Forecast for Central Texas

Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday
Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue
104 °F / 77 °F 105 °F / 77 °F 106 °F / 77 °F 106 °F / 77 °F 102 °F / 77 °F
104 / 77 ° 105 / 77 ° 106 / 77 ° 106 / 77 ° 102 / 77 °
Sunny, Very Hot Sunny, Very Hot Sunny, Very Hot Sunny, Very Hot Sunny, Very Hot
Updated July 20, 2018

Bob's Blog on Central Texas Weather

Heat Wave Gaining Strength this Weekend into Monday. Very Hot Weather Continuing through Late Next Week.
Friday, July 20, 2018 2:56 PM

A serious heat wave is dominating the weather across the Lone Star State as a powerful ridge of high pressure centered over the Texas Panhandle continues to produce dry and very hot weather conditions.  For many locations, the current heat wave is the longest streak of very hot temperatures we've seen since the summer heat wave of 2011.  Forecasts call for very hot temperatures this weekend, with readings reaching their highest level on Monday.  Dangerous heat is forecast over the next few days and everyone needs to take extra precautions to protect themselves and their family:

  • Wear light weight and loose fitting clothing.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Take frequent breaks, preferably in an air conditioned area.
  • If possible, reschedule strenuous activities for the morning or late evening hours to avoid the heat of the day.
  • Young children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances!

 
Friday's weather maps showed the powerful ridge of high pressure stretching from northern California to the Dixie states, with the ridge being centered near Amarillo.  The ridge has shifted eastward a couple of hundred miles since Thursday, making the atmosphere over Central Texas hotter and even more stable.  This weekend through Monday, the center of the ridge is forecast to sink a bit further to the southeast.  The ridge is predicted to slowly begin moving back to the west on Tuesday.  With this in mind, the temperature is forecast to grow hotter over the weekend, reaching a peak Monday, then slowly lowering next Tuesday through Thursday.

The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for most of the Hill Country and the northern counties of Central Texas, including Austin.  A Heat Advisory has been issued for most other locations.  The warning and advisory will likely be extended into Monday as well.

Here is a breakdown of forecast high temperatures today though next Thursday:

Friday  

For the Hill Country and the Austin/Interstate 35 corridor, high temperatures will be in the range of 102-105 degrees.  For areas east of the I-35 corridor, high temperatures will be near 100-102 degrees.  For the coastal plains region, high temperatures look to be near 98-100 degrees.

Saturday

For the Hill Country and the Austin/Interstate 35 corridor, high temperatures will be in the range of 103-106 degrees.  For areas east of the I-35 corridor, high temperatures will be near 101-103 degrees.  For the coastal plains region, high temperatures look to be near 100 degrees.

Sunday and Monday

For the Hill Country and the Austin/Interstate 35 corridor, high temperatures will be in the range of 103-107 degrees.  For areas east of the I-35 corridor, high temperatures will be near 102-104 degrees.  For the coastal plains region, high temperatures look to be near 100 degrees.

Tuesday through Thursday:

For the Hill Country and the Austin/Interstate 35 corridor, high temperatures will be in the range of 100-103 degrees.  For areas east of the I-35 corridor, high temperatures will be near 99-101 degrees.  For the coastal plains region, high temperatures look to be in the upper 90s.

National Weather Service high temperatures forecast for Monday, 07/23:
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Wind speeds look to be fairly light over the next week, staying generally in the range of 5-10 mph.

Computer-forecast solutions call for the center of the high pressure ridge to become established over the Four Corners region next weekend, continuing through the early part of the following week.  The proximity of the ridge looks to keep weather conditions across Central Texas sunny and very hot, with daily high temperatures near 100 degrees.   Longer-range solutions call for the ridge to move further off to the west as we begin the month of August.  This should allow high temperatures to fall to the upper 90s.

No rain is expected through the end of July.  There are some hints of a slight chance for rain developing in early August.

Saharan Dust Update (courtesy of the TCEQ)

African dust is expected to persist across the entire state this afternoon and Saturday as another cloud of dust spreads inland off the Gulf.  The heaviest of the dust is forecast to shift inland into portions of Central, North Central, and East Texas today through Saturday. The Air Quality Index is forecast to reach the middle to upper end of the "Moderate" range in parts of the Austin, Beaumont-Port Arthur, San Antonio and Dallas-Fort Worth areas.  The Air Quality Index is forecast to fall to the lower to middle end of the "Moderate" range Saturday.

