Weather

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.

 


El Niño not here yet, but still expected

October 9th, 2014 at 2:54 pm by under Weather

El Nino developing temp anomaliesEl Niño Status: El Niño Watch

Synopsis: El Niño is favored to begin in the next 1-2 months and last into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2015.

During September 2014, above-average sea surface temperatures (SST) continued across much of the equatorial Pacific (Fig. 1). The weekly Niño indices were relatively unchanged from the beginning of the month, with values ranging from +0.3oC (Niño-3.4) to +1.1oC (Niño-1+2) at the end of the month (Fig. 2). The change in subsurface heat content anomalies (averaged between 180o-100oW) was also minimal (Fig. 3) due to the persistence of above-average temperatures at depth across the central and eastern Pacific (Fig. 4). Equatorial low-level winds were largely near average for the month, though brief periods of westerly wind anomalies continue to arise. Upper-level winds were also close to average for the month. The Southern Oscillation Index has remained negative, and rainfall was near average around the Date Line, with a mix of positive and negative anomalies over Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (Fig. 5). The lack of coherent atmospheric and oceanic features indicates the continuation of ENSO-neutral.

Most models predict El Niño to develop during October-December 2014 and to continue into early 2015 (Fig. 6). The consensus of forecasters indicates a 2-in-3 chance of El Niño during the November 2014 – January 2015 season. This El Niño will likely remain weak (3-month values of the Niño-3.4 index between 0.5oC and 0.9oC) throughout its duration. In summary, El Niño is favored to begin in the next 1-2 months and last into the Northern Hemisphere spring 2015 (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 are also updated monthly in the Forecast Forum of CPC’s Climate Diagnostics Bulletin. Additional perspectives and analysis are also available in an ENSO blog. The next ENSO Diagnostics Discussion is scheduled for 6 November 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

 

 


October bird forecast

October 8th, 2014 at 1:23 pm by under Weather

What to watch for in October: Welcome, water birds

Here’s the Central Texas bird forecast for the month, courtesy of Travis Audubon. Learn more about Central Texas birds and bird-related events for all ages at travisaudubon.org or by calling 512-300-BIRD. Travis Audubon is on Twitter and Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @TravisAudubon and give us a like at www.facebook.com/travisaudubon.

Double-crested Cormorant photo by Thomas Quine via Creative Commons

Double-crested Cormorant photo by Thomas Quine via Creative Commons

Double-crested and pied-billed

Double-crested Cormorants begin arriving in substantial numbers throughout October and soon will be a familiar sight as they roost along the south shore of Lady Bird Lake in the cypress trees. Cormorants are large, gangly black birds with orange faces, long necks and long hooked bills. You can sometimes see them sitting with their wings spread out awkwardly to dry.

Pied-billed Grebe photo by Kevin Cole via Creative Commons

Pied-billed Grebe photo by Kevin Cole via Creative Commons

You also may see newly arrived Pied-billed Grebes on the lakes and small ponds of Central Texas. These very small water birds are common in most of the U.S. year-round, but they gather in larger flocks come winter (which, for birds, is approaching fast, even though we humans might not think so). These grebes are brown and compact, with very short bills and no tail to speak of. They are noticeably smaller than other birds out on the lake, with heads that are large relative to their bodies.

They do lots of diving and can actually control their buoyancy, sinking into the water like submarines. In spring and summer, the bird’s bill is pied — white with a black stripe — but in winter is a yellowish brown.

Monthly Meeting — Where to Bird in Central Texas
6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, Hyde Park Christian Church, 610 E 45th St.

It’s the weekend and you have a few spare hours and a desire to bird some place new — but where? It’s a weekday and you could slip in to work a little late, or leave early; where can you get the best birds for your time invested? In this talk by Laurie Foss you will get lots of ideas about places to go and birds to look for when you get there.You will also learn how you can use eBird to find out where the birds are. As a member of Travis Audubon, as well as other local, state, and national birding organizations, Laurie Foss is active leading field trips, teaching birding classes and making presentations to various groups, as well as working and advocating for habitat conservation.

Field Trips — Beginners welcome. Check the Travis Audubon website for details.

http://travisaudubon.org/get-outdoors/field-trips

Monthly Bird Count at Hornsby Bend
Saturday, October 11, 7 a.m. & 4 p.m.

Big Sit! at Balcones Canyonlands NWR
Sunday, October 12, 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Two-hour Tuesday! at Platt Lane, led by Ken Zaslow
Tuesday, October 14, 7:30 to 10 a.m.

