Weather

Wind Advisory and Freeze Watch issued

April 13th, 2014 at 7:14 pm by under Weather
The WIND ADVISORY will include all of the KXAN viewing area Monday.
The FREEZE WATCH includes only Mason and San Saba counties.

URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
402 PM CDT SUN APR 13 2014

...WINDY CONDITIONS MONDAY IN THE WAKE OF A COLD FRONT...

.AN UPPER LEVEL TROUGH WILL MOVE OUT OF THE NORTHERN ROCKIES AND
INTO THE SOUTHERN PLAINS TONIGHT. THIS SYSTEM WILL PUSH A STRONG
COLD FRONT INTO THE HILL COUNTRY AND SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS MONDAY
MORNING. STRONG NORTH WINDS OF 25 TO 30 MPH...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS OF 35 TO 45 MPH...WILL SPREAD ACROSS THE REGION IN THE WAKE
OF THE FRONT. WINDS WILL BEGIN TO DECREASE AND BECOME LESS GUSTY
MONDAY NIGHT.

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Llano weather radio transmitter still awaits repairs

April 13th, 2014 at 6:50 am by under Weather

We have an update to an earlier story KXAN covered last week. The Llano NOAA weather radio transmitter is still unavailable. National Weather Service officials hoped it’d be up and working by the end of last week but it’s repair has now been scheduled for Tuesday of this coming week.

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
859 PM CDT SAT APR 12 2014

...LLANO NOAA WEATHER RADIO TRANSMITTER WWF-91 REMAINS OFF THE AIR...

THE LLANO NOAA WEATHER RADIO TRANSMITTER WWF-91 WHICH OPERATES ON
162.425 MHZ IS CURRENTLY OFF THE AIR. THE TRANSMITTER AND
EQUIPMENT WAS DAMAGED FROM A LIGHTNING STRIKE. THE TRANSMITTER
AND WEATHER RADIO BROADCAST WILL BE OFF THE AIR UNTIL REPAIRS CAN
BE MADE. DUE TO THE HEIGHT OF THE TOWER...SPECIALLY TRAINED
TECHNICIANS ARE HAVING TO BE BROUGHT IN. THE CREW IS SCHEDULED TO
WORK ON THE TRANSMITTER EARLY NEXT WEEK. 

RESIDENTS MAY BE ABLE TO RECEIVE BROADCASTS FROM NEARBY TRANSMITTERS
IN AUSTIN 162.400 MHZ...KERRVILLE 162.450 MHZ...AND SAN SABA
162.525 MHZ OR GO DIRECTLY TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
WEBPAGE AT WWW.WEATHER.GOV/AUSTIN


Parts of Central Texas are included in a slight risk area for severe weather Sunday. Those in the Hill Country with a weather radio that isn't working, try tuning in to a neighboring tower. There is some overlap. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible as a dryline moves into the Hill Country.
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Odds of El Niño increasing–maybe a strong one

April 10th, 2014 at 3:01 pm by under Weather

Yesterday we reported to you the the Australian Bureau of Meteorology was forecasting a 70 percent chance of the development an El Niño ocean pattern later this year. Today, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, in their monthly update, said the chances of the El Niño in 2014 are now greater than 50/50. In fact, model consensus indicates a 66% chance by this fall, with many models suggesting the warmer-than-normal ocean pattern will return by summer.

You can read the report below. Also, take a look at this article from Slate, where some forecasters are predicting a very strong El Niño may be in our future. Remember, El Niño patterns energize the southern jet stream, usually mean wetter than normal weather for Texas, which is exactly what we need after years of drought.

Ocean heat models predict El Nino is coming

Ocean heat models predict El Nino is coming

ENSO Alert System Status: El Niño Watch

Synopsis: While ENSO-neutral is favored for Northern Hemisphere spring, the chances of El Niño increase during the remainder of the year, exceeding 50% by summer.

ENSO-neutral continued during March 2014, but with above-average sea surface temperatures (SST) developing over much of the eastern tropical Pacific as well as near the International Date Line (Fig. 1). The weekly SSTs were below average in the Niño1+2 region, near average but rising in Niño3 and Niño3.4 regions, and above average in the Niño4 region (Fig. 2). A significant downwelling oceanic Kelvin wave that was initiated in January greatly increased the oceanic heat content to the largest March value in the historical record back to 1979 (Fig. 3) and produced large positive subsurface temperature anomalies across the central and eastern Pacific (Fig. 4). Also during March, low-level westerly wind anomalies were observed over the central equatorial Pacific. Convection was suppressed over western Indonesia, and enhanced over the central equatorial Pacific (Fig. 5). Although these atmospheric and oceanic conditions collectively reflect ENSO-neutral, they also reflect a clear evolution toward an El Niño state.

