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Forecast for Central Texas

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Updated September 17, 2021

Rainfall summary
Temperature summary
Humidity summary

Bob's Blog on Central Texas Weather

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 2:18 PM

Tropical Depression Nicholas was located early Wednesday afternoon over southwest Louisiana, about 30 miles northeast of Lake Charles. The depression was moving toward the east-northeast near 5 mph and this motion is expected to slow through the next 24 hours before a gradual turn to the north prior to dissipation. The remnants of Nicholas are expected to produce additional rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches across the central Gulf coast in central to southeastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle through Friday, with isolated storm totals of 10 inches possible.

Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center is keeping a close watch on three other potential tropical systems.

The first system is located a few  hundred miles northeast of the central Bahamas. Here, satellite images indicate a low pressure system is gradually becoming better defined. However, the associated showers and thunderstorms are still disorganized. Environmental conditions are expected to become more conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form during the next day or two while the system moves north-northwestward to northward off the southeast U.S. coast. Regardless of development, this system could bring high surf to portions of the southeast and mid-Atlantic U.S. coasts later this week.  The Air Force Hurricane Hunters are enroute to investigate the disturbance further. NHC forecasters are giving this system a high chance (70 percent chance) for tropical development over the next two days.

The second system is located a few hundred miles southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.  Here, showers and thunderstorms have changed little in organization in association with an area of low pressure. Environmental conditions are expected to remain conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form within the next couple of  days.  This system is expected to move westward to west-northwestward across the tropical Atlantic during the next several days. NHC forecasters are giving this system a 90 percent chance for tropical development over the next 5 days.

And finally, a tropical wave is expected to emerge off the west coast of Africa in a day or two. Thereafter, environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for development while the system moves generally west-northwestward to northwestward over the far eastern Atlantic. NHC forecasters rae giving this system a slight chance (20 percent chance) for tropical development over the next 5 days.

Bob

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Nicholas Tracks East, Taking the Rain With It. Dry Weather for the Remainder of the Week

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 1:19 PM

Hurricane Nicholas made landfall around 12:30 am Tuesday morning,  along the eastern part of the Matagorda Peninsula, about 10 miles west-southwest of Sargent Beach, Texas. Maximum sustained winds at landfall were near 75 mph. Nicholas has been and continues to be a very lopsided hurricane/tropical storm, with most of the clouds and rain located to the east of the center and dry weather on its western side. Nicholas produced totals of 5-8 inches across southern Matagorda County, and totals of 1-2 inches across southern Wharton and northern Matagorda counties.  Across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions, amounts generally totaled just a few hundredths of an inch.

NWS Estimate of Rain Falling Between Noon Sunday and Noon Tuesday:

Nicholas did produce strong winds across the coastal plains. Reports include gusts of 77 mph at the Palacios Airport, 61 mph at Bay City, 46 mph at Wharton and 44 mph 12.4 miles southwest of Eagle Lake in Colorado County.

Nicholas tracked northeast into Southeast Tuesday morning and has steadily weakened. As of 1 pm, the center of Tropical Storm Nicholas was located about 30 miles southeast of Houston, close to Texas City. Nicholas was moving toward the east-northeast near 7 mph and this general motion should continue through tonight. An eastward turn is expected over Louisiana by Wednesday.  The remnants of Nicholas are forecast to stall over western Louisiana late Wednesday into Thursday as steering winds fall off. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 40 mph with higher gusts. Additional weakening is forecast during the next couple of days, and the storm is forecast to become a tropical depression by Tuesday night.

Weather radar at 2:00 pm showed the rain associated with Nicholas was located just east of Houston, and extended east to cover most of southern and central Louisiana. There was no rain indicated across the Hill Country, Central Texas or the middle Texas coast.

For the Austin/Central Texas and Hill Country regions, mostly sunny and dry weather can be expected this afternoon through Saturday as the remnants of Nicholas remain over Louisiana and eventually track further to the east. Across the coastal plains region, a few spotty rain showers will be possible each afternoon through Saturday, but rain amounts should be quite low. Unfortunately, we’re not done with warm weather just yet. High temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 80s this afternoon, be around 90 degrees Wednesday, in the low 90s Thursday, then warm to the mid-90s Friday and Saturday.

