Weather

El Nino could make U.S. weather more extreme, hotter

June 18th, 2014 at 12:31 pm by under Weather

(Scientific American)

Drought

Regions across the U.S. that are normally wet can dry out during El Niño conditions, while regions that are normally dry can flood.
Credit: Modern Event Preparedness via Flickr
Unusual weather across the U.S. and other parts of the world just became more likely for this summer and autumn. That’s because the chances have gone up that El Niño—an atmospheric pattern driven by water temperature changes in the Pacific Ocean—will develop during that time, according to the nation’s leading climate experts.
When El Niño settles in, it has major effects on weather conditions nationally and globally.Scientists speaking at a press conference yesterday afternoon said the odds that El Niño will develop during the summer have risen from 65 to 70 percent. The prediction comes in a new monthly report from the U.S. National Weather Service and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University. The experts also said there is up to an 80% chance that El Niño will develop during the fall and winter.Regions across the U.S. that are normally wet can dry out during El Niño conditions, while normally dry regions can flood. Worldwide expectations related to El Niño are not always accurate, however. “There is an expectation of drought, but not in every single El Niño event do we actually have drought,” Lisa Goddard, director of the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, said during the briefing.In fact, the majority of the continental U.S. has a higher chance of experiencing above-average precipitation in both summer and fall of El Niño years, according to data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In addition, data from Golden Gate Weather Services, a consultancy in California, show particularly increased amounts of precipitation for southern California in stronger El Niño years, which could potentially help drought-stricken areas there and in other parts of the U.S. Southwest.

Regardless of the pros and cons, El Niño events could strengthen further as global warming continues, climate experts say. Two studies published within the last year generally support the conclusion that El Niño is increasing in intensity due to global warming, according to Kim Cobb, associate professor in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

How strong the 2014 El Niño will become is unclear. Gerald A. Meehl, senior scientist in the Climate and Global Dynamics Division at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, said that if it does turn out to be strong, there could be a greater chance of a new record global average temperature in 2015.


In the wake of deadly Nebraska tornadoes, NWS survey teams head out

June 17th, 2014 at 10:34 am by under Weather

The twin tornadoes that leveled the town of Pilger, Nebraska Monday night were quite evidently intense. But just how strong they were remains an unanswered question until National Weather Service survey teams can reconstruct the tornado’s path and carefully observe the damage.

Here’s a peek into what goes on during these surveys, courtesy of the NWS Omaha/Valley office:

Survey Teams Will Assess June 16 Tornado Damage

The National Weather Service office in Omaha/Valley, Nebraska, will send out two damage survey teams on Tuesday (June 17) to assess the damage from tornadoes on Monday afternoon, June 16.  The survey teams will analyze their information to determine the number of tornadoes, then the EF-scale intensity, path length, and path width for each tornado.  The results will be released through the next couple of days as they are available after complete analysis.  Thank you for your patience with our storm survey process — we want to provide the most accurate information!


Comprehensive look at the June 12th severe weather outbreak

June 15th, 2014 at 5:39 pm by under Weather

The National Weather Service has published an excellent review and analysis of the June 12th severe weather outbreak that produced tornadoes in Burnet County, and widespread wind damage in parts of the Austin metro area. Click on the image below to read it.

6-12 Severe weather event


Analysis indicates two tornado touchdowns in Burnet County

June 13th, 2014 at 8:36 pm by under Weather
PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
627 PM CDT FRI JUN 13 2014

...NWS DAMAGE SURVEY FOR 6/12/14 TORNADO EVENT - UPDATE 1...

.WATSON TORNADO...

