January, 2012

Austin tornado was EF-1

January 26th, 2012 at 3:46 pm by under Weather

Here is the National Weather Service damage survey from yesterday’s northeast Austin tornado. It was rated an EF-1 (see scale below), with winds up to 100 mph. The damage in Pflugerville was reported to be from straight line winds:

EVENT: AUSTIN TORNADO...NEAR SPRINGDALE AND HIGHWAY 290
EVENT DATE: JANUARY 25 2012
EVENT RATING: EF1 WITH MAX WINDS NEAR 100 MPH
INJURIES/FATALITIES: 0
EVENT START TIME/LOCATION COORDINATES:30.3221/-97.6536
 AT 258 AM
EVENT END TIME/LOCATION COORDINATES: 33.3381/-97.6551
 AT 305 AM
DAMAGE PATH LENGTH (IN MILES): 1.14 MILES
DAMAGE PATH WIDTH (IN YARDS): 50 YARDS
 THE TORNADO PATH BEGAN NEAR THE INTERSECTION OF COMMERCIAL PARK
DRIVE AND OLD MANOR ROAD...WITH RADAR INDICATING A TOUCHDOWN TIME
NEAR 2:58 AM. DAMAGE CONTINUED NORTH THROUGH AN INDUSTRIAL
PARK WHERE A BUSINESS WAS DESTROYED AND SEVERAL OTHERS HAD ROOF
DAMAGE. THE TORNADO THEN CROSSED U.S. 290...BEFORE ENTERING THE
WALNUT PLACE SUBDIVISION. FURTHER DAMAGE TO TREES AND HOMES OCCURRED
ALONG SPRINGDALE AND HAPPY TRAIL. ONE HOME ON HAPPY TRAIL HAD
MOST OF ITS ROOF LIFTED OFF. DEBRIS WAS NOTED IN A LARGE FIELD
JUST SOUTH OF FERGUSON LANE...WITH THE TORNADO PATH ENDING JUST
WEST OF THE INTERSECTION OF FERGUSON LANE AND SANSOM ROAD.

THE NWS ALSO INVESTIGATED THE DAMAGE TO SEVERAL BUSINESSES AND
WAREHOUSE BUILDINGS NEAR THE PFLUGERVILLE ISD BUS BARN. THIS IS
NEAR CRYSTAL BEND DRIVE AND IMMANUEL ROAD IN PFLUGERVILLE. IT WAS
CONCLUDED THAT THIS DAMAGE WAS DUE TO STRONG STRAIGHT LINE
THUNDERSTORM WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH.

PAUL YURA
WARNING COORDINATION METEOROLOGIST

EF SCALE
EF Rating 3 Second Gust (mph)
0 65-85
1 86-110
2 111-135
3 136-165
4 166-200
5 Over 200

 


LCRA wants public comment on proposed Water Management Plan

January 26th, 2012 at 1:15 pm by under Weather

LCRA is taking public comment on the proposed revision to the Water Management Plan for lakes Travis and Buchanan. The plan is posted at LCRA.org. Comments can be submitted by email to wmp@lcra.org.

LCRA’s Water Management Plan determines how water is allocated from lakes Travis and Buchanan, the region’s water supply reservoirs. The proposed changes are intended to make the plan more flexible and more responsive to growing demands in the basin. LCRA’s Board of Directors is expected to consider the plan at its Feb. 22 meeting. The public has until Feb. 9 to review the plan and comment.

Many of the changes being considered were recommended by an advisory committee that spent more than a year investigating and discussing how to best balance the diverse demands on the Highland Lakes. The committee was composed of customers and others who depend on the lakes, including cities, industry, lake area residents and businesses, farmers and environmental groups. (more…)


NWS to get a radar upgrade

January 26th, 2012 at 9:59 am by under Weather

There’s exciting news from the NWS Austin/San Antonio office in New Braunfels. They’ll upgrade their radar with dual-polarization this spring. The new technology will help meteorologists better determine what kind of precipitation exists in a storm.