Next Sunday and Monday, there will be a slight chance for rain showers and thunderstorms across the region as an area of moisture spreads inland from the Gulf. High temperatures will remain warm in the low and mid-90s.

Forecast solutions are calling for a cold front to push south across the area the middle of next week. The front is expected to bring some showers and thunderstorms along with slightly cooler air for the second half of the week. High temperatures are forecast to fall to the upper 80s, with low temperatures in the 60s. Autumn officially begins September 22nd.

Bob

Nicholas Moving Inland Monday Night. Heaviest Rains Staying South Near the Coast

Monday, September 13, 2021 3:51 PM

…A Hurricane Watch is in effect from Port Aransas to San Luis Pass Texas…

 …A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from the Baffin Bay to Sabine Pass…

Doppler radar data from Brownsville and Corpus Christi, along with reconnaissance aircraft wind data Monday afternoon indicated Nicholas’ inner-core structure underwent some radical changes since early morning, with the old low-level center dissipating. There now appears to be three tight centers revolving counterclockwise around a mean center.

As of 4 pm CDT, the center of Tropical Storm Nicholas was estimated to be about 70 miles south of Port Oconnor, Texas, or about 85 miles south-southwest of Matagorda, Texas.  Nicholas was moving toward the north-northeast near 12 mph and this general motion is expected to continue through tonight, followed by a turn toward the northeast by  late Tuesday.

Data from NOAA Doppler weather radars and an earlier reconnaissance flight indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph with higher gusts. Some additional strengthening is forecast this afternoon and evening, and Nicholas could be near hurricane strength when it reaches the central Texas coast.  Weakening is anticipated on Tuesday and Wednesday while Nicholas moves over land.

The National Hurricane Center’s forecast track calls for the center of Nicholas to make landfall along the middle Texas coast Monday night. The center of the storm is predicted to be near Houston by midday Tuesday, reaching a position northwest of Beaumont as a tropical depression around midnight Tuesday night.

Rainfall:

Bands of light to moderate rain associated with the outer circulation of Nicholas began pushing inland along the middle and upper Texas coast Monday morning. Moderate to heavy rain will begin spreading across the coastal plains Monday evening, with the rain continuing through Tuesday morning. Rainfall rates of 2-4 inches per hour will be possible.

Across Central Texas and the eastern Hill Country, mostly light showers are forecast to spread north across the area Monday night through Tuesday.

Wednesday through Friday, lingering tropical moisture following Nicholas will cause a 30-40 percent chance for mainly scattered afternoon rain showers and thunderstorms across Central Texas and the middle Texas coast.

Significant rainfall is expected along and east of the track of Nicholas. There will be a sharp gradient, with significantly lower totals expected to the west of the path of Nicholas.

The National Weather Service’s 5-day rainfall forecast, calls for totals of 8-12 inches for locations along and south of U.S. Highway 59. Between Columbus and Wharton, totals of 4-6 inches are forecast. Between La Grange and Columbus, totals of 1 and 3  inches are forecast. Further inland, considerably lower totals are forecast.

NWS Rainfall Forecast for the Periods 7 pm Monday through 7 pm Saturday:

Winds:

Tropical storm force winds are likely along the coast, from Matagorda to Galveston Bay and inland to the US 59 corridor. Sustained winds in the 65-75 mph range will be possible over the Matagorda Bay region northward into Jackson and possibly southern Wharton Counties. Sustained tropical storm force winds are forecast to spread into Wharton and Colorado Counties Monday night into Tuesday morning. Winds in excess of 40 mph will be possible across Fayette County late Monday night into Tuesday morning.


NOAA/Colorado State University/RAMMB 09/13/21 4:10 pm CDT

Bob

Tropical Storm Nicholas Headed to the Texas Coast

Sunday, September 12, 2021 10:42 AM

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the coast of Texas, from the Mouth of the Rio Grande to Port Aransas.

 A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the coast of Texas from north of Port Aransas to High Island.

 A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for the coast of Texas from the Mouth of the Rio Grande to High Island.

The showers and thunderstorms which have persisted over the southern Bay of Campeche the past couple of days increased overnight and become better organized. An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance plane investigating the system Sunday morning found a closed off a low level circulation along with an area of 40-50mph winds to the north and northeast of the circulation. Based on these factors, the system was upgraded to Tropical Storm Nicholas, the fourteenth named storm of the season.

