September, 2012

Typhoon Jelawat Makes Landfall

September 30th, 2012 at 9:51 am by under Weather

Typhoon Jelawat – once the 160-mph category 5 storm pictured below – made landfall as a weaker storm yesterday on the island of Okinawa, Japan.

Close-up satellite imagery of Typhoon Jelawat over the western Pacific Ocean, taken on Sept. 25.  At the time of the image, the storm was a powerful category 5 packing 160mph winds (Image credit: Dan Lindsey, Colorado State University)

Jelawat made landfall in Okinawa as a category 3 storm with 115mph winds. Though weaker than it once was, this was powerful enough to inflict some impressive destruction.

The storm knocked out power, flipped cars down city streets, and shattered windows in numerous buildings. Watch a video of some of the damage as it occurred here.

Also, check out the Kadena Air Base Facebook page (where 115mph wind gusts were measured) for some impressive photos of what a category 3 storm can do.

Flooding Threat is Far From Over

September 29th, 2012 at 9:16 am by under Weather

A Flash Flood Watch continues through this evening for most of central Texas.

A shield of moderate to heavy rain moved through central Texas during the overnight and early morning hours, bringing almost everyone in the area at least 1″ of rain with some totals over 2″.

We did manage to escape the worst of the flooding rains overnight here in central Texas, as most of the strongest activity was concentrated to our south near San Antonio.  This was because a mesoscale convective vortex (MCV) formed early this morning near the San Antonio area. An MCV occurs when a complex of thunderstorms becomes organized enough to form its own circulation – like a miniature low pressure system. This mini-low kept the heaviest rains to our south and east.

Rainfall overnight in Austin was enough to make some creeks run higher than normal, as seen in the image below.

A swollen Shoal Creek early this morning after the overnight rains. (Credit: KXAN viewer Nancy Yeomans)

Although there is a respite in the rainfall at the current hour, our flooding threat is far from over.

Scattered showers will be forming and moving through the area all day, and another concentrated mass of moderate to heavy rain should move in after lunch time.  This additional rainfall over the already-saturated ground will pose a serious flooding threat.

Remember, if you’re driving and come across standing or flowing water on the roadway – TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!

Puppy Mill Awareness Day Festival Sunday

September 28th, 2012 at 4:27 pm by under Weather

  Kaxan, our KXAN rescue/mascot, and I invite you to the Puppy Mill Awareness Day Festival this Sunday! I’ll be the emcee, so you know the rain has to end by then! :-)    Click here for details!

Flooding rains possible – Flash Flood Watch issued

September 28th, 2012 at 3:34 pm by under Weather
FRI SEP 28 2012




Turn Around Don’t Drown

September 28th, 2012 at 8:03 am by under Weather

As of 8:00am today, a flash flood watch is in effect for all of our viewing counties with the exception of Lampassas and Milam counties.  This watch will last through Saturday evening and is due to the amount of rain that is in the forecast through Sunday morning.  We are expecting most areas to average 2-4″ with a few isolated locations getting as much as 6-8″. 

With this being said, it is time to remind everyone to PLEASE NOT drive across water covered roadways.  You just never know how deep that water can be.  The National Weather Service has started a campaign that most of us have heard about.  It is called “Turn Around Don’t Drown.”  Here are the details from the NWS website:


What Is Turn Around Don’t Drown® (TADD)?

Flooding Ahead, Turn Around Don't Drown®TADD is a NOAA National Weather Service campaign to warn people of the hazards of walking or driving a vehicle through flood waters.

At right is an official sanctioned Department
of Transportation, Federal Highway
Administration Road sign. Details
on producing and using this sign are available here

Why is Turn Around Don’t Drown® So Important?

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or ear flood waters.Why? The main reason is people underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles as they are swept downstream. Of these drownings, many are preventable, but too many people continue to drive around the barriers that warn you the road is flooded.

What Can I Do to Avoid Getting Caught is This Situation?

Most flood-related deaths and injuries could be avoided if people who come upon areas covered with water followed this simple advice: Turn Around Don’t Drown®.

The reason that so many people drown during flooding is because few of them realize the incredible power of water. A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles. This includes pickups and SUVs.

If you come to an area that is covered with water, you will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water. This is especially true at night, when your vision is more limited.

Play it smart, play it safe. Whether driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded road, Turn Around Don’t Drown®

Follow these safety rules:

  • Monitor the NOAA Weather Radio, or your favorite news source for vital weather related information.
  • If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, canyons, washes etc.
  • Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Turn Around Don’t Drown®
  • Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Turn Around Don’t Drown®
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.




Coming rain may be heavy….

