Forecast for Central Texas

Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue
89 °F / 65 °F 90 °F / 66 °F 90 °F / 68 °F 91 °F / 68 °F 92 °F / 70 °F
89 ° / 65 ° 90 ° / 66 ° 90 ° / 68 ° 91 ° / 68 ° 92 ° / 70 °
Sunny Sunny Sunny Mostly Sunny Mostly Sunny
Updated May 29, 2020

Reports from LCRA’s Hydromet
Rainfall summary
Temperature summary
Humidity summary

Bob's Blog on Central Texas Weather

Drier, More Summer-Like Weather Expected this Weekend and Next Week.
Friday, May 29, 2020 4:26 PM

After a week of stormy and unsettled weather, a drier and more stable pattern is beginning to take hold across Central and South Texas.  Friday's weather maps show the broad trough of low pressure responsible for the recent stretch of rain and storms has shifted east of Texas and now stretches from the Great Lakes to southern Louisiana and the western Gulf of Mexico.  In the wake of the departing trough, a stable ridge of high pressure is spreading east out of the Southwestern U.S. This ridge is forecast to set up across Texas this weekend and continue through late next week.  With the ridge becoming established, a generally sunny, dry and tranquil weather pattern is forecast this afternoon, this weekend, and all of next week.  Fortunately, this ridge is not expected to be of the same magnitude we typically see in July and August, so temperatures shouldn't be as extreme.

A few scattered afternoon rain showers and isolated thunderstorms will be possible across the coastal plains region Tuesday through Friday as an area of enhanced tropical moisture spreads inland from the Gulf.  The probability for rain each day will only be 20 percent and daily rain amounts will total less than a quarter inch.

  • High temperatures today through Sunday will generally be near 88-90 degrees.  Low temperatures will range from the low 60s across the Hill Country to the upper 60s near the coast.

  • High temperatures Monday and Tuesday are forecast to be near 90-93 degrees.  Low temperatures will be near 67-70 degrees.
 
  • High temperatures Wednesday through Friday are forecast to be in near 93-96 degrees.  Low temperatures will be in the low 70s.

Forecast solutions call for the ridge of high pressure to continue over Texas next weekend, causing more sunny and hot weather.  High temperatures look to continue in the low and middle 90s.

There is a bit of uncertainty in the outlook for the following week.  Forecast solutions call for the development of a broad area of low pressure in the upper atmosphere over the western half of the Gulf next weekend.  There are indications a surface low pressure area or even a tropical cyclone could develop somewhere over the western Gulf of Mexico by Monday, June 8th.  There is considerable uncertainty at this point as to whether this system will actually develop and if it does so , where it might make landfall.  However, some of the global forecast model solutions suggest the western Gulf will have a better chance to see a tropical cyclone, compared to the eastern Gulf.  Stay tuned for more details as this situation evolves.

Aside from this threat or influence from the possible tropical cyclone, a partly cloudy and warm pattern looks to continue across our region during the second week of June, with high temperatures staying in the mid and upper 90s.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season Officially Begins Monday

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season will officially begin this Monday, June 1st.  Two early-season tropical storms developed earlier this month and National Hurricane Center forecasters are currently monitoring the central tropical Atlantic for possible new development.   Satellite images and ship reports indicate a broad area of low pressure appears to be developing over the central Atlantic Ocean, several hundred miles east-southeast of Bermuda.  This disturbance is producing a large area of showers, thunderstorms and gusty winds.  NHC forecasters feel additional development of this system will be possible, and a subtropical depression could form tonight or on Saturday as the system moves generally northward.  Development is not expected after that time due to unfavorable environmental conditions.  Forecasters are giving this system a 50 percent chance for tropical development over the next 5 days.

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RAMMB-CIRA 05/29/2020 2:00 pm CDT

NOAA and the National Hurricane Center are predicting a very active season this year.  Their outlook calls for 13-19 named storms (average is 12), with 6-10 hurricanes (average is 6).  Of those, 3-6 are forecast to become major hurricanes (average is 3).

One More Week to Catch a View of Mercury

Mercury will be primed for viewing in evening twilight this weekend and early next week.  Look for it in the west-northwest sky, about 20 degrees above the horizon, as twilight deepens.  However, Mercury will be fading in brightness next week: from magnitude 0.0 this evening, May 30th, to +0.7 on June 6th, a loss of half its light.

A telescope will show why.  Mercury is rapidly waning in phase, from half-lit to a crescent this week, showing us less and less of its sunlit side.

And this evening (Friday), look early in bright twilight to see if you can still catch Venus.  It will be shining barely above the west-northwest horizon, a mere 20 minutes after sunset.  This evening is probably going to be your very last chance to wave goodbye to Venus, which is just five days from its solar conjunction.  But in less than a month it'll be jumping up as the Morning Star in the eastern dawn.

