Winter Storm Warning issued; threat of icy roads will increase

January 9th, 2015 at 4:18 pm by under Weather

A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the Hill Country and portions of the I-35 corridor until Saturday evening. A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for some areas generally east of I-35 until Noon Saturday. Precipitation will increase tonight as temperatures drop below freezing across much of South-Central Texas, leading to freezing rain and sleet during the overnight hours. The area of greatest concern for ice accumulations will be across the Hill Country and along the Balcones Escarpment, or along and north of a Del Rio to Hondo to Selma to Pflugerville line, where between 1/10 and 1/4 of an inch of ice will be possible. An isolated pocket or two up to 1/2 of an inch will be possible across the Hill Country. Ice accumulations are expected on both elevated and non-elevated roadways and surfaces, leading to dangerous travel conditions. Across the advisory area, between a trace to 1/10 of an inch of ice is possible, mainly on elevated bridges and overpasses. Temperatures will rise above freezing in the advisory area around noon Saturday. But likely remain near the freezing mark across the Hill Country Saturday afternoon and evening. Chances for freezing rain and sleet could continue across the Hill Country during this time. Continue to closely monitor the forecast as minor changes could lead to additional impacts.
Click for latest Composite Reflectivity radar image from the Austin/San Antonio, TX radar and current weather warnings
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE..
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
920 PM CST FRI JAN 9 2015

...SIGNIFICANT ICE ACCUMULATIONS ARE LIKELY OVER THE HILL COUNTRY
AND SOUTHERN EDWARDS PLATEAU TONIGHT INTO SATURDAY... Read the rest of this entry »

8:30AM Friday Update On Potential Ice Threat

January 9th, 2015 at 8:43 am by under Weather

Light to moderate rainfall is currently falling as temperatures stay above freezing area-wide.  Most locations from a Llano to Austin to La Grange line southbound, through the rest of the viewing area, will likely stay above freezing through the morning and early afternoon hours.  Northern communities and spots in the Hill Country may see temps fall enough for some isolated freezing rain but not enough to accumulate on the roads.  However, as we approach 5:00 PM,  temperatures area wide will drop enough, where we could start to see some freezing rain and spotty ice developing.

Winter Wx Possible

 

Image 1:  The freezing rain and sleet potential for areas shaded in pink on Friday, with cold rain along and south of Highway 90. Travel impacts are possible across the Hill Country and parts of I-35 corridor. Some light accumulation is possible over some areas but especially over elevated surfaces such as bridges and overpasses.  Use caution when driving throughout the area today.

 

Winter Driving

 

During the Friday night into Saturday morning period; expect freezing rain and sleet to spread across all of South Central Texas by Saturday morning. Icing on country roads will be possible with minor ice accumulations mainly over elevated surfaces such as bridges and overpasses. Continue to closely monitor the forecast for updated information on this winter weather event

 

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
438 AM CST FRI JAN 9 2015

...WINTER WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR TONIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY...

A COLD FRONT WILL PASS THROUGH THE AREA DURING THE AFTERNOON
HOURS TODAY BRINGING TEMPERATURES DOWN TO BELOW FREEZING FOR MUCH
OF SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS TONIGHT THROUGH TOMORROW MORNING. LOW
TEMPERATURES SATURDAY MORNING WILL BE IN THE MIDDLE TO UPPER 20S
AND WILL SLOWLY RISE TO ABOVE FREEZING BY MID DAY OR EARLY AFTERNOON.
PRECIPITATION CHANCES WILL ARRIVE FROM THE SOUTHWEST SATURDAY
MORNING AND TEMPERATURES SHOULD BE BELOW FREEZING DURING THE MORNING
HOURS RESULTING IN FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET AS THE MOST LIKELY
PRECIPITATION TYPES. HOWEVER...PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS SHOULD BE
LIGHT WITH ONLY LIGHT ACCUMULATIONS EXPECTED...MAINLY ON ELEVATED
SURFACES...BACK ROADS...BRIDGES...AND OVERPASSES.