September 27th, 2012 at 5:51 pm by under Weather

Here’s a Thursday afternoon email update we received from National Weather Service meteorologist Paul Yura regarding this weekend’s storm system:

We continue to forecast a heavy rain event for this upcoming weekend.   Large amounts of moisture coming from the Gulf and from Tropical Storm Miriam in the Pacific, will combine over portions of Texas mainly late Friday and all day Saturday helping to produce widespread rainfall, some of it very heavy.  An upper level storm system will provide the lift needed to trigger the rain, showers, and thunderstorms.  (more…)

Saturday may be a washout

September 27th, 2012 at 1:54 pm by under Weather

A chunk of the former Hurricane Miriam (now a tropical storm southwest of Cabo San Lucas) will spin off the system and head into West Texas Friday. The area of low pressure will tap into two moisture sources–Pacific and Gulf of Mexico–and bring some widespread rain to the area. Enhancing the chance of rain will be a weak front dropping south into Central Texas late Saturday.

The rain is forecast to begin by Friday night, then may continue through much of the day Saturday, but should end by Sunday morning at the latest.

1-3 inches of rain may fall, with isolated 4-8 inch amounts possible in a few areas.

(NWS) A disturbance from the Southwest U.S. is forecast move toward South Central Texas Friday and Friday Night and over the Region Saturday. Chances for rain will increase across South Central Texas from the south and west beginning Thursday Night and continue over South Central Texas Friday through Saturday. Locally heavy rain is possible with rainfall totals of 1 to 3 inches expected. Isolated rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches is possible. Rain chances are expected to end from west to east Saturday night and Sunday. A few lingering storms are possible over the southeast part of South Central Texas early Sunday.

Here’s the latest information from Paul Yura, National Weather Service Warning and Coordination meteorologist: (more…)


September 26th, 2012 at 9:00 am by under Weather

A vital weather satellite known as GOES-13 was sent into Earth’s orbit back in 2006.  In 2010 it went fully opperational as the National Weather Service’s monitor of the US east coast and the Atlantic Ocean. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed Monday that GOES-13 has been placed in stand-by mode, following increased vibrations, or “noise,” observed in imagery over the past couple of days.

No need to worry though, NOAA has found a replacement (this one should perform better than the NFL replacements… just sayin….).  A fill in satellite known as GOES 14 was activated and repositioned on Monday to cover he missing data from its GOES 13 counterpart. 

Stand-by mode means the satellite has basically been taken offline until problems are resolved.

Should GOES-14 fail during the GOES-13 outage, more substantial gaps in satellite data are possible over the U.S.

Earlier this year, GOES-15 (West coast satellite) was out of action for several days and it was GOES-13 that had to be moved.  The result was distorted images on part of the Pacific for a period of time.

Launch of the first of a new generation of weather satellites, known as the GOES-R series, is not scheduled to begin until 2015. The new satellites,  will have high resolution and will be able to take pictures much more often.

Year Of The Waterspout

September 25th, 2012 at 7:53 am by under Weather

A record 154 waterspouts have been sighted on the Great Lakes, meteorologist Wade Szilagyi told NBC News on Monday. Szilagyi is head of Canada’s International Centre for Waterspout Research. Records have been kept by the Canadian research service since 1994.

Why so many this year?

Waterspouts are common this time of year as cooler air masses move over the warm Great Lakes, where water temperatures are usually at their peak following the summer months.

As anyone who lives in the Great Lakes knows, it was a hot summer. 

Lake water temperatures are several degrees above normal from the summer warmth, currently as high as 70 degrees in shallow Lake Erie.

Combine that with near-record chilly blasts flowing over the lakes since the first week of the month and you have a  recipe for waterspouts, and a plausible explanation for the new record.

What is a waterspout?

Waterspouts fall into two categories: fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts.

Tornadic waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water, or move from land to water. They have the same characteristics as a land tornado. They are associated with severe thunderstorms, and are often accompanied by high winds and seas, large hail, and frequent dangerous lightning.

Fair weather waterspouts usually form along the dark flat base of a line of developing cumulus clouds. This type of waterspout is generally not associated with thunderstorms. While tornadic waterspouts develop downward in a thunderstorm, a fair weather waterspout develops on the surface of the water and works its way upward. By the time the funnel is visible, a fair weather waterspout is near maturity. Fair weather waterspouts form in light wind conditions so they normally move very little.

If a waterspout moves onshore, the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning, as some of them can cause significant damage and injuries to people. Typically, fair weather waterspouts dissipate rapidly when they make landfall, and rarely reach far inland.


Guatemala Volcano Erupts – 33,000 Evacuated

September 23rd, 2012 at 10:16 am by under Weather

On Thursday, a massive volcano near one of Guatemala’s most famous tourist destinations exploded in a series of powerful eruptions.

The erupting Volcan de Fuego (“Volcano of Fire”) in Guatemala. Ash was sent more than 10,000 feet into the atmosphere. (Credit: Associated Press)

Lava tumbled nearly 2,000 feet down the 12,346-foot-high volcano, prompting 17 villages around the volcano to be evacuated – more than 33,000 people.

The volcano sits just six miles southwest of the city of Antigua, home to 45,000 people. Officials say this tourist destination is not in immediate danger.

Ash has been spewed more than 50 miles away from the volcano and is settling as much as a half-inch deep on cars and streets in the area.

Read the full story from the Associated Press here.

The Volcan de Fuego as seen from the tourist destination city of Antigua. (Credit: Associated Press)