Weather

Dangerous heat continues this weekend

August 22nd, 2014 at 3:40 pm by under Weather

8-22 Heat Adv

 

HEAT ADVISORY has been extended through Saturday evening for Fayette County — where dangerous heat is forecast to continue this weekend.

Throughout the rest of Central Texas, expect “feels like” temperatures as high as 104º Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Stay cool!

Read more from the National Weather Service:

FAYETTE-WILSON-KARNES-GONZALES-DE WITT-LAVACA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...LA GRANGE...FLORESVILLE...KARNES CITY...
GONZALES...CUERO...HALLETTSVILLE
314 PM CDT FRI AUG 22 2014

...HEAT ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 PM CDT SATURDAY...

* TEMPERATURE...HEAT INDICES OF 105 TO 108 DEGREES DURING THE
  AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING HOURS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY WITH LOWS
  FRIDAY NIGHT IN THE UPPER 70S TO NEAR 80 DEGREES.

* IMPACTS...EXTENDED OUTDOOR ACTIVITY COULD LEAD TO
  DEHYDRATION...HEAT EXHAUSTION OR HEAT STROKE IF PROPER
  PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN
POSSIBLE...RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR
EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT
STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN
POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR
WORK THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS
SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED
ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL
AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY...CALL 911.

Heat Advisory Out For Eastern Areas

August 22nd, 2014 at 1:31 pm by under Weather

NOAA













beat the heat













A HEAT ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FROM AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO NWS OFFICES FROM 1PM-7PM FOR FAYETTE COUNTY.


URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
334 AM CDT FRI AUG 22 2014

...POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS HEAT INDICES TODAY...

.WARM TEMPERATURES AND HIGH DEW POINTS WILL COMBINE TO RESULT IN
HIGH AFTERNOON AND EVENING HEAT INDEX VALUES FROM 105 TO 108
ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST PORTIONS OF CENTRAL TEXAS. THE DANGEROUS HEAT
INDICES WILL BE ALONG AND SOUTH OF A LINE FROM LA GRANGE TO
GONZALES TO FLORESVILLE.

heat index
















FAYETTE-WILSON-KARNES-GONZALES-DE WITT-LAVACA-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...LA GRANGE...FLORESVILLE...KARNES CITY...
GONZALES...CUERO...HALLETTSVILLE
334 AM CDT FRI AUG 22 2014

...HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 7 PM CDT
THIS EVENING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO HAS ISSUED A
HEAT ADVISORY...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 1 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO
7 PM CDT THIS EVENING.

* TEMPERATURE...HEAT INDICES OF 105 TO 108 DEGREES DURING THE
  AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING HOURS.

* IMPACTS...EXTENDED OUTDOOR ACTIVITY COULD LEAD TO
  DEHYDRATION...HEAT EXHAUSTION OR HEAT STROKE IF PROPER
  PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN
POSSIBLE...RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR
EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT
STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN
POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR
WORK THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS
SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED
ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL
AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY...CALL 911.

HERE'S A LINK TO NOAA'S "BEAT THE HEAT" SAFETY PAGE:  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/heat/index.shtml



Drought forecast to improve or end by December

August 21st, 2014 at 4:11 pm by under Weather

There is good news today from the Climate Prediction Center about the future of our drought. The U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook for the period August 21 through November 30 indicates and end to drought conditions for much of Central Texas, with drought improvement elsewhere.

This can be attributed to several factors (discussion below), including the expectation of a developing El Niño pattern in the Pacific Ocean, which often increases rainfall across Texas in the fall and winter.

8-21 Seasonal drought outlook

Discussion for the Seasonal Drought Outlook

Tools used in the U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook (SDO) included the official Climate Prediction Center (CPC) temperature and precipitation outlooks for September 2014 and September-November 2014, various short- and medium-range forecasts and models such as the forecast 5-day and 7-day precipitation totals from the Weather Prediction Center (WPC), the 6-10 day and 8-14 day CPC forecasts, the NAEFS precipitation outlooks, the soil moisture tools based on the Constructed Analog on Soil Moisture (CAS), dynamical models (CFSv2, NMME, IRI, and IMME), the 384-hour total precipitation forecasts from several runs of the GFS, the four-month Palmer drought termination and amelioration probabilities, climatology, and initial conditions. An El Niño Watch is currently in effect, with the August 18 ENSO update indicating about a 65% chance of El Niño during the fall and early winter.

(more…)


Drought worsens in Austin metro area

August 21st, 2014 at 3:59 pm by under Weather

Early week rain kept drought conditions relatively unchanged in the Hill Country region of Texas, but most of the Austin metro area transitioned from “abnormally dry” to the “moderate drought” category.

