June 16th, 2013 at 9:39 am by davidyeomans under Weather
An area of low pressure moving westward through the western Caribbean Sea is becoming better-organized this morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.
NHC gives the “invest” a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression over the next 48 hours.
Yesterday, computer model tracks took the mid to late-week track of this invest (or by then, perhaps Tropical Storm Barry), towards the Texas coast.
Today, it looks like our odds of getting beneficial rainfall from this potentially landfalling tropical cyclone have slimmed significantly.
A strong blocking ridge of high pressure is now expected to form over Texas late this coming week, diverting any tropical influence far to our south. This ridge could also give Austin its first 100-degree day of 2013.
June 15th, 2013 at 10:11 am by davidyeomans under Weather
Although forecast uncertainty is high when we look 7 days into the future, computer models have been fairly consistent in organizing a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico late next week into weekend, then turning it towards south Texas.
If this disturbance does materialize into a named storm (and no other disturbances beat it to the punch), it would become Tropical Storm Barry.
The GFS model’s sea level pressure prediction for next Thursday evening (look at the low pressure area west of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula in the western Gulf of Mexico)
Several computer models form an area of low pressure late next week in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico. Notice the concentrated, tight area of low pressure on the above GFS model-prediction. This is indicative of a closed circulation and the possible development of a tropical system.
The European forecast model shows the disturbance over south Texas next Sunday night
The ECMWF (European model) has been well-known as of late for its accuracy in tropical prediction.
As shown above, the European forecast model takes the low pressure system along with its heavy rains (shown as colors) and moderate, circulating winds (shown as arrows) inland from the south Texas coast into central Texas Sunday evening.
With that said, it is too far in advance to say with any certainty whether Texas will be impacted by a tropical system late next week into next weekend. But as the situation unfolds, count on the First Warning Weather team to keep you ahead of the storm.
June 12th, 2013 at 1:40 pm by davidyeomans under Weather
Central Texas is nearly 200 miles from the nearest coastline. But even at that distance, the Gulf of Mexico has a large impact on our local weather.
From moderating our winter temperatures to providing a moisture source for rain development, the Gulf of Mexico has an influence on weather in central Texas every single day.
But this impact may be most noticeable during the hot summer months, when stagnant background wind patterns allow for an interesting “sea breeze” circulation to form on the coast – and trek hundreds of miles to your doorstep.
The illustration above is a simplified sketch of the sea breeze circulation that coastal communities see during the summer months.
Here are the basics:
- The sun heats land faster than it heats the nearby ocean water (based on the principle of specific heat)
- Since hot air rises, this causes a low pressure system (rising air) to form over the land surface
- To fill the void, relatively ‘cooler’ air residing over the ocean waters blows onto the beaches, and eventually inland
This rush of ‘cooler’ sea air is known as the sea breeze, and is basically a mini-summertime cold front.
As with regular cold fronts, the wind shift causes convergence (colliding air masses that are forced upwards) and can therefore act as a focal point for shower and thunderstorm development.
Have a great week!
June 9th, 2013 at 8:31 am by davidyeomans under Weather
The Thompson Ridge fire as seen from near Los Alamos, NM on Thursday, June 6. Photo by Jeffrey Howell.
More than 1,000 firefighters continue to battle the Thompson Ridge Fire in the Valles Caldera of northern New Mexico, near Los Alamos.
Dry vegetation, low humidity and gusty winds caused the fire to spread rapidly during the last week. The ongoing extreme drought in New Mexico created a dangerous situation for area firefighters.
The Thompson Ridge fire in northern New Mexico on Wednesday, courtesy of the Albuquerque Journal
Due in part to more favorable weather conditions during the past 48 hours, firefighters have made significant progress containing the blaze.
The fire has burned more than 18,000 acres but is now 40 percent contained.
June 8th, 2013 at 8:20 am by davidyeomans under Weather
Dry air behind Thursday evening’s cold front was still in place Saturday morning. That, coupled with clear skies and calm winds, allowed our morning lows to drop 10-15 degrees below average for this time of year.
The low temperature of 58 degrees at ABIA Saturday morning broke the old record low of 59, set back in 1977.
These chilly temperatures will not stick around long.
A southerly flow will return Saturday night, bringing the return of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. This will keep our low temperatures in the low-70s through the upcoming work week.
June 4th, 2013 at 11:38 am by davidyeomans under Weather
Image courtesy of WHOTV
The National Weather Service has officially upgraded last week’s killer Oklahoma tornado to an EF-5, the strongest on the scale.
Doppler on Wheels (DOW) mobile radar measured low-level winds in the tornado that reached 296 MPH – well above the 200 MPH criteria for an EF-5.
Not only was it immensely powerful, but the tornado is also now the widest tornado on record (2.6 miles), beating the old record of 2.5 miles.
June 3rd, 2013 at 9:42 am by davidyeomans under Weather
A color-enhanced satellite image of the low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico (courtesy of the National Hurricane Center)
Monday morning, tropical forecasters are monitoring an active area of low pressure emerging from the Yucatan Peninsula into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
So far, the “invest” is not strong enough to officially be labeled a tropical depression (winds >35 mph), much less a tropical storm (winds >39 mph).
If the storm does develop into a tropical storm however, it could become the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season’s first named storm of the year – Andrea.
According to the National Hurricane Center, atmospheric conditions in the area are only “marginally conducive” for development of this low pressure system into a tropical depression over the next 48 hours.
Computer models are fairly consistent with moving this system to the northeast over the next few days, likely bringing flooding rainfall of 5-7″ to the entire Florida Peninsula.
We will keep you updated if the invest develops further.
May 31st, 2013 at 9:09 am by davidyeomans under Weather
The expected path of Asteroid 1998 Q-E-2, courtesy of NBC News
You may not be able to see it with the naked eye during daytime hours, but at 3:59 PM CDT today Asteroid 1998 Q-E-2 will come closer to Earth than it has in at least the past 200 years.
This 1.7 mile-wide asteroid is the same size as the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. In fact, its large size has enough of a gravitational pull to hold its own small moon in orbit.
This afternoon the asteroid will come within 3.5 million miles of earth – relatively “close” on a universal scale, but still 15-times farther than the distance between the Earth and our moon.
Experts say there is “no chance” of the asteroid impacting Earth, but you will be able to catch a glimpse of it once night falls.
May 26th, 2013 at 10:19 am by davidyeomans under Weather
The 48-hour stretch of very wet weather in central Texas is coming to an end Sunday morning, as only a few showers and storms impact the southern portions of our viewing area.
Rainfall totals from around the area have been impressive to say the least – but with the heaviest amounts downstream of the variable-level lakes, Lake Travis & Buchanan saw less than 1-foot rises.
May 20th, 2013 at 9:41 am by davidyeomans under Weather
As the nation’s eyes continue to focus on the clean-up after yesterday’s massive outbreak of devastating severe weather to our north, a slight risk of severe weather is set to impact central Texas early this week.
Late Monday afternoon, a dry line currently located in west Texas will shift eastward into the western Hill Country.
This boundary of drier air acts to lift the more buoyant moist air in front of it – often acting as a focal point for severe thunderstorm development during the spring and early summer months.
This could lead to an isolated severe thunderstorm in the Hill Country Monday afternoon with large hail and/or damaging winds.
Tuesday afternoon and evening, the threat for severe weather will expand eastward to encompass all of central Texas – including the Austin Metro area.
The greatest risk of thunderstorms looks to be Tuesday afternoon in the Hill Country, and Tuesday evening along I-35.
Whether or not these storms will reach the I-35 corridor before they fizzle out after sundown remains in question.