NASA launches a new weather satellite this morning

January 29th, 2015 at 5:52 am by under Weather

david w nasa

Earlier this morning on KXAN News Today, we were lucky enough to chat with NASA scientists about their new satellite–launching this morning–that will help scientists forecast the weather more effectively, in addition to better-understanding droughts like the one plaguing Central Texas.

Here are more details about NASA’s SMAP satellite, launching at 8:20 a.m. Central time:


NASA’s first U.S. Earth-observing satellite designed to map global soil moisture, the Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite, will launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket Jan. 29 from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.


Airlines scramble for return to normalcy after NE blizzard

January 28th, 2015 at 6:12 am by under Weather
(Tom Costello, NBC News)

Travel on the roads and in the skies began creeping back to normal Wednesday after a winter storm that saw more than 7,500 flights canceled and driving bans implemented across the Northeast.

While another 600 flights were pre-emptively canceled across the nation for Wednesday, United Airlines, Jet Blue, American Airlines and U.S. Airways all flew journeys overnight in preparation for a fresh start in the morning.

With the snow cleared in New York, ramps and runways at all three airports serving the city were back in business.


Local snow reports from Friday morning

January 23rd, 2015 at 4:03 pm by under Weather
betty hahn doss

Snow falls Friday morning near Fredericksburg. Betty Hahn (Doss, TX)


1150 AM CST FRI JAN 23 2015

..TIME...   ...EVENT...      ...CITY LOCATION...     ...LAT.LON...
..DATE...   ....MAG....      ..COUNTY LOCATION..ST.. ...SOURCE....

0218 AM     SNOW             ROCKSPRINGS             30.02N 100.21W
01/23/2015  M0.0 INCH        EDWARDS            TX   LAW ENFORCEMENT

            SLEET MIX.

0622 AM     SNOW             KERRVILLE               30.04N  99.14W
01/23/2015  M0.0 INCH        KERR               TX   LAW ENFORCEMENT


Barton Springs Pool closed due to flooding

January 22nd, 2015 at 8:13 pm by under Weather

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Barton Springs Pool Closed Due to Flooding

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department has temporarily closed Barton Springs Pool due to flooding.

Deep Eddy Pool will open at 6:00 AM on January 23 in order to provide an alternative swimming location.

An announcement will be sent when Barton Springs reopens for patrons.


3M Half Marathon this weekend

January 22nd, 2015 at 3:51 pm by under Weather

3m blog


The 3M Half Marathon is this Sunday morning in Austin!

As our recent storm system pulls east of Texas this weekend, we’ll enjoy clear, sunny skies and beautiful–but chilly race weather.

Find out more info about the race on the 3M Half Marathon website.

Beneficial rains likely overnight into Thursday

January 21st, 2015 at 8:26 pm by under Weather


A potent upper-level low pressure system moving into Texas from the southern Rockies will bring widespread, soaking, beneficial rainfall to Central Texas tonight and tomorrow.

The heaviest and most widespread rain is expected from midnight tonight through noon Thursday. Below are the forecast rainfall totals by Thursday night, courtesy of the National Weather Service:


Localizing temperature trends in the changing climate

January 20th, 2015 at 8:23 pm by under Weather

warming new


Everyone has seen “climate change” in the headlines as of late–but what does the changing climate mean for your local temperatures?

A tool from NewScientist allows you to answer that question.

By clicking around on the interactive map found here, you can see your local temperature trends over the past 100+ years. Play around and have some fun!

Study: Jump in lightning may be precursor to severe weather

January 19th, 2015 at 8:31 pm by under Weather

Sudden jump in a storm's lightning might warn a supercell is forming

A jump in lightning strikes inside a thunderstorm might be a severe weather early warning, says research by Sarah Stough, a UAH graduate student in atmospheric science. Credit: UAH

A sudden jump in the number of lightning strikes inside a garden-variety thunderstorm might soon give forecasters a new tool for predicting severe weather and issuing timely warnings, according to research at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).

The sudden increase in lightning is one sign a normal storm is rapidly evolving into a supercell, with a large rotating updraft – or mesocyclone – at its heart.

“Supercells are more prone to produce  events, including damaging straight line winds and large hail,” said Sarah Stough, a UAH graduate student in atmospheric science. “Supercells also produce the strongest and most deadly tornadoes.”

Early results from Stough’s research were scheduled to be presented Wednesday, Jan.7, in Phoenix at the American Meteorological Society’s annual meeting.


NASA launches soil-sensing satellite

January 18th, 2015 at 8:08 pm by under Weather

(NASA.gov):  A new NASA satellite that will peer into the topmost layer of Earth’s soils to measure the hidden waters that influence our weather and climate is in final preparations for a Jan. 29 dawn launch from California.

The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) mission will take the pulse of a key measure of our water planet: how freshwater cycles over Earth’s land surfaces in the form of soil moisture. The mission will produce the most accurate, highest-resolution global maps ever obtained from space of the moisture present in the top 2 inches (5 centimeters) of Earth’s soils. It also will detect and map whether the ground is frozen or thawed. This data will be used to enhance scientists’ understanding of the processes that link Earth’s water, energy and carbon cycles.


2014: Earth’s hottest year on record

January 16th, 2015 at 11:04 am by under Weather

This animation shows Earth’s surface temperature in 2014 compared to the 1981-2010 average, followed by monthly maps of difference from average temperatures for each month January through December 2014. Maps are based on data from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

In 2014, the combined land and ocean surface temperature was 1.24°F (0.69°C) above the 20thcentury average, making the year the warmest since records began in 1880. The ocean alone was record warm, while the land alone was fourth warmest.  Five months set new records for warmth: May, June, August, September, and December.  October tied for record warmest.

The 20 warmest years in the historical record have all occurred in the past 20 years. Except for 1998, the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 2002.


Annual temperatures since 1880 compared to the twentieth-century average.  The ten warmest years on record (darkest red) have occurred in the most recent decades. Graph by NOAA Climate.gov, based on data from the National Climatic Data Center.