Weather

If the climate is warming, why is Antarctic ice expanding?

October 19th, 2014 at 9:27 am by under Weather

The planet as a whole is doing what was expected in terms of warming. Sea ice as a whole is decreasing as expected …’

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Sea ice is expanding around Antarctica, and scientists say wind, snow and melting land ice are key factors in the growth bberwyn photo.

The map at right shows Antarctic ice concentration on September 22, 2014, the date of the record high. Areas where the surface was less than 15% ice covered are deep blue; areas that were up to 100% ice covered are shades of light blue to white. The orange line shows the 1981-2010 median extent for September 22. (Median means in the middle: half of the years in the record had smaller ice extents than this, and half had larger extents.) The graph below the map shows daily Antarctic sea ice extent over the course of the year. The black line traces the 1981-2010 average, and the gray shading shows the range of variability (2 standard deviations from the mean). The previous record high extent (2013) is a dashed green line; the 2014 year to date is a light green line. NSIDC reported that the 2014 extent rose nearly 4 standard deviations above the 1981-2010 mean.

The map above shows Antarctic ice concentration on September 22, 2014, the date of the record high. Areas where the surface was less than 15% ice covered are deep blue; areas that were up to 100% ice covered are shades of light blue to white. The orange line shows the 1981-2010 median extent for September 22. (Median means in the middle: half of the years in the record had smaller ice extents than this, and half had larger extents.)

The graph below the map shows daily Antarctic sea ice extent over the course of the year. The black line traces the 1981-2010 average, and the gray shading shows the range of variability (2 standard deviations from the mean). The previous record high extent (2013) is a dashed green line; the 2014 year to date is a light green line. NSIDC reported that the 2014 extent rose nearly 4 standard deviations above the 1981-2010 mean. Courtesy NOAA.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Along with shifting wind patterns in the southern hemisphere, melting land ice may be contributing to recent record extents of floating sea ice around Antarctica. The melting ice and snow adds fresh water — which freezes morel easily — to the salty Southern Ocean, scientists said in a release this week, explaining the multi-year trend of expanding Antarctic sea ice.

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Surging population, recent hurricane drought put Florida at extreme risk

October 18th, 2014 at 8:07 pm by under Weather

Hurricane Andrew, 1992. (NASA)

Hurricane Andrew, 1992. (NASA)

(Washington Post): Florida has gone 3,270 days without a hurricane – nearly nine years and, by far, the longest stretch on record (the next longest streak is 5 seasons from 1980-1984, in records dating back to 1851). Meanwhile, the Sunshine state’s population and development have boomed.

Florida is long overdue for a destructive hurricane and has never had so many people and so much property in the way. This dangerous state of affairs is compounded by the potential for complacency and lack of recent experience. When hurricanes don’t strike over such a long period of time, some people may be lulled into a false sense of security and/or forget how horrible hurricanes can be.

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Where is El Nino?

October 18th, 2014 at 9:34 am by under Weather

Climate Central: That El Niño we’ve been tracking for months on end — the one that is taking its sweet time to form — still hasn’t emerged, forecasters announced Thursday.

The climate impacts typically associated with an El Niño during the months of December, January, and February.
Credit: NOAA

But the reason we still care so much about it, following all of its tiny fluctuations toward becoming a full-blown El Niño, is that it can have important effects on the world’s weather, including in the U.S. It can even boost global temperatures, helping set the planet on the course to be the warmest year on record.

In their monthly update, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center and theInternational Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University said there is still a two-thirds chance that a weak El Niño event emerges and that it will likely do so in the October-to-December timeframe, lasting until spring 2015.

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On to the 7th Annual Dogtoberfest at the Domain!

October 17th, 2014 at 1:51 pm by under Weather

CLICK HERE for complete details about Saturday’s Dogtoberfest!

Dogtoberfest 2013 - Courtesy of Nicole Mlakar Photography

Dogtoberfest 2013 – Courtesy of Nicole Mlakar Photography

3rd Annual DogtoberTROT!

Join us from 8am-10am on October 18th for a 1K fun walk around the block with your two-legged and four-legged friends! Registration is only $30/team (1 human + 1 canine), $10 for each additional member under 12, and $30 for each additional Trotter over 12.

Learn More >
Register >

Day of Event Schedule

8:00 – 10:00
DogtoberTROT at Phase II by iPic Movie Theater

10:00 – 11:30
Registration for Wiener Dog Races at Central Texas Dachshund Rescue Booth ($10 Entry Fee)

10:00 – 2:30
Registration for Canine Costume Contest at KXAN Booth ($5 Donation)

10:00 – 4:00
Whole Foods Photo Booth ($5 per Photo)

11:00 – 4:00
Domain Food Booths and Cru Beer & Wine For Sale on Rogers Road



Barkitecture Sunday at Triangle Park

October 17th, 2014 at 12:51 pm by under Weather
Barkitecture

A winning design from Barkitecture 2013

CLICK HERE for details on Sunday’s annual Barkitecture event!

