October bird forecast

October 8th, 2014 at 1:23 pm by under Weather

What to watch for in October: Welcome, water birds

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.

Double-crested Cormorant photo by Thomas Quine via Creative Commons

Double-crested Cormorant photo by Thomas Quine via Creative Commons

Double-crested and pied-billed

Double-crested Cormorants begin arriving in substantial numbers throughout October and soon will be a familiar sight as they roost along the south shore of Lady Bird Lake in the cypress trees. Cormorants are large, gangly black birds with orange faces, long necks and long hooked bills. You can sometimes see them sitting with their wings spread out awkwardly to dry.

Pied-billed Grebe photo by Kevin Cole via Creative Commons

Pied-billed Grebe photo by Kevin Cole via Creative Commons

You also may see newly arrived Pied-billed Grebes on the lakes and small ponds of Central Texas. These very small water birds are common in most of the U.S. year-round, but they gather in larger flocks come winter (which, for birds, is approaching fast, even though we humans might not think so). These grebes are brown and compact, with very short bills and no tail to speak of. They are noticeably smaller than other birds out on the lake, with heads that are large relative to their bodies.

They do lots of diving and can actually control their buoyancy, sinking into the water like submarines. In spring and summer, the bird’s bill is pied — white with a black stripe — but in winter is a yellowish brown.

Monthly Meeting — Where to Bird in Central Texas
6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16, Hyde Park Christian Church, 610 E 45th St.

It’s the weekend and you have a few spare hours and a desire to bird some place new — but where? It’s a weekday and you could slip in to work a little late, or leave early; where can you get the best birds for your time invested? In this talk by Laurie Foss you will get lots of ideas about places to go and birds to look for when you get there.You will also learn how you can use eBird to find out where the birds are. As a member of Travis Audubon, as well as other local, state, and national birding organizations, Laurie Foss is active leading field trips, teaching birding classes and making presentations to various groups, as well as working and advocating for habitat conservation.

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

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

Monthly Bird Count at Hornsby Bend
Saturday, October 11, 7 a.m. & 4 p.m.

Big Sit! at Balcones Canyonlands NWR
Sunday, October 12, 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Two-hour Tuesday! at Platt Lane, led by Ken Zaslow
Tuesday, October 14, 7:30 to 10 a.m.

Commons Ford Monthly Walk with Diane Sherrill (plants this time)
Saturday, Oct. 18, 8:30 a.m. to noon

Hornsby Bend Monthly Bird Walk
Saturday, October 18, 7:30 to 11 a.m.

Super Tuesday! at Berry Springs Park, led by Dan Callaway
Tuesday, October 21, 8 to 11:30 a.m.

Two-hour Tuesday! at Devine Lake, led by Ray and Ginny Steelman
Tuesday, October 28, 8 to 10 a.m.

Balcones Canyonlands/Water Quality Preserves – Part 2
Friday, October 31, 8 to 11 a.m.

Compiled by Travis Audubon volunteers Jane Tillman and Raeanne Martinez


Join EarthSky’s Deborah Byrd at online viewing of total lunar eclipse

October 7th, 2014 at 1:33 pm by under Weather

(EarthSky.org)  Slooh.com invites stargazers worldwide for an online viewing of the total eclipse of the moon early Wednesday morning, October 8. Deborah Byrd will be on hand as a special guest.

Deborah Byrd inside the observer's cage at the Palomar 200-inch telescope

Deborah Byrd inside the observer’s cage at the Palomar 200-inch telescope. Join her at Slooh.com for the total eclipse of the moon.

EarthSky.org editor-in-chief Deborah Byrd will join Bob Berman of Slooh.com and stargazers around the world during an online view of this week’s total eclipse of the moon on October 8, 2014. Byrd will be speaking with Berman from  (4:15 a.m. CDT – 4:40 a.m. CDT) at Slooh’s website, which you will find here.

Byrd and Berman will talk about the moon’s unique placement among the stars during the eclipse, touching on the exciting fact that the planet Uranus – a world barely visible to the eye – will be near the moon as the eclipse is taking place.

Join them!

Stargazers worldwide are invited to watch this spectacular eclipse of the moon on October 8, as it unfolds live in your night sky … and at Slooh.com. The free, real-time broadcast will begin on October 8th starting at 4:00 AM with live feeds from multiple locations located in Australia and North America.

Total lunar eclipse in 2004 by Fred Espenak

Total lunar eclipse in 2004 by Fred Espenak

Bottom line: Slooh.com invites stargazers worldwide for an online viewing of the total eclipse of the moon on October 8. Deborah Byrd will be on hand as a special guest.


Statewide drought shows signs of improvement

October 7th, 2014 at 11:45 am by under Weather

txdrought


Morning complex of severe storms brings damage to East Texas

October 6th, 2014 at 11:17 am by under Weather

10-6 SVR

Early Monday morning, individual severe thunderstorms moved from Oklahoma into NE Texas, merging into a complex of severe thunderstorms exhibiting a large “bow echo”.

A bow echo is when a line of thunderstorms is pushed outward into a bow shape, and indicates the presence of strong, damaging wind gusts in the storms.

Strong thunderstorms winds toppled numerous trees in rural East Texas.