That’s exciting for us because we use the national network of radars here in the First Warning Weather center in addition to our own radar to get a complete look of weather in our viewing area.

Metro Area Radar

Here’s some information on the change from the NWS:

The exciting dual-polarization radar upgrade to the KEWX WSR-88D is scheduled for installation from March 19 through April 1, 2012! This upgrade will incorporate a new technology called dual-polarization, or dual-pol, that is part of the NWS vision to build a weather-ready nation to better protect lives and livelihoods.  This new technology will result in 14 new radar products that will enable us to continue providing our suite of high quality products and services to the citizens of South Central Texas.  This new technology and data primarily will help forecasters identify the type of precipitation that is falling as well as improve rainfall estimates.

We strongly encourage all users of these new products to complete a series of online training modules that were recorded by the Warning Decision Training Branch (WDTB).  Modules are available for non-NWS meteorologists and non-meteorologists through this website.

(more…)


Tornado hits Austin… Damage survey results released

January 25th, 2012 at 11:38 pm by under Weather

Tuesday morning’s 3 a.m. tornado in the Springdale/Hwy. 290  area was the first Travis County tornado since a March, 2005 twister touched down near Manor.  A second tornado may have been responsible for the damage in Lee County near the towns of Serbin and Lincoln.  A storm survey may determine that Thursday. The National Weather Service issued the following statement about the Austin tornado:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
251 PM CST WED JAN 25 2012

…PRELIMINARY STORM DAMAGE SURVEY FOR NORTHEAST AUSTIN TX…

A NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE STORM DAMAGE SURVEY WAS CONDUCTED THIS
MORNING IN THE AREA ALONG SPRINGDALE ROAD IN NORTHEAST AUSTIN.  THE
FOLLOWING HAVE BEEN DETERMINED…

EVENT DATE: JANUARY 25 2012
EVENT RATING: AWAITING FINAL DATA
ESTIMATED PEAK WINDS (MPH): AWAITING FINAL RATING
INJURIES/FATALITIES: 0
EVENT START TIME/LOCATION COORDINATES: 30.3221/-97.6536 AT 258 AM
EVENT END TIME/LOCATION COORDINATES:   33.3381/-97.6551 AT 305 AM
DAMAGE PATH LENGTH (IN MILES): 1.14
DAMAGE PATH WIDTH (IN YARDS): 50

THE TORNADO PATH BEGAN AT THE INTERSECTION OF COMMERCIAL PARK DRIVE
AND OLD MANOR ROAD…WITH RADAR INDICATING A TOUCHDOWN TIME NEAR
2:58 AM. DAMAGE CONTINUED NORTH THROUGH AN INDUSTRIAL PARK…THEN
ACROSS U.S. 290…BEFORE ENTERING THE WALNUT PLACE SUBDIVISION.
FURTHER DAMAGE OCCURRED TO HOMES ON THE WEST SIDE OF HAPPY TRAIL…
WITH TREES ON THE EAST SIDE OF HAPPY TRAIL LAYING DOWN TOWARD THE
WEST AND CONVERGING WITH THE DAMAGE TO THE HOMES.  DEBRIS WAS NOTED
ALONG FERGUSON LANE…WITH THE TORNADO PATH ENDING JUST WEST OF THE
INTERSECTION OF FERGUSON LANE AND SANSOM ROAD.


Overnight storms soak Central Texas

January 25th, 2012 at 10:18 am by under Weather

St. John's gym in Lincoln, TX (Courtesy: Michelle Walter Birnbaum)

Overnight, a potent upper level low moved into west Texas. Thunderstorms developed in a line in the Hill Country as a thunderstorm complex also moved up I-35 from San Antonio through Austin. The storms merged in the early morning hours making for a noisy, bright sight. Thousands of lightning strikes happened every ten minutes and heavy rain pounded Central Texas. Flash flood reports began pouring in from Travis county by 3 a.m. There were numerous reports of people stranded in cars and homes as the flood waters rose. Anywhere between 3-7″ of rain fell in eastern Travis to western Bastrop counties.