The model predictions of ENSO for this summer and beyond are indicating an increased likelihood of El Niño this year compared with last month. Most of the models indicate that ENSO-neutral (Niño-3.4 index between -0.5oC and 0.5oC) will persist through much of the remainder of the Northern Hemisphere spring 2014 (Fig. 6), with many models predicting the development of El Niño sometime during the summer or fall. Despite this greater model consensus, there remains considerable uncertainty as to when El Niño will develop and how strong it may become. This uncertainty is amplified by the inherently lower forecast skill of the models for forecasts made in the spring. While ENSO-neutral is favored for Northern Hemisphere spring, the chances of El Niño increase during the remainder of the year, and exceed 50% by the summer (click CPC/IRI consensus forecast for the chance of each outcome).

This discussion is a consolidated effort of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA’s National Weather Service, and their funded institutions. Oceanic and atmospheric conditions are updated weekly on the Climate Prediction Center web site (El Niño/La Niña Current Conditions and Expert Discussions). Forecasts for the evolution of El Niño/La Niña are updated monthly in the Forecast Forum section of CPC’s Climate Diagnostics Bulletin. The next ENSO Diagnostics Discussion is scheduled for 8 May 2014. To receive an e-mail notification when the monthly ENSO Diagnostic Discussions are released, please send an e-mail message to: ncep.list.enso-update@noaa.gov.

Climate Prediction Center
National Centers for Environmental Prediction
NOAA/National Weather Service
College Park, MD 20740

Navy creates fuel from seawater

April 10th, 2014 at 1:34 pm by under Weather

Navy researchers at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Materials Science and Technology Division, demonstrate proof-of-concept of novel NRL technologies developed for the recovery of carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen (H2) from seawater and conversion to a liquid hydrocarbon fuel.

Fuel From Sea Concept - First Demonstrated Flight

Flying a radio-controlled replica of the historic WWII P-51 Mustang red-tail aircraft—of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen—NRL researchers (l to r) Dr. Jeffrey Baldwin, Dr. Dennis Hardy, Dr. Heather Willauer, and Dr. David Drab (crouched), successfully demonstrate a novel liquid hydrocarbon fuel to power the aircraft’s unmodified two-stroke internal combustion engine. The test provides proof-of-concept for an NRL developed process to extract carbon dioxide (CO2) and produce hydrogen gas (H2) from seawater, subsequently catalytically converting the CO2 and H2 into fuel by a gas-to-liquids process.
(Photo: U.S. Naval Research LaboratoryFueled by a liquid hydrocarbon—a component of NRL’s novel gas-to-liquid (GTL) process that uses CO2 and H2 as feedstock—the research team demonstrated sustained flight of a radio-controlled (RC) P-51 replica of the legendary Red Tail Squadron, powered by an off-the-shelf (OTS) and unmodified two-stroke internal combustion engine.

Using an innovative and proprietary NRL electrolytic cation exchange module (E-CEM), both dissolved and bound CO2 are removed from seawater at 92 percent efficiency by re-equilibrating carbonate and bicarbonate to CO2 and simultaneously producing H2. The gases are then converted to liquid hydrocarbons by a metal catalyst in a reactor system.

“In close collaboration with the Office of Naval Research P38 Naval Reserve program, NRL has developed a game changing technology for extracting, simultaneously, CO2 and H2 from seawater,” said Dr. Heather Willauer, NRL research chemist. “This is the first time technology of this nature has been demonstrated with the potential for transition, from the laboratory, to full-scale commercial implementation.”

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Australian weather bureau: El Niño likely to develop by fall

April 9th, 2014 at 1:49 pm by under Weather

The following is from the Australian government’s Bureau of Meteorology. Remember, when they talk about “winter” it is actually summer here. And, recall that Texas typically receives above average rainfall during El Niño periods–welcome news as persistent drought continues.