Have a good weekend.

Bob

Previous Blog Entries

Strong to Severe Stroms Possible Wednesday Afternoon and Evening.
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 10:47 AM

Thunderstorms are expected to bring a threat for very large/damaging hail, damaging straight-line winds and a few tornadoes late this afternoon and evening.

Forecasters are closely monitoring a strong wave of low pressure rounding the western side of the broad low pressure trough located over northeast Texas.  The wave of low pressure is forecast to move from Northwest into Central Texas this afternoon.  IN advance of the area of low pressure, high resolution forecasts call for the atmosphere over much of the Hill Country and Central Texas to become moderately unstable as temperatures warm well into the 80s.  The forecasts call for explosive thunderstorm development as the wave of low pressure approaches Central Texas.

Thunderstorms are predicted to develop in the area between San Angelo and Brownwood early to mid-afternoon, with the activity spreading southeast across the eastern Hill Country and the northern counties of Central Texas by late afternoon.  The storms are forecast to reach the Austin metro area sometime between 5 pm and 7 pm, and the Bastrop/La Grange area roughly between 7 and 9 pm.  There is some questions as to how far southeast the storms will make it before they weaken, but several models suggest the storms could easily reach the Columbus/Interstate 10 corridor by late evening.  The thunderstorms are predicted to exit the Hill Country and the Austin area by about 10 or 11 pm.

Parameters are in place for supercell thunderstorms to develop, with a risk for very large hail and damaging straight-line winds. Given the forecast instability, hail larger than baseballs will be possible.  In addition, a couple of isolated tornadoes are not out of the question.

The Storm Prediction Center has placed the northern and eastern Hill Country and all of Central Texas, including the Austin metro area, under an Enhanced Risk (3 out of 5 risk) for severe thunderstorms this afternoon and tonight.  A Slight Risk (2 out of 5 risk) for severe thunderstorms is depicted for areas south to near Eagle Lake.

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While this is shaping up to primarily be a severe weather threat, today's storms are forecast to produce general rain totals of 0.5 to 1 inch, with isolated totals to near 2 inches possible.

One last final disturbance is forecast to approach our area Thursday afternoon and is expected to push a line of showers and thunderstorms through the region.  Moisture and instability levels are expected to be as little less than today's values, and as a result, the chance for strong to severe storms is expected to be lower.  The coverage of showers and storms will also likely be lower.  However, a few strong storms with hail, gusty winds, and frequent lightning will be possible.

Thursday's rain and storms should be the final round of weather associated with this week's slow-moving trough of low pressure .  Stable high pressure is forecast to build and spread over Texas beginning Friday, causing a sunny, dry and warmer weather pattern that should persist through the weekend and most of next week.

I urge everyone to stay weather aware this afternoon and evening.  Listen to local media and NOAA all-hazards radio for the latest weather information and possible watches and warnings.

Bob

A Chance for Thunderstorms will Continue through Thursday. Dry and Warmer this Weekend.
Tuesday, May 26, 2020 2:55 PM

Several waves of thunderstorms moved across Central and South Texas over the long Memorial Day weekend.  The most significant one occurring Sunday night into Monday morning.  Rain totals from the northern Hill Country to the middle Texas coast since Friday have generally totaled between 1 and 2 inches, but several areas saw much higher totals.  According to Doppler radar estimates and LCRA's Hydromet, the highest 4-day totals occurred in the area from southern Gillespie County, across Blanco and Hays Counties, to southern Travis County.  Here, most amounts averaged between 3 and 5 inches.  LCRA's highest gauged total was 5.39 inches at a location in north central Hays County, about 5 miles south-southwest of Dripping Springs.  The lowest 4-day totals were observed across the western counties of the Hill Country, between Sonora, Junction, Menard and San Angelo.  Here, most totals averaged less than a half inch.

NWS Estimate of Rain Falling Between 10 am Friday and 10 am Monday:

Rain11.png (Data courtesy of National Weather Service)

As of Tuesday morning, the large trough of low pressure responsible for this weekend's rain and storms stretched from the northern Plains states to Southeast Texas.  With the axis of the trough now east of our region, the threat for heavy rains has decreased.  However, periods of rain and thunderstorms will still be possible through Thursday as small waves of low pressure drop south down the back side of the trough and move across Texas.  This weekend's trough helped push a weak Canadian cold front through the area.  As a result, temperatures are forecast to be not quite as hot this week, with warmer temperatures returning this weekend.