Nicholas is currently located in an environment that is somewhat favorable for gradual strengthening until the system reaches the Texas coast sometime late Monday into Tuesday. The latest National Hurricane Center forecast calls for Nicholas to be a high-end tropical storm when it makes landfall.

Nicholas is forecast to move to the west-northwest this afternoon and tonight, turning to the north and moving along the eastern coast of Mexico and Deep South Monday into Monday night. The tropical storm  is forecast to turn to the north-northeast Monday night and make landfall somewhere just south of, or near Matagorda Bay early Tuesday morning. Nicholas is forecast to continue on a general northeastward track toward Houston Tuesday night into Wednesday.

Current Position

As of 10 am CDT Sunday, the center of Tropical Storm Nicholas was located by reconnaissance aircraft over the southern Bay of Campeche, roughly 130 miles northeast of Veracruz Mexico, or 405 miles southeast of the Mouth of the Rio Grande River. Nicholas was moving toward the north-northwest

near 13 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue through tonight.  A slower northward or north-northeastward motion is forecast by late Monday or Monday night. On the forecast track, the center of Nicholas will pass near or just offshore the coasts of northeastern Mexico and South Texas late Monday, and approach the south or central Texas coast Monday night or early Tuesday. Data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate the maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is forecast while Nicholas approaches the northwestern Gulf coast during the next day or so.

Impacts

Rainfall

Bands of moderate to heavy rain are forecast to begin spreading inland across the lower and middle Texas coast this afternoon (unrelated to the tropical storm). Additional bands of moderate to heavy rain are forecast to spread across the middle Texas coast (mainly the coastal counties, including Wharton and Matagorda counties tonight and Monday. The current setup tends to favor the coastal areas for the greatest rainfall amounts, with a sharp gradient extending inland to the northwest. Heavy rains are forecast to continue across the middle Texas coast Tuesday through Wednesday, with moderate rains forecast Thursday into Friday.

For the period today through Friday, areas near the coast (Matagorda County) are forecast to receive between 5 and 8 inches, with isolated totals of 10-15 inches possible.  For areas south of I-10, totals of 3-6 inches are forecast, with isolated totals of 8-12 inches possible. For the area between La Grange and Columbus, totals of 2-4 inches are forecast.

For the Austin/Interstate 35 corridor, the eastern Hill Country and much of Central Texas, scattered showers and thunderstorms are forecast to increase in areal coverage Monday, with scattered showers and thunderstorms continuing Tuesday through Thursday. Rain amounts through Friday will range from a quarter to a half inch across the eastern Hill Country , to around 1-1.5 inches between Bastrop and La Grange.

NWS Rainfall Forecast for the Period 7 am Sunday through 7 am Next Sunday:

Wind

Winds are forecast to increase to 55-60mph across Matagorda County late Monday night into Tuesday morning as the center of Nicholas moves inland. Lower wind speeds are forecast between Columbus and Wharton.

Tides

Storm surge/tide values of 2-4 ft above normal dry ground will be possible are forecast along most of the Texas coast, including the middle coast, Tuesday into Wednesday. Minor coastal flooding is expected around high tide on both Monday and Tuesday.


NOAA/Colorado State University/RAMMB 09/12/21 10:30 am CDT

Bob

Closely Monitoring Developments in the Southern Gulf. Chances for Rain Increasing Next Week

Friday, September 10, 2021 1:18 PM

There were some hints of fall in the air early Friday morning as temperatures fell into the 50s across the Hill Country and the low to middle 60s across Central Texas. Dry air spreading in behind Wednesday’s cold front allowed temperatures to cool off rather nicely. According to LCRA’s Hydromet, the lowest recorded temperature was 53 degrees, at gauges located near the LBJ Ranch in eastern Gillespie County and also near Pedernales Falls State Park in Blanco County.

Weather conditions remain quiet across our region as we remain under in the influence of a large summertime high pressure ridge which covers most of the western U.S.  Interestingly, winds flowing clockwise around the ridge are carrying a moderate amount of smoke from the western wildfires south across the Plains states and into Texas. Although today’s sky will be sunny, the smoke is expected to cause the sky to look somewhat hazy. Afternoon temperatures will be hot, with readings generally climbing to the mid-90s. A few spots along the I-35 corridor could reach the upper 90s. Expect an east wind at 5-10 mph.