African dust is expected to persist in South, Southeast, and Central Texas Sunday. The Air Quality Index is forecast to reach the middle to upper end of the "Moderate" range in parts of the Austin, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Brownsville-McAllen, Corpus Christi, Houston and San Antonio areas.

The African dust is expected to persist but weaken in concentration across South, East, and Central Texas Monday and Tuesday.
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RAMMB-CIRA 07/20/2018  12:45 pm 

Tropical Weather Update

Weather conditions are quiet across the tropical Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.  The National Hurricane Center is not predicting any tropical development for the next 5 days.

Catch Mars this Weekend and Next Week

The planet Mars is currently approaching Earth for a 15-year close encounter next Friday July 27th.  Mars has recently brightening to a luminosity rarely seen from the Red Planet.  How bright is it?  Mars is now almost 3 times brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the sky.  It is also 30% brighter than Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. If you have not yet seen Mars with your own eyes this month, make a point to do so over the next week. You can't miss it shining brightly reddish-yellow in the southern sky beginning around 11 pm local time.

The planets Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and even Mercury are also all currently visible to the naked eye in the evening/nighttime sky.

Have a good weekend.

Bob

Previous Blog Entries

Temperatures Forecast to Increase Even Further Late Week into this Weekend.
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 6:03 PM


An intense heat wave is underway across Central Texas, with afternoon temperatures now reaching or exceeding 100 degrees.  Over the past couple of days, a strong ridge of high pressure that had been located over the Desert Southwest and northern Mexico has slowly spread east into Texas.  Wednesday's analysis showed now covering much of Texas.

Analysis of Wednesday's atmosphere at 18,000 feet:
ThursRain.png

Very hot air in the lower atmosphere underneath the ridge is sinking to the ground, producing a clear sky and scorching hot temperatures.  Over the next couple of days, the center of the ridge is forecast to nudge even closer to Texas, causing temperatures to grow even hotter.  The temperature is forecast to reach a peak sometime either Sunday or Monday, with the temperature lowering next Tuesday and Wednesday.

For Thursday, high temperatures are forecast to generally reach near 101-104 degrees across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions.  Mid to upper 90s are forecast across the coastal plains.

NWS high temperatures for Thursday, 07/19:
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Slightly hotter temperatures are forecast Friday into Saturday as the ridge grows stronger.  High temperatures are forecast to be near 102-105 degrees across Central Texas and the Hill Country.  Upper 90s are forecast across the coastal plains regions.

NWS high temperatures for Saturday, 07/21:
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And even hotter temperatures are forecast for Sunday and Monday with high temperatures near 103-106 degrees across Central Texas and the Hill Country.  Upper 90s look to continue across the coastal plains.

NWS high temperatures for Sunday, 07/22:
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High temperatures are predicted to lower to the around 102 degrees Tuesday and should lower to around 100 degrees Wednesday through Friday as the ridge weakens and moves back toward the Desert Southwest.

Longer-range forecasts show a hot weather pattern continuing through the end of July and into early August.  As of now, it appears high temperatures should remain around 98-100 degrees.

Bob

A July Heat Wave is Ramping Up and Will Likely Persist into Next Week.
Monday, July 16, 2018 3:00 PM

 

Some of the hottest temperatures so far this summer are expected to occur across the region this week as a powerful ridge of high pressure sets up over the southwestern and south central US.  This heatwave is expected to continue through the upcoming weekend and linger through most of next week.  There are some indications the temperature may begin to lower about 2-3 degrees late next week.

Monday morning's weather maps showed a broad, stable ridge of high pressure in the middle and upper atmosphere covering the southern two-thirds of the US.  The ridge was centered over southern Arkansas and also out west over southern Nevada.  Sinking air associated with the ridge is causing a very stable atmosphere, a nearly cloudless sky and very hot temperatures.  This week, the center of the high pressure ridge currently located over Nevada is predicted to slowly shift southeast to the southwestern US by late week.  The ridge center is forecast to set up over the western Texas this weekend and early next week, before shifting back to the southwestern US around the middle of next week.

With the center of the ridge moving closer to Central Texas this week, afternoon temperatures are forecast to climb higher, peaking late this week and this weekend.  

Here is a breakdown on this week's high temperatures for the Hill Country and the Austin/Central Texas regions:

This afternoon, the temperature is forecast to generally reach the upper 90s.  Expect a south wind at 10-15 mph.