For this afternoon, there will be just a slight chance for a few isolated thunderstorms around the region.  The probability for rain at any given location will be 20 percent.  For locations that do happen to see rain, totals should average less than a quarter inch.  Under a partly cloudy sky, today's temperature should warm to the low and mid-80s.  Expect a mostly clear sky tonight.  Lows Wednesday morning will include the upper 50s across the Hill Country, the low 60s across Central Texas and the mid-60s towards the coast.

Forecasts call for a somewhat better chance for rain showers and thunderstorms occurring Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday evening when a small wave of low pressure tracks southeast out of the Texas Panhandle. An area of thunderstorms is forecast to develop over northwest Texas Wednesday afternoon, with the area of storms tracking southeast into the Hill Country and Central Texas regions late Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday evening.  Atmospheric conditions are predicted to become quite unstable in advance of the low, allowing some of these storms to become severe.  The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of the Hill Country and Central Texas, including Austin, under an Enhanced Risk (3 out of 5 risk) for severe thunderstorms.  A Slight Risk (2 out of 5 risk) extends south to Gonzales and Columbus.  Large hail and damaging winds will be the primary severe weather threats, but an isolated tornado or two cannot be ruled out.

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The probability for rain Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday evening will be near 40-50 percent.  Rain amounts from the storms are forecast to average around a half inch, with isolated totals of 1-2 inches possible.  Most of the storms are predicted to decrease in intensity before reaching the coastal counties.  Wednesday's temperature is forecast to climb to the mid and upper 80s.

There will another chance for rain and thunderstorms on Thursday as one more wave of low pressure swings southeast out of the Texas Panhandle.  This feature is predicted to cause the development of thunderstorms across the Concho Valley region Thursday afternoon, with the showers and thunderstorms  expected to slide across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions late Thursday afternoon and evening.  Some of the storms may again be strong to severe.  The activity is forecast to push south to the coast late Thursday evening.  The probability for rain will again will near 30-40 percent.  Rain amounts look to average between 0.25 and 0.5 inches with isolated totals to near 1 inch possible.  Thursday weather will be partly cloudy and warm, with temperatures warming to the mid and upper 80s.

A drier and mostly sunny weather pattern is forecast to develop Friday and continue through the weekend as the persistent trough of low pressure finally lifts off to the northeast.  There will be lingering slight chance for afternoon showers across the coastal plains region through the weekend, but most other locations should stay dry.  High temperatures Friday and through the weekend are forecast to be in the upper 80s.

Sunny, dry and warmer weather is forecast through the first half of next week as a stable ridge of high pressure sets over Texas and the south central U.S.  High temperatures are forecast to be generally in the low 90s.  A slight chance for rain showers and thunderstorms is forecast late next week into the following weekend as the high pressure ridge shifts east and a very moist flow develops off the Gulf of Mexico.  High temperatures late next week should hold mostly in the low 90s.

Comet SWAN's Final Song 

Despite early expectations, comet SWAN appears to be fizzling, providing yet another opportunity to appreciate what makes these objects so unique.  We've all been patiently waiting for Comet SWAN to put on a show.  The comet brightened and developed a beautiful gas tail in April and early May.  It was expected to become an easy naked-eye object by mid-May.  In fact, Southern Hemisphere observers recorded a steady increase in brightness through April, including an outburst at month's end that boosted its magnitude to 5.2. Observers with dark skies reported seeing the comet without optical aid.

Then everything came to a screeching halt. The comet's brightness stalled and then reversed itself just days before its transition from southern to northern skies.  The visual feast we'd been expecting has now become just a morsel.  It's not clear but the comet may have broken into fragments.  SWAN may still have an outburst in the cards, but the chances are not great.

The comet is not visible to the unaided eye and it's just a small fuzzy patch of light through binoculars.

If you'd like to try your luck in viewing the comet, look for it low , just  5–10° above the north-northwestern horizon, at the end of evening twilight.  Be sure to find a spot with a wide-open view in that direction. While it may prove difficult or impossible to see in ordinary binoculars, a telescope will still provide a good view.  (Skyandtelescope.org)

Bob

An Unsettled Pattern Looks to Bring Several Inches of Rain.
Friday, May 22, 2020 4:22 PM

Friday's forecast data continues to indicate a wet and unsettled weather pattern will take shape across much of Texas this holiday weekend, with the wet pattern persisting next week and into next weekend.  Forecasts call for a trough of low pressure over the Desert Southwest to track east this weekend and become stationary over Texas as the trough becomes trapped between ridges of high pressure over the Southeastern and Southwestern U.S.  Forecasts call for the trough to remain essentially stationary through late next week, and this is expected to result in numerous rounds of rain and thunderstorms.  Some of the rain may at times be heavy.  Forecasters will be closely watching the period from Sunday through Wednesday when some of the highest totals of rain are expected.