Here are rainfall totals from the NWS:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
1050 AM CST WED JAN 25 2012

...PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT...

RAINFALL REPORTS FOR THE AUSTIN / SAN ANTONIO HYDROLOGIC SERVICE AREA

PRECIPITATION FOR THE 24 HOURS ENDING ABOUT 7 A.M. WEDNESDAY JANUARY 25, 2012

METRO AUSTIN...

  CREEDMOOR 1.5 NNW                7.00    CEDAR CREEK 3 WSW                6.77
  AUS - BERGSTROM INTL AIRPORT     5.65    AUS - ONION CREEK AT US 183      5.64
  TANGLEWOOD FOREST 2.9 E          5.57    AUS 8 SSE - PILOT KNOB           5.46
  BUDA - ONION CREEK               4.94    AUSTIN 7.3 SW                    4.80
  AUSTIN 8.9 S                     4.80    AUSTIN 5.7 SSE                   4.75
  MANCHACA 2.1 ENE                 4.73    TANGLEWOOD FOREST 0.6 NE         4.65
  AUSTIN - COLORADO RIVER          4.60    SUNSET VALLEY 0.7 SE             4.51
  MANOR - GILLELAND CREEK          4.49    BUDA 4.6 WNW                     4.49
  AUS-WALNUT CK @ WEBBERVILLE RD   4.20    AUSTIN 2.8 N (ALLANDALE)         4.11
  AUS-BARTON CK @ LOOP 360         3.93    MANCHACA 4 W                     3.93
  AUSTIN 8.2 WSW                   3.72    AUSTIN 4.7 E (JORDANPK)          3.72
  JOLLYVILLE 2.3 SE                3.69    TANGLEWOOD FOREST 3.5 NW         3.64
  AUSTIN 2.9 NE (LAMAR&ARPT)       3.58    AUSTIN 4.2 NW (360&PENNEB)       3.58
  SUNSET VALLEY 3.5 W              3.56    AUSTIN 4.5 ENE                   3.55
  AUSTIN 1 N (45TH&SHCRK)          3.47    AUSTIN 5.6 WSW                   3.44
  AUS - CAMP MABRY                 3.42    JOLLYVILLE 4.8 S                 3.35
  WELLS BRANCH 4.2 S               3.23    AUS-LK AUSTIN DAVENPORT RANCH    3.13
  AUS-LADY BIRD LK NR LONGHORN     3.04    WEST LAKE HILLS 2.4 NNW          3.03
  AUSTIN 10.8 WSW                  2.98    BRUSHY CREEK 1.4 S               2.95
  AUSTIN 6.5 NE                    2.93    AUS - GREAT HILLS                2.89
  AUSTIN 10NNW (GREAT HILLS)       2.89    JOLLYVILLE 1.6 SSE               2.87
  AUSTIN 10.5 N                    2.82    AUS-BULL CK @ LOOP 360           2.77
  AUSTIN 5.9 NE                    2.74    JOLLYVILLE 2.1 SSW               2.72

(more…)


More waves of rain and storms coming

January 24th, 2012 at 3:53 pm by under Weather

A two-day storm system has entered West Texas and will continue to bring periods of rain and thunderstorms to our area through Wednesday. Read more about the storm here on kxan.com,  and click the link below for additional graphics. You will also find more detailed information below from the National Weather Service.

CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL STORM FORECAST GRAPHICS

Additional storm information from National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Paul Yura:

A strong low pressure area currently over southern New Mexico will cross the state late tonight into Wednesday…bringing high chances for rainfall/Thunderstorms overnight …and lasting until mid day on Wednesday. There is a chance for several inches of rain with this system as well as strong thunderstorms, some of which may become severe. In fact…we have already had hailstorms move through portions of the Austin area this morning. (more…)

Stonewall Elementary 5th graders visit KXAN

January 24th, 2012 at 2:42 pm by under Weather

Natalie Stoll and I enjoyed hosting the entire Stonewall Elementary School 5th grade today at KXAN. That sounds like a lot of kids, right? Actually, only 14 students make up the entire 5th grade at Stonewall.