RATING:                 EF-0
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND:    75 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/:  0.1 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/:   50 YARDS
FATALITIES:             0
INJURIES:               0

START DATE:             JUNE 12 2014 
START TIME:             8:18 PM CDT
START LOCATION:         1.5 W WATSON / BURNET COUNTY / TX
START LAT/LON:          30.9321 / -98.0402

END DATE:               JUNE 12 2014
END TIME:               8:19 PM CDT
END LOCATION:           1.5 W WATSON / BURNET COUNTY / TX
END LAT/LON:            30.9303 / -98.0400

SURVEY SUMMARY: U.S. NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS SURVEYED
DAMAGE WEST OF WATSON. THE SURVEY TEAM FOUND A SMALL WEAK EF0 TORNADO 
TOUCHED DOWN NEAR COUNTY ROAD 208. THE ONLY DAMAGE FOUND WAS TO 
HARDWOOD TREES. WINDS WERE ESTIMATED TO BE NEAR 75 MPH. 

.SHADY GROVE TORNADO...

RATING:                 EF-2
ESTIMATED PEAK WIND:    125 MPH
PATH LENGTH /STATUTE/:  1.7 MILES
PATH WIDTH /MAXIMUM/:   100 YARDS
FATALITIES:             0
INJURIES:               0

START DATE:             JUNE 12 2014
START TIME:             8:25 PM CDT
START LOCATION:         3.5 N SHADY GROVE / BURNET COUNTY / TX
START LAT/LON:          30.8685 / -98.0875

END DATE:               JUNE 12 2014
END TIME:               8:29 PM CDT
END LOCATION:           2.7 NNW SHADY GROVE / BURNET COUNTY / TX
END LAT/LON:            30.8507 / -98.1068

SURVEY SUMMARY: U.S. NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS SURVEYED
DAMAGE NORTH OF SHADY GROVE. THE SURVEY TEAM FOUND A STRONG TORNADO 
INITIALLY TOUCHED DOWN NORTH OF FM 963 NEAR BAR D TRAIL. DAMAGE TO A WIND
MILL...NUMEROUS TREES UPROOTED AND DAMAGE TO A METAL BARN WERE NOTED. A 
SINGLE FAMILY HOME ALSO LOST NUMEROUS SPANISH TILE SHINGLES FROM ITS ROOF.  
THE DAMAGE AT THIS LOCATION WAS NOTED TO BE EF1. THE TORNADO THEN TRACKED 
TO THE SOUTHWEST WHERE EF2 DAMAGE WAS NOTED TO A HOME TO THE EAST OF FM 
1174 ABOUT 0.5 MILES SOUTH OF THE INTERSECTION WITH FM 963. DAMAGE TO A 
SINGLE RESIDENCE HOUSE WAS OBSERVED. THE HOUSE WAS PICKED UP OFF ITS 
FOUNDATION OF ABOUT 30 PIERS AND LANDED ABOUT 100 YARDS TO THE S/SW OF 
THE ORIGINAL LOCATION. FIVE PEOPLE TOOK APPROPRIATE ACTIONS AND SOUGHT 
SHELTER IN THEIR BATHROOM. THE RESIDENTS EXPERIENCED ONLY VERY MINOR CUTS 
AND SCRAPES DESPITE THE SEVERITY OF THE DAMAGE TO THE HOME. THE TORNADO 
THEN CAUSED TREE DAMAGE ON THE WEST SIDE OF FM 1174 BEFORE LIFTING. MAXIMUM 
WINDS WERE ESTIMATED TO BE NEAR 125 MPH.

EF SCALE: THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES
TORNADOES INTO THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES.

EF0...WEAK......65 TO 85 MPH
EF1...WEAK......86 TO 110 MPH
EF2...STRONG....111 TO 135 MPH
EF3...STRONG....136 TO 165 MPH
EF4...VIOLENT...166 TO 200 MPH
EF5...VIOLENT...>200 MPH

NOTE:
THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO
CHANGE PENDING FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENTS AND PUBLICATION IN
NWS STORM DATA.