A clear sky and pleasant readings are forecast Friday night. Lows Saturday morning will range from the mid and upper 50s across the Hill Country to the low and mid-60s across Central Texas, with mid-60s even across the coastal plains.

Sunny weather will continue Saturday, with afternoon temperatures generally in low to mid-90s. Lows Sunday morning will be a bit warmer, generally in the upper 60s to low 70s.

Some changes in the weather are predicted for Sunday when a large plume of tropical moisture is forecast to begin spreading inland from the western Gulf of Mexico. Expect a mostly to sunny to partly cloudy sky across the Hill Country and Central Texas. Meanwhile towards the coast, the sky is forecast to become mostly cloudy by the afternoon. Here, there will be a 40 percent chance for showers Sunday morning, followed by a 60 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms Sunday afternoon and Sunday night.  Some locally heavy downpours will be possible. For locations between Bastrop and La Grange, the chance for rain will be near 40 percent Sunday afternoon and Sunday night. For Austin and the Interstate 35 corridor, the chance for rain Sunday and Sunday night will be 20 percent. High temperatures Sunday will be in the low 90s. Rain amounts between Sunday afternoon and daybreak Monday are forecast to average between 0.5 and 1 inch across the coastal plains. Totals across Central Texas should average around a quarter inch or less.

Closely Watching the Gulf this Weekend and Next Week

National Hurricane Center forecasters are closely monitoring the western Caribbean Sea, portions of Central America and the Yucatan peninsula where the northern portion of a tropical wave is producing disorganized showers and thunderstorms. This system is forecast to move into the Bay of Campeche and merge with a pre-existing surface trough located over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico by Sunday. Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive to support gradual development, and a tropical depression is likely to form Sunday or Monday before the system moves onshore along the western Gulf of Mexico coast. NHC forecasters are giving this system a medium chance (40 percent chance) for tropical development through Saturday and a high chance (70 percent chance) tropical development over the next 5 days.


NOAA/Colorado State University/RAMMB 09/10/21 1:40 pm CDT

Most forecast guidance keeps this potential tropical cyclone quite weak. At this point, there is considerable uncertainty as to the eventual track of the system. Some guidance calls for a track north along the Texas coast next week while others advance the system further inland across South Texas. It’s too early to have a good handle on the forecast track just yet.

Forecasts call for considerable tropical moisture to spread inland early next week, unrelated to potential tropical cyclone. Additional waves of rain and thunderstorms are expected to continue mid to late week as the tropical cyclone, or its remnants, come further north. As of now, forecasts call for the heaviest and most widespread rain to be focused across the middle and upper Texas coast plus most of Southeast Texas. Lower rain amounts are forecast across Central Texas, the Interstate 35 corridor and the eastern Hill Country. Should the potential tropical system take a path more into South Texas, rain amounts could increase substantially across Central Texas and parts of the Hill Country.

The National Weather Service’s 7-day rainfall forecast, based on the tropical system taking a path up the Texas coast, calls for totals of 5-8 inches across Matagorda and parts of Wharton Counties, 3 to 5 inches across Fayette and Colorado Counties, and 1-3 inches between Bastrop and La Grange. Austin and the I-35 corridor should see totals near 1-1.25 inches. Again, these totals could shift further west or east depending on the eventual path of the tropical system.

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

The bottom line is next week’s weather is looking wet, and could be quite wet across the coastal plains. High temperatures will generally be in the upper 80s to low 90s.

Forecasts looking out into the week of September 23rd call for high temperatures to hold mostly in the low 90s.

Tropical Weather Outlook

Hurricane Larry was located early Friday afternoon over the northern Atlantic and was quickly approaching southeastern Newfoundland. Highest winds were near 80 mph.

A strong tropical wave is expected to emerge off of the west coast of Africa by Friday night. Environmental conditions are forecast to be conducive for gradual development thereafter, and a tropical depression is likely to form late this weekend or early next week as the system moves west-northwestward over the far eastern Atlantic near the Cabo Verde Islands. NHC forecasters are giving this system a high chance (70 percent chance) for tropical development over the next 5 days.

Have a good weekend.

