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Costliest Weather Events Of 2014

January 17th, 2015 at 7:04 pm by under Weather

In 2014, there were 8 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included a drought event, a flooding event, 5 severe storm events, and a winter storm event. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 53 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted. Further cost data and figures on individual events in 2014 will be announced in mid-2015.

2014-Billion-Dollar-Disasters-map

1.  The Western Drought (1/1/14 – 12/31/14)  -  Historic drought conditions affected the majority of California for all of 2014 making it the worst drought on record for the state. Surrounding states and parts of Texas and Oklahoma also experienced continued severe drought conditions. This is a continuation of drought conditions that have persisted for several years.

2.  Rockies/Plains Severe Weather (9/29/14 – 10/2/14)  -  Severe storms across the Rockies and Plains states (CO, TX, KS). Large hail and high winds created significant damage across eastern Colorado and Texas, particularly in the Dallas metro area.

3.  Michigan/Northeast Flooding (8/11/14 – 8/13/14)  -  Heavy rainfall in excess of 5 inches caused significant flooding in cities across Michigan damaging thousands of cars, business, homes and other infrastructure. Flooding also occurred across Maryland and New York’s Long Island, as the slow-moving storm system delivered 24-hour rainfall exceeding 6 and 12 inches, respectively, creating more flood damage. Islip, NY received 13.57 inches of rain over a 24-hour period on Aug 12-13 setting a new 24-hour precipitation record for New York.

4.  Rockies/Central Plains Severe Weather (6/3/14 -6/5/14)  -  Severe storms across the Rockies and Central Plains states (NE, KS, WY, IA, AR). Wind gusts exceeding 90 mph and baseball to softball sized hail caused severe damage to structures and vehicles in central and eastern Nebraska.

5.  Rockies/Midwest/Eastern Severe Weather (5/18/14 – 5/23/14)  -  Severe storms across the Rockies, Midwest and Eastern states (CO, MT, IA, IL, IN, OH, SC, VA, PA, DE, NY) with the most costly damage in Colorado, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

6.  Midwest/Southeast/Northeast Tornadoes and Flooding (4/27/14 – 5/1/14)  -  Tornado outbreak across the Midwest, Southeast and Northeast states (AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, KS, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA) with 83 confirmed tornadoes. Mississippi had its 3rd greatest number of tornadoes reported for any day since 1950. Torrential rainfall in the Florida panhandle also caused major flooding, as Pensacola set new 1-day and 2-day precipitation records of 15.55 and 20.47 inches, respectively. Flooding rains were also reported in coastal Alabama, as Mobile received 11.24 inches of rain, the third greatest calendar day rainfall total for the city.

7.  Plains Severe Weather (4/2/14 – 4/3/14)  -  Severe storms across the Plains states (IL, KS, MO, TX) causing considerable hail and wind damage in Texas.

8.  Midwest/Southeast/Northeast Winter Storm (1/5/14 -1/8/14)  -  Winter storm caused widespread damage across numerous Midwest, Southeast and Northeastern states (AL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA).


8:30AM Friday Update On Potential Ice Threat

January 9th, 2015 at 8:43 am by under Weather

Light to moderate rainfall is currently falling as temperatures stay above freezing area-wide.  Most locations from a Llano to Austin to La Grange line southbound, through the rest of the viewing area, will likely stay above freezing through the morning and early afternoon hours.  Northern communities and spots in the Hill Country may see temps fall enough for some isolated freezing rain but not enough to accumulate on the roads.  However, as we approach 5:00 PM,  temperatures area wide will drop enough, where we could start to see some freezing rain and spotty ice developing.

Winter Wx Possible

 

Image 1:  The freezing rain and sleet potential for areas shaded in pink on Friday, with cold rain along and south of Highway 90. Travel impacts are possible across the Hill Country and parts of I-35 corridor. Some light accumulation is possible over some areas but especially over elevated surfaces such as bridges and overpasses.  Use caution when driving throughout the area today.

 

Winter Driving

 

During the Friday night into Saturday morning period; expect freezing rain and sleet to spread across all of South Central Texas by Saturday morning. Icing on country roads will be possible with minor ice accumulations mainly over elevated surfaces such as bridges and overpasses. Continue to closely monitor the forecast for updated information on this winter weather event

 

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
438 AM CST FRI JAN 9 2015

...WINTER WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR TONIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY...