It is now likely (estimated at a greater than 70% chance) that an El Niño will develop during the southern hemisphere winter. Although the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently neutral, surface and sub-surface ocean temperatures have warmed considerably in recent weeks, consistent with a state of rapid transition. International climate models surveyed by the Bureau indicate continued warming of the central Pacific Ocean in coming months. Most models predict sea surface temperatures will reach El Niño thresholds during the coming winter season.

El Niño is often, but not always, associated with below normal rainfall across large parts of southern and inland eastern Australia during the second half of the year. The strength of an El Niño does not always indicate how much it will influence Australian rainfall. Historically there are examples where weak events have resulted in widespread drought across large parts of Australia, while at other times strong events have resulted in relatively modest impacts. It is too early to determine the strength of this potential El Niño. Daytime temperatures tend to be above normal over southern Australia during El Niño.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently in a neutral state. Model outlooks indicate the IOD will remain neutral through late autumn and early winter. The chance of a positive IOD event occurring will increase if an El Niño develops.


Cedar Park Weather Spotter Class

April 9th, 2014 at 11:44 am by under Weather

 

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Austin/San Antonio Skywarn Program

The Austin-San Antonio National Weather Service Office offers Skywarn severe weather training throughout year. Most Skywarn trainings are conducted in the Spring to coincide with severe weather season and allow citizens, first responders, emergency management, amateur radio operators, and volunteer organizations the opportunity to learn about severe weather preparedness and safety. Scheduled trainings are free and open to the general public. There is no pre-registration unless specifically noted on the schedule or link.

After training is complete, usually 1.5 hours for the BASIC training, you will be an official weather spotter for the National Weather Service. The National Weather Service will count on you to be our “eyes” out in the field, when trying to verify severe weather across South Central Texas. With 33 counties under the jurisdiction of the Austin-San Antonio National Weather Service, it becomes very important to verify and accurately determine where severe weather is occurring. Real time reports to our office can save lives and property. Post storm reports can help help us find severe weather damage, tornado tracks, and verify severe weather warnings.

Skywarn training is now also offered online. This online training can be found at https://www.meted.ucar.edu/training_course.php?id=23. This online training should only be used to supplement what is taught at a local NWS Skywarn training. Attendance at a local NWS Skywarn training is highly encouraged. Besides learning about severe weather topics specific to South Central Texas, procedures for reporting severe weather to the local Austin-San Antonio National Weather Service Office are also covered.

Please join us at one of the scheduled trainings. Additional trainings will be added to this site. If you would like the NWS to schedule a training in your area or schedule for a specific group, please contact Paul Yura, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, at 830-629-0130 ext 223 or email paul.yura@noaa.gov

Check the schedule often, trainings will be added throughout the Spring

 

 


Storm reports and rainfall totals from Monday evening

April 8th, 2014 at 1:55 pm by under Weather
UPDATE: Click here for an excellent analysis of Monday's storm system, produced
by our local National Weather Service office.  Also, At the bottom of this
report you will find area rainfall totals. 

PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
1021 PM CDT MON APR 07 2014

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

0600 PM     HAIL             6 N SISTERDALE          30.06N  98.73W
04/07/2014  E0.50 INCH       KENDALL            TX   COCORAHS

            HAIL SIZE ALMOST HALF AN INCH.

0635 PM     HAIL             7 NE LBJ STATE PARK     30.30N  98.54W
04/07/2014  M0.50 INCH       BLANCO             TX   COCORAHS

            PEA TO HALF INCH SIZE HAIL.

0644 PM     HAIL             2 E BLANCO              30.10N  98.39W
04/07/2014  E0.50 INCH       BLANCO             TX   PUBLIC

            PEA TO HALF INCH SIZE HAIL.

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Thank you for supporting Petcasso!

April 7th, 2014 at 4:08 pm by under Weather

Our mascot Kaxan and I were honored to be the hosts of Animal Trustees of Austin’s Petcasso event Sunday night. You might recall from Kaxan’s recent appearance on the news with us that he was also one of the celebrity painters this year.

Well, we are pleased to announce that in the auction, Kaxan’s artwork, which was paired with professional artist Hank Edward’s beautiful piece inspired by Kaxan’s work, sold for $5,100!

Thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers and those of you who attended or supported Petcasso in other ways. It was a huge success!

If you don’t know about Animal Trustees of Austin, you should. Click here to visit their website, where you are also welcome to make a tax-deductible donation!

