Snow flurries were reported early Saturday morning in Waco, although reportedly did not accumulate on any area roadways.
For UT/Baylor fans heading to the big game this afternoon, you’ll need several layers of clothing, gloves, hats.. anything you can find to prepare yourself for temperatures in the 20s, wind chills in the single-digits and teens, and periods of very light sleet/snow/freezing rain.
As of 10:20am Saturday, there have been no problems reported on I-35 northbound from Austin to Waco.
Enjoy the game and stay warm!
Underneath the Arctic Ocean sits a large reserve of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Understanding how much of that is making it to the atmosphere is an important but relatively new area of research. The latest findings published on Sunday in Nature indicate that more could be escaping than previously thought, thanks in part to stormy weather.
The East Siberian Arctic Shelf is a shallow swath of land underneath the East Siberian Sea. It stretches for 2 million square miles and contains large deposits of methane hydrates, which are frozen deposits of highly concentrated methane.
When the hydrates melt, they turn into methane gas, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Methane hydrates are found throughout the world’s oceans but generally under hundreds of feet of water. That means as they melt, there’s more time for the gas to disperse and mix with the surrounding ocean water. But because the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is much shallower, with an average depth of 150 feet, there’s more of a chance for that methane gas to reach the surface. That’s why understanding how much methane is stored in the shelf and if those stores are stable is so important to climate researchers.
Some scientists suggested earlier this year that a massive release of methane from the shelf, referred to as a “methane bomb,” could cause abrupt climate change and cost the global economy $60 trillion. That claim has been met with much skepticism, in part because the amount of methane the shelf is currently releasing and the conditions it’s stored under aren’t fully understood. The remoteness, logistics and inclement weather have impeded scientists’ research access to the region until fairly recently and data has been sparse.
That, however, is beginning to change.
This week will be a real roller coaster ride weather-wise, with temperatures rising to potentially record levels Tuesday before plummeting later in the week.
Here’s a look at what we can expect from the National Weather Service.
...ANOTHER BLAST OF COLD WEATHER LATE THIS WEEK... SPRINGLIKE SUNNY AND WARM CONDITIONS WILL OCCUR THROUGH WEDNESDAY... BUT A MAJOR BLAST OF ARCTIC AIR WILL ENTER THE REGION ON THURSDAY AND USHER IN A PERIOD OF MUCH BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES THROUGH MID-MONTH. THE UPCOMING WEEKEND WILL BE COLD AND WET AS AN UPPER LEVEL TROUGH PASSES OVER THE COLD AIR NEAR THE GROUND. THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE OF RAIN MIXED WITH FREEZING RAIN IN THE HILL COUNTRY AND NORTHERN EDWARDS PLATEAU FRIDAY NIGHT INTO EARLY SATURDAY...AND AGAIN SATURDAY NIGHT INTO EARLY SUNDAY. HOWEVER...PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS APPEAR TO BE LIGHT ENOUGH THAT THE IMPACTS OF ICING SHOULD BE MINIMAL...MAINLY LIMITED TO TRAVEL ON BRIDGES AND OTHER ELEVATED SURFACES. THERE COULD BE REPORTS OF LIGHT FREEZING RAIN ALONG THE I-35 COUNTIES FROM WILLIAMSON TO COMAL...ESPECIALLY AT HIGHER ELEVATIONS SUCH AS THE WESTERN HILLS OF METRO AUSTIN. THERE IS NO INDICATION OF FREEZING RAIN FOR BEXAR COUNTY AND METRO SAN ANTONIO AT THIS TIME. EVEN WITHOUT THE RAIN...IT WILL BE COLD AND BLUSTERY AT TIMES WITH WIND CHILL READINGS IN THE 20S AND 30S MUCH OF THE WEEKEND. ANOTHER PUSH OF COLD AIR WILL ARRIVE EARLY NEXT WEEK...MAINTAINING THE COLD CONDITIONS THROUGH MID-MONTH. COLD WEATHER SAFETY REVOLVES AROUND THE FOUR P(S)... PEOPLE...PETS...PLANTS...PIPES. IN SHORT...PEOPLE AND PETS SHOULD STAY INDOORS OR BE DRESSED APPROPRIATELY WHEN OUTSIDE. FROSTBITE AND HYPOTHERMIA CAN RESULT FROM EXTENDED EXPOSURE TO THE ELEMENTS... BOTH OF WHICH ARE SERIOUS AND REQUIRE IMMEDIATE WARMING AND MEDICAL ATTENTION. PLANTS SHOULD BE BROUGHT INDOORS OR COVERED. WHILE THE COLD OUTBREAK WILL BE OF LONG DURATION...IT DOES NOT APPEAR SEVERE ENOUGH TO CAUSE PIPE BURST PROBLEMS. BUT THE WARM PERIOD OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS WOULD BE A GOOD TIME TO REMOVE WATER FROM HOSES AND IRRIGATION SYSTEMS.