Commons Ford Monthly Walk with Diane Sherrill (plants this time)
Saturday, Oct. 18, 8:30 a.m. to noon

Hornsby Bend Monthly Bird Walk
Saturday, October 18, 7:30 to 11 a.m.

Super Tuesday! at Berry Springs Park, led by Dan Callaway
Tuesday, October 21, 8 to 11:30 a.m.

Two-hour Tuesday! at Devine Lake, led by Ray and Ginny Steelman
Tuesday, October 28, 8 to 10 a.m.

Balcones Canyonlands/Water Quality Preserves – Part 2
Friday, October 31, 8 to 11 a.m.

Compiled by Travis Audubon volunteers Jane Tillman and Raeanne Martinez


Join EarthSky’s Deborah Byrd at online viewing of total lunar eclipse

October 7th, 2014 at 1:33 pm by under Weather

(EarthSky.org)  Slooh.com invites stargazers worldwide for an online viewing of the total eclipse of the moon early Wednesday morning, October 8. Deborah Byrd will be on hand as a special guest.

Deborah Byrd inside the observer's cage at the Palomar 200-inch telescope

Deborah Byrd inside the observer’s cage at the Palomar 200-inch telescope. Join her at Slooh.com for the total eclipse of the moon.

EarthSky.org editor-in-chief Deborah Byrd will join Bob Berman of Slooh.com and stargazers around the world during an online view of this week’s total eclipse of the moon on October 8, 2014. Byrd will be speaking with Berman from  (4:15 a.m. CDT – 4:40 a.m. CDT) at Slooh’s website, which you will find here.

Byrd and Berman will talk about the moon’s unique placement among the stars during the eclipse, touching on the exciting fact that the planet Uranus – a world barely visible to the eye – will be near the moon as the eclipse is taking place.

Join them!

Stargazers worldwide are invited to watch this spectacular eclipse of the moon on October 8, as it unfolds live in your night sky … and at Slooh.com. The free, real-time broadcast will begin on October 8th starting at 4:00 AM with live feeds from multiple locations located in Australia and North America.

Total lunar eclipse in 2004 by Fred Espenak

Total lunar eclipse in 2004 by Fred Espenak

Bottom line: Slooh.com invites stargazers worldwide for an online viewing of the total eclipse of the moon on October 8. Deborah Byrd will be on hand as a special guest.


Statewide drought shows signs of improvement

October 7th, 2014 at 11:45 am by under Weather

txdrought


Morning complex of severe storms brings damage to East Texas

October 6th, 2014 at 11:17 am by under Weather

10-6 SVR

Early Monday morning, individual severe thunderstorms moved from Oklahoma into NE Texas, merging into a complex of severe thunderstorms exhibiting a large “bow echo”.

A bow echo is when a line of thunderstorms is pushed outward into a bow shape, and indicates the presence of strong, damaging wind gusts in the storms.

Strong thunderstorms winds toppled numerous trees in rural East Texas.

Wind Reports (CSV) (Raw Wind CSV)(?)
Time Speed Location County State Lat Lon Comments
1233 UNK CARTHAGE PANOLA TX 3215 9434 NUMEROUS TREES DOWN ACROSS THE COUNTY(SHV)

 

Hail Reports (CSV) (Raw Hail CSV)(?)
Time Size Location County State Lat Lon Comments
1249  1.00″ NACOGDOCHES NACOGDOCHES TX 3161 9465 DIME TO QUARTER SIZE HAIL REPORTED ACROSS THE COUNTY (SHV)
1340  1.00″ 2 W PALESTINE ANDERSON TX 3175 9566 DELAYED REPORT OF NICKEL TO QUARTER SIZED HAIL NEAR BASSETT RD. AND LOOP 256. (FWD)

 


West Antarctica’s meltdown weakens Earth’s gravity

October 4th, 2014 at 9:41 pm by under Weather

West Antarctica’s incredible weight loss can be felt from space, a new study reports.

So much ice has disappeared from West Antarctica in recent years that Earth’s gravity is now weaker there, researchers reported in the Aug. 28 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Earth’s gravity fluctuates in small ways that are caused by changes in mass. When hefty ice sheets melt, there is less ice and thus less gravitational force pulling in that area.

Image: Ice lossDGFI / PLANETARY VISIONS
This graphic shows the changes in Earth’s gravity field caused by West Antarctic ice loss, based on data from the GOCE satellites. The satellites ended their mission in 2013 when the spacecraft ran out of fuel, as planned, and broke apart during atmospheric re-entry.
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