Bob

Gulf Disturbance No Longer Any Threat to Texas. Larry Continues over the Open Atlantic

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 3:53 PM

The area of disturbed weather which has lingered over the Bay of Campeche the past few days has moved into the south-central Gulf of Mexico. According to the National Hurricane Center, showers and thunderstorms increased Tuesday in association with a surface trough and an upper-level disturbance. The system is predicted to move slowly northeastward over the central and northeastern Gulf of Mexico during the next couple of days.  Although upper-level winds are currently unfavorable for development, they are expected to become more conducive for some limited tropical or subtropical cyclone development as the system nears the northern Gulf coast on Wednesday and Wednesday night. The disturbance is then expected to cross the southeastern United States, and some slight additional development will be possible after it emerges off the southeastern United States coast late this week.  Regardless of development, areas of heavy rainfall will be possible across portions of the Florida panhandle and southern Georgia on Wednesday and Thursday, with localized flooding possible. NHC forecasters are giving this system a medium chance (a 40 percent chance) for tropical development over the next 5 days.


NOAA/Colorado State University 09/07/2021 1:40 pm CDT

Over in the central tropical Atlantic, large Hurricane Larry remains a major hurricane. As of 4 pm CDT, the center of Hurricane Larry was located About 715 miles southeast of Bermuda. Larry was moving toward the northwest near 9 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue through Wednesday. A turn toward the north-northwest and north with an increase in forward speed is forecast on Thursday. On the forecast track, the center of Larry should pass east of Bermuda on Thursday. Maximum sustained winds remain near 115 mph with higher gusts. Larry is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Slow weakening is forecast during the next several days.

Larry is a large hurricane.  Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles.

Elsewhere in the tropical Atlantic, there are currently no features posing a threat for tropical development over the next few days.

Bob

A Slight Chance for Showers Monday and Tuesday. Otherwise, the Hot Pattern Rolls On

Friday, September 3, 2021 2:42 PM

Although the calendar says September, August-like temperatures are expected to be with us through the holiday weekend and most of next week. The summer-time heat dome that set up across the western for most of the summer, migrated to the southern Plains states earlier this week, causing temperatures locally to spike into the upper 90s. Friday’s weather maps showed a broad ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere covering the south central and southeastern U.S., with the ridge being centered over Oklahoma. The ridge is predicted to cause more very hot temperatures through the weekend. Forecasts call for the ridge to remain over our area through the weekend, then relocate to the western U.S. for most of next week. Despite the new location, temperatures are still forecast to remain hot throughout next week.

This afternoon, scattered rain showers are forecast across the coastal plains and over the area east of Interstate 35 as a small plume of tropical moisture spreads inland off the Gulf. The probability for rain will range from 50 percent across the coastal plains to just 20 percent for locations north of Interstate 10. Spotty totals of 0.25-0.5 inches are forecast. Isolated total of 1-1.5 inches will be possible. For the Hill Country and I-35 corridor, this afternoon’s weather will be most sunny and hot. High temperatures will generally be in the mid and upper 90s.

Saturday through Sunday, weather conditions are forecast to be mostly sunny, dry and hot. A couple of spotty showers will be possible towards the coast, but areal coverage is expected to be low. High temperatures are predicted to generally be near 98-100 degrees.

For Labor Day and Tuesday, scattered, mainly afternoon rain showers and thunderstorms are forecast across the region as a weak cold front sinks south out of the southern Plains and stalls somewhere across North Texas. Showers are predicted to develop along the front and track to the south. The probability for rain both days is forecast to be near 30 percent. For locations that happen to see rain, totals will average around a quarter inch or less. High temperatures Monday and Tuesday are forecast to be in the mid and upper 90s.

Next Wednesday through Friday, weather conditions are forecast to trend back to generally dry, sunny and hot, although spotty afternoon showers look to continue across the coastal plains. Expect high temperatures in the mid and upper 90s. But do note forecasters are closely monitoring an area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms over Central America that is predicted to move over the Bay of Campeche late this weekend and early next week. Upper level winds initially look unfavorable for tropical development when this system moves back over water. Regardless of development, a large pool of tropical moisture in the southern Gulf this weekend could spread northward towards Texas late next week.