It’s a very small school in  LBJ’s old stomping grounds, near the LBJ State Park and Historic Site in eastern Gillespie County.

Thanks to 5th grade teacher Joanie Kramer for doing such a great job with her students.  The told us she is an awesome teacher!  And, her students were just fantastic–all very smart, and they did a super job in their “off-air” weathercasts!  We really enjoyed having you visit!

Stonewall Elementary School 5th Grade


Thunderstorm drops hail in Austin

January 24th, 2012 at 11:58 am by under Weather

Tuesday morning’s thunderstorm that moved over Austin dropped some pea to quarter sized hail before weakening and moving north.

Here are a few pictures our viewers sent in:

Courtesy: Haribabu Gurram

 

Courtesy: Haribabu Gurram

Courtesy: Vanessa Cardwell

(more…)


Rain and thunderstorms on the way

January 23rd, 2012 at 11:13 pm by under Weather

An approaching storm system is expected to bring widespread rain and thunderstorms to our area beginning Tuesday. A Special Weather Statement from the National Weather Service is below.


A potent upper level storm system will approach South Central Texas late Tuesday into Wednesday. A cold front will accompany the storm system and push through early Wednesday. These two features will interact with gulf moisture to produce numerous to widespread thunderstorms…some of which may become severe. Thunderstorms are expected to begin out west Tuesday night and transition east with time…exiting into east Texas late Wednesday. The severe threats are large hail and damaging winds…with hail more likely across western portions of South Central Texas and damaging winds more likely across eastern sections.

Storm total rainfall amounts from Tuesday through Wednesday will range from near one quarter inch along the Rio Grande to over 2 inches across far eastern portions of South Central Texas. Locally heavy rainfall is possible early Wednesday along and east of Highway 281.
—————————————————————————
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX

TXZ171>173-183>194-202>209-217>225-228-241000-
LLANO-BURNET-WILLIAMSON-VAL VERDE-EDWARDS-REAL-KERR-BANDERA-
GILLESPIE-KENDALL-BLANCO-HAYS-TRAVIS-BASTROP-LEE-KINNEY-UVALDE-
MEDINA-BEXAR-COMAL-GUADALUPE-CALDWELL-FAYETTE-MAVERICK-ZAVALA-
FRIO-ATASCOSA-WILSON-KARNES-GONZALES-DE WITT-LAVACA-DIMMIT-

...STORM SYSTEM TO BRING BENEFICIAL RAIN AND SEVERE THUNDERSTORM
THREAT TO SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS...

AN APPROACHING STORM SYSTEM ALOFT AND AN ASSOCIATED COLD FRONT WILL
AFFECT SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS BEGINNING TUESDAY AND CONTINUING THROUGH
WEDNESDAY.

(more…)


NOAA adds two more billion dollar disasters

January 23rd, 2012 at 1:15 pm by under Weather

NOAA announces two additional severe weather events reached $1 billion damage threshold, raising 2011’s billion-dollar disaster count from 12 to 14 events

Selected Annual Records
Selected Annual Climate Records for 2011 – Green dots show the wettest, yellow dots the driest, red dots the warmest and blue dots the coolest records.

High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)

According to NOAA scientists, 2011 was a record-breaking year for climate extremes, as much of the United States faced historic levels of heat, precipitation, flooding and severe weather, while La Niña events at both ends of the year impacted weather patterns at home and around the world.

NOAA’s annual analysis of U.S. and global conditions, conducted by scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, reports that the average temperature for the contiguous U.S. was 53.8 degrees F, 1.0 degree F above the 20th century average, making it the 23rd warmest year on record. Precipitation across the nation averaged near normal, masking record-breaking extremes in both drought and precipitation.

On a global scale, La Niña events helped keep the average global temperature below recent trends. As a result, 2011 tied with 1997 for the 11th warmest year on record. It was the second coolest year of the 21st century to date, and tied with the second warmest year of the 20th century.

Key highlights of the report include:

U.S. weather and climate disasters (more…)