A COLD FRONT WILL PASS THROUGH THE AREA DURING THE AFTERNOON
HOURS TODAY BRINGING TEMPERATURES DOWN TO BELOW FREEZING FOR MUCH
OF SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS TONIGHT THROUGH TOMORROW MORNING. LOW
TEMPERATURES SATURDAY MORNING WILL BE IN THE MIDDLE TO UPPER 20S
AND WILL SLOWLY RISE TO ABOVE FREEZING BY MID DAY OR EARLY AFTERNOON.
PRECIPITATION CHANCES WILL ARRIVE FROM THE SOUTHWEST SATURDAY
MORNING AND TEMPERATURES SHOULD BE BELOW FREEZING DURING THE MORNING
HOURS RESULTING IN FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET AS THE MOST LIKELY
PRECIPITATION TYPES. HOWEVER...PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS SHOULD BE
LIGHT WITH ONLY LIGHT ACCUMULATIONS EXPECTED...MAINLY ON ELEVATED
SURFACES...BACK ROADS...BRIDGES...AND OVERPASSES.

THE CURRENT FORECAST CALLS FOR TEMPERATURES TO RISE ABOVE FREEZING
SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND LATEST FORECAST GUIDANCE SUGGESTS THAT THEY
WILL STAY JUST ABOVE FREEZING THROUGH THE OVERNIGHT AND MORNING
HOURS ON SUNDAY. HOWEVER...IF TEMPERATURES DO FALL TO FREEZING OR
BELOW SUNDAY MORNING...A BRIEF SHOT AT WINTRY PRECIPITATION WOULD BE
POSSIBLE...MAINLY IN THE NORTHERN PLATEAU AND I35 CORRIDOR. EVEN
IF ANY WINTRY PRECIPITATION WERE TO RESULT ON SUNDAY
MORNING...ACCUMULATIONS WOULD BE MINIMAL IF ANY.

TEMPERATURES ON SUNDAY ARE EXPECTED TO RISE INTO THE 40S BY THE
AFTERNOON HOURS AND WINTRY PRECIPITATION CONCERNS SHOULD END.

 

 


Thursday morning update – Weekend Ice

January 8th, 2015 at 12:10 pm by under Weather
 
Chances for Frozen Precipitation for Friday Night/Saturday.  Small Chances In Hill Country for Fri and Sunday Also.
Area Of Concern:
  • Cold Arctic Air - All of South Central Texas.  Temperatures well below average are expected into the weekend.
  • Frozen Precipitation Friday Night/Saturday:  All of South Central Texas including portions of the I-35 Corridor (Including Austin and San Antonio).  This area may change with later forecasts. See Graphic below.
  • Frozen Precipitation Friday and Sunday Mornings:  Mainly the Hill Country.   

 

Timing:

  • Cold Arctic Air - Arctic Air will remain in place through Saturday.  Slow warmup into next week although temps will still likely be below normal.
  • Frozen Precipitation - Chance for frozen precipitation will be highest Friday night into the first half of Saturday.  There is a smaller chance that some very light frozen precipitation may occur Friday morning across the far northern areas and the Hill Country.  This could repeat itself again late Saturday night into Sunday morning.  Will continue to monitor this closely.

 

Impacts:

  • Cold Arctic Air -  Protect the Pipes, Plants, and Pets.  Highs only in the 30s and 40s on Friday.  Will stay in the 30s all day on Saturday.  Some areas on Saturday may struggle to get above freezing, especially over the Hill Country and northern areas.
  • Frozen Precipitation Friday Night into Saturday - Travel impacts are possible across much of South Central Texas.  Best chances for road impacts will be in the Hill Country, but with a low confidence forecast, there is a chance that other areas of South Central Texas could see icy roads/bridges including the San Antonio and Austin areas.  See the graphic below.
  •  Frozen Precipitation Friday and Sunday Mornings:  There could be some very isolated road impacts Friday morning and again Sunday morning over the Hill Country. Confidence is low.

