It’s Texas Severe Weather Awareness week. Here’s a great event this weekend for anyone who loves or has an interest in weather!
WeatherFest at The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
Saturday, February 25, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Get blown away by Texas Severe Weather Awareness Week at the Bullock Museum with a full day of weather science and fun for the whole family.
Get an up close look at some of the world’s most dramatic natural events and the science behind them during a free, 10am screening of Hurricane on the Bayou in the IMAX® Theatre. Learn about the science behind predicting the weather and experiences in the field from a local meteorologist.* Test your ability to predict and survive severe weather with activities presented by Girlstart, emergency preparedness teams, and more.
Finally, don’t miss the Museum’s original multimedia presentation in the Texas Spirit Theater, Wild Texas Weather, which explores the fascinating phenomenon of tumultuous weather in the Lone Star State, both past and present.
This is a free public program. Regular exhibit and film admission prices apply (except for the free 10am screening of Hurricane on the Bayou)
*Teachers may earn CPE hours by attending the meteorology lecture.
In the summer of 2011, two teams of astronomers discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe. The water, equivalent to 140 trillion times all the water in the world’s ocean, surrounds a huge, feeding black hole, called a quasar, more than 12 billion light-years away.
The quasar, APM 08279+5255, was discovered in 1998. Observations with optical and infrared telescopes revealed that the quasar, a young galaxy with a voracious black hole at its center (image above), was forming new stars rapidly in a starburst. At a distance of more than 12 billion light-years, the quasar is seen as it was more than 12 billion years ago, just a billion or so years after the Big Bang. (more…)
In this drought, every drop of water is important especially here in Central Texas.
Here are some tips from our partners at Earth Gauge on saving water in your own home.
Over 60 percent of the southern United States is experiencing abnormally dry or drought conditions. Water scarcity impacts agricultural crops, yards and gardens, water and energy supplies, wildlife and fire weather conditions. Everyone can play a part to avoid intensifying effects of drought by observing water restrictions and taking steps to save water at home.
The Austin Community College District is partnering with the National Weather Service to provide severe weather training for the college and the community. Skywarn training will be held Tuesday, February 21 at ACC’s South Austin Campus (1820 W. Stassney Ln.). Students, faculty, and staff are invited to take part from 2-4 p.m., with the session for the community set for 6:30-8:30 p.m. Advance reservation is not needed, and participation is free.
“ACC is committed to keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe, and this is a wonderful resource for the college as well as the public,” says Kristine Elderkin, the college’s emergency management coordinator.
Skywarn will be taught by Paul Yura, warning coordination meteorologist with the Austin-San Antonio National Weather Service. The training will cover severe weather preparedness and safety, and upon completion, participants will be considered official weather spotters for the National Weather Service.
“During severe weather, the National Weather Service needs eyes on the ground,” says Yura. “We have tracking tools but rely on people in the community to provide the complete picture of what’s happening. Those real-time reports help save lives and property.”
The South Austin Campus sessions will be held in the Multipurpose Room, on the first floor. ACC will host another Skywarn session April 7 at Cypress Creek Campus in Cedar Park. For additional information and the complete training schedule, visit the National Weather Service website.
We’ve seen above normal rainfall this winter. It’s something David Mazza talked about in his latest blog post.
To add to that, here’s the latest from the NWS.