Aside from this feature, no major changes in the weather pattern are expected looking out into next weekend or the week of September 13th. High temperatures are forecast to slide continue mostly in the mid and upper 90s. Unfortunately, there are currently no signs of our first good fall cold front showing up over the next two-week period.

Tropical Weather Outlook

Hurricane Larry was located Friday morning over the central tropical Atlantic, about 1400 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. Top winds were near 90 mph. Larry is moving to the west-northwest in the direction of Bermuda and poses no threat to the Gulf of Mexico.

And as mentioned earlier, a surface trough over the Gulf of Honduras and portions of Central America is producing disorganized shower and thunderstorm activity. This system is expected to move west-northwestward across Central America and the Yucatan Peninsula, bringing heavy rains to that area during the next couple of days. The disturbance is expected to move over the southwestern Gulf of Mexico late this weekend, but unfavorable upper-level winds could limit significant development while the system moves northwestward or northward over the western Gulf of Mexico early next week.  NHC forecasters are giving this system a low chance (a 30 percent chance) for tropical development over the next 5 days.

Have a safe and relaxing holiday weekend.

Bob

A Slight Chance for Showers throughout the Week. But No Break from the Heat

Monday, August 30, 2021 1:17 PM

Hot, summertime weather conditions will be in place all week as our region remains under the influence of a weak ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere. To our east, Tropical Storm Ida is slowly spreading from Mississippi into Tennessee. Meanwhile to our west, the remnants of eastern Pacific Tropical Storm Nora are spreading north across western Mexico into the Southwestern U.S. Neither of these features are expected to have any impact on our region’s weather. For Central and South Texas, the biggest weather-maker this week will be an area of lingering tropical moisture leftover from late last week and last weekend. This moisture, combined with strong heating, is expected to cause the development of scattered to isolated rain showers and thunderstorms primarily this afternoon and Tuesday.


NOAA/Colorado State University/RAMMB 08/30/21 1:40 pm CDT

The probability for rain is forecast to be near 30 percent across the region this afternoon and again Tuesday afternoon. For locations that do happen to see rain, totals are predicted to average between a quarter and a half inch, with isolated heavier totals. High temperatures today and Tuesday are forecast to reach the mid to upper 90s.

For Wednesday and Thursday, the probability for rain looks to fall to just 20 percent across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions. But across the coastal region, the chance for rain will increase to near 40 percent both days as an axis of tropical moisture spreads inland from the Gulf. Here, daily rainfall totals are forecast to average around a quarter inch, with isolated heavier totals. High temperatures Wednesday are predicted to be in the upper 90s, falling to the mid-90s on Thursday.

Mostly sunny and generally dry weather is forecast across the region Friday through Sunday. Daily high temperatures are predicted to be mostly in the mid-90s.

The outlook for Labor Day and the first half of next week calls for a somewhat increased chance for rain and thunderstorms as a weak area of low pressure pushes inland out of the Gulf, bringing a zone of tropical moisture. This moisture will cause a 30-40 percent chance for scattered rain showers and thunderstorms, with daily rain amounts between a quarter and a half inch. A slight chance for rain will continue the second half next week. Hot temperatures will be in place, with daily highs mostly in the mid-90s.

Tropical Weather Outlook

As of 1 pm CDT, Tropical Depression Ida was centered over western Mississippi, roughly 20 miles west-southwest of Jackson. Ida was moving toward the north-northeast near 9 mph and this general motion is forecast to continue today. A faster northeastward motion is expected to begin by tonight and continue through Tuesday night. On the forecast track, the center of Ida will move farther inland over western and central Mississippi this afternoon. Ida is then forecast to move over northeastern Mississippi tonight, across the Tennessee Valley on Tuesday and near the central Appalachians on Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph with higher gusts. Weakening is forecast during the next day or so, and Ida is expected to become a tropical depression later this afternoon.

The tropical depression over the central Tropical Atlantic strengthened into Tropical Storm Kate earlier today. As of 10 am CDT, Kate was located about 770 miles east-northeast of the Leeward Islands. Kate was moving toward the north near 8 mph. A general northward motion is expected to continue through Tuesday, followed by a turn to the northwest on Tuesday night or Wednesday. Satellite-derived wind data indicate that maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts. Some fluctuations in intensity are possible during the next couple of days, followed by slow strengthening on Thursday. Kate is forecast to remain over the open waters of the central Atlantic, well to the east of Bermuda.

