Sunday, January 31, 2010

Worst Forecast So Far This Year!

So, at 1pm in Helotes it's now finally gotten one degree over 32, but is still cloudy and cold outside. The original forecast from this morning, was for "Mostly Sunny" skies and highs in the mid 50's! Definitely the worst forecast so far for 2010.

Meanwhile, a parade of upper level lows will be marching across our area this week, giving us cloudy skies and possibly up to 3 inches of rain. Too bad the cold air will be moving out...that would be lots of snow!

Speaking of snow, it looks like our next chance will be around the 8th-10th of February. Our "window" for snow usually closes by the 3rd week of February, so this may be our last shot of seeing some frozen precipitation for this season.

One of my favorite websites to track problems with "Global Warming", released their weekly update. If you get a chance, read about all of the things that have transpired this week, including more trouble with the IPCC.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Cold, wet and windy in Helotes

That arctic front finally made it into our area overnight, dropping temperatures from a high of 64 degrees at midnight, to our present low of 39 degrees in Helotes. With the light rain and wind, it's a bit on the "bone chillin" side out there.

The image I have posted shows the huge area of "Winter Storm Warnings" this morning across the central and eastern parts of the country...a pretty messy day for many people.

Our 24 hour rainfall total of .75 is not as much as was originally advertised by NOAA. Most of the storms and heavy rain tracked to our north last night. We only managed to get moderate rain and as far as I know, no thunder or lightning during the night. Certainly, no hail.

We should see some clearing later today, followed by a freeze tonight and possibly on Sunday night. Sunday may be our last chance to see the sun for almost a week, as a parade of El Niño storms comes marching across the south next week.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Still a threat of severe storms...

Here is the latest severe storm graphic, just released from NOAA. They still think a severe line of storms will develop between 5pm and 2am tonight as an upper low drifts across and a cold front pushes through our area from the north. In fact, the Storm Prediction Center is concerned about areas just to our west and may issue a severe thunderstorm or a tornado watch soon. I will update my site as these watches develop.

Meanwhile, my daughter has been enjoying the 3-4 inches of snow that fell in Lubbock this morning. Click here for details.

As of 3pm. a tornado watch has been issued for counties to our west and northwest.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rain chances increase, cold air chances decrease

Latest forecast suggests that much of the arctic air and the heaviest rain will slide to our northeast with this system. One thing of interest is the chance of severe storms on Thursday afternoon. Right now the Storm Prediction Center has us down for a "Slight Risk" for severe storms on Thursday...most likely hail and high winds. Unfortunately it looks like frozen precipitation will stay in the Panhandle and far North Texas.

Long term, the chances of more arctic air have "sublimated" for the next two weeks and have been replaced by a very wet pattern during that time. El Niño is certainly making a comeback, after an absence during most of December. For skiers, California, Arizona, New Mexico and southern Colorado will be receiving copious quantities of the white stuff. It should be a fantastic Spring Break ski season this year.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Arctic air on track for Thursday Night...

After another nice day, our weather will quickly cloud up and warm up tonight as an arctic front approaches our area on Thursday night. Rain odds will also be going up as an upper level low moves to the north of us during the day on Thursday. We could even see some severe thunderstorms in our vicinity.

As usual, the upper low will be moving out as the arctic air moves in, so chances of snow are fairly low for our area, although there could be some flurries in the Hill Country on Friday morning. Best odds of snow will be in the panhandle and north Texas.

Another strong front will move down on Tuesday, followed by a wet first week of February. Too hard to know if the cold and the moisture will combine right now. My early vibes are that the moisture will not return until the coldest air starts moving out. More than likely, we will end up the first week in February feeling like we live in and wet.

The third batch of arctic air looks to be arriving during the first weekend of February.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Enjoy the warmth...winter is about to come back!

Just when you thought it was safe to run around in shorts, reality is about to return next week in the form of several cold fronts, including an arctic one.

Looking at the latest modeling data, it appears that we will get front #1 on Sunday which will put us back in the normal temperatures for January. Then, possibly because I have two outdoor shoots planned for Wednesday and Thursday, we will see lots of clouds and a chance for rain on those days. By Thursday evening, we should start seeing the first of possible 3 "arctic visitors" over the next two weeks. Our best chance for snow will be the first week of February, when arctic front #2 and #3 move down our way. As usual, it's too early to tell how much or if moisture will actually fall when the temperatures fall below freezing.

California residents should be happy with this change in weather patterns...arctic air over us gives them similar weather to what we've been having today and tomorrow.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yucky Tuesday....

As can be the case around here, when our weather turns warmer than normal in the winter, it usually means lots of fog and drizzle, due to our close proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. A "whimpy" Pacific front moves through on Wednesday night, hopefully clearing our skies on Thursday and Friday so I can work on an important exterior assignment in the Hill Country.