Friday Afternoon through Saturday

This afternoon's weather is shaping up to be partly cloudy, warm and humid.  While a spotty shower can't be ruled out, most locations should stay dry.  High temperatures will be near 90-92 degrees.  There will be 20-30 percent chance for rain and thunderstorms across the northern counties of Central Texas and the Hill Country late this evening and towards midnight.  Forecasts call for a complex of storms to develop just south of Wichita Falls  this afternoon, with the rain and storms expected to track to the south during the late afternoon and evening.  Although this complex of storms is forecast to weaken as it moves south, it may hold together long enough to reach the northern counties of the Hill Country and Central Texas (including Austin) late Friday evening.  Some of these storms may contain small hail and gusty winds.  Rain amounts should generally average between 0.25 and 0.5 inches.

Saturday's weather is shaping up to be partly cloudy and warm.  There will be a slight chance for a few scattered rain showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening, but significant rain is not expected.  The temperature should climb close to 90 degrees.

Saturday Night through Wednesday

There will be an increased chance for rain and thunderstorms throughout the period as the trough of low pressure sets up and stalls over Central Texas.  Forecasts call for numerous complexes of rain and thunderstorms to develop across West Texas, with the activity spreading to the east from time to time.  Unlike the activity from the past couple of nights, this activity is not expected to weaken when it moves to the east.  Keep in mind, some of the storms will be slow-moving, having the potential to produce large amounts of rain in relatively short periods of time.  Daily rainfall totals are forecast to generally average between 1 and 2 inches.   

Thursday through Next Weekend

Periods of rain and thunderstorms look to continue, but areal coverage is expected to decrease.  The probability for rain both days looks to decrease slightly to around 40-50 percent.  Daily rain amounts should total between 0.25 and 0.50 inches. 

Rain totals over the next 7 days are predicted to be quite high.  The National Weather Service's 7-day totals are forecast to be between 5 and 7 inches for all of Central Texasand a large part of the Hill Country.

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

Rain10.png

Given the widespread and repeated nature of the pattern of storm complexes, flooding and flash flooding will become a concern with this pattern setup--especially as grounds begin to saturate.

Outlook for the Week of June 1st

Longer-range forecasts call for a somewhat drier pattern to develop by about Tuesday or Wednesday as the stalled upper trough finally weakens and shifts to the south.  However, at least a slight chance for rain looks to continue.  High temperatures will warm back to the low 90s.

MERCURY-VENUS CONJUNCTION:  When the sun goes down tonight, Saturday night and Sunday night, step outside and look low in the western sky. The planets Venus and Mercury will be very close to each other.  The view will become even more special Saturday and Sunday evenings when an exquisitely thin crescent Moon will join the show, forming a celestial triangle on one night and an almost-straight line the next.  It will be a nice way to end the day.

And by the way, Venus is dropping fast in the western sky!  It shines brightly low in the west-northwest sky in twilight, falling farther away from fainter Mercury each evening as it heads toward its June 3rd conjunction with the Sun.  We'll lose sight of Venus by week's end.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.  Stay weather aware as we move into this wet and unsettled pattern!

Bob

NOAA Predicts a Busy Atlantic Hurricane Season
Thursday, May 21, 2020 6:16 PM

NOAA and the National Hurricane Center issued their outlook for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season.  Similar to Phil Klotzabach at Colorado State University, NOAA is forecasting a very active season with an above normal number of storms.

Here is NOAA's press release on their seasonal forecast: 

May 21, 2020  An above-normal 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected, according to forecasters with NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. The outlook predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a likely range of 13 to 19 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

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"As Americans focus their attention on a safe and healthy reopening of our country, it remains critically important that we also remember to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming hurricane season," said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. "Just as in years past, NOAA experts will stay ahead of developing hurricanes and tropical storms and provide the forecasts and warnings we depend on to stay safe."

The combination of several climate factors is driving the strong likelihood for above-normal activity in the Atlantic this year. El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are expected to either remain neutral or to trend toward La Nina, meaning there will not be an El Nino present to suppress hurricane activity. Also, warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, coupled with reduced vertical wind shear, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon all increase the likelihood for an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Similar conditions have been producing more active seasons since the current high-activity era began in 1995.

"NOAA's analysis of current and seasonal atmospheric conditions reveals a recipe for an active Atlantic hurricane season this year," said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. "Our skilled forecasters, coupled with upgrades to our computer models and observing technologies, will provide accurate and timely forecasts to protect life and property."

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Bob


A Wet Weather Pattern Developing this Weekend, Continuing through Next Week.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020 4:50 PM


The ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere that has produced the summer-like heat for the past couple of days will be weakening over the next couple of days and moving off to the east.  At the same time, a trough of low pressure is forecast to move into Texas out of the Desert Southwest on Friday, with the trough expected to stall over Texas through the weekend and the first half of next week.  Meanwhile, considerable moisture is predicted to spread north from the Gulf beginning this weekend.  The combination of all of these feature points to the development of a cloudy, wet and unsettled weather pattern for Central and South Texas.