Since its inception in 2005, Barkitecture has become an Austin favorite, and is gaining national exposure. Presented by Animal Lovers of Austin, Inc., this architectural dog-centric fundraiser showcases doghouses created by some of Austin’s best and brightest architects, designers and builders. Attendees will have the opportunity to bid on these unique doghouses, play at the “pup-stop”, participate in a Lofty Dog Howl-o-Ween costume contest, learn about adoption opportunities from local area rescue groups, shop at local vendor booths, let your pup enjoy a spa experience at our exclusive puppy “SPAW” and more.


NOAA WINTER OUTLOOK

October 16th, 2014 at 12:25 pm by under Weather

NOAANOAA: Another warm winter likely for western U.S., South may see colder weather

Repeat of last year’s extremely cold, snowy winter east of Rockies unlikely

October 16, 2014

Below average temperatures are favored in parts of the south-central and southeastern United States, while above-average temperatures are most likely in the western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and New England, according to the U.S. Winter Outlook, issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

While drought may improve in some portions of the U.S. this winter, California’s record-setting drought will likely persist or intensify in large parts of the state. Nearly 60 percent of California is suffering from exceptional drought – the worst category – with 2013 being the driest year on record. Also, 2012 and 2013 rank in the top 10 of California’s warmest years on record, and 2014 is shaping up to be California’s warmest year on record. Winter is the wet season in California, so mountainous snowfall will prove crucial for drought recovery. Drought is expected to improve in California’s southern and northwestern regions, but improvement is not expected until December or January.
Precip
Temps
“Complete drought recovery in California this winter is highly unlikely. While we’re predicting at least a 2 in 3 chance that winter precipitation will be near or above normal throughout the state, with such widespread, extreme deficits, recovery will be slow,” said Mike Halpert, acting director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “This outlook gives the public valuable information, allowing them to make informed decisions and plans for the season. It’s an important tool as we build a Weather-Ready Nation.”

El Niño, an ocean-atmospheric phenomenon in the Tropical Pacific that affects global weather patterns, may still develop this winter. Climate Prediction Center forecasters announced on Oct. 9 that the ocean and atmospheric coupling necessary to declare an El Niño has not yet happened, so they continued the El Niño Watch with a 67 percent chance of development by the end of the year. While strong El Niño episodes often pull more moisture into California over the winter months, this El Niño is expected to be weak, offering little help.

The Precipitation Outlook favors above-average precipitation across the southern tier, from the southern half of California, across the Southwest, South-central, and Gulf Coast states, Florida, and along the eastern seaboard to Maine. Above-average precipitation also is favored in southern Alaska and the Alaskan panhandle. Below-average precipitation is favored in Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest.
Last year’s winter was exceptionally cold and snowy across most of the United States, east of the Rockies. A repeat of this extreme pattern is unlikely this year, although the Outlook does favor below-average temperatures in the south-central and southeastern states.
In addition, the Temperature Outlook favors warmer-than-average temperatures in the Western U.S., extending from the west coast through most of the inter-mountain west and across the U.S.-Canadian border through New York and New England, as well as Alaska and Hawaii.
The rest of the country falls into the “equal chance” category, meaning that there is not a strong enough climate signal for these areas to make a prediction, so they have an equal chance for above-, near-, or below-normal temperatures and/or precipitation.
The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook, updated today and valid through January, predicts drought removal or improvement in portions of California, the Central and Southern Plains, the desert Southwest, and portions of New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  Drought is likely to persist or intensify in portions of California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington state. New drought development is likely in northeast Oregon, eastern Washington state, and small portions of Idaho and western Montana.
This seasonal outlook does not project where and when snowstorms may hit or provide total seasonal snowfall accumulations. Snow forecasts are dependent upon the strength and track of winter storms, which are generally not predictable more than a week in advance.

NASA: September was the warmest on record worldwide

October 14th, 2014 at 9:38 am by under Weather

head_title

This September was the warmest on record since 1880–the year scientists first began to track global data on temperatures.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s announcement clips on the heels of what was also the warmest August on record, which NASA said suggests an unfortunate trend in global heating.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration anticipates that an El Niño will start by the end of the year, due to warmer temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, and continue into spring 2015. An El Niño can have devastating impact across the globe, with repercussions that include abnormal temperatures and extreme weather. The last strong El Niño occurred in 1997-98.

More details will become available on global temperatures during the month of September when NOAA issues their monthly “State of the Climate” report in the coming days.


Another round of welcome rain Monday morning

October 13th, 2014 at 11:37 am by under Weather

KXAN always has an up-to-date list of area rainfall totals here. But for a quick glance, check out the maps below for select rainfall totals from Monday morning’s cold front.

