Weather

Once again, the least rain falls where it is needed most

March 9th, 2015 at 6:49 pm by under Weather

While most of the Austin metro area and counties east of IH-35 received 2-3 inches of rain or more, the Colorado River basin upstream from Austin received much less, with most locations west of US-281 recording less than an inch. Mason received only .17″.

As with most storm systems over recent years, little runoff will be generated by this latest Hill Country rainfall, extending the worst drought in the history of the Highland Lakes.  Below are rainfall totals from Monday’s storm. Click here to see hundreds more totals.

3-9 Hill Co rain totals

3-9 Metro rain totals

3-9 East rain totals


Rainfall so far Monday

March 9th, 2015 at 11:47 am by under Weather

Here’s a look at unofficial rainfall totals across the area since midnight, valid at 11 AM on Monday, March 9.

EASTERN COUNTIES:

3-9 East

HILL COUNTRY:

3-9 Hill

METRO:

3-9 Metro


Major rain event Monday, includes a Flash Food Watch

March 9th, 2015 at 10:02 am by under Weather

From the National Weather Service:

Headline:

 

…Widespread Rainfall Today…

…Locally Heavy Rainfall Possible Mainly East of Interstate 35 – Flash Flood Watch Remains in Effect…

Area of Concern:

Greatest threat for locally heavy rainfall and flash flooding today will be east of Interstate 35, or along and east of an Elgin to Lockhart to Floresville line.  

 

Threats & Impacts:

Rainfall:  Additional widespread rainfall amounts of 2-3 inches, with isolated amounts up to 5 inches, along and east of an Elgin to Lockhart to Floresville line.  1-2 inches along Interstate 35 from Austin to San Antonio.  Much lesser amounts of 1/4 to 1/2 inch will occur farther northwest, along the Rio Grande and across the northern Hill Country.

Impacts:  Rapid runoff from these heavy rains could result in flash flooding of creeks and streams, low water crossings, and urban areas normally prone to flooding, as well as a pose a threat to life and property.  Locations in the Flash Flood Watch area (outlined in the green box on the attached map) will have the greatest risk of seeing these impacts, especially those areas mentioned in the Area of Concern above.

Inline image 1

Timing and Overview:

Models have trended farther east with the heavy rainfall today, and radar trends this morning are backing this up.  Yesterday and overnight most of the heavier rainfall amounts fell roughly along a Schullenburg to Cuero to Kenedy line, where radar has estimated 1 to 2 inches, with isolated amounts up to 3 inches, has already occurred as of 5 AM this morning.  Along the Interstate 35 corridor, from Austin to San Antonio, radar has estimated 1/2 to 1 inch has occurred as of 5 AM this morning.

Additional rainfall amounts of 2 to 3 inches, with isolated pockets of up to 5 inches, are possible today along and east of an Elgin to Lockhart to Floresville line.  These amounts will be on top of what has already fallen.  Between 1 and 2 inches are possible along Interstate 35.

Drier air is still forecast to move into the area from west to east tonight.

Confidence:

 

  • Moderate on additional Rainfall Amounts
  • Moderate on Flash Flooding

 

Additional Information Resources:

 

From the KXAN First Warning Weather Team:

3-9 FFW

 

 

1 SPC

As of 7:40 AM local time on Monday:

3-9 RECORD


An In Depth Look At Our Flash Flood Potential

March 8th, 2015 at 9:49 pm by under Weather

Here is the very latest from the National Weather Service, in regards to the FLASH FLOOD WATCH that covers over half of the KXAN viewing area.  Also, take a look at the two in house models we have here in the KXAN First Warning Weather Center.  If these prove to be correct, some rain gauges, and low water crossings may be overflowing  tomorrow afternoon.

LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL TONIGHT THROUGH MONDAY......
A SERIES OF DISTURBANCES WILL INTERACT WITH A PLUME OF MOISTURE
FROM THE PACIFIC AND WILL CONTINUE TO PRODUCE ROUNDS OF SHOWERS
AND ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS SOUTH-CENTRAL TEXAS THIS
AFTERNOON THROUGH EARLY MONDAY EVENING. THE HEAVIEST RAINFALL IS
LIKELY TO OCCUR LATE TONIGHT THROUGH MONDAY AFTERNOON. DRIER
CONDITIONS WORK INTO THE AREA MONDAY NIGHT FROM WEST TO EAST.
FLASH FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM CDT THIS EVENING
THROUGH MONDAY EVENING...

THE FLASH FLOOD WATCH CONTINUES FOR

* A PORTION OF SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS...INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING
  AREAS...ATASCOSA...BANDERA...BASTROP...BEXAR...BLANCO...
  BURNET...CALDWELL...COMAL...DE WITT...FAYETTE...FRIO...
  GONZALES...GUADALUPE...HAYS...KARNES...KENDALL...LAVACA...
  LEE...MEDINA...TRAVIS...WILLIAMSON AND WILSON.

* NOW THROUGH MONDAY EVENING

* WIDESPREAD 2 TO 4 INCHES OF RAINFALL IS EXPECTED WITH ISOLATED
  POCKETS UP TO 6 INCHES.

* RAPID RUNOFF FROM THESE HEAVY RAINS COULD RESULT IN FLASH
  FLOODING OF CREEKS AND STREAMS...LOW WATER CROSSINGS...URBAN
  AREAS NORMALLY SUBJECT TO FLOODING...AS WELL AS A THREAT TO
  LIFE AND PROPERTY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS FLASH FLOODING IS POSSIBLE IN OR NEAR
THE WATCH AREA. IF YOU ARE IN THE WATCH AREA...PLAN NOW FOR WHAT
YOU WILL DO IF FLASH FLOODING DEVELOPS. STAY INFORMED AND BE
READY TO ACT IF YOU SEE FLOODING OR IF A FLASH FLOOD WARNING IS
ISSUED.

2-7 Temps

1 SPC

3-8 FFW

one

1 SPC


Flash flooding possible Sunday, Monday

March 8th, 2015 at 10:39 am by under Weather

Light rain is likely to pick up in intensity by Sunday afternoon/evening. After midnight, heavy rainfall is possible for areas, mainly along and east of the I-35 corridor. Rainfall will be heaviest on Monday morning. This is why a FLASH FLOOD WATCH has been issued for Travis, Williamson, Hays, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Lee, Bastrop and Fayette counties from 7 PM Sunday until 7 PM Monday.

3-8 FFW

This is what our friends at the National Weather Service have to say on the issue:

Headline:

 

…Widespread Rainfall Today through Monday…

…Locally Heavy Rainfall Possible Tonight and Monday – Flash Flood Watch Posted…

Area of Concern:

Along and east of a Burnet to Boerne to Pearsall line.  This includes the Austin and San Antonio metro areas.

 

Threats & Impacts:

Rainfall:  Widespread amounts of 2-4 inches in the area of concern.  Isolated pockets up to 6 inches along and east of Interstate 35.  Much lesser amounts of 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches will occur farther northwest…along the Rio Grande and across the northern Hill Country.

Impacts:  Rapid runoff from these heavy rains could result in flash flooding of creeks and streams, low water crossings, and urban areas normally prone to flooding, as well as a pose a threat to life and property.  Those locations in the Flash Flood Watch area (outlined in the green box on the attached map) will have the greatest risk of seeing these impacts.

Timing and Overview:

An upper level storm system will interact with abundant moisture from both the Gulf of Mexico and Pacific Ocean today through early Monday evening.  An impressive tap of moisture was seen on satellite early Sunday morning streaming out of the Pacific, across Mexico and into South-Central Texas.  Several rounds of showers and isolated thunderstorms are possible today through early Monday evening.  The heaviest rainfall is likely to come late Sunday night through Monday afternoon.  The most favorable areas for locally heavy rainfall and potential flash flooding will be along and east of Interstate 35.  Drier air will move into the area from west to east Monday night.

