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TS Cristobal update

August 24th, 2014 at 10:26 pm by under Weather

TS track

 

The latest from NHC:

BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM CRISTOBAL ADVISORY NUMBER 6
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042014
1100 PM EDT SUN AUG 24 2014

…CRISTOBAL MOVING SLOWLY NORTHWARD WITH NO CHANGE IN STRENGTH…
SUMMARY OF 1100 PM EDT…0300 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————–
LOCATION…24.8N 73.1W
ABOUT 105 MI…165 KM ENE OF SAN SALVADOR
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…45 MPH…75 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 350 DEGREES AT 5 MPH…7 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…998 MB…29.47 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY…

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* CENTRAL BAHAMAS…INCLUDING CAT ISLAND…THE EXUMAS…LONG
ISLAND…RUM CAY…AND SAN SALVADOR

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TS Cristobal forms in the Atlantic

August 24th, 2014 at 9:19 am by under Weather

TS track

The latest from the National Hurricane Center as of 9 AM Sunday:

…CRISTOBAL RE-FORMS A LITTLE TO THE NORTHEAST…
…STILL MOVING NORTHWESTWARD NEAR THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS…

SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…23.0N 73.0W
ABOUT 40 MI…60 KM N OF MAYAGUANA ISLAND
ABOUT 135 MI…215 KM ESE OF LONG ISLAND
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…45 MPH…75 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 325 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1001 MB…29.56 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY…

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS…INCLUDING THE ACKLINS…CROOKED
ISLAND…LONG CAY…THE INAGUAS…MAYAGUANA…AND THE RAGGED
ISLANDS…AS WELL AS FOR THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
* CENTRAL BAHAMAS…INCLUDING CAT ISLAND…THE EXUMAS…LONG
ISLAND…RUM CAY…AND SAN SALVADOR

INTERESTS IN THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS
OF THIS SYSTEM. A TROPICAL STORM WATCH COULD BE REQUIRED FOR
THIS AREA LATER TODAY.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA…PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE. (more…)


Dangerous heat continues this weekend

August 22nd, 2014 at 3:40 pm by under Weather

8-22 Heat Adv

 

HEAT ADVISORY has been extended through Saturday evening for Fayette County — where dangerous heat is forecast to continue this weekend.

Throughout the rest of Central Texas, expect “feels like” temperatures as high as 104º Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Stay cool!

Read more from the National Weather Service:

FAYETTE-WILSON-KARNES-GONZALES-DE WITT-LAVACA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...LA GRANGE...FLORESVILLE...KARNES CITY...
GONZALES...CUERO...HALLETTSVILLE
314 PM CDT FRI AUG 22 2014

...HEAT ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM CDT SATURDAY...

* TEMPERATURE...HEAT INDICES OF 105 TO 108 DEGREES DURING THE
  AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING HOURS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY WITH LOWS
  FRIDAY NIGHT IN THE UPPER 70S TO NEAR 80 DEGREES.

* IMPACTS...EXTENDED OUTDOOR ACTIVITY COULD LEAD TO
  DEHYDRATION...HEAT EXHAUSTION OR HEAT STROKE IF PROPER
  PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN
POSSIBLE...RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR
EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT
STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN
POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR
WORK THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS
SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED
ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL
AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY...CALL 911.

Hill Country enjoys Sunday rain, others stay dry

August 17th, 2014 at 8:41 pm by under Weather

hydro

 

Two rounds of thunderstorms–one early Sunday morning in Mason and San Saba counties and another Sunday afternoon in Lampasas, Burnet and Llano counties–brought measurable rain to much of the western and northern Hill Country.

The LCRA hydromet map above shows the distribution of Sunday’s rainfall (and which lakes the rain eventually flows into).

The luckiest spots, mainly in San Saba and Lampasas counties, saw over an inch of rain in a few isolated locations. The heavy downpours led to brief concerns of low-water crossing/creek flooding, although no major problems were reported.

Though most of Sunday’s rain will be absorbed by the drought-stricken soil in the Hill Country, minor river inflows could feed Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake and Lake LBJ.


