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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Will Holiday Weather Be A Turkey?

It's looking a little soggy for Southeast Texas toward the end of this week. That could mean wet weather for the annual Thanksgiving Day parade in downtown Houston and depending on where you're traveling in the Lone Star a new taste of winter.

A vigorous winter storm hitting the Pacific Northwest Tuesday will being to move through the Rockies and then take a dive into Texas by Wednesday. High pressure east of the Mississippi will force Gulf moisture inland as a cold front approaches. Along the collision line is where rain will develop in Texas along with stronger storms in Oklahoma:

The system then deepens by Black Friday with icy conditions for the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles:

Don't worry though, the cold air doesn't seep much further than west Texas. Whatever your travel plans, have a safe holiday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cooler Weather Behind The Storms

Fortunately, most of southeast Texas missed seeing the kind of storms that roared across the panhandle Monday night. In the wake of Tuesday's drenching rains that did move through the region, colder air is poised to move in. Shown above are the expected morning low temperatures, mainly in the upper 40s and low 50s.

High pressure moving in the next few days should help dry things up a bit but freezing cold temperatures are not expected. The core of that colder air stays north of the region. That means only about two crisp fall mornings before the next change moves in this weekend. Here is a look at Thursday morning's low temperatures:

Notice they're not that much colder. A new front Saturday may bring some spotty rain, but behind it - the chilliest weather so far this fall moves in. Look at the lows Sunday morning:

Probably too early to talk about freeze warnings, but if the cold air descends further south, it is possible. At the very least some frost advisories are possible. Right on time for the holidays!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Another Round of Storms On The Horizon

Southeast Texas is bracing for another round of possible flooding and severe storms early next week. Depicted above is the expected rainfall totals through Tuesday. Note the +3" amounts from east Texas into eastern Oklahoma. One way to always know when an imminent severe storm threat is looming is by subscribing to WeatherCall:

It's becoming an all-too familiar pattern which began the weekend before Halloween. This time, low pressure will emerge from southwest Texas and interact with a vigorous upper-level low pressure and cold front coming out of the Rockies. 

The surface low will be able to tap into abundant Gulf moisture while the upper-level low and front will provide sufficient lift and wind shear to allow strong, slow-moving and possibly severe thunderstorms to develop. Here is the depiction for late Monday:

Notice how the rain area expands by Tuesday:

This system doesn't move out until late Tuesday. Even this far out, the Storm Prediction Center is indicating that Southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana could have a risk for severe weather; first late Monday going into Tuesday morning:

And then from late Tuesday into early Wednesday:

This will definitely be a system to watch as it evolves, so stay aware and alert. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Dry For Election Day

The memories of the Halloween storms may be fresh in the minds of some, but there are no weather worries for Election Day. Expect some early morning cloudiness, but by mid-morning, there should be a mix of sun and clouds. Southeast winds replace Monday's milder north breezes, bringing back the humidity as well. That increased moisture will interact with an approaching cool front that signals a return of now unwelcome rains.

Here is a depiction of conditions by Wednesday afternoon:

The last thing people in the Hill country want to see is more rain headed in their direction. However, that's what today's models are showing. Here is the depiction for Thursday afternoon:

The red splotches indicate the possibility of stronger storms stretching from the Austin/San Antonio area into Dallas and Tulsa. It's a little too early to tell how severe these storms could become, but its a situation that needs to be watched. Eventually, those rains move eastward into east Texas and Louisiana.


Friday, October 30, 2015

More Trick Than Treat For Halloween

Early morning tornadoes did some damage to parts of Texas. There are numerous reports coming out of the towns of Floresville (seen above) and D'Hanis, just outside San Antonio. A vigorous upper-level disturbance moving through the area is packing quite a punch, providing sufficient lift in a moist atmosphere spawning the storms. 

The threat is far from over for the rest of the day across south-central Texas. Shaded in yellow are areas that the Storm Prediction Center believes have the highest risk of seeing potentially more of this kind of weather through the day Friday:

Not only is the upper-low vigorous, but also slow-moving. It won't be until late Saturday night that the threat exits eastward. Here is the current threat risk for Saturday, mainly emphasizing extreme southeast Texas and southern Louisiana:

If things work out correctly, you may be able to salvage the heart of trick-or-treat time in Southeast Texas. However, it will be soggy for most of the day Saturday and there could be some spots dealing with high water. Remember, it was just last weekend that the remnants of former hurricane Patricia soaked some of the same areas. Here is a projection of where rain will fall for Saturday in Texas:

After its all over, some places could pick up anywhere from 2 to 6 inches as indicated by this forecast for rainfall totals:

Stay safe on the roads and especially with so many potentially headed out for holiday activities.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sunshine Returns - But For How Long?

After days of rain, the Lone Star state will get a chance to dry out a bit. Depicted above is the forecast for clouds Wednesday. The white are the clouds and the dark areas, cloud-free, should be mostly sunny. 

The remnants of former hurricane Patricia will move into the eastern third of the U.S. A weak trough of upper-level low pressure behind the surface low Patricia has become will move across the central plains. However, with little moisture to work with, there won't be much in the way of cloud cover. 

The dry spell won't last too long as a new disturbance emerges from west Texas by early Friday. This one moves through fairly quickly, so while there won't be a repeat of the flooding brought on by Patricia, there will be significant rainfall. Here's a depiction of conditions by Friday evening:

Unfortunately, the rain may linger for the trick-or-treaters headed out Saturday.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Major Flood Threat This Weekend

Nearly two-thirds of the state of Texas along with almost the lower half of Louisiana could see some astonishing rainfall this weekend. The green-shaded areas depicted above are under flash flood watches. 

It is possible that over a foot of rain could fall, bringing dangerous conditions to locations that have been very dry for weeks. Remnants of record-setting hurricane Patricia will combine with a cold front progressing across the central Plains, setting the stage for widespread misery.

When I first saw the blaring headlines that the Pacific hurricane named Patricia was the "strongest on record", I thought it was more media hyperbole. However, this time, it's fact. The two main measures of hurricane potency are maximum winds and central pressure. The lower the pressure, the stronger the storm. Here's what it looked like. when it made landfall Friday evening:

This is different than impact, because a storm could strengthen over warm water, far from harming anyone. However, when that danger looms, it certainly gets our attention.

Here's an idea of how strong Patricia is compared to its predecessors:

STORM         YEAR        MAX WINDS  (mph)       CENTRAL PRESSURE (mb)
Patricia        2015               200                              879
Wilma          2005               185                              882
Gilbert        1988                185                              888
Labor Day    1935                185                             892
Rita             2005                180                             895
Allen           1980                190                             899

The storm will weaken with regard to those two parameters as it encounters the mountains of central Mexico, but the moisture from the storm will be drawn into southern and central Texas by Saturday. Here's what computer models show for Saturday afternoon:

By late Sunday, here's the projection for accumulated rainfall. The purple shading indicates amounts that could easily exceed one foot:

Residents in the watch areas should stay alert to rapidly changing conditions as rain will fall repeatedly over the same areas, leading to the flash flood threat. Remember the live-saving adage - turn around, don't drown. The majority of the fatalities from the catastrophic South Carolina flooding earlier this month occurred in cars. People either got trapped in rapidly rising water or they ignored "road closed" signs and drove around barricades.