Wind Reports (CSV) (Raw Wind CSV)(?)
Time Speed Location County State Lat Lon Comments
1233 UNK CARTHAGE PANOLA TX 3215 9434 NUMEROUS TREES DOWN ACROSS THE COUNTY(SHV)

 

Hail Reports (CSV) (Raw Hail CSV)(?)
Time Size Location County State Lat Lon Comments
1249  1.00″ NACOGDOCHES NACOGDOCHES TX 3161 9465 DIME TO QUARTER SIZE HAIL REPORTED ACROSS THE COUNTY (SHV)
1340  1.00″ 2 W PALESTINE ANDERSON TX 3175 9566 DELAYED REPORT OF NICKEL TO QUARTER SIZED HAIL NEAR BASSETT RD. AND LOOP 256. (FWD)

 


West Antarctica’s meltdown weakens Earth’s gravity

October 4th, 2014 at 9:41 pm by under Weather

West Antarctica’s incredible weight loss can be felt from space, a new study reports.

So much ice has disappeared from West Antarctica in recent years that Earth’s gravity is now weaker there, researchers reported in the Aug. 28 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Earth’s gravity fluctuates in small ways that are caused by changes in mass. When hefty ice sheets melt, there is less ice and thus less gravitational force pulling in that area.

Image: Ice lossDGFI / PLANETARY VISIONS
This graphic shows the changes in Earth’s gravity field caused by West Antarctic ice loss, based on data from the GOCE satellites. The satellites ended their mission in 2013 when the spacecraft ran out of fuel, as planned, and broke apart during atmospheric re-entry.
Read the rest of this entry »

Fall-like morning Saturday

October 4th, 2014 at 9:23 am by under Weather

low temps

Low temperatures Saturday morning were downright chilly–especially in the Hill Country and on low-lying creek bottoms.

The temperatures dipped to 59 degrees in Austin, but 48 degrees in Fredericksburg and 49 degrees in Mason.

Browse the map above to check out some of the even colder readings from LCRA thermometers on creek bottoms. The coldest reading on the map Saturday morning was 44 degrees in southeast San Saba County.


Musica Para Todos festival today

October 4th, 2014 at 5:38 am by under Weather

musica para todos

 

Non-profit organization El Camino Cristiano is organizing the Musica Para Todos Festival at the Plaza Saltillo Station on Comal St.
Musica Para Todos Fest will take place today, Saturday October 4th, from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. with an opening ceremony featuring a proclamation from Mayor Lee Leffingwell.
It’s a cultural, music festival open to the public where everyone can just enjoy a nice day out at Plaza Saltillo and listen to music performed by talented bands from all over Texas.
More than 1,000 people are expected – so come have some fun!
More information here: Event website, Event Facebook

Following heat and storms, great weather ahead

October 2nd, 2014 at 11:11 pm by under Weather

The summer-like weather of the past few days is history, thanks to the cold front which brought rain and thunderstorms to Central Texas Thursday night.  Here’s the weekend ahead–don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

10-2 ACL WEEKEND FX


Storm Prediction Center issues Severe Thunderstorm Watch

October 2nd, 2014 at 3:01 pm by under Weather

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch, effective until 9 PM, for the following counties: San Saba, Lampasas, Llano, Burnet, Williamson, and Milam. This Watch does not include Austin, but does include Williamson County in the Austin metro area. Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected to develop northwest of the Hill Country this afternoon, then transition into a squall line that moves southeast across much of Central Texas this evening. A few storms could become severe, with large hail, dangerous lightning, and damaging wind gusts. The tornado threat is low. Stay with KXAN-TV for updates, or click here for Interactive Radar…

 

\  WW0518 Overview WOU Image
 URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
   SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 518
   NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
   155 PM CDT THU OCT 2 2014

   THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A

   * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF 
     FAR SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA
     NORTH-CENTRAL AND NORTHEAST INTO CENTRAL TEXAS

   * EFFECTIVE THIS THURSDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 155 PM UNTIL
     900 PM CDT.

   * PRIMARY THREATS INCLUDE...
     ISOLATED VERY LARGE HAIL EVENTS TO 2 INCHES IN DIAMETER POSSIBLE
     ISOLATED DAMAGING WIND GUSTS TO 70 MPH POSSIBLE

   THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 80
   STATUTE MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 35 MILES NORTHWEST OF
   PARIS TEXAS TO 40 MILES SOUTHWEST OF TEMPLE TEXAS.  FOR A
   COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE
   UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU8).

   PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

   REMEMBER...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE
   FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
   AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
   THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
   AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN AND OCCASIONALLY
   DO PRODUCE TORNADOES.

   OTHER WATCH INFORMATION...CONTINUE...WW 515...WW 516...WW 517...

   DISCUSSION...TSTMS ARE EXPECTED TO INCREASE IN COVERAGE AND
   INTENSITY ALONG A SEWD-MOVING COLD FRONT THIS AFTERNOON AS
   LARGE-SCALE FORCING FOR ASCENT IS ENHANCED BY A MID-LEVEL TROUGH
   MOVING ACROSS THE SRN PLAINS. MODERATE AMOUNTS OF INSTABILITY AND
   VERTICAL SHEAR WILL SUPPORT SUPERCELLS AND BOWING STRUCTURES WITH
   THE MAIN HAZARDS BEING DAMAGING WINDS AND LARGE HAIL.

   AVIATION...A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL SURFACE AND ALOFT
   TO 2 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE WIND GUSTS TO 60
   KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO 550. MEAN STORM
   MOTION VECTOR 26025.

When do we expect the chance for severe weather in your area? Here ya go!!

October 2nd, 2014 at 12:29 pm by under Weather

Best Times For Severe Weather In Your Area

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