For Tuesday and Wednesday, the temperature should peak around 100-102 degrees.  Expect a south wind at 5-10 mph both days.

For Thursday through Sunday, high temperatures are forecast to be between 101 and 105 degrees.  South winds at 5-10 mph will continue.

For the Coastal Plains region, high temperatures this afternoon through Wednesday are forecast to be in the mid to upper 90s.  High temperatures Thursday through Sunday are forecast to be in the upper 90s.  A few spots could see readings close to 100 degrees.

Next week's weather is showing little change, with conditions remaining sunny and very hot.  High temperatures across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions Monday through Wednesday are predicted to be between 101 and 105 degrees, lowering to around 100-102 degrees Thursday and Friday.  High temperatures across the coastal plains region are forecast to be mostly in the upper 90s.

Long-range forecasts call for hot and dry weather conditions to persist through the end of the month.

The Saharan Dust is Back

A large area of Saharan dust spread into Texas out of the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend, causing the sky to become fairly hazy and milky white.  The dust is forecast to remain over the region this through Tuesday, with amounts trending lighter on Wednesday.  However, satellite image shows another large cloud of Saharan dust over the Caribbean Sea which is poised to spread into Texas Thursday.  This area of dust will likely remain over the region into the weekend.
 
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RAMMB-CIRA 07/16/18 1:45 pm CDT

Tropical Weather Update

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

The Moon, Venus and Mercury

Last night, the crescent Moon passed very close to the planet Venus.  If you missed it, the show's not over quite yet.  Now the Moon is moving away from Venus, but it will be forming a long line in the western sky composed of the lunar crescent, the planet Venus, the star Regulus and the planet Mercury.  Look west after sunset for this new arrangement.

Bob

The Familiar Hot and Dry weather Pattern Returns for an Extended Stay.
Tuesday, July 10, 2018 6:01 PM

After such a hot and dry June and early July, this past week's weather has been quite remarkable.  With the familiar ridge of high pressure pulling up to the north and a very moist flow of air spreading west off the Gulf, periods of rain showers and thunderstorms developed, bringing much needed rain and less hot temperatures.

National Weather Service rainfall estimates from last Tuesday through today show rain totals have generally averaged around 1-1.5 inches.  Several lucky areas received between 3 and 5 inches.  The Hill Country region appears to have received the lowest  totals.

NWS 7-day estimated rainfall totals for the period 4 pm Tuesday, 7/3 through 4 pm Tuesday, 7/10:
FMA.png

LCRA's highest gauged 7-day total was 4.81 inches at a gauge located near Jollyville, in northern Travis County.

Weather conditions trended much drier Tuesday as a more stable atmosphere began to develop across Central and South Texas.  The flow of Gulf moisture into Central Texas which has persisted for the past week shifted up to the north, allowing for the return of sunny and hot weather.

Forecast solutions indicate a few isolated rain showers and thunderstorms will be possible for locations along and east of Interstate 35 on Wednesday and Thursday as a small area of tropical moisture lingers across the region.  However, the probability for rain will be near 20 percent at best.

The large ridge of high pressure which pulled up to the north last week is forecast to spread to the south-southeast late week and through the weekend.  The ridge is predicted to cause a pattern of mostly sunny, dry and hot weather.  High temperatures in the middle 90s Wednesday through Friday, should trend up to the upper 90s this weekend.

The ridge is forecast to shift to the southwestern US and the southern Rockies next week.  Although the ridge won't be centered directly over Texas, it will be close enough to cause more sunny, dry and hot weather throughout the week.  High temperatures will be mostly in the upper 90s for the first half of the week, trending close to the century mark late week.

Longer-range forecasts call for little change in the hot and dry pattern during the fourth week of the month.

After a short break, summer-like weather is back and it looks to be sticking around for the next several weeks.

Bob
   
A More Typical July Weather Pattern will be Returning this Week.
Monday, July 9, 2018 2:35 PM

The unsettled weather pattern which set up last week across Central and South Texas continues in place on this Monday.  The combination of a weakened ridge of high pressure, a very moist flow of air off the Gulf of Mexico and passing disturbances has allowed for the development of scattered rain showers and thunderstorms.