Kaxan back stage at Petcasso

Kaxan back stage at Petcasso

Jim and Kaxan ready to take the stage

Jim and Kaxan ready to take the stage

Kaxan's painting day

Kaxan’s painting day

Kaxan's masterpiece

Kaxan’s masterpiece

 

Epitome in Six by Hank Edwards

Epitome in Six by Hank Edwards

Epitome in Six by Hank Edwards

Edward Flores, Kaxan's trainer, artist Hank Edwards, Jim Spencer, Grace Sharington

Kaxan’s trainer Edward Flores, Kaxan, artist Hank Edwards, Jim Spencer, Grace Sharington

Here’s more about Hank:

Based in Austin, Hank is a self-taught artist. Although well versed in all paint mediums, his primary focus is acrylic on canvas with a concentration on vibrant contrasting colors.
Hank’s creative side showed itself in early childhood when he was drawn to the escape he found in drawing and painting. Throughout his high school years, Hank felt that art would have a prominent place in his adult life, but found himself caught up in the often necessary and all-too-common rat race. With the exception of a few doodles here and there and the occasional tattoo flash design for a friend, his art all but ceased to exist. For nearly two decades the drive for what the world perceives as success had Hank firmly in its grip, smothering his flame of creativity but to a flicker. Hank often says, “God had different ideas for me”, and this has proven itself to be a truth in his life. Hank now spends the majority of his time painting commissioned pieces. He has also generously donated his art to charitable auctions, and shares his gifts with people in the recovery community in the greater Austin area.

 

 


Sunday rainfall totals

April 6th, 2014 at 5:30 pm by under Weather

Sunday’s showers and thunderstorms left behind rain totals between just a trace to just more than 0.75″. It’s not nearly enough to put a dent on our drought. Rain totals remain more than 5 inches behind normal for the year at Camp Mabry in Austin.

4-6 Rain totals

Here are more totals from the LCRA Hydromet.

LCRA – Rainfall Summary

​Units in inches

This information comes from LCRA’s network of remote gauges. Most of the gauges have no public access.

 Buchanan

Location 1 Hour 3 Hour 6 Hour 24 Hour Since Midnight
Bangs 6 W 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.12 0.12
Blanket 4 S 0.01 0.01 0.03 0.11 0.11
Brady 11 E 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.05 0.05
Brady Creek at Brady 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.03 0.03
Brownwood 10 SSW 0.00 0.01 0.02 0.19 0.19
Brownwood 4 SE 0.00 0.00 0.04 0.18 0.18
Buchanan Dam 1 ENE 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.05 0.05
Burkett 9 S 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.03 0.03
Burnet 5 NNW 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.41 0.41
Cherokee 10 WNW 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.01 0.01
Cherokee 2 NNW 0.00 0.01 0.01 0.01 0.01
Cherokee 4 E 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.02
Cherokee 6 WSW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.01
Cherokee 8 NNE 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.05 0.05
Cherokee Creek near Bend 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.04 0.04
Clyde 6 S 0.00 0.01 0.05 0.08 0.08
Colorado River at Bend 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.03 0.03
Colorado River at Winchell 0.00 0.01 0.01 0.07 0.07
Colorado River near Goldthwaite 0.01 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.03
Colorado River near San Saba 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.09 0.09
Cross Plains 6 WNW 0.00 0.00 0.06 0.43 0.43
Eden 3 S 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Eldorado 2 E 0.09 0.10 0.10 0.10 0.10
Fort McKavett 6 NW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Gouldbusk 4 N 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Lake Buchanan at Cedar Point 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.10 0.10
Lampasas 10 WSW 0.00 0.01 0.01 0.09 0.09
Lampasas 11 WNW 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.21 0.21
Lampasas 13 WNW 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.12 0.12
Lawn 5 E 0.00 0.00 0.11 0.21 0.21
Lohn 3 WSW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Lometa 2 WNW 0.00 0.00 0.04 0.10 0.10
Mason 13 WNW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Mason 15 NNE 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.02
May 1 N 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Melvin 2 S 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Menard 11 NE 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Menard 14 E 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Millersview 7 WSW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.01
Mullin 5 NE 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.05 0.04
Pecan Bayou at Hwy 279 0.02 0.02 0.05 0.06 0.06
Pecan Bayou near Mullin 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.09 0.09
Richland Springs 11 N 0.00 0.01 0.02 0.07 0.07
Richland Springs 6 NE 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.13 0.13
Richland Springs 6 WNW 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.09 0.09
Richland Springs 7 S 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.14 0.14
Rochelle 5 NNW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.05 0.05
San Saba 15 ESE 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.07 0.07
San Saba 15 SW 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.08 0.08
San Saba 6 S 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.02 0.02
San Saba 8 ESE 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.06 0.06
San Saba 8 W 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.34 0.34
San Saba River at Menard 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
San Saba River at San Saba 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.01 0.01
San Saba River near Brady 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Sonora 17 ENE 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
Tow 10 ESE 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.01
Tow 10 NNW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.01
Tow 11 ENE 0.00 0.01 0.01 0.04 0.04
Tow 11 N 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.11 0.11
Tow 5 SSW 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.17 0.17
Tow 9 NNE 0.00 0.00 0.01 0.21 0.21