Friday-Monday 

There will be a 20-30 percent chance for scattered mainly afternoon and evening rain showers and thunderstorms across the region Friday and Saturday.  Rain amounts are forecast to generally average around a quarter inch.  A somewhat better chance for rain and thunderstorms is forecast Sunday through Memorial Day as the atmosphere grows increasingly moist and unstable.  Daily rain amounts are forecast to average around a half inch.  Isolated heavier totals will be possible.

Tuesday through Friday

The trough of low pressure is forecast to stall over the area, then slowly sink southeast to the Gulf of Mexico.  This feature will keep the weather pattern active, with a 30-40 percent chance for daily afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms.  Rain amounts each day look to average between 0.25 and 0.5 inches.

We're looking at a wet pattern for at least the next week.  While there is still considerable uncertainty, 7-day rainfall forecasts call for totals of 2-3 inches across the Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor, with slightly lower amounts to the east of Interstate 35.

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

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Bob

Dry and Hot through Wednesday. A Chance for Rain Forecast through the Holiday Weekend.
Monday, May 18, 2020 3:10 PM

Friday night's storms brought a general 1 to 3 inches of rain to most of the Colorado River watershed. The western and northern Hill Country missed most out on the heavy rain, and as a result, most totals averaged less than a half inch.  LCRA's highest gauged total was 4.36 inches near Lane City in southern Wharton County.  A gauge located in northwestern Blanco County, to the west of Round Mountain, recorded a storm total of 4.19 inches.  The trough of low pressure responsible for Friday night's rain and storms exited slowly to the northeast Saturday into Sunday.  This morning, the trough was center over Illinois and was producing widespread rain from the Tennessee Valley to the Great Lakes.

On the heels of this weekend's upper trough, a broad, stable ridge of high pressure has spread over Texas out of northern Mexico and the Desert Southwest.  The center of the ridge is forecast to move directly over central Texas Tuesday, then slowly shift off to the east Wednesday and Thursday.  With the ridge firmly in place, sunny, hot and very summer-like weather is predicted for this afternoon, continuing through Wednesday.

  • High temperatures this afternoon will generally be in the low and mid-90s.
 
  • Lows Tuesday morning will generally be in the upper 60s.
 
  • High temperatures Tuesday and Wednesday will include the mid and upper 90s across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions.  Several spots across the western and northern Hill Country look to reach near 100-102 degrees.  Towards the coast, high temperatures will be in the low and mid-90s.
 
  • Lows Wednesday morning will be in the upper 60s to low 70s.
 
A summer-like pattern looks to continue Thursday through Saturday, but some changes are expected.  With the ridge weakening, thunderstorms are forecast to develop along the dry line across West Texas each afternoon.  Forecasts call for the thunderstorms to track east and there will be a slight chance for some of the thunderstorms to reach the western half of the Hill Country Thursday evening and Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor Friday and Saturday evenings.  Some of these storms may be strong to severe.  All of the activity is forecast to diminish around midnight.

In addition to the dry line thunderstorm activity, forecasts call for atmospheric moisture levels to increase Friday through Saturday and this will lead to a slight chance for the development of scattered afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms across all of the region.  The probability for rain will only be near 20 percent.   For locations that do happen to see rain, totals each day are predicted to average around a quarter inch.

High temperatures will be in the low to mid-90s Thursday, in the low 90s Friday and near 90 degrees on Saturday.

A better chance for rain and thunderstorms is forecast to take shape across the region Sunday and Memorial Day when a trough of low pressure moves into Texas out of northern Mexico.  Showers and thunderstorms are forecast to develop as the atmosphere becomes increasingly moist and unstable.  The probability for rain both days will near 40-50 percent.  Rain amounts Sunday through Monday are currently forecast to average around 1 inch.  Expect a mostly cloudy sky both days, with high temperatures in the upper 80s.

The outlook for next Tuesday through Thursday calls for the unsettled and wet weather pattern to continue as Sunday's trough of low pressure becomes stationary over the state.  Periods of rain and thunderstorms are forecast each day.  High temperatures next week are predicted to be near 88-90 degrees.

Tropical Storm Arthur

The area of disturbed weather over the Florida Keys on Friday moved northeast to a position a couple hundred miles east of Florida Saturday.  By late Saturday, the system had strengthened sufficiently to be upgraded to a tropical storm.