An area of moderate rain showers and scattered thunderstorms developed just after sunrise this morning around the Austin/Interstate 35 corridor region in response to a weak disturbance in the middle atmosphere.  This system produced a large area of moderate rain, with totals in the range of 0.5-1.5 inches.  The area of rain pushed off to the west mid-morning.  However, at midday, a new area of rain and thunderstorms was developing across Central Texas, mainly along and east of Interstate 35.  Meanwhile, another area of rain and thunderstorms was developing along the middle Texas coast, between Victoria and Houston.  All of the activity was slowly spreading to the north-northeast.  High-resolution forecast guidance calls for periods of rain showers and scattered thunderstorms across the entire region this afternoon and evening, with most of the activity decreasing around sunset.  Some of this afternoon's rain has the potential to produce large quantities of rain in a short period of time.  In general, most rain amounts through this evening are forecast to average between 0.25 and 0.5 inches, with isolated totals close to 2 inches possible.  The probability for rain at any given location will be near 60 percent.  Severe thunderstorms are not anticipated, although a few of the storms may produce gusty winds up to 40 mph.  The sky looks to stay mostly cloudy this afternoon.  As a result, today's temperature is forecast to only top out around 88-90 degrees.

A drier and warmer weather pattern is forecast to begin taking shape Tuesday as the very moist Gulf flow starts to decrease.  Forecast solutions indicate the large ridge of high pressure which shifted north to the Plains states last week will begin expanding south into Texas on Tuesday.  However, the ridge center, or the most stable area of the broad high pressure ridge, is forecast to remain northeast of Texas over the middle Mississippi Valley.  Because of this, the atmosphere across Texas is not forecast to dry out entirely.  Lingering tropical moisture is forecast to cause the development of a few scattered afternoon rain showers and isolated thunderstorms, mainly for areas along and east of Interstate 35.  The probability for rain will be near 20 percent.  Dry conditions are forecast across the Hill Country.  With a partly cloudy sky, Tuesday's temperature is predicted to warm to the low and middle 90s.

Very similar weather conditions are predicted across the region Wednesday through Sunday as the center of the high pressure ridge camps out over the Tennessee Valley region.  Our weather will be partly cloudy to mostly sunny with just a slight chance for a few afternoon rain showers.   High temperatures will be in the middle 90s Tuesday through Friday, rising to the upper 90s this weekend.

Mostly sunny, dry and hot weather is forecast all of next week as the high pressure ridge weakens over the eastern US and becomes established over the western and southwestern US.  With the ridge setting up to our west, the moist flow off the Gulf of Mexico will likely diminish along with that slight chance for rain.  High temperatures the first half of next week are forecast to be in the upper 90s.  Readings could move toward the century mark the second half of next week as a more typical mid-July pattern sets up across Central Texas.

Tropical Weather Update

Tropical Storm Beryl ran into considerable wind shear on Sunday and weakened into an open wave of low pressure.  This afternoon, the remnants of Beryl were located over the northeastern Caribbean Sea, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.  They were causing a large area of showers and thunderstorms along with locally heavy rainfall and strong gusty winds.  The remnants of Beryl are expected to move quickly west-northwestward for the next day or so, passing over Hispaniola tonight and emerging over the Atlantic waters near the southeastern Bahamas on Tuesday.  Unfavorable upper-level winds and interaction with land should prevent redevelopment during the next day or so, but environmental conditions are forecast to become a little more conducive for regeneration of a tropical cyclone on Wednesday or Thursday when the system is forecast to turn northward near the Bahamas and the western Atlantic.  NHC forecasters state there is a 50 percent chance for tropical cyclone regeneration over the next 5 days.  This system is not forecast to move into the Gulf of Mexico and does not pose a threat to the Texas coast.

Tropical Storm Chris developed this weekend over the southwestern Atlantic, a few hundred miles off the coast of the southeastern US.  This afternoon, the tropical storm was centered about 215 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.  Chris has been nearly stationary the past several hours, and little motion is expected during the next day or so. A northeastward motion is forecast to begin late Tuesday, and Chris is forecast to accelerate northeastward on Wednesday and Thursday.  Reports from a NOAA reconnaissance aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 60 mph with higher gusts.  However, strengthening is expected to begin by tonight and continue for the next couple of days.  Chris is forecast to become a hurricane on Tuesday.

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Elsewhere, conditions are quiet and tropical cyclone formation is not forecast over the next 5 days.

Have a good week.