8-21 drought worsens

 


Local Drought Information Statement

August 21st, 2014 at 3:56 pm by under Weather
DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
145 PM CDT THU AUG 21 2014

...SLIGHT IMPROVEMENTS IN DROUGHT CONDITIONS WERE SEEN THIS PAST
WEEK...BUT GENERALLY NO CHANGES WERE NOTED IN MOST LOCATIONS...

SYNOPSIS...

AUGUST RAINFALL HAS BEEN SPORADIC WITH SOME LOCATIONS RECEIVING
A COUPLE OF INCHES AND OTHERS SEEING LITTLE OR NONE. THIS IS
USUALLY THE CASE WITH CONVECTIVE RAINFALL. MOST RIVERS...CREEKS
AND STREAMS CONTINUED TO SHOW DECREASING FLOWS ESPECIALLY IN
LOCATIONS THAT HAVE MISSED THE RECENT RAINFALL. THE WESTERN HALF
OF SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS WAS REPORTING NEAR AVERAGE STREAM FLOWS FOR
MID AUGUST WHILE THE EASTERN HALF REPORTED BELOW TO MUCH BELOW
AVERAGE FLOWS. LAKES AND RESERVOIRS HAVE CONTINUED TO SHOW
DECLINES IN LEVELS WHERE RAINFALL HAS BEEN LIGHT OR ABSENT. MOST
LOCATIONS CONTINUE TO SHOW RAINFALL DEFICITS FOR THE YEAR TO DATE.
THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS WILL SEE TEMPERATURES ABOVE LATE AUGUST
AVERAGES AND THERE WILL BE LITTLE OR NO RAINFALL. SHORT TERM
DROUGHT IMPACTS ARE RETURNING IN MANY LOCATIONS DUE TO THE LACK OF
RAINFALL OVER THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS. CURRENTLY THE MAIN SHORT
TERM IMPACTS ARE WATER RESTRICTIONS IN MANY LOCATIONS. LONG TERM
DROUGHT IMPACTS CONTINUE SINCE WE HAVE BEEN IN A MULTIPLE YEAR
DROUGHT. RIVERS...LAKES...RESERVOIRS AND AQUIFERS ARE VERY LOW AND
WILL REMAIN THAT WAY UNLESS WE CONTINUE TO SEE FREQUENT RAINFALL
EVENTS. THERE ARE A FEW LAKES THAT ARE NEAR OR SLIGHTLY ABOVE
CONSERVATION POOL IN AREAS THAT HAVE SEEN MORE FREQUENT SHOWERS
AND THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE PAST MONTH.

 (more...)

New satellite data will help farmers facing drought

August 21st, 2014 at 1:31 pm by under Weather

For several months, California has been in a state of

For several months, California has been in a state of “exceptional drought.” The state’s usually verdant Central Valley produces one-sixth of the U.S.’s crops. Image Credit: White House via Wikimedia Commons.
› Larger image

About 60 percent of California is experiencing “exceptional drought,” the U.S. Drought Monitor’s most dire classification. The agency issued the same warning to Texas and the southeastern United States in 2012. California’s last two winters have been among the driest since records began in 1879. Without enough water in the soil, seeds can’t sprout roots, leaves can’t perform photosynthesis, and agriculture can’t be sustained.

Currently, there is no ground- or satellite-based global network monitoring soil moisture at a local level. Farmers, scientists and resource managers can place sensors in the ground, but these only provide spot measurements and are rare across some critical agricultural areas in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The European Space Agency’s Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity mission measures soil moisture at a resolution of 31 miles (50 kilometers), but because soil moisture can vary on a much smaller scale, its data are most useful in broad forecasts.

Enter NASA’s Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite. The mission, scheduled to launch this winter, will collect the kind of local data agricultural and water managers worldwide need.

SMAP uses two microwave instruments to monitor the top 2 inches (5 centimeters) of soil on Earth’s surface. Together, the instruments create soil moisture estimates with a resolution of about 6 miles (9 kilometers), mapping the entire globe every two or three days. Although this resolution cannot show how soil moisture might vary within a single field, it will give the most detailed maps yet made.

“Agricultural drought occurs when the demand for water for crop production exceeds available water supplies from precipitation, surface water and sustainable withdrawals from groundwater,” said Forrest Melton, a research scientist in the Ecological Forecasting Lab at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

(more…)


Tuesday night’s aurora from space and Earth

August 20th, 2014 at 2:48 pm by under Weather

From EarthSky.org:

One of the first auroras of the 2014 autumn season appeared last night at northerly latitudes. Astronaut Reid Wiseman caught it from space. Photographer Göran Strand caught it from Sweden.

aurora-space-Wiseman-tweet-1

aurora-space-wiseman-tweet-2

Astronaut Reid Wiseman captured these images from the window of the International Space Station last night (August 19, 2014). SpaceWeather.com says:

A moderate (G2-class) geomagnetic storm that erupted following a CME strike on August 19th is subsiding now. At its peak, the storm sparked auroras around both poles visible from the ground and from space.