As of 10 am Monday, Arthur was centered just off the coast of North Carolina, about  20 miles east-southeast of Cape Hatteras.  Arthur is moving toward the north-northeast near 16 mph .  A turn toward the northeast is expected later today, followed by a turn  toward the east on Tuesday.  A slower southeast or south-southeast motion is forecast to begin Tuesday night and continue through Wednesday.  On the forecast track, the center of Arthur will begin moving away from the North Carolina Outer Banks this afternoon.  Arthur is then forecast to turn away from the east coast of the United States tonight and Tuesday.

Reports from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph with higher gusts.  Some additional strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours.  Little change in strength is expected Tuesday night and Wednesday.

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RAMMB-CIRA 2:30 pm CDT 05/18/2020

Be on the Lookout for Venus and Mercury

You can't miss the planet Venus, shining brightly in the western sky each evening beginning at sunset.  Venus is beginning to drop a little lower in the sky each day.  This Thursday, May 21st will be a real treat, however, as Venus will be joined in the evening twilight by the planet Mercury.  And the two planets will only be 1 degree apart!  That's less than a finger's width at arm's length.  Mercury will be just below Venus, low in the west-northwestern sky just after sunset.  Venus is about 30 times brighter than Mercury, so it will take a little effort to see Mercury.     

Here is a Venus challenge for you.  Venus is currently shining very brightly, but did you know this bright light is actually coming from a thin crescent and not the total sphere?   It is easy to discern with a small telescope or even good, steadily braced binoculars.  But can you resolve the crescent Venus with your unaided eyes?  Mere 20/20 vision isn't good enough; success may await the eagle-eyed with 20/15, 20/12, or (rare) 20/10 vision.  Try during different stages of twilight before the sky becomes too dark and Venus's glare too overwhelming.  Look long and carefully.  One person who apparently succeeded in this challenge was the famous poet and amateur astronomer Edgar Allan Poe, who wrote about it in his poem "Ulalume" (1847).

Have  good week.

Bob

Strong Storms and Heavy Rain Expcected Friday Night into Saturday.
Friday, May 15, 2020 12:42 PM

There will be an Enhanced Risk for severe storms for the Hill Country and Interstate 35 Corridor tonight.  A Slight Risk for severe storms is forecast for the area between Austin and the middle Texas coast.

A heavy rain/flash flooding threat is expected to develop Friday night into Saturday morning, with widespread rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches and isolated amounts up to 5 inches.   

 
A very active period of weather is forecast to develop across our region tonight into Saturday when a vigorous trough of low pressure moving out of Mexico produces a widespread area of rain and thunderstorms.  In advance of tonight's activity, this afternoon's weather is expected to be mostly cloudy.  A few showers and scattered thunderstorms will be possible across the coastal plains, but most other locations should remain dry.  Expect a southeasterly breeze at 10-15 mph. Today's temperature is expected to warm to the upper 80s.

High-resolution forecasts call for a large area of thunderstorms to develop along the mountains of northeastern Mexico and Far West Texas late this afternoon, just ahead of the upper trough.  These thunderstorms are predicted to organized into a large complex of rain and thunderstorms across West Texas this evening.  The complex of storms is forecast to slowly track east and spread over our region late tonight into Saturday.  Forecasts call for the area of rain and storms to spread across the Hill Country in the hours just before and just after midnight, reaching the Austin/Interstate 35 corridor sometime between 2 and 5 am.  The complex of storms is predicted to spread over the area southeast of Austin Saturday morning, reaching the coastal plains late Saturday morning.

 Storm Prediction Center forecasters indicate there will be an increased risk for strong to severe thunderstorms along and just behind the leading edge of this thunderstorms complex.  Damaging straight-line winds and large hail will be the primary severe weather threats.  Storm Prediction Center forecasters have placed the Hill Country and the Austin/Interstate 35 corridor under an Enhanced Risk (3 out of 5 risk) for severe thunderstorms through 7 am Saturday.  Areas southeast of Austin, down to the coast, have been placed under a Slight Risk (2 out of 5 risk) for severe thunderstorms.

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An area of moderate to heavy rain will accompany the complex of storms as it spreads east tonight.  This area of moderate to heavy rain is expected to persist across the Hill Country till about sunrise Saturday.  For the Austin/Central Texas area, the heavy rain is forecast to persist until late Saturday morning and for the coastal counties, the heavy rain should persist till mid-to late afternoon.  Occasional periods of light rain are forecast behind the storm complex Saturday afternoon into Saturday evening.

Forecasts for Sunday call for just a slight chance for showers for the Hill Country and Central Texas regions while there will be a 30-40 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms along the middle Texas coast.