Winter Wx Possible

Discussion:

 The cold arctic air is now in place, awaiting for another surge of it on Friday.  As this next front arrives on Friday, there is a chance that some light rain mixed with some sleet could occur over northern portions of South Central Texas and areas in the Hill Country.  Temperatures are expected to be right at or slightly above freezing in this area so road impacts should be minimal if any frozen precipitation does wind up falling.
A better chance of rain/frozen precipitation will occur by late Friday night into early Saturday as an upper level disturbance near Baja approaches Texas.  We may start to see light precipitation echoes start near the Rio Grande and work into the majority of South Central Texas Saturday morning.  With temperatures forecast to be below or near the freezing mark late Friday night, there will be a time where most of South Central Texas will be under the threat of seeing some frozen precipitation late Friday night through about noon on Saturday.  This could lead to some light ice accumulations on exposed surfaces and some roads/bridges.  At this time, it appears the ice accumulations will be light, but still could be enough to impact primarily roads, bridges, and travel in general.  Power impacts should be fairly small and isolated based on the small accumulation forecast.   We will continue to monitor this time frame closely.
The weather models are showing that most areas will only climb into the mid to upper 30s by Saturday afternoon.  Portions of the Hill Country may struggle to get above freezing…making that area the most vulnerable to having travel impacts and ice accumulation.  We could see a small repeat late Saturday night into early Sunday in the north and the Hill Country as temps hover around the freezing mark with lingering precipitation chances through Sunday.  All areas by Sunday afternoon should be well above freezing with the threat of frozen precipitation ending.
There remains a whole lot of question marks with this forecast…dry air, when the precipitation will start, how much will fall, and will it be even below freezing if and when the precipitation arrives.  We will continue to try and fine tune the forecast.  At some point over the next 48 hours, we could issue a Winter Weather Advisory for portions of the area.   Unfortunately at this time with all the unknown factors, I cannot pinpoint when and where this would be.  Again, we are mainly focusing on the Friday Night-Saturday AM time frame where we could see ice impacts.

Possible Icy Conditions Friday Night/Saturday Morning

January 7th, 2015 at 12:35 pm by under Weather

Here is the latest from the NWS on the possible wintry weather this weekend:

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
419 AM CST WED JAN 7 2015
..WINTER WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY
MORNING...

TWO SURGES OF ARCTIC AIRMASSES WILL BRING MUCH COLDER WEATHER TO
SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS BEGINNING TODAY. AN UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE
WILL APPROACH THE AREA FRIDAY NIGHT AND WILL BRING WITH IT A
CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION TO THE REGION. AS OF TODAY...THE
FORECASTED LOCATION OF THE FREEZING LINE SATURDAY MORNING IS
EXPECTED TO BE NEAR A LANGTRY TO UVALDE TO FLORESVILLE TO
GIDDINGS LINE. AREAS NORTH OF THIS LINE ARE FORECASTED TO BE
BELOW FREEZING FRIDAY NIGHT/SATURDAY MORNING AND A MIXTURE OF
FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET IS POSSIBLE. THIS AREA INCLUDES THE
AUSTIN AND SAN ANTONIO METRO AREAS. THE COLDEST TEMPERATURES WILL
BE IN THE HILL COUNTRY AND THIS IS WHERE MOST IMPACTS ARE
EXPECTED. DEPENDING ON HOW MUCH PRECIPITATION FALLS...THERE COULD
BE ICING CONDITIONS ON ROADWAYS WHICH WOULD LEAD TO HAZARDOUS
DRIVING CONDITIONS. THE FORECAST WILL CONTINUE TO BE REFINED OVER
THE NEXT 48 TO 72 HOURS AND RESIDENTS SHOULD KEEP UP TO DATE FOR
ANY POSSIBLE FORECAST CHANGES.

Winter Wx Possible

High Pressure Records in Jeopardy Across Great Plains

January 6th, 2015 at 12:46 pm by under Weather

Here is an interesting read from the blog of Dr. Jeff Masters, co-founder of wunderground.com.  You may hear a lot of chatter about record lows, and record low high temperatures dropping like flies late this week.  However, something you may not hear much about, will be the strength of the high pressure system behind it all!  You can find more great reads from Dr. Masters here.

A sprawling dome of high pressure is on track to spill from Canada across most of the eastern United States over the next several days, bringing sharp winds and some of the coldest air of the season to many locations. While the cold will certainly make its presence known, the truly remarkable aspect of this blast will be the strength of the high pressure itself. In some locations, barometric high pressure readings may reach levels never before observed in January, and one or more all-time records can’t be ruled out.