THE CURRENT FORECAST CALLS FOR TEMPERATURES TO RISE ABOVE FREEZING
SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND LATEST FORECAST GUIDANCE SUGGESTS THAT THEY
WILL STAY JUST ABOVE FREEZING THROUGH THE OVERNIGHT AND MORNING
HOURS ON SUNDAY. HOWEVER...IF TEMPERATURES DO FALL TO FREEZING OR
BELOW SUNDAY MORNING...A BRIEF SHOT AT WINTRY PRECIPITATION WOULD BE
POSSIBLE...MAINLY IN THE NORTHERN PLATEAU AND I35 CORRIDOR. EVEN
IF ANY WINTRY PRECIPITATION WERE TO RESULT ON SUNDAY
MORNING...ACCUMULATIONS WOULD BE MINIMAL IF ANY.

TEMPERATURES ON SUNDAY ARE EXPECTED TO RISE INTO THE 40S BY THE
AFTERNOON HOURS AND WINTRY PRECIPITATION CONCERNS SHOULD END.

 

 


Winter storm system threatening Central Texas

January 8th, 2015 at 4:02 pm by under Weather

With a few viewer reports of light rain mixed with sleet already, it’s going to be increasingly important to stay on top of the weather situation through the weekend as an upper level winter storm system slowly tracks across Texas.


The potential for freezing rain and sleet begins this evening continuing through Friday morning. The area of concern is the northern part of South Central Texas after midnight tonight. Minor travel issues are possible across the Edwards Plateau and Hill Country and parts of the Interstate 35 including the Austin metro and northern part of Bexar County. Continue to closely monitor the forecast as minor changes could lead to additional impacts.
————————————————————-

Friday will begin with freezing rain/sleet potential mainly in the northern Hill Country resulting in light accumulations of ice on elevated surfaces. The freezing rain and sleet potential continues for much of the day on Friday with cold rain along and south of Highway 90. Travel impacts are possible across the Hill Country and parts of I-35 corridor. Some light accumulation is possible over some areas but especially over elevated surfaces such as bridges and overpasses.
—————————————————-

During the Friday night into Saturday morning period; expect freezing rain and sleet to spread across all of South Central Texas by Saturday morning. Icing on country roads will be possible with minor ice accumulations mainly over elevated surfaces such as bridges and overpasses. Continue to closely monitor the forecast for updated information on this winter weather event.
————————————————
Here’s more information from the National Weather Service:

HEADLINE

Chances for Frozen Precipitation late Tonight and early Friday…and again Friday Night/Saturday.

AREA OF CONCERN

  • Cold Arctic Air - All of South Central Texas.  Temperatures well below average are expected into the weekend.
  • Frozen Precipitation Late Tonight/Friday Morning into Friday Afternoon:  Mainly the northern and northeast sections of South Central Texas.  Best chances are (Along and north of Highway 71 including Austin and portions of I-35 corridor)
  • Frozen Precipitation Friday Night/Saturday:  All of South Central Texas including portions of the I-35 Corridor (Including Austin and San Antonio).

 …TIMING… Read the rest of this entry »


Thursday morning update – Weekend Ice

January 8th, 2015 at 12:10 pm by under Weather
 
Chances for Frozen Precipitation for Friday Night/Saturday.  Small Chances In Hill Country for Fri and Sunday Also.
Area Of Concern:
  • Cold Arctic Air - All of South Central Texas.  Temperatures well below average are expected into the weekend.
  • Frozen Precipitation Friday Night/Saturday:  All of South Central Texas including portions of the I-35 Corridor (Including Austin and San Antonio).  This area may change with later forecasts. See Graphic below.
  • Frozen Precipitation Friday and Sunday Mornings:  Mainly the Hill Country.   

