this weekend and early next, leading to warmer and more humid conditions.  The weather will be sunny and dry across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions Saturday through Monday, but a few spotty rain showers will be possible across the coastal plains region beginning on Sunday.  High temperatures Saturday through Monday are forecast to be in the low and mid-90s across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and be around 88-90 degrees across the coastal plains region.

A few spotty rain showers and isolated thunderstorms will be possible along and just behind the cold front late Tuesday into Tuesday night.  Rain amounts, if any, are forecast to average well below a quarter inch.  Mostly sunny and dry weather is expected late Wednesday through Friday, with high temperatures mostly in the mid and upper 80s.  Lows will be in the low and mid-60s.

Tropical Weather Update

Tropical Storm Delta

A strong tropical wave moving westward this weekend across the Caribbean Sea has developed into Tropical Storm Delta and the system is quickly strengthening.  As of 1 pm CDT, the center of Delta was centered over the western Caribbean Sea, about 255 miles south-southeast of Grand Cayman.   Delta is moving toward the west near 7 mph and a turn toward the west-northwest is forecast later today.  A faster northwestward motion is expected on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 60 mph with higher gusts.  Additional strengthening is expected during the next few days, and Delta is expected to become a hurricane tonight or Tuesday before it nears western Cuba.

Delta is forecast to move northwestward around the southwestern portion of a deep-layer ridge of high pressure tonight and Tuesday, and that general motion with some increase in forward speed is expected to continue through 60-72 hours.  After that time, a broad mid- to upper-level trough is forecast to develop over the south-central United States, which should weaken the western portion of the ridge and cause Delta to turn northward toward the northern Gulf Coast.  After Thursday, Delta should begin to accelerate north-northeastward or northeastward ahead of the aforementioned trough.  On the current forecast track, the center of Delta is expected to move away from Jamaica later today, move near or over the Cayman Islands early Tuesday, and approach western Cuba and the Yucatan Channel Tuesday afternoon or evening.


NOAA-RAMMB/CIRA 10/05/2020 1:00 pm CDT

Based on the latest forecast data, Delta is not expected to be a threat to the Texas coast.  The cone of uncertainty at the time of landfall currently extends from the Texas/Louisiana border east, to just south of Tallahassee. Florida.  No direct impacts to the Texas coast are expected at this time.  However swells and tides may increase toward the middle and end of this week due to the circulation of Delta.

Tropical Storm Gamma

Tropical Storm Gamma poses no threat to the Texas coast.  As of 1:00 pm CDT, the center of Tropical Storm Gamma was located just north of the Yucatan Peninsula, roughly 135 miles north-northwest of Cozumel, Mexico.  Gamma is moving toward the southwest near 4 mph and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday morning.  On the forecast track, the center of Gamma should move inland over the northwest coast of the Yucatan Peninsula Tuesday night and remain inland through Thursday.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 40 mph with higher gusts.  Gradual weakening is forecast, and Gamma is expected to become a depression this evening and degenerate to a post-tropical remnant low tonight.

This Week’s Close Encounter with Mars

Get ready.  Earth and Mars are about to have a close encounter–one of the best since 2003.  On Tuesday, Oct. 6th, Mars will be only 62 million km from Earth  — it won’t be this close again until 2035   One week later, on the 13th, Mars will be at what astronomers call opposition, directly opposite the Sun in the sky, rising at sunset and setting at sunrise.  The Red Planet will be well up in the east by about 9 p.m., and it’ll look almost alarmingly bright.  Don’t miss it all this week!

Bob

 

Sunny, Pleasant Weather will Continue through Next Week. TD 25 has Developed.

Friday, October 2, 2020 3:06 PM

Pleasant, fall weather conditions are in place across all of Central and South Texas.  A weak cold front moved across our region late Thursday, ushering in more cool dry air.  This is part of the pattern that has been in place since early in the week when the first strong cold front moved through our area.  Friday’s weather maps showed an unusually strong ridge of high pressure along the West Coast, stretching north into western Canada.  An unusually deep trough of low pressure stretched from eastern Canada to the southeastern US.  Waves of low pressure along the jet stream are sending periodic cold fronts south across the Plains states and into Texas, reinforcing the pleasant, fall-like conditions that are already in place.  This type of pattern results in no rain and few clouds as moisture from the Gulf and the Pacific is shunted well off to the south.  Forecasts call for this “ridge/trough” type pattern to remain in place through late next week, followed by less amplified ridges and troughs next weekend, continuing into the following week.

Sunny weather is forecast this afternoon, this weekend and all of next week.  A reinforcing cold front is predicted to move through the area Sunday, with another front expected on Thursday.  No rain is expected with either front.