Confidence:

 

  • Moderate to High on Rainfall Amounts
  • Moderate on Flash Flooding

 

Additional Information Resources:

 

Here’s a look at one of highest-resolution models, which depicts Austin getting 3.6″ of new rainfall by 11 PM Monday night:

Rainfall totals DMA 3-8

 

Join the First Warning Weather Team Sunday night and again Monday morning to hear about any shifts in the heavy rainfall line!


Record low Friday morning at ABIA

March 6th, 2015 at 7:34 am by under Weather

3-6 rec low

Clear skies, calm winds and very dry Arctic air allowed for a new record low temperature this morning at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Some creek bottoms in the Hill Country were as cold as 15 degrees.

The Austin metro area also dipped into the 20s this morning — our coldest start since January 8!


Elusive El Nino finally arrives

March 5th, 2015 at 9:45 am by under Weather

sst blog

NOAA - March 5, 2015

The long-anticipated El Niño has finally arrived, according to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. In their updated monthly outlook released today, forecasters issued an El Niño Advisory to declare the arrival of the ocean-atmospheric phenomenon marked by warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean near the equator.

(more…)


Winter Storm Warnings and Advisories for KXAN viewing area

March 4th, 2015 at 4:05 pm by under Weather
Click for latest Composite Reflectivity radar image from the Austin/San Antonio, TX radar and current weather warnings

A strong cold front will move through south central Texas Wednesday evening. Much colder air will follow behind the cold front with sub-freezing temperatures reaching the Hill Country in the evening. The cold air continues to plunge southward overnight with sub- freezing temperatures reaching a Del Rio to near San Antonio to Giddings line by sunrise Thursday morning. A wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet is expected to begin Wednesday evening in the Hill Country, then drop southward to near the U.S. Highway 90 corridor. The best chance for accumulations of ice will be across the Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor northeast of San Antonio. Please continue to monitor the forecast for the latest information and updates regarding this potential winter weather event.
——————————-
——————————-

Cold air will continue to move south across the region this afternoon as light precipitation continues. As temperatures continue to fall, light rain will change over to freezing rain from northwest to southeast. Freezing rain is expected to persist for a couple of hours before changing over to sleet. Precipitation is expected to fall as sleet for 4-5 hours before transitioning over to light snow for a couple of hours. After a couple of hours of snow, precipitation is expected to end from northwest to southeast across the region. For locations located in the purple are expected to receive the greatest amounts of sleet and snow accumulations, with some light ice accumulations possible as well. These locations are the most likely see widespread hazardous driving conditions develop from this evening through the overnight hours. Ice and sleet accumulations are expected to be high enough to create hazardous driving conditions on most road surfaces. Spotty power outages are also possible due to the combination of light ice accumulations on power lines combined with strong northerly winds of 25 to 30 mph, gusting to 40 mph. This area of highest impact includes locations along and north of a line from Hamilton to Hillsboro to Canton. Locations shaded in blue are expected to receive primarily localized impacts from ice and sleet accumulations because the temperatures will remain warmest here, making for the lowest amount of expected ice/sleet and snow accumulations. This generally includes locations along and southeast of a line from Cameron to Groesbeck to Palestine. For locations in between the blue and purple shaded areas…you are included in the yellow shaded area. This includes the Lampasas-Killeen-Temple-Waco areas to the northeast to Corsicana and Athens. These locations are not expected to see as much in the way of sleet and snow accumulations, but are more likely to see higher ice accumulations due to freezing rain. While hazardous driving conditions may not be as widespread as locations shaded in purple, bridges and overpasses will be very difficult if not impossible to drive on. Power outages are more likely in the yellow shaded areas because higher ice accumulation totals on powerlines with strong northerly winds is more likely to cause damage to the power delivery system. Precipitation is expected to end from northwest to southeast Thursday morning. Whatever is on the roads at that time will likely remain in place through Thursday morning as temperatures will not climb above freezing for most locations until after noon.
———————————-

Wintry precipitation is expected across much of West Central Texas beginning this afternoon and continuing through tonight. The primary impact will be icy roadways.
From our partners at the National Weather Service:

 Headline:

  • Temperatures now freezing across the northern Hill Country, and will reach freezing across remainder of Hill Country and Austin area by midnight.  Sleet now being reported.
  • Icing Impacts Highly Likely Across the Hill Country and Central Texas, including Austin metro.