Bob

A Chance for Rain Plus Lower Temperatures Expected through Tuesday.
Friday, July 6, 2018 3:33 PM

An unsettled weather pattern has taken shape across Central and South Texas over the past couple of days as the persistent summertime ridge of high pressure has pulled north to the Plains states and the central Rockies.  South of the ridge across Texas, winds in the middle and upper atmosphere have turned out of the east-northeast. This is allowing moisture and occasional atmospheric disturbances to spread west across the region, leading to the development of scattered rain showers and thunderstorms.  Forecast solutions indicate this general pattern will hold in place through the weekend and early next week.

This afternoon, expect a partly cloudy sky.  There will be a 30-40 percent chance for the development of scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms across the region as temperatures warm into the 90s.  Rain amounts look to average around a quarter inch, or less.  Most of today's rain activity should diminish around sunset.  High temperatures will generally be in the low and middle 90s.  Expect a northeasterly wind at around 5-10 mph.

For Saturday through Monday Sunday, there will be an increased chance for scattered rain showers and thunderstorms across the region as a large area of tropical moisture and a weak area of low pressure spreads west out of the Gulf of Mexico.  In addition, a weak cold front is forecast to sag south and stall across North Central Texas.  The combination of these features will cause a mostly cloudy sky along with a 50-60 percent chance for rain showers and scattered thunderstorms.  The most favorable period for rain and thunderstorms will be from late morning through early evening on all three days.  Rainfall is forecast to average between 0.25 and 0.5 inches each day, with isolated totals of 1-2 inches possible.  High temperatures will generally be in the low 90s.  Expect an east to northeasterly wind at around 5-10 mph.

According to the National Weather Service, rain totals this afternoon through Tuesday are forecast to generally average between 0.5 and 1.5 inches.  Isolated heavier totals will be possible.

NWS rainfall forecast for the period 7 pm Friday through 7 pm Monday:
Rain6.png
 
The chance for rain is forecast to decrease beginning Tuesday as the large ridge of high pressure over the Plains state shifts more to the east and southeast.  This will decrease but not totally shut off the flow of tropical moisture spreading inland off the Gulf.  With that in mind, expect a partly cloudy sky and a slight (20 percent) chance for scattered afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms Tuesday through Friday.  High temperatures will be in the mid-90s Tuesday, with mid to upper 90s Wednesday through Friday.  Daily rainfall should average less than a quarter inch.

Friday's forecast solutions indicate a slight chance for rain showers and thunderstorms will also continue next weekend as our region remains under a moist flow off the Gulf of Mexico.  High temperatures should continue in the mid to upper 90s.  Generally dry and hot weather is forecast the week of July 16th, with high temperatures around 98-100 degrees.

Tropical Weather Update

Hurricane Beryl developed from a strong tropical wave in the central Tropical Atlantic on Thursday.  As of 10 am CDT Friday, the eye of Beryl was centered about 1045 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles.   Beryl is moving toward the west near 15 mph.  A faster westward to west-northwestward motion is expected to begin over the weekend and continue through early next week.  On the forecast track, the center of Beryl will approach the Lesser Antilles over the weekend and cross the island chain late Sunday or Monday.

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Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 80 mph with higher gusts.  Additional strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days, and Beryl is expected to still be a hurricanewhen it reaches the Lesser Antilles late Sunday or Monday.  Weakening is expected once Beryl reaches the eastern Caribbean Sea on Monday, but the system may not degenerate into an open trough until it reaches the vicinity of Hispaniola and the central Caribbean Sea.

Beryl is a compact hurricane.  Hurricane-force winds only extend outward up to 10 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles.

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As of now, Beryl is forecast to weaken to an open wave of low pressure around Tuesday or Wednesday and does not pose a threat to the western Gulf of Mexico.

National Hurricane Center forecasters are also monitoring an area of showers and thunderstorms that are associated with a well-defined low pressure system located a few hundred miles southeast of the North Carolina coast.  Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for additional development of this system, and a tropical depression is likely to form over the next couple of days while the system moves slowly northwestward and stalls or meanders near the coast of North Carolina.  NHC forecasters are giving this system a 70 percent chance for tropical development over the next 48 hours and an 80 percent chance for development over the next 5 days.

Weather conditions are quiet across the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea and there are no systems in place which pose a threat for tropical development over the next 5 days.

Aphelion

The Earth is at the aphelion of its orbit today, reaching its farthest distance from the Sun for the year: 3% farther than at perihelion in January.

New Moon

New moon will occur next Thursday, July 12th at 9:47 pm CDT.

