Weather

Dangerous heat in some areas Labor Day weekend

August 31st, 2014 at 3:26 pm by under Weather

heat index

 

With heat index values as high as 109 degrees Sunday and Monday afternoons in some areas, be sure to exercise extreme caution while spending time outdoors.

Follow the tips below, courtesy of NOAA:

  • Slow down. Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Children, seniors and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
  • Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
  • Put less fuel on your inner fires. Foods, like meat and other proteins that increase metabolic heat production also increase water loss.
  • Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids. Your body needs water to keep cool. Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty. Persons who have epilepsy or heart, kidney or liver disease, are on fluid restrictive diets or have a problem with fluid retention should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids. Do not drink alcoholic beverages and limit caffeinated beverages.
  • During excessive heat periods, spend more time in air-conditioned places. Air conditioning in homes and other buildings markedly reduces danger from the heat. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, go to a library, store or other location with air conditioning for part of the day.
  • Don’t get too much sun. Sunburn reduces your body’s ability to dissipate heat.
  • Do not take salt tablets unless specified by a physician.

Isolated flash flood impacts Gillespie County

August 30th, 2014 at 9:51 pm by under Weather

gillespiee

Between approximately 6:30 – 9 PM Saturday evening, a large thunderstorm sat nearly stationary over western Gillespie County in the Hill Country.

The local Sheriff’s office reported that RR 783 between Doss and Harper was flooded — with 1.5 feet of water over the roadway.

Radar-indicated rainfall estimates were over 4″ in one isolated rural location nearby, but unfortunately we do not have any rain gauges in that spot.

Here are some actual rainfall totals from the LCRA Hydromet network of rain gauges, which you can always find on KXAN.com under the Weather tab.

8-30 RAIN

 


Texas Longhorns season opener forecast

August 30th, 2014 at 7:06 am by under Weather

8-30 game day

 

An area of low pressure is still spinning off the South Texas coast Saturday–close enough to provide a few showers and thunderstorms locally Saturday afternoon and evening.

Most of us are forecast to remain dry for tailgating and game time Saturday, but if these isolated storms do impact the area, they may contain brief heavy rain and dangerous lightning.

Remember, “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!” and of course, Hook ‘Em!


Southwest may face ‘megadrought’ this century

August 28th, 2014 at 5:41 pm by under Weather

Megadrought risk

Due to global warming, scientists say, the chances of the southwestern United States experiencing a decade long drought is at least 50 percent, and the chances of a “megadrought” – one that lasts over 30 years – ranges from 20 to 50 percent over the next century.

The study by Cornell University, University of Arizona and U.S. Geological Survey researchers will be published in a forthcoming issue of the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate.

“For the southwestern U.S., I’m not optimistic about avoiding real megadroughts,” said Toby Ault, Cornell assistant professor of earth and atmospheric sciences and lead author of the paper. “As we add greenhouse gases into the atmosphere – and we haven’t put the brakes on stopping this – we are weighting the dice for megadrought conditions.”

As of mid-August, most of California sits in a D4 “exceptional drought,” which is in the most severe category. Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas also loiter between moderate and exceptional drought. Ault says climatologists don’t know whether the severe western and southwestern drought will continue, but he said, “With ongoing climate change, this is a glimpse of things to come. It’s a preview of our future.”

Ault said that the West and Southwest must look for mitigation strategies to cope with looming long-drought scenarios. “This will be worse than anything seen during the last 2,000 years and would pose unprecedented challenges to water resources in the region,” he said.

In computer models, while California, Arizona and New Mexico will likely face drought, the researchers show the chances for drought in parts of Washington, Montana and Idaho may decrease.

Beyond the United States, southern Africa, Australia and the Amazon basin are also vulnerable to the possibility of a megadrought. With increases in temperatures, drought severity will likely worsen, “implying that our results should be viewed as conservative,” the study reports.

“These results help us take the long view of future drought risk in the Southwest – and the picture is not pretty. We hope this opens up new discussions about how to best use and conserve the precious water that we have,” said Julia Cole, UA professor of geosciences and of atmospheric sciences.

The study, “Assessing the Risk of Persistent Drought Using Climate Model Simulations and Paleoclimate Data,” was also co-authored by Julia E. Cole, David M. Meko and Jonathan T. Overpeck of University of Arizona; and Gregory T. Pederson of the U.S. Geological Survey.

The National Science Foundation, National Center for Atmospheric Research, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funded the research.


Epic drought in West is literally moving mountains

August 26th, 2014 at 1:14 pm by under Weather

(Climate Central)

Climate change is driving the Greenland Ice Sheet to melt, which is contributing to sea level rise. But imagine that the same amount of water melting from Greenland each year is being lost in California and the rest of the West because of the epic drought there.

What happens? The land in the West begins to rise.