After a couple days of Spring, we should get a more powerful cold front on Saturday afternoon, giving us a slight chance for some storms along the front, then some fairly cool temps and most likely a couple of freezes for Monday and Tuesday mornings next week. Later next week we get a good chance of rain and possibly some arctic air by the first week in February.

Meanwhile, more heavy rain in the west for the next several days.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Systems will bypass San Antonio

As you can see from my last post, the systems out west will bypass Texas, for the most part. We may see a squall line form on Saturday or Sunday as a cold front and upper level disturbance move a little closer to us. Looks like mild weather through Saturday, then more seasonal cold by Sunday and Monday of next week.

Long term models are looking very interesting for the first couple days in February...if these pan out, we will certainly have a great shot at snow.

West Coast and Deserts will be flooding!

Wow! These 5 day rainfall totals forecast for the western part of the country are insane! Predictions of up to 11 inches in Southern California and 9 inches for the deserts of Arizona. It this pans out, we will be seeing lots of "Mudslide and Flooding" footage in the next couple of days...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Rainfall reports from COCORAHS

.. Public information statement...

An upper level storm system moved across south central Texas over
the last few days and brought heavy rain to parts of the area.
Here is a list of the highest reported rainfall totals in each
County in our County Warning Area for the period 13-16 January.
These reports are from the cocorahs network. All reports are in inches.

Atascosa Leming 5.32 (highest in cwa)
Bandera Bandera 3.2w 2.08
Bastrop Rosanky 2.8wnw 2.36
Bexar Castle Hills 0.7nnw 3.82
blanco blanco 6.8sse 3.09
Burnet Marble Falls 8.6ese 2.75
Caldwell Luling 6.9nw 2.73
Comal timberwood park 7.7ene 3.10
De Witt Yoakum 6.2wnw 2.81
Dimmit Carrizo Springs 3.0nne 1.30
Edwards Camp Wood 4.1nw 0.87
Fayette Flatonia 3.3ne 2.38
frio Pearsall 7.9nnw 2.06
Gillespie Fredericksburg 13.1sw 1.71
Gonzales Shiner 5.2wnw 2.95
Gonzales 3.8sw 2.95
Guadalupe Kingsbury 0.5s 2.92
Seguin 3.3sw 2.92
Hays San Marcos 7.1w 3.32
Karnes Runge 2.3nnw 2.27
Kendall Boerne 13.6nne 5.10
Kerr Comfort 1.7s 2.03
Kinney Brackettville 1.2sw 0.19
Lavaca Hallettsville 12.4se 3.76
Lee Lexington 6.7s 0.95
Llano Horseshoe Bay 2.7s 1.59
Maverick Eagle Pass 14.9nnw 1.36
Medina Hondo 6.9sse 2.63
real Camp Wood 9.6ese 1.91
Travis Tanglewood Forest 2.9e 2.72
Austin 3.9nne 2.72
Uvalde Camp Wood 11.3ese 1.80
Val Verde del Rio 5.7nw 1.25
Williamson Cedar Park 1.0ese 2.56
Wilson Elmendorf 5.6ene 2.97
Zavala all locations T

The following are from our four climate sites.

Austin Camp Mabry 2.29
Austin Bergstrom 2.11
San Antonio 3.58
del Rio 1.20

Founder of the Weather Channel Speaks out on Global Warming

John Coleman, the founder of the Weather Channel, and still works as a TV meteorologist for KUSI in San Diego recently completed a 5 video series called, "Global Warming: The Other Side". Great material and well worth the watch.

Storm total of 3.13 inches in Helotes

Make sure your cameras are working...with this last batch of rain, I can safely say we will have one heck of a Spring this year! Bluebonnet plants are coming up everywhere on my lot in Helotes. Once March gets here, they should put on a great show.

Meanwhile, San Antonio will feel like Spring is already here this week, with temps hitting the 70's and lows in the 50's. Looking down the road, computer models are not showing any chances of another major cold outbreak for the rest of the month. I find that hard to believe with all of the snow pack and continued very cold temps in Canada and Alaska. I think this will change within a week.

With the 3.13 inches of rain this week, our yearly total is now at 3.44 inches, much above average for January. I much prefer this pattern over our 2 year drought!

Friday, January 15, 2010

25 Years Ago this week!

I know I'm a couple of days late on this one, but "What were you doing 25 years ago this week?". If you were living in San Antonio like I was, here is what you were doing...

Still raining at Noon....

We've gotten another half inch of chilly, windblown rain this morning, bringing our storm total to 2.50 inches in less than 24 hrs. Still looks likely that we could get 1-2 more inches of rain before the system moves out tomorrow.

2 inches and counting....