Hundreds of rainfall totals here

June 13th, 2014 at 5:26 pm by under Weather

You will find additional rainfall totals on our website by clicking here: http://kxan.com/weather/austin-area-rainfall-totals/

COCORAHS PRECIPITATION SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
1115 AM CDT FRI JUN 13 2014

COCORAHS PRECIPITATION REPORTS
THESE REPORTS ARE CONSIDERED SUPPLEMENTAL AND UNOFFICIAL
VALUES ARE FOR THE PREVIOUS 24 HOURS ENDING AROUND 7 AM LOCAL TIME
:
:                                               SNOW   SNOW  WATER
:                                        PCPN   FALL  DEPTH  EQUIV
:
TX-BRT-47 : KINGSLAND 3.4 SE         *   : 3.12 /  MM /   MM /   MM
TX-BRT-05 : MARBLE FALLS 0.7 NW      *   : 3.10 /  MM /   MM /   MM
TX-BRT-62 : SPICEWOOD 2.5 ENE        *   : 2.90 /  MM /   MM /   MM
TX-BRT-46 : SPICEWOOD 2.6 ESE        *   : 2.87 / 0.0 /   MM /   MM
TX-LL-37  : KINGSLAND 1.4 ESE        *   : 2.87 /  MM /   MM /   MM
TX-BRT-65 : GRANITE SHOALS 0.9 S     *   : 2.82 /  MM /   MM /   MM
 (more...)

Storm reports from Thursday night

June 13th, 2014 at 4:47 pm by under Weather
PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
419 PM CDT FRI JUN 13 2014

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

0630 PM     TORNADO          10 N LEAKEY             29.87N  99.76W
06/12/2014                   REAL               TX   BROADCAST MEDIA 

            BRIEF TOUCHDOWN... ROOF BLOWN OFF A HOME. 

0657 PM     HAIL             5 S ROCKSPRINGS         29.94N 100.22W
06/12/2014  E2.00 INCH       EDWARDS            TX   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            HAIL FALLING AT THE TIME OF THE REPORT. MOSTLY QUARTER 
            SIZE HAIL WITH A FEW AS BIG AS EGGS. 

0700 PM     HAIL             6 S ROCKSPRINGS         29.93N 100.21W
06/12/2014  M1.00 INCH       EDWARDS            TX   COCORAHS        

            ONE INCH SIZE HAIL ALONG WITH SOME TREE DAMAGE. 

0705 PM     HAIL             5 SSW ROCKSPRINGS       29.94N 100.23W
06/12/2014  E1.00 INCH       EDWARDS            TX   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            QUARTER SIZE HAIL CONTINUES. 

0720 PM     HAIL             6 S ROCKSPRINGS         29.93N 100.21W
06/12/2014  M0.50 INCH       EDWARDS            TX   COCORAHS        

            PEA TO HALF INCH SIZE HAIL. 

0753 PM     HAIL             2 S LEAKEY              29.70N  99.76W
06/12/2014  E1.50 INCH       REAL               TX   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            LARGE HAIL JUST ENDED AT THE TIME OF THE REPORT. 

0753 PM     TSTM WND DMG     2 S LEAKEY              29.70N  99.76W
06/12/2014                   REAL               TX   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            SEVERAL GOOD SIZE TREES DOWN WITH SEVERAL LIMBS OF 6 
            INCHES IN DIAMETER DOWN. 

0759 PM     HAIL             RIO FRIO                29.63N  99.73W
06/12/2014  E2.00 INCH       REAL               TX   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            LARGE HAIL REPORTED. 

0811 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     8 NW BRIGGS             30.93N  98.02W
06/12/2014                   BURNET             TX   STORM CHASER    

            BRIEF FUNNEL CLOUD REPORT SOUTH OF WATSON. 

0818 PM     TORNADO          7 WNW BRIGGS            30.91N  98.03W
06/12/2014                   BURNET             TX   STORM CHASER    

            TORNADO REPORTED ON THE GROUND BY SEVERAL STORM 
            CHASERS. 