Most high-pressure records east of the Rockies occur during the winter months, as darkness and snow cover allow frigid, dense cold air masses to develop and surge southward. Many all-time pressure records across the plains were established during the memorable cold wave of late December 1983, which sent temperatures down to 9°F as far south as San Antonio and kept Omaha lodged below 0°F for more than a solid week. On December 24 of that year, sea level pressure [SLP] soared to 1064 mb [31.42"] at Miles City, Montana. That value remains the highest sea-level-adjusted pressure on record for the contiguous United States.

high pressure record

 

A few monthly SLP records appear to be within reach this week, especially as the core of high pressure moves across the Northern and Central Plains on Wednesday. Models are projecting SLP to peak above 1050 mb [about 31.01"] across a relatively large area. Weather Underground historian Chris Burt has acomprehensive site listing all-time high-pressure records for many U.S. cities, and NOAA’s David Roth has produced maps (in millibars, or mb) depicting the highest January and highest all-time values at many U.S. locations, typically going back to the 1890s (see this map showing the period of record at each site). Among the spots to watch:

Rapid City, South Dakota
Jan. record: 1054.9 mb [31.15"]
All-time record: 1056.2 mb [31.19"]

Des Moines, Iowa
Jan. record: 1051.1 [31.04"]
All-time record: 1051.8 mb [31.06"]

Springfield, Missouri
Jan. and all-time record: 1050.8 mb [31.03"]

If the nation does notch any all-time SLP records this week, it won’t be the first time this winter. On December 30, Washington’s Seattle-Tacoma Airport reached the highest SLP in its 67-year weather history: 30.87″ [1045.5 mb]. Several nearby stations also set impressive marks, as noted by the University of Washington’s Cliff Mass in his weather blog.

Ahead of the latest cold surge, an Alberta clipper storm will deliver light to moderate snow across a broad swath of the Midwest into the mid-Atlantic. Toward the weekend, yet another strong zone of high pressure appears set to invade the central and eastern U.S., keeping the bulk of the country free of major winter storms for the time being.


NORAD’s Santa Tracker Counting Down To Takeoff

December 23rd, 2014 at 10:49 am by under Weather

NORAD logo

Every Christmas Eve, kids from around the world  keep track of Santa’s location with the help of NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command).  With a sophisticated system of jet fighters, satellites, and their state of the art radar system, NORAD can follow Santa and his reindeer around the world with their Santa Cams.  

 

NORAD jetNORAD radar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their work begins as soon as Santa’s sleigh takes to the air from the North Pole.  Their job, in today’s world, is much more complicated than it was back in the mid 1950′s when the program began.  Today’s “Santa Trackers” live stream Old St. Nick’s flight,over their website WWW.NORADSANTA.ORG.  They will follow him, Rouldolph, Blitzen, and the rest of the gang as they deliver gifts to all the boys and girls around the world.  At least to the ones that have been well behaved enough to be on Santa’s famous “good/nice list.”  Santa’s delivery trail, which is carefully calculated throughout the year by Master Elves, Mrs. Clause and the big man himself, must be as efficient as possible, or his job will not be completed on time.   To make sure no mistakes are made, Santa makes sure to check his “good/nice list”  list twice before leaving his wintry home, so no detours need to be taken. 

 

Santa's Village

Back in the 1950′s, before the days of the internet (those days did in fact exist) Airmen at NORAD used to answer phone calls and letters from children, asking about Santa’s position on the globe.  To this day, NORAD airmen still keep the old traditions alive, while incorporating today’s technology.  Letters, Phone calls, and  emails are answered for a 24 hour period, and the Internet website is updated every second of the day, so that Santa’s every move can be tracked by the children of the world, waiting patiently with their milk and warm cookies in hand.  

 

NORAD Headquarters

 

The countdown is on!! If you would like, before the reindeer pull the sleigh from the snowy ground, you can play fun Christmas games on NORAD’s website.  This helps in keeping the nerves down until Santa delivers YOUR presents!! 

 

NORAD Track Santa Boiler Room

 

 


Storm Surge Watches & Warnings Next Year

December 15th, 2014 at 8:59 am by under Weather

Over the past few years, members of the First Warning Weather Team have been attending the National Tropical Weather Conference on South Padre Island.   Three days of hearing from the best tropical weather scientists the country has to offer is extremely intriguing, and educational.  Topics range from how information learned from past hurricanes can pertain to today’s systems and their tendencies, to the latest developments the National Hurricane Center is working on.  The NHC is always trying to develop new products to keep you and I as informed as possible when a tropical system is on the way.  It’s all about research, and saving lives.