Rainfall forecasts through Sunday call for the highest totals of rain to occur across Southeast Texas, including the middle Texas coast.  Forecasts call for general totals of 1-3 inches across the Hill Country and the Austin/Central Texas region.  A couple of isolated totals to near 5 inches will be possible.  Across the middle Texas coast, totals are forecast to average between 2 and 4 inches, with isolated totals of 6-8 inches possible.  The National Weather Service has posted a Flash Flood Watch for Colorado, Wharton and Matagorda Counties starting at 4 am Saturday and running through 7 pm.

Rainfall amounts and rates could lead to flash flooding of some low water crossings, prompting road closures and potential high water rescues. Flooding may occur at other poor drainage and urban areas.  Remember, Turn Around, Don't Drown!

NWS Rainfall Forecast for the Period 7 am Friday through 7 am Monday:

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A mostly sunny and dry weather pattern is predicted to take shape Monday and persist through late week as a stable ridge of high spreads over Texas out of the Desert Southwest.  High temperatures next week are forecast to generally be around 90 degrees, with lows near 68-70 degrees.

Looking ahead to Memorial Day weekend, forecasts call for a slight chance to a chance for rain showers Sunday through Memorial Day as the ridge weakens and shifts to the east.  High temperatures look to continue around 90 degrees.

Tropical Cyclone Development Expected this Weekend Over the Bahamas

Although it's only the middle of May, there are strong indications the season's first tropical cyclone will develop over the weekend.  Fortunately, this system will pose no threat to the western Gulf or to the Texas coast. 

National Hurricane Center forecasters are closely monitoring a trough of low pressure located over the Straits of Florida.  This system continues to produce disorganized shower activity and gusty winds across the Florida Keys, portions of southeast Florida, and the northwestern Bahamas.  NHC forecasters call gradual development, and expect this system to become a tropical or subtropical storm on Saturday when it is located near the northwestern Bahamas.  Later in the weekend and early next week, the system is expected to move generally northeastward over the western Atlantic.  Regardless of development, the disturbance is expected to bring heavy rainfall to portions of the Florida Keys, southeast Florida and the Bahamas through Saturday.  Tropical-storm-force  wind gusts will also be possible across portions of the Florida Keys, southeast Florida, and the Bahamas during the next day or so.

NHC forecasters are giving this system an 80 percent chance for tropical development over the next 5 days.

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RAMMB-CIRA 05/15/20 11:20 am CDT

Have a good weekend.  Make plans now to have at least three ways to receive National Weather Service watches and warnings to keep you and your family safe this weekend.

Bob

A Wet Weather Pattern Developing this Weekend.
Wednesday, May 13, 2020 4:56 PM

A very wet weather pattern appears to be taking shape for Central Texas beginning Friday and continuing through the weekend.  Here is some information on the wet pattern and the latest rainfall forecast.

This Afternoon through Thursday

The area of low pressure responsible for Tuesday's widespread rain and storms has moved well off to the east.  This afternoon, a few spotty, brief rain showers will be possible for areas along and to the east of Interstate 35, but no significant totals of rain are expected.  Late this afternoon, an area of thunderstorm is forecast to develop across West Texas, roughly between Del Rio, Ozona and Sweetwater.  The area of thunderstorms is forecast to track east this evening and a couple of these storms may reach as far east as Junction, Brady and Coleman before dissipating in the late evening.  Rain amounts are forecast to average around a quarter inch.

A very similar pattern is forecast for Thursday, with just a slight chance for afternoon showers for locations along and east of Interstate 35.

Friday and through the Weekend

A wet, stormy and unsettled weather pattern is forecast to develop Friday afternoon and continue through the weekend as a large trough of low pressure moves into Texas out of Mexico and slows down, practically stalling over the state.  This system is forecast to draw an area of very moist air inland from the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in the development of numerous complexes of moderate to heavy rain and scattered to numerous thunderstorms. 

Friday afternoon, scattered rain showers and thunderstorms are forecast to develop over much of the area as the atmosphere grows increasingly moist and unstable.  Attention will turn to West Texas Friday evening where a large complex of rain and thunderstorms is forecast to develop.  This complex of rain and storms is forecast to spread east across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions Friday night.

Saturday and Saturday night are shaping up to be quite wet and stormy across the entire region as several complexes of rain and thunderstorms spread north over the area.  Some of the rain may be heavy at times.  Additional periods of rain and storms are forecast to occur Sunday into Sunday night, but the rain is not expected to be quite as widespread or heavy as what is forecast for Saturday.

Rain totals between Friday afternoon and Monday morning are forecast to generally average between 2 and 4 inches, with isolated totals 5-6 inches possible.  Several patterns such as this one occurring in the month of May have historically produced totals in excess of 5 inches.

NWS Rainfall Forecast for the Period 7 pm Wednesday through 7 pm Monday:

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With the ground still quite wet from Tuesday's rains, flash flooding will become a growing concern over the weekend.