  • High temperatures will be in the low and mid-80s this afternoon, warming to the mid-80s to near 90 degrees Saturday and Sunday. High temperatures next week will generally be in the upper 80s.
  • Low temperatures this weekend and next week will range from the mid-50s across the Hill Country to the low and mid-60s across the coastal plains region.

Long-range forecasts for the week of October 12th call for a nearly zonal jet stream pattern across the contiguous U.S.  A flow off the Gulf of Mexico is forecast to develop, which should bring a return of somewhat more humid air. There are some indications a few rain showers may develop during the second half of the week, but significant rain is not expected.  Little change in the temperature pattern is suggested, with high temperatures staying mostly around 88-90 degrees.

Tropical Depression Twenty-Five

Visible satellite images Friday morning showed cloudiness and showers associated with a persistent area of low pressure area over the northwestern Caribbean Sea became much better organized, compared to Thursday.   In addition, low cloud motions suggested a closed circulation had developed and become well defined.  Based on these factors,  the National Hurricane Center declared the system a tropical depression.

As of 4 pm CDT, the center of Tropical Depression Twenty-Five was located in the western Caribbean Sea, about 155 miles southeast of Cozumel, Mexico.  The depression was moving toward the northwest near 9 mph, and a gradual turn toward the north-northwest with a decrease in forward speed is expected over the next couple of days.  Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph, with higher gusts.  Some strengthening is forecast, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm Friday night.

For the next couple of days, the system is forecast to move northwestward to north-northwestward on the southwestern edge of a mid-level high pressure area.  This will take the center near or over the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula on Saturday.  Beginning Sunday, the steering currents are not so well-defined and there is considerable spread in the track models.  However, the National Hurricane Center is calling for the cyclone to move slowly westward over the southern Gulf of Mexico through the first half of next week in response to weak ridging in place over the north-central Gulf of Mexico.


NOAA-RAMMB/CIRA 10/02/20 1:20 pm CDT

The series of cold fronts moving across Texas through late next week is expected to keep the tropical system well to the south of Brownsville.  As of now, there appears to be little chance the system will come north to the middle or upper Texas coast.

National Hurricane Center forecasters are also keeping a close eye on the eastern Caribbean Sea, where a tropical wave is producing widespread cloudiness, showers, and thunderstorms.  Locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds are currently affecting portions of the ABC Islands, the Lesser Antilles, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.  Environmental conditions are expected to become a little more conducive for development over the next few days, and a tropical depression could form here, while the system moves westward or west-northwestward at about 15 mph across the central and western Caribbean Sea.  NHC forecasters are giving this system a 40 percent chance for development over the next 5 days.

MOON-MARS CONJUNCTION

Don’t miss this!  Tonight, Oct. 2nd, the Harvest Moon and Mars will be in conjunction, meaning they will be less than 1 degree apart from each other.  The Moon will be nearly full, and bright red Mars is only days away from its closest approach to Earth, making the conjunction extra bright and beautiful.  The pair will rise in the east just after sunset and stay up all night long.  Although they will look like companions, Mars will be 155 times farther away than the Moon.  And although Mars looks tiny, it’s twice the Moon’s diameter.

Have a good weekend.

Bob

 

Tropics Waking Up. Monitoring Two Disturbances in the Caribbean Sea

Thursday, October 1, 2020 5:51 PM

National Hurricane Center forecasters are closely monitoring a well-defined tropical wave over the west-central Caribbean Sea.  This system is producing a large area of clouds and disorganized showers and thunderstorms.   Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for a tropical depression to form by early next week, but only if the system moves and remains over the waters of the northwestern Caribbean Sea or the southern Gulf of Mexico.  Development will become less likely if the system moves over the Yucatan Peninsula or northern Central America.  Regardless of development, this system is expected to produce locally heavy rains, with possible flash flooding, over portions of southeastern Mexico, Central America, and western Cuba during the next several days.  National Hurricane Center forecasters are giving this system a 70 percent chance for development over the next 5 days.


NOAA-RAMMB/CIRA10/01/2020 4:00 pm CDT

A large ridge of high pressure is forecast to steer this disturbances to the west-northwest through Sunday.  On this track  the system is forecast to reach the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula on Saturday, or possibly slide just north of Cancun and pass through the Yucatan Channel between Cuba and Mexico.   As of now, it appears unlikely the disturbance will be a threat to the Texas or U.S. Gulf Coast next week.

The National Hurricane Center is also monitoring another tropical wave located just east of the Lesser Antilles.  This system  is also producing a large area of clouds, disorganized showers and thunderstorms.  The wave is forecast to move westward at 15 to 20 mph during the next several days, and environmental conditions could become a little more conducive for development when the system is over the central or western Caribbean Sea early next week.  NHC forecasters are giving this system just a 20 percent chance for development over the next 5 days.

Bob