San Marcos enters STAGE 4 water restrictions

August 17th, 2014 at 5:15 am by under Weather

SM water

Central Texas water users are facing unprecedented pumping restrictions by the Edwards Aquifer Authority.

The authority announced Stage 4 restrictions that mandates users in Bexar and Medina counties, and parts of Caldwell, Comal, Guadalupe and Hays counties to reduce water use by 40-percent because of low water levels and lingering hot and dry weather. The aquifer dropped to 628.9 feet above sea level Monday. That’s its lowest level in nearly 20 years.

The aquifer services municipal utilities, agriculture and industrial customers in seven counties. Cities are considering purchasing water from other providers and tightening conservation requirements.

San Marcos city officials said Stage 4 restrictions will be implemented TODAY, Sunday, at noon. These are the stiffest water rules the city has faced and mean enforcement teams will be increasing their patrols.

Enforcement teams had issued 159 notices of violation and 24 second notices by the end of July, but had not levied any fines. Punishment for violating the restrictions ranges between $120 per day and $1,000 per day, for repeat offenders. San Marcos gets 93 percent of its water from Canyon Lake, but restrictions sill apply to all residents despite the city drawing just a small portion of water from the aquifer.

Water Restrictions:

Under Stage 4, use of sprinklers will be limited to one day every other week on a designated weekday between 6-10 a.m. or 8 p.m.-midnight.

Designated sprinkler weeks are as follows:

  • No sprinklers on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • August 18 -22 – No sprinklers.
  • August 25 – 29 – Sprinklers allowed on designated weekday and times.
  • September 1 – 5 – No sprinklers.
  • September 8 – 12 – Sprinklers allowed on designated weekday and times.

Designated weekday by last number of address:

  • 0 or 1 – Monday
  • 2 or 3 – Tuesday
  • 4 or 5 – Wednesday
  • 6 or 7 – Thursday
  • 8 or 9 – Friday

Soaker hose and drip irrigation are allowed one day per week on the designated weekday before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m. Hand watering is allowed on any day before 10 a.m. or after 8 p.m.

Stage 4 rules prohibit water waste, washing impervious surfaces, filling swimming pools, and using decorative water features. Foundation watering is allowed one day per week on the designated weekday before 10 am or after 8 pm, and only by soaker hose or hand-held hose.


First Warning Weather visits the Austin Home & Garden Show

August 16th, 2014 at 4:03 pm by under Weather

yeo 2new

 

The organizers of the Austin Home & Garden Show were nice enough to have me (KXAN Meteorologist David Yeomans) as a speaker at the Austin Convention Center event on Saturday morning.

As many folks in attendance were thinking of new plants and landscaping modifications, I took the opportunity to talk about the ongoing Central Texas drought and what we’re expecting going forward.

Since rainfall this year has been close to average, we have to remember that the ongoing drought deals with the multi-year rain deficit. Even though Texas is in better shape than we were one year ago, 83% of the state remains in some level of drought with the most extreme “exceptional” drought classification still present in parts of the Hill Country.

Thanks again for having me!


Colorado State experts continue to predict below-average Atlantic hurricane season

August 10th, 2014 at 9:18 am by under Weather

(Courtesy Colorado State University, July 31, 2014)

ATLANTIC BASIN HURRICANE FORECAST FOR 2014

(Average) Predicted - Numbers in ( ) represent medians based on 1981-2010 data.

Named Storms (12)* 10
Named Storm Days (60.1) 40
Hurricanes (6.5) 4
Hurricane Days (21.3) 15
Major Hurricanes (2.0) 1
Major Hurricane Days (3.9) 3
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (92) 65
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (103%) 70

FORT COLLINS -  Colorado State University researchers continue to predict a below-average hurricane season for the Atlantic basin in 2014, citing exceptionally unfavorable hurricane formation conditions in the tropical Atlantic combined with the likely development of a weak to moderate El Niño event. The below-average prediction is largely due to strong vertical wind shear, dry mid-level air and cool sea surface temperature anomalies in the tropical Atlantic and Caribbean.

The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project team is calling for a total of 10 named storms during the Atlantic hurricane season, June 1 to Nov. 30. Of those, researchers expect four to become hurricanes and one to reach major hurricane strength (Saffir/Simpson category 3-4-5) with sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater.