The end of the unusually quiet Atlantic hurricane season of 2013 is at hand. The final tally of thirteen named storms was above the average of eleven for a season, but the two hurricanes (Ingrid and Humberto) and zero major hurricanes were well below the average from 1950 – 2012 of six and three, respectively. The 2013 season ranked as the sixth-least-active Atlantic hurricane season since 1950, in terms of the collective strength and duration of named storms and hurricanes (ACE index), which was just 33% of the 1981 – 2012 average. The 2013 hurricane season was the first time since 1994 no major hurricanes formed, and was only the third below-normal season since the high-activity period for Atlantic hurricanes began in 1995. NOAA and the U.S. Air Force Reserve flew 45 hurricane hunter aircraft reconnaissance missions over the Atlantic basin this season, totaling 435 hours–the fewest number of flight hours since at least 1966, said NOAA in a press release summarizing the 2013 hurricane season.
Worst storm of the season: Ingrid
Mexico took a severe beating in 2013, with eight landfalling storms: one hurricane (Ingrid) and two tropical storms (Barry and Fernand) from the Atlantic side, and two hurricanes (Manuel and Barbara), and three tropical storms from the Pacific side. The deadliest and most expensive Atlantic storm of 2013 was Hurricane Ingrid, which weakened to a tropical storm with 65 mph winds before hitting Mexico about 200 miles south of the Texas border on September 16, 2013. Ingrid’s heavy rains triggered flooding that killed 23 and did $1.5 billion in damage, making the storm the 7th costliest tropical cyclone in Mexican history. Barry and Fernand, which both hit the Mexican coast in the Gulf of Mexico between Tampico and Veracruz, dumped torrential rains and triggered floods that killed five and fourteen people, respectively. The first storm of the season, Tropical Storm Andrea, was the only named storm to make landfall in the United States this year. Andrea brought tornadoes, heavy rain, and minor flooding to portions of Florida, eastern Georgia and eastern South Carolina, causing one fatality and damage less than $25 million. No other deaths were recorded from Atlantic named storms in 2013. Tropical Storm Chantal did minor damage on Dominica and Martinique in the Lesser Antilles, and Tropical Storm Gabrielle did minor damage on Bermuda.
Figure 1. The strongest Atlantic hurricane of 2013, Category 1 Hurricane Ingrid, lays siege to Mexico on September 15, 2013. Ingrid killed 23 and did $1.5 billion in damage to Mexico. On the Pacific side, we see Tropical Storm Manuel, which killed 169 people and did $4.2 billion in damage to Mexico. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.
A preseason forecast bust
As temperatures dipped to – or within several degrees of – the freezing mark early Monday and wetting rains fell across the area, what could have been a widespread icing event was largely avoided.
Temperatures did briefly touch the freezing mark in most Hill Country communities, but reports of icing on roadways were few and far between, as most of the precipitation that fell across the area overnight remained in liquid form.
Low temperatures in the Austin Metro were generally in the mid-30s.
Radar-estimated 24-hour rainfall totals were generally between one-half inch and three-quarters of an inch as of early Monday afternoon.