In fact, some parts of California’s mountains have been uplifted as much as 15 millimeters (about 0.6 inches) in the past 18 months because the massive amount of water lost in the drought is no longer weighing down the land, causing it to rise a bit like an uncoiled spring, a new study shows.


Death Valley, Calif.
Credit: QQ Li/flickr

For the first time, scientists are now able to measure how much surface and groundwater is lost during droughts by measuring how much the land rises as it dries. Those are the conclusions of the new study published Aug. 21 in the journal Science by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the the University of California-San Diego.

The drought that is devastating California and much of the West has dried the region so much that 240 gigatons worth of surface and groundwater have been lost, roughly the equivalent to a 3.9-inch layer of water over the entire West, or the annual loss of mass from the Greenland Ice Sheet, according to the study.

While some of California’s mountains have risen by about 0.6 inches since early 2013, the West overall has risen by an average of about 0.157 inches.

“Groundwater is a load on the Earth’s crust,” said Klaus Jacob, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., who is unaffiliated with the study. “A load compresses the crust elastically, hence it subsides. When you take that load away (by the drought) the crust decompresses and the surface rises. From the amount of rising, one can estimate the amount of the water deficit.”

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The drought-related uplifting was discovered when researchers were analyzing data from GPS stations within the National Science Foundation’s Plate Boundary Observatory. One researcher noticed that all of the GPS stations moved upward since 2003, coinciding with the timing of the current drought.

But most of the movement occurred since last year as the West’s drought has become more and more extreme, said Duncan Agnew, a professor at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC-San Diego, and a study co-author.

“The implications of this have yet to play out,” Agnew said. “What we’ve shown is that there is a measurement technique we can use to get a total water loss — water loss in places where we have no direct measurements.”

Low levels on Lake Mead, a major source of water in California.
Credit: Raquel Baranow/flickr

He said such uplifting likely occurs in every drought, but it has never been observed before because scientists did not have the tools to detect the uplifting until now.

“That’s why this study is interesting,” Agnew said. “We can use this set of tools, which were installed for a different purpose in order to monitor water changes.”

He said the uplifting likely has no significant effect on earthquake potential in California and elsewhere even though loss of ground and surface water has added stress to major faults in the region.

“The total amount of stress that’s been added in the last 18 months from drought is the same amount of stress that’s added every week because of plate techtonics,” he said.

Jacob said the study shows that the changes in the elevation of the landscape and the stress on faults are so small the effect will be extremely minor.

But, Jacob said, the significance of the study is that it shows a new way for scientists to estimate total water loss during times of drought, which would be more difficult to estimate without being able to detect how much the land is being uplifted in dry years.


TS Cristobal update

August 24th, 2014 at 10:26 pm by under Weather

TS track

 

The latest from NHC:

BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM CRISTOBAL ADVISORY NUMBER 6
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042014
1100 PM EDT SUN AUG 24 2014

…CRISTOBAL MOVING SLOWLY NORTHWARD WITH NO CHANGE IN STRENGTH…
SUMMARY OF 1100 PM EDT…0300 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————–
LOCATION…24.8N 73.1W
ABOUT 105 MI…165 KM ENE OF SAN SALVADOR
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…45 MPH…75 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…N OR 350 DEGREES AT 5 MPH…7 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…998 MB…29.47 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY…

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* CENTRAL BAHAMAS…INCLUDING CAT ISLAND…THE EXUMAS…LONG
ISLAND…RUM CAY…AND SAN SALVADOR

(more…)


TS Cristobal forms in the Atlantic

August 24th, 2014 at 9:19 am by under Weather

TS track

The latest from the National Hurricane Center as of 9 AM Sunday:

…CRISTOBAL RE-FORMS A LITTLE TO THE NORTHEAST…
…STILL MOVING NORTHWESTWARD NEAR THE SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS…

SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…23.0N 73.0W
ABOUT 40 MI…60 KM N OF MAYAGUANA ISLAND
ABOUT 135 MI…215 KM ESE OF LONG ISLAND
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…45 MPH…75 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…NW OR 325 DEGREES AT 9 MPH…15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…1001 MB…29.56 INCHES
WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY…

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT…

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR…
* SOUTHEASTERN BAHAMAS…INCLUDING THE ACKLINS…CROOKED
ISLAND…LONG CAY…THE INAGUAS…MAYAGUANA…AND THE RAGGED
ISLANDS…AS WELL AS FOR THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
* CENTRAL BAHAMAS…INCLUDING CAT ISLAND…THE EXUMAS…LONG
ISLAND…RUM CAY…AND SAN SALVADOR

INTERESTS IN THE NORTHWESTERN BAHAMAS SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS
OF THIS SYSTEM. A TROPICAL STORM WATCH COULD BE REQUIRED FOR
THIS AREA LATER TODAY.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA…PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE. (more…)


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…)