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX 730 AM CST MON FEB 20 2012 ...DECEMBER 2011 TO FEBRUARY 19 2012 RAIN RELATIVE TO THE 30 YEAR 1981 TO 2010 NORMAL AND RECORD RAINFALL FROM DECEMBER TO FEBRUARY... THE TREND OF MORE RAIN BEGAN DEVELOPING IN SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER OF 2011 AND HAS CONTINUED SINCE DECEMBER 2011. THE TABLE BELOW LISTS RAINFALL FROM DECEMBER 2011 TO FEBRUARY 19TH THIS YEAR AT AUSTIN...DEL RIO...AND SAN ANTONIO...AND COMPARES THIS TO THE NORMAL AND RECORD AMOUNTS OF RAIN FROM DECEMBER TO FEBRUARY. LOCATION DEC 2011 TO 1981-2010 DEC TO FEB FEB 19 2012 DEC TO FEB RAINFALL RAINFALL 30 YR NORMAL RECORD AUSTIN BERGSTROM...16.00 INCHES 6.85 24.53 DEC 1991 TO FEB 1992 AUSTIN MABRY.......12.58 INCHES 6.64 25.55 DEC 1991 TO FEB 1992 DEL RIO.............2.63 INCHES 2.25 9.99 DEC 1948 TO FEB 1949 SAN ANTONIO........12.21 INCHES 5.46 25.97 DEC 1991 TO FEB 1992
I was crunching some of the rainfall numbers and it has been quite impressive the last 3.5 months. What I did is looked at weekly (Sun-Sat) rainfall totals from early November through yesterday, and there were only 2 weeks that we did not receive any precipitation. Of the 15 weeks of data, 5 weeks had 1″+ of rainfall, 10 weeks had at or above normal rainfall.
|Nov 27-Dec 3||0.80″|
|Jan 29-Feb 4||0.44″|
Looking at the data from the US Drought Monitor, it is clear that since our wetter weather started in early November, it has had an effect on the drought in our region. Notice the numbers from 3 months ago vs Current and you will see the decline in the drought. I should note, the monitor numbers are for the entire state. Currently ~5% of the state is not under a drought, with 20% (3% drop) of the state in the worst type of drought. The biggest drop was in the D3-D4 (extreme & exceptional) drought categories… dropping 35% in 3 months.
Back in late September 86% of the state was in an exceptional drought, so it is going to take time to wipe the drought out of the state. Particularly, we need more rain over the Hill Country, that is part of the reason the area lakes and rivers are still in large deficits. However, just to show how a little rain goes a long way in the lakes. Look at what 2-2.5″ of rainfall this weekend over parts of the Hill Country is doing for Lake Travis. In the past 5 days the lake level went up almost 2.25 feet! Its a start, but Lake Travis is still sitting about 41 feet below normal for this time of year. I expect the numbers to continue to rise and more runoff makes it to the lake. Keep our fingers crossed for more rain, and maybe the Lake will be much more accessible by late Spring and Summer.
We had another round of rain on Saturday, but more importantly the rain was spread across the area. This is really helping to get the creeks and rivers flowing, and filling the area lakes up as well. Look at the rainfall we received today here in Austin. Our 1.73″ at Mabry brought us more than 4″ above normal so far for the year, and we are pushing the one foot mark for rainfall at ABIA already this year.
The lake levels are starting to respond to all the rainfall that we have seen so far this year.
Look at how quickly Lake Travis has responded just in the past 24 to 48 hours. The lake has gone up about 1.25′ in just 48 hours.
Another weekend, another rainy wet start. Overnight an upper level system southwest started to move northeast, producing numerous showers and even a few t-storms. Thankfully this time, most of the shower activity had movement to them, so even the heavy downpours that did fall didn’t produce 9″+ totals like a few weeks ago. However, there were some fairly significant 24″ totals recorded.
Here are some of the rainfall totals from 12a Friday-12pm today for our NWS reporting stations.
Below is a 24 hour rainfall totals map from 7a Friday-7a Today from the CoCoRaHS reporting sites in our area. Notice the concentration of heavier rainfall (dark green, orange, and red colors) along the I-35 corridor. There is a good area of 1″+ totals west of I-35, and 2″+ totals east of I-35 as well. With good rainfall over the Hill Country, and upstream, the Lake Levels at Buchanan and Travis should continue to slowly rise over the next 24 hours.
Okay runners, we hear you– you want a detailed forecast for Sunday’s LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon. We are happy to oblige. Check back here between now and race time for updates.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 19TH