 

Timing:

  • Cold Arctic Air - Arctic Air will remain in place through Saturday.  Slow warmup into next week although temps will still likely be below normal.
  • Frozen Precipitation - Chance for frozen precipitation will be highest Friday night into the first half of Saturday.  There is a smaller chance that some very light frozen precipitation may occur Friday morning across the far northern areas and the Hill Country.  This could repeat itself again late Saturday night into Sunday morning.  Will continue to monitor this closely.

 

Impacts:

  • Cold Arctic Air -  Protect the Pipes, Plants, and Pets.  Highs only in the 30s and 40s on Friday.  Will stay in the 30s all day on Saturday.  Some areas on Saturday may struggle to get above freezing, especially over the Hill Country and northern areas.
  • Frozen Precipitation Friday Night into Saturday - Travel impacts are possible across much of South Central Texas.  Best chances for road impacts will be in the Hill Country, but with a low confidence forecast, there is a chance that other areas of South Central Texas could see icy roads/bridges including the San Antonio and Austin areas.  See the graphic below.
  •  Frozen Precipitation Friday and Sunday Mornings:  There could be some very isolated road impacts Friday morning and again Sunday morning over the Hill Country. Confidence is low.

Winter Wx Possible

Discussion:

 The cold arctic air is now in place, awaiting for another surge of it on Friday.  As this next front arrives on Friday, there is a chance that some light rain mixed with some sleet could occur over northern portions of South Central Texas and areas in the Hill Country.  Temperatures are expected to be right at or slightly above freezing in this area so road impacts should be minimal if any frozen precipitation does wind up falling.
A better chance of rain/frozen precipitation will occur by late Friday night into early Saturday as an upper level disturbance near Baja approaches Texas.  We may start to see light precipitation echoes start near the Rio Grande and work into the majority of South Central Texas Saturday morning.  With temperatures forecast to be below or near the freezing mark late Friday night, there will be a time where most of South Central Texas will be under the threat of seeing some frozen precipitation late Friday night through about noon on Saturday.  This could lead to some light ice accumulations on exposed surfaces and some roads/bridges.  At this time, it appears the ice accumulations will be light, but still could be enough to impact primarily roads, bridges, and travel in general.  Power impacts should be fairly small and isolated based on the small accumulation forecast.   We will continue to monitor this time frame closely.
The weather models are showing that most areas will only climb into the mid to upper 30s by Saturday afternoon.  Portions of the Hill Country may struggle to get above freezing…making that area the most vulnerable to having travel impacts and ice accumulation.  We could see a small repeat late Saturday night into early Sunday in the north and the Hill Country as temps hover around the freezing mark with lingering precipitation chances through Sunday.  All areas by Sunday afternoon should be well above freezing with the threat of frozen precipitation ending.
There remains a whole lot of question marks with this forecast…dry air, when the precipitation will start, how much will fall, and will it be even below freezing if and when the precipitation arrives.  We will continue to try and fine tune the forecast.  At some point over the next 48 hours, we could issue a Winter Weather Advisory for portions of the area.   Unfortunately at this time with all the unknown factors, I cannot pinpoint when and where this would be.  Again, we are mainly focusing on the Friday Night-Saturday AM time frame where we could see ice impacts.

Winter storm may arrive with the weekend

January 7th, 2015 at 3:44 pm by under Weather

With rain expected to be on going Friday temperatures during the early morning hours will drop
to freezing across the Hill Country. A few spots could see freezing rain with only minor impacts expected.
——————————-

We are forecasting some Freezing Rain and Sleet across much of South Central Texas Friday Night into Saturday morning. The graphic shows the current area that is forecast to see Freezing Rain or Sleet Saturday morning. With colder temperatures in the Hill Country these areas could see some icy roadways while the I-35 corridor may be impacted with icing on elevated surfaces. Check back for the latest forecast as the location of the freezing line and precipitation amounts will likely change.
————————————-

Another round of Freezing Rain is possible Sunday across the Hill Country. Impacts depends greatly on whether ice from Saturday was able to melt away or not. New accumulations of ice should be spotty and low amounts.
—————————————
Additional information from the National Weather Service:

HEADLINE

Chances for Frozen Precipitation for Friday Night/Saturday. Smaller Chances in the Hill Country also Fri and Sun mornings.