Follow astronaut Reid Wiseman on Twitter – he’s our eyes from above!

More awesomeness from the International Space Station

EarthSky Facebook friend Fotograf Göran Strand caught last night's aurora from Sweden.  View larger and read more about this photo from Göran Strand

EarthSky Facebook friend Fotograf Göran Strand caught last night’s aurora from Sweden. View larger and read more about this photo from Göran Strand

Bottom line: One of the first auroras of the 2014 autumn season appeared last night (August 19) at northerly latitudes. Astronaut Reid Wiseman caught it from space. Photographer Göran Strand caught it from Sweden.


Help rename Onion Creek Greenbelt

August 19th, 2014 at 1:34 pm by under Weather

Process Begins to Rename Onion Creek Greenbelt

Deadline for submissions is Monday, November 3, 2014.

The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department has begun the renaming process for Onion Creek Greenbelt. This announcement begins a 90-day public comment period. The facilities/property naming ordinance allows facilities and property to be named after an individual(s) (living or dead) or something other than an individual, such as a place or natural feature.  A suggestion for naming a facility/property must include:

  • If an individual – A biographical sketch; a description of the individual’s involvement in the community; and the individual’s connection, if any, to the Austin park system.
  • If other than an individual, include justification for the suggested name.

Deadline for submissions is Monday, November 3, 2014.  After the deadline, the Parks and Recreation Board will call a public hearing on the suggested name(s) and a make recommendation to City Council for final approval.

Nomination forms are available at the Parks and Recreation Department’s Main Office, 200 S. Lamar Blvd.; or online at www.austintexas.gov/department/parks-and-recreation.

Submit nomination forms via mail to Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Attn: April Thedford; 919 W. 28 ½ St.; Austin, Texas 78705 or via email: april.thedford@austintexas.gov.


Aquifer district returns to Stage II Alarm Drought

August 18th, 2014 at 1:34 pm by under Weather

The Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District’s Board of Directors declared Stage II Alarm Drought at the August 14th Board Meeting, effective immediately. Lovelady monitor well, one of the District’s two drought-trigger sites, crossed below its Stage II Alarm Drought water level of 478.4 feet above mean sea level in mid-July. 10-day average discharge at Barton Springs, the District’s other drought trigger site, is at its Drought threshold of 38 cubic feet per second. Only one of the two drought stage triggers needs to be reached for a drought declaration to be made.

Mandatory drought restrictions had been lifted at the June 26th meeting when both the Lovelady Monitor Well water level and Barton Springs 10-day average discharge were above their drought thresholds and forecasts were predicting above average rainfall. However, the subsequent rains mostly missed the contributing and recharge zones, so no significant recharge occurred. Water levels and spring flow are steadily declining.

Declaration of Stage II Alarm Drought requires all of the District’s permittees to implement mandatory measures specified in their User Drought Contingency Plans to meet monthly pumpage reduction requirements. All permittees must achieve at least a 20% reduction in monthly pumpage. Permittees with conditional permits have to reduce use even further. End-user customers served by water utilities on groundwater wells are required to comply with their utility’s water use restrictions for this drought stage. Generally, restricting outdoor water use, including limiting landscape irrigation, pool filling & refilling, and non-essential water use such as water fountains, is sufficient to reach monthly pumpage targets for Stage II Alarm Drought. September will be the first full month of declared drought, and therefore, the first monthly compliance assessments for drought curtailments.

BSEACD is a groundwater conservation district charged by the Texas Legislature to preserve, conserve, and protect the aquifers and groundwater resources within its jurisdiction, which includes parts of three Central Texas counties. It is governed by a Board of five elected directors and staffed with hydrogeologists, groundwater regulatory compliance specialists, environmental educators, geospatial systems specialists, and administrative support personnel.

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Hill Country enjoys Sunday rain, others stay dry

August 17th, 2014 at 8:41 pm by under Weather

hydro

 

Two rounds of thunderstorms–one early Sunday morning in Mason and San Saba counties and another Sunday afternoon in Lampasas, Burnet and Llano counties–brought measurable rain to much of the western and northern Hill Country.

The LCRA hydromet map above shows the distribution of Sunday’s rainfall (and which lakes the rain eventually flows into).

The luckiest spots, mainly in San Saba and Lampasas counties, saw over an inch of rain in a few isolated locations. The heavy downpours led to brief concerns of low-water crossing/creek flooding, although no major problems were reported.

Though most of Sunday’s rain will be absorbed by the drought-stricken soil in the Hill Country, minor river inflows could feed Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake and Lake LBJ.