Area of Concern:

Cold Arctic Air - All of South Central Texas

Frozen Precipitation A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for locations along and north of a Comstock to Boerne to San Marcos to Austin line.  A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for areas along a line from Del Rio to northern San Antonio to Giddings.

Gusty Winds - A Wind Advisory is in effect for the same locations under a Winter Weather Advisory or Winter Storm Warning. 

Threats & Impacts:

Ice Accumulations and Impacts (see attached map):

  • Winter Storm Warning Area:  Ice Accumulations 1/10 of an inch.  Some isolated locations could receive up to 1/4 of an inch in the Winter Storm Warning area.  Many bridges and overpasses will experience icing.  Some main traveled roads could experience patchy icy spots.  Moderate to major travel impacts expected.  For isolated locations that receive greater than a tenth of an inch of ice accumulations, the high winds with gusts above 35 MPH may cause tree limbs to break easier and some spotty power outages could be possible.
  • Winter Weather Advisory Area:  Ice accumulations from a Trace to 1/8 of an inch, mainly on elevated metal surfaces and bridges and overpasses.  Minor travel impacts possible.

Timing and Overview:

Now through Noon Thursday.

An upper level storm system is currently moving into the region behind a strong cold front.  Temperatures have fallen to freezing across the northern Hill Country and will reach the freezing mark across the remainder of the Hill Country and Austin metro by or shortly after midnight.  Showers and isolated thunderstorms are moving out of Mexico and into the Hill Country, and will approach the I-35 corridor by midnight.  Sleet accumulating has been reported now across portions of the Hill Country.  A mix of freezing rain and sleet is likely in the warning area overnight.

Models this evening are trending slightly quicker with precipitation ending.  We are currently forecasting precipitation to end from west to east between 4 AM and 7 AM.

North winds will continue to gusty overnight up to 40 mph.

Confidence:

Arctic Air – High

Frozen Precipitation Amounts/Area - Moderate-High


WINTER STORM WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES

March 4th, 2015 at 11:02 am by under Weather

Here is the latest information from the National Weather Service as of 11:00AM Wednesday:

 

NWS

one

WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO NOON
CST THURSDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO HAS ISSUED A
WINTER STORM WARNING FOR FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET...WHICH IS IN
EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO NOON CST THURSDAY.

* TIMING...ARCTIC AIR WILL POUR INTO THE AREA AFTER 6
  PM...FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET SHOULD BEGIN AROUND MIDNIGHT AND
  CONTINUE THROUGH NOON THURSDAY. TEMPERATURES SHOULD RISE ABOVE
  FREEZING AFTER NOON THURSDAY.

* MAIN IMPACT...FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET CAUSING ICING OF 1/10 INCH
  AND POSSIBLY A LITTLE HIGHER. THIS WILL MAKE FOR ICY ROADS AND
  HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS.

* OTHER IMPACTS...SIDEWALKS...DECKS...AND OTHER SURFACES MAY BE
  DIFFICULT TO WALK ON.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS ACCUMULATIONS OF SNOW...SLEET...
FREEZING RAIN OR FREEZING DRIZZLE ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. THIS
WILL CAUSE CONSIDERABLE TRAVEL PROBLEMS AND MAY POSE A THREAT TO
LIFE AND PROPERTY.




Latest probabilities of ice Thursday morning

March 4th, 2015 at 9:36 am by under Weather
Courtesy: NOAA/NWS

Courtesy: NOAA/NWS

The latest forecast from the National Weather Service winter weather models indicate a 50-60% chance of bridge/overpass icing Thursday morning throughout much of the Austin metro area.

Though a widespread icing event is not currently anticipated in Austin early Thursday, we will likely see some slick overpasses and bridges — especially north and west of town. More widespread problems will likely materialize in the Hill Country and on rural roads.

Use caution on area roads Thursday morning and stay on top of this developing winter storm on-air, online and with our free KXAN Weather app.