AREA OF CONCERN

  • Cold Arctic Air - All of South Central Texas. Temperatures well below average are expected all this week into the weekend.
  • Frozen Precipitation Friday Night/Saturday: Hill Country and portions of the I-35 Corridor (Including Austin and San Antonio). This area may change with later forecasts. See Graphic below. Far southern areas will likely receive a cold rain.
  • Frozen Precipitation Friday and Sunday Mornings: Mainly the Hill Country.

Possible Icy Conditions Friday Night/Saturday Morning

January 7th, 2015 at 12:35 pm by under Weather

Here is the latest from the NWS on the possible wintry weather this weekend:

SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
419 AM CST WED JAN 7 2015
..WINTER WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY
MORNING...

TWO SURGES OF ARCTIC AIRMASSES WILL BRING MUCH COLDER WEATHER TO
SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS BEGINNING TODAY. AN UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE
WILL APPROACH THE AREA FRIDAY NIGHT AND WILL BRING WITH IT A
CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION TO THE REGION. AS OF TODAY...THE
FORECASTED LOCATION OF THE FREEZING LINE SATURDAY MORNING IS
EXPECTED TO BE NEAR A LANGTRY TO UVALDE TO FLORESVILLE TO
GIDDINGS LINE. AREAS NORTH OF THIS LINE ARE FORECASTED TO BE
BELOW FREEZING FRIDAY NIGHT/SATURDAY MORNING AND A MIXTURE OF
FREEZING RAIN AND SLEET IS POSSIBLE. THIS AREA INCLUDES THE
AUSTIN AND SAN ANTONIO METRO AREAS. THE COLDEST TEMPERATURES WILL
BE IN THE HILL COUNTRY AND THIS IS WHERE MOST IMPACTS ARE
EXPECTED. DEPENDING ON HOW MUCH PRECIPITATION FALLS...THERE COULD
BE ICING CONDITIONS ON ROADWAYS WHICH WOULD LEAD TO HAZARDOUS
DRIVING CONDITIONS. THE FORECAST WILL CONTINUE TO BE REFINED OVER
THE NEXT 48 TO 72 HOURS AND RESIDENTS SHOULD KEEP UP TO DATE FOR
ANY POSSIBLE FORECAST CHANGES.

Winter Wx Possible

JMA: “2014 officially the hottest year on record”

January 6th, 2015 at 8:05 pm by under Weather

(via Climate Central)

It’s official: 2014 has taken the title of hottest year on record. That ranking comes courtesy of data released Monday by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), the first of four major global temperature recordkeepers to release their data for last year.

(Note: the NOAA National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is still calculating their official averages for December, and thus for 2014)

The global average temperature record from 1891-2014.
Credit: JMA

Read the rest of this entry »


Strong, gusty winds expected Wednesday

January 6th, 2015 at 7:59 pm by under Weather

From our local National Weather Service office:

image6

Special Weather Statement


SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AUSTIN/SAN ANTONIO TX
323 PM CST TUE JAN 6 2015

TXZ171>173-183>194-202>209-217>225-228-070330-
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
323 PM CST TUE JAN 6 2015

...BREEZY AND GUSTY IN THE WAKE OF A POLAR COLD FRONT...

A POLAR COLD FRONT WILL PUSH ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL TEXAS ON
WEDNESDAY. IN THE WAKE OF THE COLD FRONT...NORTHERLY BREEZY WINDS
OF 15 TO 25 MPH ARE EXPECTED BY MID WEDNESDAY MORNING CONTINUING
THROUGH LATE IN THE AFTERNOON. STRONG GUST WINDS OF 25 TO 40 MPH
ARE POSSIBLE DURING THE AFTERNOON HOURS MAINLY ACROSS THE HILL
COUNTRY AND ALONG THE INTERSTATE 35 CORRIDOR.