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Storms over S. Texas trigger unusual atmospheric phenomenon

April 6th, 2014 at 9:35 am by under Weather

Storms several days ago south of Central Texas triggered an incredible – and very unusual – phenomenon in the atmosphere above us.

An explosively-intensifying thunderstorm overshot the tropopause, the boundary of warmer air nearly 50,000 feet high, sending cloud tops well into the stratosphere.

The penetration of the thunderstorm top into the typically “weather-free” stratosphere/mesosphere was akin to letting one drop of water drip onto a quiet swimming pool more than 160,000 feet above the ground.

Check out the technical article below (and the incredible photos of the “ripple effect”), courtesy of the University of Wisconsin-Madison meteorology department:

Convectively-generated mesospheric airglow waves over Texas

April 4th, 2014

GOES-13 10.7 µm IR channel images (click to play animation)GOES-13 10.7 µm IR channel images (click to play animation)

AWIPS images of 4-km resolution GOES-13 (GOES-East) 10.7 µm IR channel images with overlays of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes and surface frontal positions (above; click image to play animation) showed the explosive development of a thunderstorm just ahead of a cold frontal boundary that was moving southeastward across southern Texas during the overnight hours on 04 April 2014 (06 UTC surface analysis). This relatively small thunderstorm was very active in terms of lightning production, and eventually produced hail of 1.0 to 1.75 inches in diameter and damaging winds (SPC storm reports) as it approached the coast of Texas. Cloud-top IR temperatures were as cold as -75º C on the GOES-13 images.

A 1-km resolution POES AVHRR 12.0 µm IR image at 08:41 UTC or 3:41 AM local time (below)exhibited cloud-top IR brightness temperatures as cold as -79º C. Overlays on the IR image include cloud-to-ground lightning strikes around the time of the IR image, along with the eventual reports of hail that this storm produced about an hour later. South of the thunderstorm, the banded signatre of a pre-frontal lower-tropospheric undular bore could also be seen across deep south Texas.

POES AVHRR 12.0 µm IR channel image, with cloud-to-ground lightning strikes and hail reportsPOES AVHRR 12.0 µm IR channel image, with cloud-to-ground lightning strikes and hail reports

A comparison of 1-km resolution Suomi NPP 11.45 µm IR and 0.7 µm Day/Night Band images at 08:05 UTC or 3:05 AM local time (below) showed an “enhanced-V” signature associated with the thunderstorm, with very cold IR brightness temperatures of -86º C at the vertex of the enhanced-V. The Day/Night Band (DNB) image also showed a number of very bright “streaks” near McMullen, Texas (station identifier KNMT), a signature of portions of the cloud which were illuminated by intense lightning activity. The blurred signatures of bright city lights could even be seen through the clouds. Also, note on the DNB image the presence of curved bands off the Texas coast, over the Gulf of Mexico: what could those be?

Suomi NPP VIIRS 11.45 µm IR channel and 0.7 µm Day/Night Band images, with overlays of positive and negative cloud-to-ground lightning strikesSuomi NPP VIIRS 11.45 µm IR channel and 0.7 µm Day/Night Band images, with overlays of positive and negative cloud-to-ground lightning strikes.A larger-scale view of the VIIRS IR and Day/Night Band images (below) revealed a remarkably large pattern of concentric mesospheric airglow waves (reference) propagating radially outward away from the region where the thunderstorm had explosively developed and penetrated the tropopause about an hour earlier.
Suomi NPP VIIRS 0.7 µm Day/Night Band and 11.45 µm IR channel images