0830 PM     TSTM WND DMG     6 NNW MARBLE FALLS      30.65N  98.31W
06/12/2014                   BURNET             TX   COCORAHS        

            TOP PORTION OF A WEAK CEDAR ELM BLOWN OVER...SEVERAL 6 
            INCH DIAMETER TREE BRANCHES TORE OFF TREES...STRAIGHT 
            LINE WINDS WERE OBSERVED 

0845 PM     HAIL             10 W BURNET             30.76N  98.40W
06/12/2014  E0.75 INCH       BURNET             TX   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            PENNY SIZE HAIL. 

0850 PM     TSTM WND DMG     CARTA VALLEY            29.80N 100.68W
06/12/2014                   EDWARDS            TX   CO-OP OBSERVER  

            WIND GUSTS ESTIMATED BETWEEN 60 AND 70 MPH BLEW THE 
            TOPS OF PORTIONS OF THEIR BARNS AND HORSE STALLS 

0900 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     9 N UVALDE              29.35N  99.78W
06/12/2014                   UVALDE             TX   EMERGENCY MNGR  

            SEVERAL FUNNEL CLOUDS SPOTTED. 

0900 PM     TSTM WND DMG     6 NNW MARBLE FALLS      30.66N  98.31W
06/12/2014                   BURNET             TX   COCORAHS        

            PORTION OF METAL ROOF PEELED BACK...10 INCH CEDAR ELM 
            BLOWN OVER...UP TO 10 INCH DIAMETER TREE BRANCHES TORE 
            OFF. TIME OF OCCURRENCE IS APPROXIMATE 

0910 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 N BERTRAM             30.81N  98.06W
06/12/2014                   BURNET             TX   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            NUMEROUS TREES DOWN AND DAMGE TO A HOME. OFF OF HIGHWAY 
            1174 NEAR JOPPA. 

0910 PM     TORNADO          4 N BERTRAM             30.80N  98.06W
06/12/2014                   BURNET             TX   BROADCAST MEDIA 

            UNCONFIRMED REPORT OF A TORNADO NEAR JOPPA. 

0915 PM     TSTM WND DMG     3 NW KYLE               30.02N  97.90W
06/12/2014                   HAYS               TX   COCORAHS        

            FOUR PANELS OF A WOOD PRIVACY FENCE BLOWN AWAY...A 
            LARGE ARIZONA ASH AND A LARGE RED OAK TREE BLOWN 
            DOWN...LOTS OF 6 INCH TREE BRANCHES TORE OFF... 

0920 PM     TSTM WND GST     4 NE ROUND MOUNTAIN     30.48N  98.32W
06/12/2014  M66 MPH          BLANCO             TX   AMATEUR RADIO   

            66 MPH WIND GUST. 

0934 PM     FUNNEL CLOUD     2 SW LEANDER            30.54N  97.88W
06/12/2014                   TRAVIS             TX   EMERGENCY MNGR  

            SEVERAL FUNNEL CLOUDS SEEN. 

0938 PM     TSTM WND DMG     1 S UVALDE              29.20N  99.79W
06/12/2014                   UVALDE             TX   EMERGENCY MNGR  

            LOSS OF POWER FOR MOST OF UVALDE... PLANES 
            OVERTURNED... LOTS OF HALF INCH SIZE HAIL AND VERY HIGH 
            WINDS. 

0945 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 S BRIARCLIFF          30.35N  98.05W
06/12/2014                   TRAVIS             TX   COCORAHS        

            20 PERCENT OF COMPOSITION SHINGLES ON ROOF BLOWN OFF 
            HOME 

0954 PM     TSTM WND DMG     5 E COMSTOCK            29.70N 101.09W
06/12/2014                   VAL VERDE          TX   LAW ENFORCEMENT 

            VERY STRONG WINDS... BLEW THE ROOF OF A HOME. 

1000 PM     TSTM WND DMG     6 S BEE CAVE            30.22N  97.95W
06/12/2014                   TRAVIS             TX   PUBLIC          

            NUMEROUS TREES BLOWN DOWN... ROWS OF FENCES BLOWN OVER. 