National Hurricane Center forecasters note that satellite-derived wind data and satellite imagery indicate an area of low pressure has formed over the far eastern Tropical Atlantic in association with a tropical wave that recently moved off the west coast of Africa.  Environmental conditions are conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form within the next couple of days while the system moves west-northwestward at 10 to 15 mph over the eastern tropical Atlantic. NHC forecasters are giving this system a high chance (an 90 percent chance) for tropical development over the next 5 days.

Finally, NHC forecasters are also closely monitoring the southern Caribbean Sea, where a broad area of low pressure is expected to form by midweek. Environmental conditions appear to be favorable for some slow development by the end of the week, as long as the system remains over water. This system is expected to move gradually northwestward at 5 to 10 mph over the western Caribbean Sea close to the east coast of Central America. NHC forecasters are giving this system a low chance (a 20 percent chance) for tropical development over the next 5 days.

Although we’re turning the calendar to September this week, there are no signs of any cool air headed our direction anytime soon.

Have a good week.

Bob

Scattered Showers Expected through the Weekend. Sunny and Hot Next Week.

Friday, August 27, 2021 1:51 PM

All eyes will be on Hurricane Ida this weekend, as the storm tracks toward the central or southeastern coast of Louisiana. Over the past 24 hours, confidence has increased substantially in the storm’s forecast track and it appears now that a path towards the Texas coast is very remote.

As of 1 pm Friday, Tropical Storm Ida was located across the northwestern Caribbean Sea, just south of western Cuba. Ida just made landfall on the Isle of Youth. Ida was moving toward the northwest near 15 mph, and this general motion should continue over the next few days. Reports from Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate the maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph with higher gusts.  Additional strengthening is forecast before the center moves over western Cuba late Friday.  Steady to rapid strengthening is expected when Ida moves over the southeastern and central Gulf of Mexico over the weekend, and Ida is expected to be a major hurricane when it approaches the northern Gulf coast late Sunday. On the latest forecast track, the center of Ida will pass over the Isle of Youth this afternoon, move over western Cuba late Friday afternoon, and move over the southeastern and central Gulf of Mexico tonight and Saturday. Ida is forecast to make landfall along the U.S. northern Gulf coast on Sunday. Once Inland, Ida is forecast to track to the north and northeast across the Mississippi and Tennessee Valley regions.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for the Gulf coast, from Cameron, Louisiana to the Mississippi/Alabama border, including Lake Pontchartrain, Lake Maurepas, and Metropolitan New Orleans.


NOAA/Colorado State University/RAMMB 08/27/2021 2:00 pm CDT

Back across Central and South Texas, a fairly active weather pattern, unrelated to Ida, is forecast this afternoon and Saturday. Friday’s weather maps showed a non-tropical wave of low pressure pushing inland along the middle and upper Texas coast. This low is helping push a large area of tropical moisture well inland. The increased moisture and a slightly unstable atmosphere is expected to cause the development of scattered rain showers and thunderstorms across the region this afternoon and again on Saturday. The probability for rain will be near 20/30 percent across the western and northern Hill Country and near 40/50 percent at most other locations. Rain amounts on each day are forecast to average between a quarter and a half inch, with isolated downpours of 1-2 inches possible. Expect a partly cloudy sky both days, with high temperatures in the mid-90s.

For Sunday, lingering tropical moisture is forecast to cause additional scattered rain showers and thunderstorms across the region. However, areal coverage is expected to be a little less, with the probability for rain at any given location predicted to be near 30 percent. Sunday’s temperature is forecast to again reach the mid-90s. Winds on Sunday are forecast to be out of the northeast at around 5-10 mph, due to the outer circulation from Ida.

Sunny, hot and generally dry weather is forecast next Monday through Friday as the remnants of Ida take off to the mid-Atlantic and a moderate ridge of high pressure sets up across the northern Texas and the southern Plains states. There will be a slight chance for showers each afternoon across the coastal plains region, while most other locations stay dry. Daily rain amounts look to average less than a quarter inch.

  • High temperatures Monday are predicted to be in the upper 90s, with mid-90s expected towards the coast.
  • High temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday are predicted to be near 98-100 degrees across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and in the mid-90s towards the coast.
  • High temperature Thursday and Friday are forecast to be in the upper 90s, with mid-90s expected towards the coast.