Hurricane Arthur formed in early July, so an additional nine named storms and three hurricanes are predicted for the remainder of the hurricane season.

The team bases its forecasts on over 60 years of historical data that include Atlantic sea surface temperatures, sea level pressures, vertical wind shear levels (the change in wind direction and speed with height in the atmosphere), El Niño (warming of waters in the central and eastern tropical Pacific), and other factors.

“So far, the 2014 season is exhibiting characteristics similar to the 1957, 1986, 1993, 2002, and 2009 hurricane seasons, all of which had below-normal hurricane activity,” said Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the report.

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A look at why it has been so pleasant this weekend

August 3rd, 2014 at 9:41 am by under Weather

8-3 tx map

 

This weekend’s cooler than average temperatures have been a welcome reprieve from the Texas heat during this traditionally-hottest time of year.

The temperature Saturday morning at ABIA bottomed out at a record-cold 64 degrees, topping the previous record low of 67.

The cooler temperatures are caused by the unusual summertime cold front that blew through the area Thursday night. That front is still stalled well to our south, which puts Central Texas in an area of cold air advection – warm air being replaced by cool air that’s transported in on northeast winds.

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New Weather Channel show geared toward “weather geeks”

August 2nd, 2014 at 9:21 am by under Weather
Marshall Shepherd
Marshall Shepherd, director of the UGA Atmospheric Science program and former president of the American Meteorological Society, is the host of the Weather Channel show Weather Geeks.

From Gil Golan, UGA News:

A new Weather Channel show, Weather Geeks, covers contemporary weather issues in a news talk show format. Dr. Marshall Shepherd, director of the University of Georgia’s Atmospheric Science program and former president of the American Meteorological Society, serves as host of the Sunday morning weather forum.

“It’s a gift to hardcore weather fans,” Shepherd said.

The show focuses on key weather issues while also serving as a platform for debunking incorrect statements made about weather events.

Dr. Shepherd cited January’s Polar Vortex as a weather event where news outlets reported misinformation.

Weather Geeks is the only Sunday morning news talk show that focuses on science, Shepherd said. Each episode features guest scientists from different areas of the weather community.

“We reach out to the professional weather community because we want it to be their show,” Shepherd said.

But he said achieving high audience ratings is not the main focus of the show.

“What I’m most excited about is being able to talk about contemporary weather issues in a public media forum,” Shepherd said.

(more…)


How a solar storm two years ago nearly caused a catastrophe on Earth

July 26th, 2014 at 9:20 am by under Weather

By Jason Samenow:

Solar flare preceding CMEs on July 22, 2012 (NASA)

CME captured by NASA July 23, 2012 (NASA)

On July 23, 2012, the sun unleashed two massive clouds of plasma that barely missed a catastrophic encounter with the Earth’s atmosphere.  These plasma clouds, known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs), comprised a solar storm thought to be the most powerful in at least 150 years.

“If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” physicist Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado tells NASA.

Via NASA: “This movie shows a coronal mass ejection (CME) on the sun from July 22, 2012 at 10:00 p.m. EDT until 2 a.m. on July 23 as captured by NASA’s Solar Terrestrial RElations Observatory-Ahead (STEREO-A). Because the CME headed in STEREO-A’s direction, it appears like a giant halo around the sun. NOTE: This video loops 3 times.” Credit: NASA/STEREO

Fortunately, the blast site of the CMEs was not directed at Earth.  Had this event occurred a week earlier when the point of eruption was Earth-facing, a potentially disastrous outcome would have unfolded.

“I have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did,” Baker tells NASA.  “If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire.

A CME double whammy of this potency striking Earth would likely cripple satellite communications and could severely damage the power grid.  NASA offers this sobering assessment:

Analysts believe that a direct hit … could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket.  Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.

. . .

According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina. Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair.

CWG’s Steve Tracton put it this way in his frightening overview of the risks of a severe solar storm: “The consequences could be devastating for commerce, transportation, agriculture and food stocks, fuel and water supplies, human health and medical facilities, national security, and daily life in general.”

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