 

Bob

Scattered Rain Showers and Thunderstorms Forecast through Early Next Week.
Thursday, July 5, 2018 3:15 PM

A large area of rain and thunderstorms spread across the middle Texas coast, Central Texas and parts of the Hill Country Tuesday as a vigorous area of low pressure pushed inland off the Gulf.  Surface data and Doppler radar estimates show the highest totals of rain occurred across parts of Travis, Fayette and Matagorda Counties, where some totals were close to 3 inches. Unfortunately, most of the northern and western Hill Country saw little to no rain.

NWS Doppler radar estimate for the period 10 am Tuesday through 10 am Thursday:
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Monday's satellite image shows the area of low pressure which moved over Texas Tuesday has shifted southwest into Mexico, taking the widespread rain with it.  However, this doesn't look to be the end of the rainy pattern.  Thursday's weather maps showed the large area of high pressure in the upper atmosphere which had been over our region for the past couple of weeks has shifted further north and now stretches from the southern Rockies to the middle-Atlantic states.  A clockwise flow around the ridge is causing a moist easterly flow off the Gulf of Mexico into Texas.  Embedded within this flow will be weak areas of low pressure that will cause periods of enhanced rainfall.

Forecast solutions call for this moist Gulf flow to continue through the weekend and into the early part of next week.  As a result, the forecast will call for a 30-40 percent chance for mainly afternoon and evening rain showers and thunderstorms across the region Friday through Tuesday. The highest totals of rain are forecast to occur across the coastal plains region, with somewhat lower totals across Central Texas and the Hill Country.

The Weather Prediction Centers 3-day rainfall forecast prepared Thursday afternoon calls for totals of 1-1.5 inches across the coastal plains region, with totals to near an inch at most other locations.

NWS rainfall forecast for the period 7 pm Thursday through 7 pm Sunday:
Rain5.png
Daily high temperatures will be mostly in the low and mid-90s.  Generally dry and warmer weather is forecast for the second half of next week, with high temperatures returning to the upper 90s.

Bob

Tropical Storm Beryl has Formed in the Tropical Central Atlantic.
Thursday, July 5, 2018 11:38 AM

1:30 pm Update from the National Hurricane Center:  Satellite imagery indicates that the tropical depression has strengthened and is now Tropical Storm Beryl.  Maximum sustained winds are estimated to be 40 mph, along with higher gusts.

 

For the past day or so, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center have been monitoring a small area of low pressure associated with a tropical wave over the central tropical Atlantic Ocean.  Despite a noticeable mid-level rotation in the convective clouds, it had not been conclusive whether or not the system had a closed circulation at the surface along with a well-defined center.

However, the system appears more distinct and independent from the Intertropical Convergence Zone today, compared to yesterday and satellite data appears conclusive enough to support a closed, yet tiny circulation.  NHC forecasters are now confident enough the system meets the criteria of a tropical cyclone, and have initiated advisories on Tropical Depression Two.
 
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RAMMB-CIRA 07/05/18 10:45 am CDT

At 10 am CDT, the tropical depression was centered about 1385 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles.  The depression is moving toward the west near 16 mph.  A fast westward to west-northwestward motion is expected through the weekend.  Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts.  Some strengthening is possible, and the depression could become a tropical storm later today or on Friday.   

Between 72 and 96 hours from now, Hurricane Center forecaster indicate the system will begin to encounter strong westerly wind shear and also accelerate, both of which should cause the system to degenerate into an open wave east of the Lesser Antilles.
 
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Even though the cyclone is expected to dissipate east of the Lesser Antilles early next week, the remnant tropical wave should continue moving quickly westward, likely bringing locally heavy rains and gusty winds to portions of the Leeward Islands on Sunday and Monday.

This system poses no threat to the western Gulf of Mexico or Texas.

Bob

A Chance for Rain Showers Returns to the Forecast Wednesday through Sunday.
Tuesday, July 3, 2018 5:33 PM


Forecast continue to point toward an increasing chance for scattered rain showers and thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night as a non-tropical area of low pressure pushes west into Texas out of the Gulf of Mexico.

A satellite image from mid-afternoon Tuesday showed a large area of clouds located over the northern Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana and Mississippi associated with the area of low pressure.  Some of the clouds and showers had even moved into parts of East Texas.
 
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RAMMB-CIRA 07/03/18 4:45 pm CDT

The area of low pressure is forecast to track west-southwest, reaching the upper Texas coast late Tuesday night.  The low is predicted to move across Central Texas Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday evening, then move off into Mexico Thursday.  The low is expected to push a large area of deep tropical moisture west into Texas, resulting in the development of scattered rain showers and thunderstorms.