Two years ago there were rumblings that a few NHC scientists were working on a new product that can help predict storm surge (how far and deep water will rush inland from the coast).  At the time it was in it’s infant stages.  Last year, those rumblings turned into test runs and beta graphics.  Now, about 6 months later, we have word from the NHC, this product will be available to the public starting in 2015!  Here is the press release:

NWS

NOAA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National  Hurricane  Center  To  Issue  Storm  Surge
Watch  And  Warning  Graphic

Beginning with the 2015 hurricane season, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) will offer an
experimental storm surge watch/warning graphic to highlight those areas along the Gulf and
Atlantic coasts of the United States that have a significant risk of life-threatening inundation by
storm surge from a tropical cyclone.

The new graphic is designed to introduce the concept of a watch or warning specific to the storm
surge hazard. Storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a tropical cyclone,
and it can occur at different times and at different locations from a storm’s hazardous winds. In
addition, while most coastal residents can remain in their homes and be safe from a tropical
cyclone’s winds, evacuations are generally needed to keep people safe from storm surge. Having
separate warnings for these two hazards should provide emergency managers, the media, and
the general public better guidance on the hazards they face when tropical cyclones threaten.
Here is an example of the new graphic, which will be available on the NHC website
(www.hurricanes.gov):

Storm Surge

 

NHC and NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Offices will determine the area most
at risk from life-threatening surge through a collaborative process. In addition to the graphic, the
highlighted areas will be mentioned in Hurricane Local Statements issued by NWS Forecast
Offices in the affected areas and in the Hazards section of the NHC Public Advisory.

Here is a sample surge statement from the Hazards section of a Public Advisory: 

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
——————————————
STORM SURGE…The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally
dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. There
is a danger of life-threatening inundation during the next 36 hours along the North Carolina coast
from Cape Fear to Duck…including the Outer Banks, the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, and
along adjacent rivers and estuaries. For a depiction of areas at risk, see the new National
Weather Service experimental Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic. This is a life-threatening
situation. Persons located within the warning areas should take all necessary actions to protect
life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly
follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials.

 

The graphic will be experimental for at least two years, during which time comments from users
will be solicited and considered. Only the graphic itself will be available during the experimental
period; the underlying raw data, including shape-files, will not be disseminated.
The new watch/warning graphic complements the experimental Potential Storm Surge Flooding
Map, which debuted during 2014’s Hurricane Arthur. The Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map
shows the geographical areas where inundation from storm surge could occur and how high
above ground the water could potentially reach in those areas, based on the latest official NHC
forecast and its likely errors.

As part of a phased implementation, NHC plans to consolidate the dissemination of wind and
surge watches and warnings in 2016. This new process will merge inland and coastal warning
information for both threats into a single message. After incorporating both user and partner input,
the new storm surge warning system is expected to become fully operational in 2017.

 

Additional information:
-NHC Storm Surge resources website   http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/surge/resources.php

 

 

 


UPDATE – 9:16AM: DENSE FOG SETTING UP

December 8th, 2014 at 8:23 am by under Weather

PLEASE be careful on the roads in our Hill Country neighborhoods.   Fog has been reported to drop visibilities to near zero.  Leave early and take your time on your drive.  Low lying and rural locations will be or big problem spots.  Here is the latest from the National Weather Service:

 

WITH VISIBILITIES DROPPING TO NEAR AT TIMES...SLOW DOWN AND ALLOW
EXTRA TIME TO REACH YOUR DESTINATION. USE YOUR LOW BEAM
HEADLIGHTS...AND PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THOSE AREAS WHERE
CHILDREN MAY BE WAITING AT BUS STOPS OR WALKING OR RIDING THEIR
BIKES ON THE ROAD AS THEY HEAD TO SCHOOL.

THE FOG WILL BEGIN TO BREAK UP AFTER SUNRISE...AND COMPLETELY
DISSIPATE BY 9 AM.

1 SPC

Climate Prediction Center continues El Niño watch with a wet, cold Winter still expected

December 4th, 2014 at 9:13 am by under Weather
AUSTIN (KXAN) -
 
Despite months of anticipation, a long-awaited El Niño atmospheric pattern refuses to fully develop. The Climate Prediction Center announced early Thursday conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and atmosphere have not yet met the criteria for an El Niño.