The early outlook for Labor Day weekend calls for mostly sunny and hot weather, with high temperatures in the mid and upper 90s. There will be a slight chance for showers—mainly for areas along and east of Interstate 35.

Longer-range forecasts call for a somewhat better chance for rain and less hot temperatures developing just after Labor Day.

Tropical Weather Outlook

In addition to Tropical Storm Ida, National Hurricane Center forecasters are closely monitoring three other systems across the Atlantic. Neither feature poses a threat to the Gulf of Mexico or the Texas coast.

The first feature is an elongated area of low pressure located over the central Atlantic, about 600 miles east of Bermuda. This system is producing a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Environmental conditions are expected to be marginally conducive for development, and a tropical depression could form over the weekend.  The system is expected to drift eastward through tonight and Saturday, then accelerate northeastward Sunday toward the central north Atlantic. NHC forecasters are giving this system a medium chance (a 60 percent chance) for tropical development over the next 5 days.

The second feature is located over the central tropical Atlantic, about midway between the Cabo Verde Islands and the Lesser Antilles. Here, a tropical wave is producing an area of limited showers and thunderstorms. Gradual development of this system is expected and a tropical depression is likely to form during the next couple of days. However, the system is forecast to move into an environment of stronger upper-level winds and slightly cooler waters early next week. The disturbance is forecast to move west-northwestward today, then turn northward into the central Atlantic Saturday. NHC forecasters are giving the system a high chance (an 80 percent chance) for tropical development over the next 5 days.

Finally, the third feature is a tropical wave that is forecast to emerge off of the west African coast by the middle of next week. Afterwards, environmental conditions appear marginally conducive for gradual development toward the end of next week as the system moves west-northwestward to northwestward at 10 to 15 mph. NHC forecasters are giving this system a slight chance (a 20 percent chance) for tropical development over the next 5 days.

Enjoy this last weekend of meteorological summer!

Bob

 

Depression Becomes Tropical Storm Ida. Forecasts Call for a Path Toward Louisiana.

Thursday, August 26, 2021 4:01 PM

Here’s an afternoon update on the tropical depression located over the western Caribbean Sea. Reports from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicated the circulation of the depression became better defined Thursday afternoon and as a result, the depression was upgraded to Tropical Storm Ida. (For clarification purposes, Ida grew out of the area disturbed weather forecasters had been monitoring over the Caribbean since early in the week).

As of 4 pm CDT, the center of Tropical Storm Ida was centered over the western Caribbean Sea, roughly 100 miles west-southwest of Negril, Jamaica. Ida was moving toward the northwest near 14 mph, and this general motion should continue for the next few days. Maximum sustained winds were near 40 mph with higher gusts. Steady strengthening is forecast during the next few days and Ida is forecast to become a hurricane when it is near western Cuba or over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.  Additional strengthening is likely over the Gulf of Mexico, and the system could be near major hurricane strength when it approaches the northern Gulf coast late Sunday or early Monday.


NOAA/Colorado State University/RAMMB 08/26/21 3:50 pm CDT

The 4 pm National Hurricane Center forecast track calls for Ida pass near or over the Cayman Islands Thursday night, the Isle of Youth and western Cuba Friday, and over the southeastern and central Gulf of Mexico Friday night and Saturday.  The system is forecast to approach the U.S. northern Gulf coast on Sunday. The National Hurricane Center’s forecast track has tightened some since this morning, with the cone of uncertainty at landfall now stretching from the Texas/Louisiana border to near Gulfport, Mississippi, with the most likely path inland somewhere over southeastern Louisiana. A path toward the Texas coast is now looking less and less likely.

On the current forecast track, impacts from Ida across Central Texas and the middle Texas coast appear minimal. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms are forecast across the region Saturday and Sunday as a weak disturbance unrelated to Ida tracks west into Central Texas. Wrap-around moisture from Ida is forecast to bring a 20 percent chance for showers to Central Texas and 40 percent chance for showers to the middle Texas coast Monday and Tuesday. Rain amounts Monday and Tuesday are forecast to average less than a quarter inch across Central Texas and less than a half inch across the coastal plains. Hot temperatures are expected to develop in the wake of Ida the middle of next week.

Bob