High-resolution forecast guidance calls for a few rain showers to spread across the middle Texas coast after midnight Tuesday night, with a more widespread coverage of rain taking shape Wednesday morning.  Scattered rain showers and thunderstorms are forecast to spread west across Central Texas Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday evening.  The probability for rain will be near 70 percent across the coastal plains region and near 50 percent across Central Texas.  Expect a 20-30 percent chance for scattered rain showers and thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon across the Hill Country.  The sky looks to become mostly cloudy beginning Wednesday afternoon.  The temperature should trend a little lower.  High temperatures Wednesday will range from the upper 90s across the western Hill Country to the mid-90s across Central Texas to the upper 80s across the coastal plains.

There will be a 40-50 percent chance for scattered rain showers and thunderstorms across the entire region Wednesday evening and Wednesday night as the low slowly pushes to the west.  Rainfall forecasts Wednesday through Wednesday night call for totals close to an inch across Central Texas and the middle Texas coast.  Hill Country totals are forecast to average between 0.5 and 0.75 inches.

NWS rainfall forecast for the period 7 pm Tuesday through 7 pm Thursday:
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The chance for rain will decrease some Thursday as the area of low pressure exits the region.  However, lingering tropical moisture is expected to cause a 30 percent chance for additional scattered rain showers thunderstorms.  Expect a partly to mostly cloudy sky with a high temperature in the middle 90s.

Similar conditions are forecast to continue Friday through Monday as a moist easterly flow off the Gulf of Mexico pushes additional tropical moisture across the region.  Expect a 30 percent chance for mainly afternoon and evening rain showers and thunderstorms.  High temperatures are forecast to remain mostly in the middle 90s.

The outlook for next week calls for a return to mostly sunny, dry and hot weather.  However, with the ridge located up to our north across the Plains states and the northern Rockies, high temperatures are forecast to be mostly in the mid and upper 90s.

Have a safe and happy Fourth!

Bob
CSU Update Calls for Below Normal Hurricane Activity this Summer.
Tuesday, July 3, 2018 2:38 PM

The Colorado State University (CSU) forecast team headed by Phil Klotzbach has lowered its prediction for the number of storms this season.  In fact, the team now calls for activity this hurricane season to be below normal.

The CSU is now calling for 11 named storms, 4 hurricanes and 1 major hurricane (this includes tropical storm Alberto in May).  These numbers are quite a bit lower than those issued May 31st (14 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes).  The amount of accumulated cyclone energy (ACE), which takes into account both intensity and duration of each cyclone, is now projected to be 60 for the Atlantic season -- only about two-thirds of its typical value for the period 1981-2010.

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"I don't really see any way that this season ends up active at this point," said Phil Klotzbach in a Tweet Monday. "The Atlantic remains colder than normal, and the odds of El Niño look to be increasing too. We're also already starting to see stronger than normal wind shear in the Caribbean."

CSU's early July outlook was introduced in 2016 and is based on a fairly simple but quite effective statistical technique that relies on just two factors: the May-June sea surface temperature (SST) across the eastern North Atlantic and the June sea level pressure over the eastern tropical Pacific.  Together, these two ingredients explain about 60% of the season-to-season variation in Atlantic ACE from July to the end of the season.

The main driver for this year's below normal outlook is the cooler-than-average May through June SSTs over the eastern North Atlantic. Cooling in this region generally goes hand in hand with relatively cool waters in the Main Development Region (MDR) of the tropical Atlantic.  Cooler than normal waters in this region generally result in below average hurricane activity. 
 
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Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) analyzed Tuesday, July 3, 2018, across the North Atlantic, as compared to the 1981-2010 average SST for this time of year, in degrees C.  Credit: tropicaltidbits.com.

The cooling happened quickly over the last several months, Klotzbach explained, as high pressure intensified over the subtropical Atlantic, intensifying the trade winds, stimulating the upwelling of cooler water and causing increased evaporation.

In contrast, there was little influence on the July outlook from sea level pressures in the eastern tropical Pacific. With neither El Niño nor La Niña in place, pressures were running near average. However, an El Niño Watch is in place, and odds are increasing for the development of at least weak El Niño conditions by August.  The development of El Niño could cause conditions in the Atlantic to become even more unfavorable for tropical development.

Bob
 
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