Although the rain has been steady, it has had little effect on our Highland Lakes as Lake Travis and Buchanan are only up 1-2 inches over the past 24 hours.
Here is the latest from the National Weather Service regarding the coming winter storm:
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR CENTRAL/EASTERN HILL COUNTRY, AND I-35 COMMUNITIES INCLUDING METRO AUSTIN:
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX 922 AM CST SUN NOV 24 2013 ...A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM TUESDAY MORNING ACROSS THE SOUTHERN EDWARDS PLATEAU...HILL COUNTRY...AND NORTHEASTERN PORTIONS OF THE I-35 CORRIDOR... .UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCES MOVING ACROSS THE REGION WILL LEAD TO GOOD CHANCES FOR PRECIPITATION TODAY THROUGH EARLY TUESDAY. LIGHT SLEET WILL MIX-IN WITH THE COLD RAIN TODAY THROUGH MONDAY EVENING ACROSS NORTHERN AND NORTHEASTERN PORTIONS OF THE REGION. AT THIS TIME...ONLY MINIMAL ICE ACCUMULATIONS ARE EXPECTED TODAY THROUGH MONDAY. HOWEVER...THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR LIGHT ACCUMULATIONS ON BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES THROUGHOUT THE HILL COUNTRY AND OVER PORTIONS OF THE I-35 CORRIDOR. BY MONDAY NIGHT...A STRONG UPPER LOW WILL MOVE ACROSS OUR AREA. THIS WILL ALLOW TEMPERATURES JUST ABOVE THE SURFACE TO BECOME COLD ENOUGH TO SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF SNOW. SNOW FLURRIES ARE POSSIBLE LATE MONDAY NIGHT INTO TUESDAY MORNING ACROSS THE SOUTHERN EDWARDS PLATEAU...HILL COUNTRY...AND NORTHEASTERN PORTIONS OF THE I-35 CORRIDOR. TXZ173-191-192-206-242330- /O.EXB.KEWX.WW.Y.0004.000000T0000Z-131126T1500Z/ WILLIAMSON-HAYS-TRAVIS-COMAL- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...GEORGETOWN...SAN MARCOS...AUSTIN... NEW BRAUNFELS 922 AM CST SUN NOV 24 2013 ...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM CST TUESDAY... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR LIGHT SLEET AND SNOW FLURRIES...WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 AM CST TUESDAY. * TIMING...LIGHT SLEET WILL MIX-IN WITH THE COLD RAIN TODAY THROUGH MONDAY EVENING. SNOW FLURRIES ARE POSSIBLE MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH EARLY TUESDAY. * MAIN IMPACT...PATCHY ICE MAY DEVELOP ON BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES TODAY THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING. * OTHER IMPACTS...SENSITIVE PLANTS SHOULD BE COVERED AND PETS BROUGHT INDOORS. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW...SLEET...OR FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
WINTER STORM WARNING FOR MASON/SAN SABA/LAMPASAS COUNTIES:
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN ANGELO TX 536 AM CST SUN NOV 24 2013 ...A WINTER STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR WEST CENTRAL TEXAS THROUGH EARLY MONDAY... (more...)
AUSTIN FLOOD RELIEF
Austin, TX – November 22, 2013 – KXAN is asking viewers to help provide assistance in the Austin flood relief efforts. The devastating flood waters that struck parts of central Austin on Halloween destroyed entire neighborhoods leaving many families with nothing.
“This effort speaks to what a great community does when facing a localized tragedy,” said Eric Lassberg, KXAN-TV president and general manager. “At KXAN we are honored to work with the various community leaders and local organizations to help those in need that lost so much during the recent floods.”
On Monday, November 25th the KXAN Giveathon will kick-off live at 5:00 p.m. from the KXAN studios with KXAN Today morning anchor Sally Hernandez who will share stories of need from the hard hit areas.