This is potentially bad news for much of Texas, including the Hill Country and Highland Lakes, still suffering from a years-long drought. El Niño conditions can bring drought busting rainfall during the fall and winter seasons. The good news is that forecasters are still optimistic the pattern will form soon. They increased the odds of an El Niño developing this winter from 58% to 65%.

 An El Niño forms when unusually warm ocean temperatures begin to influence weather patterns.  That connection last developed in Central Texas during the winter of 2009-2010. Since that time, historic drought conditions developed across Texas as two consecutive La Niña cycles (opposite of El Niño) formed.
El Nino impacts
 
The El Niño cycle typically brings Central Texas wetter and colder than normal winters, as the southern jet stream becomes energized when the warming ocean destabilizes the atmosphere above.  Historically, many El Niño seasons have brought wet and stormy weather, producing flooding rains, and at times, filling area lakes. While El Niño-like wetter and colder than normal weather is still forecast for the coming winter, the anticipated influence of the ocean/atmosphere coupling has not yet fully emerged.
 
To officially declare an El Niño, both the ocean temperatures and how the atmosphere reacts to them are critical. For NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center to make that declaration, the sea-surface temperature in an eastern-central segment of the ocean called the Nino 3.4 must be 0.5°C (0.9°F) above normal for at least a month – and be forecasted to last that way for at least three months. But the atmosphere also needs to show those wind shifts, and associated changes in precipitation and convection patterns across the region.
 
If the El Niño develops soon, it will be likely remain in place for the rest of winter into early spring, when it has the biggest impact across the U.S. The most reliable effect of an El Niño (observed in 80 percent of El Niños in the past 100 years) is the wetter-than-normal conditions that affect the southern tier of states, from Southern California through Texas and on to Florida, thanks to a shift in the jet stream. One kink in that connection, though, is that wetter conditions in the Southwest only seem to appear with strong El Niños. If it forms, this El Niño is expected to be a weak event.
 
The term El Niño refers to the large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate phenomenon linked to a periodic warming in sea-surface temperatures across the central and east-central equatorial Pacific (between approximately the date line and 120oW). El Niño represents the warm phase of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, and is sometimes referred to as a Pacific warm episode.
Even though the El Niño hasn’t technically formed, the warmer state of the Pacific is still having some impacts, including having played a part in quashing the Atlantic hurricane season.
 

 

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, which is part of the National Weather Service, declares the onset of an El Niño episode when the 3-month average sea-surface temperature departure exceeds 0.5oC in the east-central equatorial Pacific [between 5oN-5oS and 170oW-120oW].

 

The term El Niño (Spanish for “the Christ Child”) was originally used by fishermen along the coasts of Ecuador and Peru to refer to a warm ocean current that typically appears around Christmastime and lasts for several months. Fish are less abundant during these warm intervals, so fishermen often take a break to repair their equipment and spend time with their families. 
NOAA has a list of some state-by-state impacts, but these localized impacts are, of course, less robust statistically than broader regional-scale impacts.
  • La Niña or El Niño Watch: conditions in the equatorial Pacific are favorable for the development of La Niña or El Niño conditions in the next three months. 
  • La Niña or El Niño Advisory:  La Niña or El Niño conditions have developed and are expected to continue.
These watches and advisories are now part of the ENSO Diagnostic Discussion, which is issued by the Climate Prediction Center on the Thursday falling between the 5th and 11th of every month. It is available online
Click here to visit the Climate Prediction Center’s ENSO site: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/enso.shtml
WINTER PRECIP FX
 
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.
WINTER TEMP FX

 

Information from NOAA and Climate Central was used in this article.

A Big “Thank You” On Thanksgiving!

November 27th, 2014 at 9:53 am by under Weather

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!  First and foremost, thank you all for watching, reading, tweeting, and emailing us here in the First Warning Weather Center with your thoughts, pics, and observations throughout the year.  You have no idea how much it helps us, especially during a severe weather event.  So again, we appreciate your input, so keep it coming!!

turkey

Also, a big thank you to everyone who works hard everyday at the NWS Austin/San Antonio office to keep the latest weather information coming.  They are a vital part of our community and have helped save numerous lives in severe weather situations.  Oh, and they do it 24/7/365…. weather never sleeps!

NWS

Lastly, we can’t say enough about the folks at the LCRA.  They keep the data flowing just like we want to keep the water doing the same.  Thanks guys!

LCRA

And to everyone else who assists in getting weather information to the public.  Thank you!

BE SAFE AND ENJOY YOUR THANKSGIVING!