Next Week

The outlook for next week calls for the wet, unsettled pattern to continue through at least the middle of the week.  Forecasts call for this weekend's trough of low pressure to shift back to the west and bounce around Central and Southeast Texas through Wednesday, possibly longer.  The presence of the trough will cause a daily chance for mainly afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms.  Daily rain amounts are predicted to average between 0.25 and 0.50 inches.

The next week is shaping up to be quite wet for Central and South Texas.  There are still many details yet to be worked out but I wanted to give everyone a heads up about this upcoming wet period.  I'll pass along further updates over the next couple of days.

An Early Season Tropical Cyclone May Develop by the Weekend

National Hurricane Center forecasters are closely monitoring the area within a couple of hundred miles north of the Bahamas where a broad area of low pressure is expected to develop late this week or early this weekend.  According to the Hurricane Center, environmental conditions appear conducive for gradual development of this system, and a subtropical depression or storm is likely to form this weekend, while it moves northeastward over the western Atlantic. NHC forecasters are giving this system a 70 percent chance for development over the next 5 days.  Do note this system poses no threat to the Gulf of Mexico or the Texas coast.

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Bob

Weather Pattern Change to Bring Us Two Chances for Rain this Week.
Monday, May 11, 2020 2:58 PM

 

May weather doesn't get much better than what we had over the weekend with lots of sunshine, low humidity levels and pleasant temperatures.  Readings even dipped into the 40s at a few locations across the Hill Country and Central Texas.  But these will likely be the last of the cool, pleasant temperatures our region will see until next fall.  The weather pattern is changing this week, bringing a return of warmer and more humid air along with a couple of chances for rain.  Long-range forecasts indicate this warmer/humid pattern is going to persist through the end of the month.

Monday's weather has started off sunny but clouds are expected to spread over the area this afternoon.  A trough of low pressure located Monday morning over northwestern Mexico is moving to the east.  In advance of the trough, clouds and moisture were beginning to spread north from Deep South Texas and the Rio Grande Plains.  As the clouds increase this afternoon, our sky is expected to become party to mostly cloudy.  In addition, southeasterly breezes will be increasing to 10-15 mph.  Today's temperature should warm to the low 80s.

With the trough getting closer to Texas, high resolution forecasts call for a large area of rain showers and scattered thunderstorms to develop this evening, between Childress, Fort Stockton and Del Rio.  The rain and storms are predicted to spread east late this evening, reaching the northern and western Hill Country region just after midnight.  Although the rains will be weakening overnight, some of the rain and thunderstorms could reach the Austin/Interstate 35 around sunrise Tuesday morning.  The rain area is expected to diminish after that.  The probability for rain will be near 30-40 for the Hill Country and Interstate 35 corridor regions overnight.  Severe storms are not anticipated.

There will be a second opportunity for rain showers and thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday evening as the trough itself crosses the area.  Scattered rain showers and thunderstorms are forecast to develop across the region as atmospheric lift spreads over the area.  The probability for rain at any given locations will be near 30-40 percent.  Severe thunderstorms are not anticipated.  The rain and storms are forecast to push east of the region by about midnight Tuesday night.  Rain amounts between Monday evening and Tuesday midnight are forecast to generally total between a quarter and a half inch, with a couple of isolated totals to 1 inch possible.  Due to the scattered nature of this rain, many spots may not receive any rain.

A partly cloudy to mostly sunny sky is forecast Wednesday through Thursday.  High temperatures will be in the upper 80s Wednesday and be close to 90 degrees on Thursday.

A cloudy and unsettled weather pattern will begin taking shape Friday when a large trough of low pressure from the Pacific moves into northern Mexico and the Desert Southwest.  Clouds and moisture will quickly return to the area Friday morning, with a 40-50 percent chance for scattered rain showers and thunderstorms developing Friday afternoon into Friday evening.  Forecasts are showing some possibility for severe storms—especially for the western and northern Hill Country regions Friday afternoon and evening.

Periods of rain showers and thunderstorms are forecast Saturday through Sunday as the trough slowly moves east across Texas.  Although the details are still to be worked out, some of this rain could be locally heavy.  The rain is predicted to taper off across the Hill Country Sunday evening.  However, lighter rains look to linger over much of Central Texas and the coastal plains regions into next Monday.

As of now, rain totals between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening are forecast to generally total between 1 and 2 inches.  However, due to the slow movement of this system, isolated totals of 3-4 inches will not be out of the question.

The outlook for next week calls for the wet and unsettled pattern to continue.  Small troughs of low pressure tracking east out of the Desert Southwest look to bring a daily chance for rain and thunderstorms to the region Tuesday through Friday.  High temperatures next week look to be near 90 degrees with low temperatures in the low 70s.
 

Have a good week.

Bob

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