1000 PM     TSTM WND DMG     6 NE DRIFTWOOD          30.18N  97.96W
06/12/2014                   HAYS               TX   PUBLIC          

            WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH. SEVERAL ROOFS DAMAGE AND MANY 
            LARGE TREES DOWN. 

1008 PM     HAIL             4 NW ROUND ROCK         30.56N  97.72W
06/12/2014  E0.70 INCH       WILLIAMSON         TX   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            HALF INCH TO DIME SIZE HAIL. 

1015 PM     TSTM WND DMG     3 NE DRIPPING SPRINGS   30.22N  98.05W
06/12/2014                   HAYS               TX   COCORAHS        

            DAMAGE TO A 40 YEAR OLD CEDAR ELM...6 INCH DIAMETER OAK 
            TREE BRANCHES TORE OFF...STRAIGHT LINE WINDS OBSERVED 

1020 PM     TSTM WND DMG     4 NW TANGLEWOOD FOREST  30.21N  97.88W
06/12/2014                   TRAVIS             TX   COCORAHS        

            5 INCH BRANCHES TORE OFF SOME LACE BARK ELM TREES 

1023 PM     TSTM WND DMG     1 NW SEGUIN             29.59N  97.98W
06/12/2014                   GUADALUPE          TX   NEWSPAPER       

            PART OF THE HEXEL WAREHOUSE NEAR SEGUIN HAS MAJOR 
            DAMAGE. 

1025 PM     TSTM WND DMG     1 NNE CEDAR CREEK       30.09N  97.49W
06/12/2014                   BASTROP            TX   PUBLIC          

            SEVERAL VERY LARGE TREES BLOWN OVER. 

1030 PM     TSTM WND DMG     5 E DRIPPING SPRINGS    30.19N  98.00W
06/12/2014                   HAYS               TX   PUBLIC          

            MULTIPLE LARGE TREES SNAPPED AND UPROOTED. A WOODY 
            FENCE WAS BLOWN AT LEAST 30 YARDS AWAY. 

1039 PM     TSTM WND DMG     9 NE LOCKHART           29.97N  97.58W
06/12/2014                   CALDWELL           TX   TRAINED SPOTTER 

            POSSIBLE MICROBURST MOVED POTTED PLANTS...LARGE 
            SHRUBS...AND 300 LB YARD FURNITURE ALL IN DIFFERENT 
            DIRECTIONS. 

1045 PM     TSTM WND DMG     SAN LEANNA              30.14N  97.82W
06/12/2014                   TRAVIS             TX   COCORAHS        

            8 INCH DIAMETER CHINA BERRY TREE BLOWN DOWN...5 INCH 
            DIAMETER ELM TREE BLOWN DOWN...LOTS OF TREE DAMAGE IN 
            NEIGHBORHOOD...STRAIGHT LINE WINDS FROM NORTH TO SOUTH 
            WERE OBSERVED 

1114 PM     TSTM WND DMG     2 N KYLE                30.02N  97.87W
06/12/2014                   HAYS               TX   PUBLIC          

            NUMEROUS TREES BLOWN DOWN AND POWER LINES BETWEEN 
            KYLE... BUDA AND DRIPPING SPRINGS. 

1121 PM     TSTM WND DMG     2 S TIMBERWOOD PARK     29.68N  98.48W
06/12/2014                   BEXAR              TX   PUBLIC          

            TREES BLOWN INTO POWER LINES CAUSING LOSS OF POWER.

A new spin on mapping U.S. tornado touchdowns

June 10th, 2014 at 7:51 pm by under Weather

(Climate Central)

By

Tornadoes and Waffle House, the venerable greasy spoon breakfast establishment that is a staple of Southeast highway stops, may not seem to have much to do with one another (except for their occurrence in the Southeast). But a map showing the highest concentrations of the restaurant by latitude, which has been making the rounds on Twitter, inspired one meteorologist to look at tornadoes in the same way.

Tornado touchdowns in the United States between 1950 and 2013 by longitude.
Credit: Tim Brice/NWS El Paso

“My mind works in interesting ways. I came across this graphic of Waffle Houses by latitude and it got me thinking about how I could use a similar map related to weather,” Tim Brice, who created the maps, told Climate Central. “The first thing that came to mind was to show the latitude (and the longitude) of tornado touchdowns.”

And that’s just what he did. Using data available from the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center, Brice, a meteorologist with the NWS office in El Paso, Texas, sorted verified tornadoes by their latitude and longitude and came up with two bar graphs showing each, laid out over the proper coordinates on a U.S. map.

“I love a good map, so I took it as a challenge to come up with them,” Brice wrote in an email.

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The resulting graphics show pretty clearly where tornadoes are most common in the U.S. In the longitude map, a clear spike corresponds to the so-called Tornado Alley, stretching across the Plains states from the Dakotas down to Texas, with a second, smaller spike corresponding to Dixie Alley, covering much of the Southeast That incidentally corresponds with the biggest spike in Waffle House restaurants, proving the classic science proverb that correlation doesn’t always equal causation.

A third spike aligns with Florida and is likely due to a summertime spike in waterspouts and funnel clouds spun up by the strengthened sea breeze, said Harold Brooks, a tornado researcher and forecaster with the National Severe Storms Laboratory. The tornadoes that form in this manner in Florida aren’t fueled by supercell thunderstorms, the massive rotating systems that typically spawn tornadoes in main Alleys.

Tornado touchdowns in the United States between 1950 and 2013 by latitude.
Credit: Tim Brice/NWS El Paso

The latitude map also shows the northern and southern edges of the U.S. with relatively low tornado counts while the middle is where much of the action occurs, albeit with a slight dip near the dead center. That dip in the middle of this general peak could be explained by lower tornado occurrences that are seen in West Virginia and southern Missouri, Brooks told Climate Central.

Moisture coming up from the Gulf of Mexico, a key ingredient fueling the supercell thunderstorms that spawn tornadoes, generally runs up the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains, with less moisture available to the west of the ridges, including in West Virginia. According to NOAA statistics using 1991-2010 as the reference period, Virginia sees 18 tornadoes a year on average while West Virginia sees only 2 tornadoes.

Southern Missouri tends to have fewer tornadoes due to a bit of a fluke in geography. In the early part of the tornado season, tornado activity tends to follow something of an L-shape from the Southern Plains up into the Midwest. As the summer wears on, activity shifts northward into the Northern Plains and the Midwest. Southern Missouri ends up in between these two areas, Brooks said.

Brooks, who looks at tornado data constantly for his job, didn’t think that the latitude and longitude maps showed anything new, and would’ve liked to have seen the two sets combined into a 2-D map, instead of two 1-D maps. But he allowed that for those who aren’t as steeped in the ins and outs of tornadoes, the maps could help illustrate tornado risk.

Brice plans to follow up these maps with similar ones, showing the occurrence of tornadoes by the EF-scale by latitude and longitude.


After 13 years, NOAA-16 weather satellite retired

June 10th, 2014 at 12:45 pm by under Weather

noaa 16

After more than 13 years of helping predict weather and climate patterns and save lives in search and rescue operations, NOAA announced today it has turned off the NOAA-16 Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellite (POES). It was one of NOAA‘s longest operating spacecraft, which have a planned lifespan of three to five years.

NOAA-16 was launched in 2000 and replaced by NOAA-18 as the primary POES satellite in 2005. The shutdown will result in no data gap, as NOAA-16 was being used as a back-up satellite.

NOAA will continue operating multiple POES spacecraft – NOAA-15, NOAA-18 and NOAA-19 – in addition to Suomi NPP, which is now NOAA’s primary operational polar satellite. NOAA’s POES spacecraft fly a lower, pole-to-pole orbit, capturing atmospheric data from space that feed NOAA’s weather and climate prediction models.

The deactivation process of NOAA-16 started this morning, with the final shut down occurring today at 10:20 a.m. EDT. Launched in September 2000, NOAA-16 made 70,655 successful orbits of the globe, traveling more than 2.1 billion miles, while collecting huge amounts of valuable temperature, moisture and image data.

“NOAA-16 helped our forecasters detect the early stages of severe weather from tornadoes and snow storms to hurricanes, including the busiest hurricane season on record – 2005,” said Mary Kicza, assistant administrator of NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service. “NOAA-16’s long life is a credit to the engineers, who built and operated it and the technology that sustained it. Although NOAA-16 is retired, we still operate a dependable, robust fleet of satellites that continue to provide crucial data.”

NOAA-16 was also part of the international Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking (SARSAT)network of satellites. SARSAT, which began in 1982, has rescued more than 37,000 people worldwide, including more than 7,300 in the United States and its surrounding waters by detecting distress signals from emergency beacons.

NOAA exclusively operates afternoon polar orbit spacecraft, while its key international partner, the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), flies mid-morning orbit spacecraft. This teamwork results in significant savings for U.S. taxpayers, because sharing data helps produce more accurate and uniform data for forecasters. Through the Initial Joint Polar System agreement, NOAA and EUMETSAT established a shared satellite system by exchanging instruments and coordinating the operations of their polar-orbiting satellites to provide operational meteorological and environmental forecasting and global climate monitoring services worldwide.

NOAA and its partners at NASA are continuing to build the next generation of polar-orbiting satellites, the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS), which is scheduled to launch the JPSS-1 satellite in 2017.

NOAA’s JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advances for more accurate weather forecasting, helping build a Weather Ready Nation — saving lives and property, while promoting economic prosperity. JPSS provides continuity for critical observations of our vast atmosphere, oceans, land, and cryosphere — the frozen areas of the above planet. NOAA, working in partnership with NASA, ensures an unbroken series of global data for monitoring and forecasting environmental phenomena and understanding our Earth.


Rainfall totals from morning storms

June 9th, 2014 at 1:05 pm by under Weather

totals

 

The map above shows the morning rainfall totals from the LCRA Hydromet network.

Most areas received 0.50″ – 0.75″, but a storm spotter 1 mile north of Fredericksburg received 1.24″ in an hour and a half.

Rainfall totals from the official observing sites in Travis County as of 1:00 PM are listed below:

ABIA - 0.09″

Camp Mabry - 0.45″

Storms may redevelop this afternoon with the possibility of large hail and damaging winds. Stay on top of the KXAN Interactive Radar through the day.

 


June bird forecast

June 6th, 2014 at 10:30 pm by under Weather

What to watch for in June: White-eyed Vireos

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.

White-eyed Vireo photo by Kelly Colgan Azar via Creative Commons

White-eyed Vireo photo by Kelly Colgan Azar via Creative Commons

Listen for the vireos

Here for the summer is the White-eyed Vireo, a small and secretive songbird that usually sticks to the scrub and overgrown fields. It is olive-green on top and yellow on the sides, with a white throat and white rings around its eyes. Look for them on the grounds of Laguna Gloria and in St. Edward’s Park, both in West Austin. You might hear a White-eyed Vireo before you see it, though: It’s known for an explosive sharp song filled with buzzes and chirps. The Audubon website says it might sound like “chip-a-wheeoo-chip” or “quick, give me a rain check!”

Birds behaving like children

There are many newly fledged birds out and about now, from large awkward grackles to squatty screech owls to tiny titmice. If you see or hear a birdy commotion in your yard, it might be a family of titmice, chickadees or wrens. The young trail the parents around, fluttering their wings and begging for food. Mom and Dad play “follow the leader” with their offspring, flying from branch to branch and getting the youngsters to follow. They may not always stick the landings, but practice makes perfect.

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

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

Beginner’s Bird Walk — Zilker Botanical Gardens

Saturday, June 7, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Monthly Bird Count at Hornsby Bend

Saturday, June 14, 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Hornsby Bend Monthly Bird Walk

Saturday, June 21, 7:30 to 11 a.m.

Compiled by Travis Audubon volunteers Jane Tillman and Raeanne Martinez