High Pressure Records in Jeopardy Across Great Plains

January 6th, 2015 at 12:46 pm by under Weather

Here is an interesting read from the blog of Dr. Jeff Masters, co-founder of wunderground.com.  You may hear a lot of chatter about record lows, and record low high temperatures dropping like flies late this week.  However, something you may not hear much about, will be the strength of the high pressure system behind it all!  You can find more great reads from Dr. Masters here.

A sprawling dome of high pressure is on track to spill from Canada across most of the eastern United States over the next several days, bringing sharp winds and some of the coldest air of the season to many locations. While the cold will certainly make its presence known, the truly remarkable aspect of this blast will be the strength of the high pressure itself. In some locations, barometric high pressure readings may reach levels never before observed in January, and one or more all-time records can’t be ruled out.

Most high-pressure records east of the Rockies occur during the winter months, as darkness and snow cover allow frigid, dense cold air masses to develop and surge southward. Many all-time pressure records across the plains were established during the memorable cold wave of late December 1983, which sent temperatures down to 9°F as far south as San Antonio and kept Omaha lodged below 0°F for more than a solid week. On December 24 of that year, sea level pressure [SLP] soared to 1064 mb [31.42"] at Miles City, Montana. That value remains the highest sea-level-adjusted pressure on record for the contiguous United States.

high pressure record

 

A few monthly SLP records appear to be within reach this week, especially as the core of high pressure moves across the Northern and Central Plains on Wednesday. Models are projecting SLP to peak above 1050 mb [about 31.01"] across a relatively large area. Weather Underground historian Chris Burt has acomprehensive site listing all-time high-pressure records for many U.S. cities, and NOAA’s David Roth has produced maps (in millibars, or mb) depicting the highest January and highest all-time values at many U.S. locations, typically going back to the 1890s (see this map showing the period of record at each site). Among the spots to watch:

Rapid City, South Dakota
Jan. record: 1054.9 mb [31.15"]
All-time record: 1056.2 mb [31.19"]

Des Moines, Iowa
Jan. record: 1051.1 [31.04"]
All-time record: 1051.8 mb [31.06"]

Springfield, Missouri
Jan. and all-time record: 1050.8 mb [31.03"]

If the nation does notch any all-time SLP records this week, it won’t be the first time this winter. On December 30, Washington’s Seattle-Tacoma Airport reached the highest SLP in its 67-year weather history: 30.87″ [1045.5 mb]. Several nearby stations also set impressive marks, as noted by the University of Washington’s Cliff Mass in his weather blog.

Ahead of the latest cold surge, an Alberta clipper storm will deliver light to moderate snow across a broad swath of the Midwest into the mid-Atlantic. Toward the weekend, yet another strong zone of high pressure appears set to invade the central and eastern U.S., keeping the bulk of the country free of major winter storms for the time being.


NOAA investing to improve weather forecasting supercomputers

January 5th, 2015 at 8:05 pm by under Weather
NOAA announces signifcant investment in next generation of supercomputers
Increased supercomputing capacity will improve accuarcy of weather forecasts
January 5, 2015

Today, NOAA announced the next phase in the agency’s efforts to increase supercomputing capacity to provide more timely, accurate, reliable, and detailed forecasts. By October 2015, the capacity of each of NOAA’s two operational supercomputers will jump to 2.5 petaflops, for a total of 5 petaflops – a nearly tenfold increase from the current capacity.

“NOAA is America’s environmental intelligence agency; we provide the information, data, and services communities need to become resilient to significant and severe weather, water, and climate events,” said Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., NOAA’s Administrator. “These supercomputing upgrades will significantly improve our ability to translate data into actionable information, which in turn will lead to more timely, accurate, and reliable forecasts.”

Read the rest of this entry »