10-13 hill co

10-13 metro

10-13 east

Detailed list of community rainfall totals below (expand “more” tab, then CTRL+F to search for your neighborhood):

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Sunday morning rainfall totals

October 11th, 2014 at 10:23 pm by under Weather
rainfall Sun AM
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
1000 PM CDT SAT OCT 11 2014
...LATEST 24 HOUR RAINFALL REPORTS...
LOCATION                       AMOUNT    TIME/DATE
...TEXAS...

...BASTROP...
3 N WYLDWOOD                   1.60 IN   0900 PM 10/11
1 NW SMITHVILLE                0.87 IN   0942 PM 10/11
8 W ROSANKY                    0.87 IN   0951 PM 10/11
SMITHVILLE   (more...)

Tropical Update!

October 11th, 2014 at 9:55 am by under Weather

During the newscasts the past few days we have had very limited time, if any at all, to discuss what is happening in the tropics.  With ACL, The Red River Showdown, and the pair of cold fronts we have been tracking, it has certainly been a wild weekend (it’s only Saturday morning).  With that being said, there is still plenty to cover from the Atlantic where we have one Tropical Storm churning away, and two other clusters of storms that are showing at least some potential for possible tropical development.  We’ll get to those in a moment.

 

But first… in the Pacific… we have this…..

Vongfong, as a super typhoon on Thursday, Oct. 9, viewed from the International Space Station (Photo/International Space Station).

Vongfong, as a super typhoon on Thursday, Oct. 9, viewed from the International Space Station (Photo/International Space Station).

Now THAT is one serious storm.  This is Typhoon Vongfong.  Vongfong was classified as a super typhoon during the middle of the week as it moved through an area of low wind shear and very warm ocean temperatures but has since lost that title. The tropical system had reached the equivalent strength of a Category 5 hurricane, featuring wind speeds greater than 257 kph (160 mph).  It at one point became the strongest tropical cyclone on Earth this year.  Since then it has weakened a bit, but Vongfong still has plans to wreak havoc in the Pacific:

The storm will weaken as it moves over the southern islands and eventually over the Japanese mainland.  Picture courtesy of Accuweather.com

The storm will weaken as it moves over the southern islands and eventually over the Japanese mainland. Picture courtesy of Accuweather.com

The islands south of Japan look to likely get the worst of the storm.  Picture courtesy of Accuweather.com

The islands south of Japan look to likely get the worst of the storm. Picture courtesy of Accuweather.com

 

Ok now back to the Atlantic.  First the two “potential tropical systems.”  

atlantic

Here is what we have on “1″ and “2″ from the National Hurricane Center.

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT SAT OCT 11 2014

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Tropical
Storm Fay, located several hundred miles south of Bermuda.

1. Disorganized shower activity continues in association with a
tropical wave located several hundred miles east of the Leeward
Islands. While no significant development of this system appears
likely during the next day or two, environmental conditions are
expected to be conducive for tropical cyclone formation by early
next week.  This disturbance should move generally west-
northwestward at about 10 mph during the next several days, and
interests in the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, and Hispaniola should
monitor its progress.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...20 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...60 percent.

2. Widespread but disorganized showers and thunderstorms, located
several hundred miles west of the Cape Verde Islands, are associated
with a westward-moving tropical wave.  Upper-level winds are not
favorable, and significant development of this system remains
unlikely.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...10 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...10 percent.

 

Finally…. Fay….

fay track

 

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM FAY WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 27.9 NORTH...LONGITUDE 65.3 WEST. FAY IS
MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH NEAR 16 MPH...26 KM/H.  A GRADUAL INCREASE
IN FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED LATER TODAY...FOLLOWED BY A TURN TOWARD
THE NORTHEAST WITH A FURTHER INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED ON SUNDAY.
ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF FAY IS EXPECTED TO PASS
JUST TO THE SOUTHEAST AND EAST OF BERMUDA BY EARLY SUNDAY MORNING.

REPORTS FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT INDICATE
THAT MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 70 MPH...110 KM/H...WITH
HIGHER GUSTS.  NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS FORECAST DURING
THE NEXT 24 TO 36 HOURS...AND FAY IS EXPECTED TO BE ABSORBED BY A
COLD FRONT ON MONDAY.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 150 MILES...240 KM
FROM THE CENTER.

THE MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE RECENTLY MEASURED BY RECONNAISSANCE
AIRCRAFT WAS 991 MB...29.27 INCHES.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED ON BERMUDA BY LATE
AFTERNOON AND EVENING.

RAINFALL...FAY IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE TOTAL RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS
OF 2 TO 4 INCHES ACROSS BERMUDA.

SURF...LARGE SWELLS GENERATED BY FAY WILL AFFECT PORTIONS OF THE
SOUTH-FACING SHORES OF BERMUDA THROUGH SUNDAY MORNING. THESE SWELLS
ARE LIKELY TO CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING SURF AND RIP CURRENT
CONDITIONS. PLEASE CONSULT PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.