“Caring for others in our community is a value we uphold in Austin. Nearly a month after the Halloween flood, we still have neighbors in need; neighbors who lost their possessions and even their homes in this disaster,” said Representative Eddie Rodriguez. “So with this event we’re asking you to help your neighbors. Give what you can to help these families get the food, shelter and resources they need to get their lives back on track.”
Viewers can call in and log on to kxan.com to make a monetary donation through 10:30 p.m. Donations made during the KXAN Giveathon will be processed through MiniDonations.org, a local non-profit, which will work with the Austin Community Foundation to grant local non-profit organizations like Habitat for Humanity and the Austin Travis County Flood Relief assist in various local flood relief efforts.
Sifting through the massive amount of climate and weather data collected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) can be daunting. However, a new tool released Tuesday brings that data to the masses and with a few clicks of the mouse or taps on the screen, creates interactive maps that clearly show natural and manmade shifts in the climate and oceans around the world.
The National Climatic Data Center alone contains over 6 petabytes of data. That’s enough data on ocean and land temperatures, cloud cover, rainfall, and other climate and weather indicators to fill more than 49,000 hard drives in the beefiest iPad Air. Other NOAA data centers house still more information on Arctic sea ice, the deep ocean, fisheries, and climate projections collected from satellites, weather stations, buoys, ocean sounds and computer models.
An animation made in NOAA View showing monthly shifts in sea surface temperatures around the globe.
Most of that data is free and publicly available. However, just because it’s available doesn’t mean it’s centralized or intuitive to access, let alone figure out what to do with it once it’s on your desktop. NOAA’s new effort aims to sidestep those issues and let the public explore cloud cover, salinity levels in the depths of the ocean, and everything in between.
The tool, called NOAA View, offers easy access to 60 NOAA datasets that go back to 1880 as well as future climate model simulations. Dan Pisut, who manages NOAA’s Environmental Visualization Program, said the initial datasets were chosen based on the data most accessed by news organizations and museums.
“We wanted to build something where somebody that doesn’t want to crunch all the numbers can still see an image,” Pisut said. “After all, an image is worth a thousand words.”
To get those images, users can browse datasets by category and time period. Behind the scenes, hundreds of computer programs churn that data into beautiful maps that can show variables for a specific period or how they change over time.
An animation made in NOAA View showing weekly changes in vegetation from May 2013 through October 2013.
A rare and deadly late-season tornado and severe weather outbreak blitzed the Midwest U.S. on Sunday, killing at least six people and leaving widespread significant damage. A tornado preliminarily rated as a violent EF-4 touched down in New Minden, Illinois, east of St. Louis, carving a path of destruction three miles long, killing two people, and blowing semi trucks off of I-64. The twister was one of only twenty EF-4s to occur in the U.S. in November dating back to 1950, and was the third most northerly November EF-4 ever observed, according to data from the Tornado History Project. The most widespread damage from Sunday’s outbreak occurred in the town of Washington (population 16,000), about 140 miles southwest of Chicago, where a powerful tornado destroyed or heavily damaged 250 – 500 homes and an apartment complex. Damage appeared to be at least EF-3. A northern Illinois man says he discovered mail belonging to Washington residents on his property in Channahon, about 80 miles northeast Washington, according to the (Peoria) Journal-Star. Three other tornado deaths occurred in Massac County in the far southern part of Illinois, making Sunday the deadliest November tornado outbreak in Illinois history. NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center logged 68 preliminary tornado reports, along with 412 reports of high wind gusts and 32 reports of hail. Sixteen of the wind gusts were in excess of 74 mph (hurricane strength.)
Figure 1. A view of part of Washington, Illinois from Mackenzie Street on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013 after a tornado tore through the area. (AP Photo/Alex Kareotes)
Figure 2. Radar reflectivity image of the supercell thunderstorm that spawned the Washington, Illinois tornado of November 17, 2013.
A strange 2013 tornado season
Sunday’s tornado outbreak is yet another anomaly in what has been a very unusual 2013 tornado season. The top three tornado outbreaks have occurred in November, January, and October–well outside the usual spring/summer peak of tornado season: