Weather

Winter storm watch / Winter weather advisory for Hill Country

December 30th, 2014 at 8:44 am by under Weather

From our local National Weather Service:

Winter Storm Watch (Llano, Burnet, Gillespie, Blanco counties)


URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
412 AM CST TUE DEC 30 2014

...FREEZING RAIN POSSIBLE ACROSS THE HILL COUNTRY LATE NEW YEARS
EVE INTO NEW YEARS DAY...

.A SHALLOW...COLD...ARCTIC AIRMASS WILL SETTLE INTO SOUTH-CENTRAL
TEXAS LATER TODAY AND TONIGHT. WARM...MOIST AIR ABOVE THIS
AIRMASS...ALONG WITH AN UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE...WILL RESULT IN
FREEZING RAIN DEVELOPING ACROSS THE HILL COUNTRY LATE NEW YEARS
EVE INTO MIDDAY NEW YEARS DAY...ALONG AND NORTH OF A COMSTOCK TO
BOERNE TO BRUNET LINE. THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR FREEZING RAIN
EXTENDING FARTHER EAST TO NEAR A HELOTES TO WIMBERLY TO GEORGETOWN
LINE. IN ADDITION...THERE IS A SLIGHT CHANCE LIGHT SLEET MAY MIX
IN WITH THE FREEZING RAIN ACROSS NORTHERN AREAS OF THE HILL
COUNTRY. ICE ACCUMULATIONS WILL AVERAGE A TRACE TO 1/10 OF AN
INCH. HOWEVER...THERE MAY BE A BAND OF SLIGHTLY HIGHER
ACCUMULATION ACROSS THE NORTHERN HILL COUNTRY.

TXZ171-172-183>190-302200-
/O.NEW.KEWX.WS.A.0002.150101T0000Z-150101T1800Z/
LLANO-BURNET-VAL VERDE-EDWARDS-REAL-KERR-BANDERA-GILLESPIE-
KENDALL-BLANCO-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...LLANO...BURNET...DEL RIO...
ROCKSPRINGS...LEAKEY...KERRVILLE...BANDERA...FREDERICKSBURG...
BOERNE...BLANCO
412 AM CST TUE DEC 30 2014

...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH
THURSDAY MORNING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO HAS ISSUED A
WINTER STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING
THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING.

* TIMING...WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH MIDDAY THURSDAY (LATE NEW YEARS
  EVE INTO NEW YEARS DAY)

* MAIN IMPACT...FREEZING RAIN MAY ACCUMULATE ON MANY ELEVATED
  SURFACES AND ROADWAYS...ESPECIALLY BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES ACROSS
  THE HILL COUNTRY.

* OTHER IMPACTS...ICE ACCUMULATIONS WILL AVERAGE A TRACE TO 1/10
  OF AN INCH. HOWEVER...THERE MAY BE A BAND OF SLIGHTLY HIGHER
  ACCUMULATION ACROSS THE NORTHERN HILL COUNTRY. IN ADDITION...THERE
  IS A SLIGHT CHANCE LIGHT SLEET COULD MIX IN ACROSS THE NORTHERN
  HILL COUNTRY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT
SNOW...SLEET...OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL.
CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.

Winter Weather Advisory (Mason, San Saba counties)


URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN ANGELO TX
419 AM CST TUE DEC 30 2014

...WINTER WEATHER EXPECTED TODAY THROUGH THURSDAY...

.AREAS OF FREEZING DRIZZLE OR LIGHT FREEZING RAIN ARE EXPECTED TO
DEVELOP LATER THIS MORNING OR AFTERNOON...MAINLY NORTH OF A
MERTZON TO ABILENE LINE. THIS LIGHT FREEZING PRECIPITATION IS
EXPECTED TO EXPAND ACROSS THE REST OF THE AREA TONIGHT...WITH SOME
LIGHT SLEET ALSO POSSIBLE FOR THE BIG COUNTRY TONIGHT. A SLIGHT
LULL IS POSSIBLE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON WITH ADDITIONAL POTENTIALLY
HEAVIER PRECIPITATION WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO THURSDAY MORNING...
ESPECIALLY FOR THE INTERSTATE 10 CORRIDOR. LIGHT ICE ACCUMULATIONS
WILL BE POSSIBLE ON AREA ROADWAYS...ESPECIALLY BRIDGES AND
OVERPASSES...AS WELL AS POWER LINES AND EXPOSED METAL SURFACES.
HAZARDOUS TRAVEL CONDITIONS WILL LIKELY DEVELOP FROM THESE LIGHT
ICE ACCUMULATIONS FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING.

TXZ049-054-064-065-071-072-098-099-113-114-127-128-302200-
/O.NEW.KSJT.WW.Y.0012.141230T1800Z-150101T1800Z/
FISHER-NOLAN-STERLING-COKE-IRION-TOM GREEN-HASKELL-THROCKMORTON-
JONES-SHACKELFORD-TAYLOR-CALLAHAN-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...ROTAN...ROBY...SWEETWATER...
STERLING CITY...ROBERT LEE...BRONTE...MERTZON...SAN ANGELO...
HASKELL...THROCKMORTON...WOODSON...STAMFORD...ANSON...HAMLIN...
ALBANY...ABILENE...CLYDE...BAIRD...CROSS PLAINS
419 AM CST TUE DEC 30 2014

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO NOON CST
THURSDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN ANGELO HAS ISSUED A WINTER
WEATHER ADVISORY FOR FREEZING DRIZZLE...LIGHT FREEZING RAIN...AND
LIGHT SLEET...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TODAY TO NOON CST THURSDAY.

* IMPACTS: LIGHT ACCUMULATIONS OF ICE ON AREA ROADWAYS...PRIMARILY
  BRIDGES AND OVERPASSES...EXPOSED METAL SURFACES...AND POWER
  LINES.

* TIMING: THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THURSDAY.

* ACCUMULATIONS: UP TO ONE TENTH OF AN INCH THROUGH THURSDAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW...SLEET...OR
FREEZING RAIN WILL CAUSE TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR
SLIPPERY ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES AND USE CAUTION WHILE
DRIVING.

Arctic cold may be followed by icy weather

December 29th, 2014 at 10:27 pm by under Weather

Light freezing drizzle and light freezing rain will be possible across the northern Hill Country early Wednesday morning. Accumulations will be very light, with travel impacts minor.

Models continue to advertise an arctic airmass plunging south out of Canada and through the Central Plains of the U.S. on the 29th, arriving into South-Central Texas on the 30th. Cold, below normal temperatures are forecast across South-Central Texas from Dec 30th through Jan 2nd.
—————————–
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT...UPDATED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX

LLANO-BURNET-WILLIAMSON-VAL VERDE-EDWARDS-REAL-KERR-BANDERA-
GILLESPIE-KENDALL-BLANCO-HAYS-TRAVIS-BASTROP-LEE-KINNEY-UVALDE-
MEDINA-BEXAR-COMAL-GUADALUPE-CALDWELL-FAYETTE-MAVERICK-ZAVALA-
FRIO-ATASCOSA-WILSON-KARNES-GONZALES-DE WITT-LAVACA-DIMMIT-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...LLANO...BURNET...GEORGETOWN...DEL RIO...
ROCKSPRINGS...LEAKEY...KERRVILLE...BANDERA...FREDERICKSBURG...
BOERNE...BLANCO...SAN MARCOS...AUSTIN...BASTROP...GIDDINGS...
BRACKETTVILLE...UVALDE...HONDO...SAN ANTONIO...NEW BRAUNFELS...
SEGUIN...LOCKHART...LA GRANGE...EAGLE PASS...CRYSTAL CITY...
PEARSALL...PLEASANTON...FLORESVILLE...KARNES CITY...GONZALES...
CUERO...HALLETTSVILLE...CARRIZO SPRINGS
926 PM CST MON DEC 29 2014

...ARCTIC AIRMASS WILL BRING COLD TEMPERATURES TO SOUTH-CENTRAL TEXAS
TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY...
...POTENTIAL FOR FREEZING RAIN ACROSS THE HILL COUNTRY AND ALONG
THE ESCARPMENT LATE TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING...

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Potential for icing New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day

December 29th, 2014 at 9:43 am by under Weather
nws blog
DISCUSSION
Arctic air is building in northwest Canada and the Northern Plains of the U.S. The cold air will spill into the Southern Plains tonight and into our area on Tuesday. We will start to see the effects of the arctic push on Tuesday as temperatures fall and the arctic air stays in place through at least Thursday.
High temperatures will likely stay in the mid 30s to low 40s Wednesday and Thursday, and if the arctic air is colder than advertised some areas over the Hill Country may struggle to make it above freezing. At the same time, an upper level storm system will move into the western U.S. Tuesday and Wednesday, and create overrunning clouds and possible light precipitation for us starting Tuesday Night. Disturbances in the upper flow may cause some enhanced areas of precipitation late Wednesday night into Thursday morning (New Years Day morning). Better chances of precipitation will occur Thursday night through Friday night as the upper storm system crosses the desert Southwest and then into Texas, but precipitation during this time frame should remain all liquid.
All residents need to monitor the forecast closely this upcoming week for possible winter weather advisories/watches/warnings. There may be travel impacts, especially on New Year’s Eve night going into New Year’s Day.

First sleet of the season for some Sunday morning

December 28th, 2014 at 9:38 am by under Weather

12-28 SLEET

An upper-level disturbance overriding cold air at the surface in the wake of Saturday’s strong front produced a chilly rain that mixed with sleet at times Sunday morning.

Here is a closer view of the local radar around 6 a.m. Sunday, when temperatures were coldest and precipitation was most widespread. The green and yellow colors indicate light/moderate rain, while the white and pink shadings in the Hill Country indicate radar-indicated sleet mixing in:

12-28 sleet dma

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Rising sea levels threaten low-lying Pacific island

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

The people of Kirbati might not sink under the waves, but they will nevertheless have to become more mobile, and new kinds of housing designs can help.

Kiribati, an island nation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, is one of the earliest clear-cut victims of climate change. The highest points on the main island are no more than two meters above sea level. Earlier this year, the president of Kiribati made headlines for spending $8.7 million on a piece of land in Fiji as a place to send climate refugees when waters rise.

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Austin flood safety poster contest for kids

December 26th, 2014 at 7:39 pm by under Weather

The City of Austin is holding its annual Flood Safety Poster Contest. Kids, grades 1 to 8, can enter their posters, illustrating the theme, “Save Yourself! Turn Around – Don’t Drown,” and have a chance to win several great prizes.

Purpose

This contest is an important way to educate students about the risk of flooding that we all face in Central Texas. Flooding is Austin’s top weather-related emergency and the number-one cause of weather-related fatalities.

Great Prizes

  • Gift card, $100 to $25 for first, second, third and fouth place winners.
  • Ride on Lady Bird Lake in a swift water rescue boat with an emergency responder
  • First place posters will be printed on a CapMetro bus.

Photo of previous contest winners on boat ride.

Guidelines

  • 8 ½ by 11 paper, brightly colored, in landscape orientation.
  • Encourages people to turn around and not drive through flooded roads.
  • Either  “Save Yourself! Turn Around – Don’t Drown” or “¡Sálvate! Es mejor regresarte – que ahogarte” should be the headline.
  • Due Tues., March 24, 2015 (in our hands, not post-marked).
  • Download Poster Contest Guidelines or Concurso de pancartas.

Information to Include on Back of Poster

  • Child’s name and grade
  • Parent’s or guardian’s name, phone number, email and address
  • School and teacher’s name, phone number and email

Submitting Artwork

  • Mail to City of Austin, WPD, Attn: Joan Esquivel, P.O. Box 1088, Austin, TX 78767
  • Drop off at One Texas Center, 505 Barton Springs Road, 12th Floor, Austin, TX 78704
  • Submit computer-generated artwork online
  • Must be received by March 24, 2015

Note: Artwork will become the property of the City of Austin and will not be returned.

Categories

  • Grade 1 and 2
  • Grade 3 to 5
  • Grade 6 to 8

Sponsors

The contest is sponsored by the City of Austin, the Texas Floodplain Management Association, the National Weather Service, the LCRA and the U.S. Geological Survey.


Top 10 weather stories of 2014

December 26th, 2014 at 11:39 am by under Weather

Wunderground.com:

#1: Earth Likely Had Its Warmest Year on Record 
The year 2014 has made it very apparent that global warming has not stopped, as the year-to-date-period January – November 2014 was Earth’s warmest such period since record keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). If December is at least 0.42°C (0.76°F) higher than its 20th century average, 2014 will surpass 2005 and 2010 as the warmest year on record; the departure of temperature from average during the first three weeks of December has exceeded that mark, making it likely that 2014 will end up as the warmest year on record in NOAA’s reckoning. The average global sea surface temperature was the highest for January – November in the 135-year period of record, due in large part to seven consecutive months (May – November) of record warmth. Remarkably, the record-warm global temperatures of 2014 occurred in the absence of El Niño, a large-scale warming of the eastern and central equatorial Pacific Ocean that historically has been present whenever an extended period of record-warm global temperatures have occurred.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for January – November 2014, the warmest such period for the globe since record keeping began in 1880. Portions of every continent with good data were record warm, particularly for Europe. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .

#2: Monsoon Floods in the India-Pakistan Border Region Kill 648

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Hurricane-forecasting legend dies at age 102

December 25th, 2014 at 8:35 am by under Weather

(Dr. Jeff Masters, wunderground.com)

Dr. Robert Simpson, one of the originators of the familiar Saffir-Simpson scale, passed away peacefully in his sleep today at the age of 102. Dr. Simpson began his meteorology career in 1940. During the early 1950s, he urged the U.S. Weather Bureau management to fund modest levels of hurricane research, but budgets didn’t allow this. However, the devastating 1954 Atlantic hurricane season changed the minds of several New England congressmen. A special appropriation was passed to improve the Weather Bureau’s hurricane warning system, and Bob Simpson was appointed to head up the National Hurricane Research Project in 1955. He held that post until 1959, when he left the Project to finish his doctorate in meteorology at the University of Chicago. Bob led Project Stormfury in the early 1960s, which explored the use of cloud seeding to modify hurricanes. Although Stormfury failed in its goal of reducing the destructiveness of hurricanes, the observational data and storm lifecycle research helped improve hurricane track and intensity forecasts. Bob went on to become the director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) from 1967 – 1974.


Figure 1. Bob Simpson (seated) with (from left to right) NHC hurricane specialists Dan Brown, John Cangialosi, Eric Blake, Todd Kimberlain; hurricane scientist Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State; and former NHC director Max Mayfield. Photo taken by Bill Thorson in April 2012 at the 30th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology of the American Meteorological Society in Ponte Verda Beach, Florida.

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Track Santa with NORAD

December 24th, 2014 at 4:39 pm by under Weather

Click on the image below to track Santa with NORAD. Read more below about the history of NORAD’s Santa tracking.

NORAD

Why we track Santa

For more than 50 years, NORAD and its predecessor, the Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) have tracked Santa’s flight.

In Memory of Retired Colonel Harry Shoup, NORAD’s First Santa Tracker
September 29, 1917 – March 14, 2009

The tradition began in 1955 after a Colorado Springs-based Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement misprinted the telephone number for children to call Santa. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone number put kids through to the CONAD Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” The Director of Operations at the time, Colonel Harry Shoup, had his staff check the radar for indications of Santa making his way south from the North Pole. Children who called were given updates on his location, and a tradition was born.

In 1958, the governments of Canada and the United States created a bi-national air defense command for North America called the North American Aerospace Defense Command, also known as NORAD, which then took on the tradition of tracking Santa.

Since that time, NORAD men, women, family and friends have selflessly volunteered their time to personally respond to phone calls and emails from children all around the world. In addition, we now track Santa using the internet. Millions of people who want to know Santa’s whereabouts now visit the NORAD Tracks Santa® website.

Finally, media from all over the world rely on NORAD as a trusted source to provide updates on Santa’s journey.


NORAD’s Santa Tracker Counting Down To Takeoff

December 23rd, 2014 at 10:49 am by under Weather

NORAD logo

Every Christmas Eve, kids from around the world  keep track of Santa’s location with the help of NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command).  With a sophisticated system of jet fighters, satellites, and their state of the art radar system, NORAD can follow Santa and his reindeer around the world with their Santa Cams.  

 

NORAD jetNORAD radar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their work begins as soon as Santa’s sleigh takes to the air from the North Pole.  Their job, in today’s world, is much more complicated than it was back in the mid 1950′s when the program began.  Today’s “Santa Trackers” live stream Old St. Nick’s flight,over their website WWW.NORADSANTA.ORG.  They will follow him, Rouldolph, Blitzen, and the rest of the gang as they deliver gifts to all the boys and girls around the world.  At least to the ones that have been well behaved enough to be on Santa’s famous “good/nice list.”  Santa’s delivery trail, which is carefully calculated throughout the year by Master Elves, Mrs. Clause and the big man himself, must be as efficient as possible, or his job will not be completed on time.   To make sure no mistakes are made, Santa makes sure to check his “good/nice list”  list twice before leaving his wintry home, so no detours need to be taken. 

 

Santa's Village

Back in the 1950′s, before the days of the internet (those days did in fact exist) Airmen at NORAD used to answer phone calls and letters from children, asking about Santa’s position on the globe.  To this day, NORAD airmen still keep the old traditions alive, while incorporating today’s technology.  Letters, Phone calls, and  emails are answered for a 24 hour period, and the Internet website is updated every second of the day, so that Santa’s every move can be tracked by the children of the world, waiting patiently with their milk and warm cookies in hand.  

 

NORAD Headquarters

 

The countdown is on!! If you would like, before the reindeer pull the sleigh from the snowy ground, you can play fun Christmas games on NORAD’s website.  This helps in keeping the nerves down until Santa delivers YOUR presents!! 

 

NORAD Track Santa Boiler Room