As of 7am this morning, our storm total is right at 2 inches for Helotes. San Antonio set a record one day rainfall total for January 14th of 1.49 inches...breaking the old record of 1.06 inches set in 1889.

As the upper low parks over the Brownsville area for about 12 more hours, look for more rainfall, especially to the south of us. Even though the low is pretty far to our south, it would not surprise me to see an additional 2 inches in the next 24 hours before the low moves out.

Next week appears to be fairly mild, with a slight chance of rain during the middle of the week and highs around 70 degrees. Our next chance for some cold weather looks to be around the 26th or 27th, with a chance of wintry precipitation. Still too far out to tell for sure yet...

Precipitation graphic courtesy of COCORAHS. I recommend joining their organization.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Best Climategate article I've read...

This is the best "Climategate" article I've read yet...

NOAA issues Flash Flood Watch 3pm CST

Statement as of 2:55 PM CST on January 14, 2010

... Flash Flood Watch in effect from 6 PM CST this evening through
Friday evening...

The National Weather Service in Austin/San Antonio has issued a

* Flash Flood Watch for a portion of south central Texas...
including the following counties... Atascosa... Bandera...
Bastrop... Bexar... blanco... Burnet... Caldwell... Comal...
DeWitt... Dimmit... Fayette... frio... Gonzales... Guadalupe...
Hays... Karnes... Kendall... Kinney... Lavaca... Lee... Maverick...
Medina... Travis... Uvalde... Williamson... Wilson and Zavala.

* From 6 PM CST this evening through Friday evening

* a January heavy rain event is forecast to begin tonight and
continue through Friday. A strong storm system over the
southwest U.S. And north central Mexico is forecast to move over
south Texas Friday and Friday night. Most of the rain is
expected to fall from tonight through 6 PM Friday. There will be
a continued chance of rain and showers on Friday evening. Storm
total rainfall amounts from 2 and 3 inches to near 5 inches are
expected in the Flash Flood Watch area... with isolated amounts
near 6 inches.

* Since the vegetation is thinner in a mid January setting and
evaporation is less during the winter months... these type of
rains may cause flooding at low water crossings... in low lying
areas... on small creeks and streams... and on flood prone streets
in urban areas.

Heavy Rain here soon...

Heavy rain will be moving into our area late this afternoon and especially tonight and on Friday. Rainfall totals could easily be 3-5 inches from this storm system. This could be the system Medina and Canyon lakes need to give them a much needed boost in lake levels. With very little evaporation this time of the year, this is the best time for adding water to the lakes.

Meanwhile, lots of fog this morning in Helotes, where temperatures and dew points are in the lower 50's.

I will be posting any updates from NOAA as they are released.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Latest on potential heavy rain event from NOAA

Here is the latest rainfall graphic from our local NOAA office. Most of the rain will fall from Thursday night through Friday.

So far today, 0.26 inches of rain in Helotes.

2009 Weather Summary from NOAA

Statement as of 12:15 PM CST on January 13, 2010

... 2009 weather summary...

Year 2009 was a transition year when extreme drought persisted
through August followed by more rainfall from September to December.
It was also a year when milder weather for most of the year ended
with much cooler conditions from November 30th to December 31st.

The winter of 2009 was very dry and mild for a winter setting.
December 2008 to February 2009 was a tie for the 7th warmest winter
period for San Antonio with 1922 to 1923 and 2005 to 2006... the 8th
warmest at Austin... and the 13th warmest at del Rio. In January 2009
a brief winter precipitation event came the night of January 27th to
the early morning of January 28... 2009... in a similar pattern to the
December 9th to early morning of December 10... 2008 event. In
February a severe weather event came the evening of February 9th
to the early morning of February 10th... 2009... when severe
thunderstorms brought hail and strong winds.

As the storm track came further south in March of 2009... more rainfall
developed from March 10th to March 31st. Beneficial rains fell from
March 11th to the morning of March 15th... as a cold front stalled
across the region. Some places received more rain from this event
than in the total 6 month period from September 2008 to February
2009. A stretch of colder than usual weather came during the day of
March 11th and continued to the 14th.

In late March of 2009 several severe weather events affected the
area... bringing strong winds and hail... from showers and
thunderstorms on March 25... March 26... and March 31... 2009.
As April came the first half of the month was more like fall and
winter... with fast moving cold fronts... bringing several days of
below normal temperatures... and a few windy days. The windiest day
came April 2nd... when winds gusted to between 40 and 50 mph. The
second half of April brought more rain and severe weather events.
More rain with showers and thunderstorms came during the day of
April 17th and again on the 18th... with very heavy rains over the
East Part of south central Texas... where flooding occurred. Some
areas over the East Part of south central Texas in Lavaca...
Fayette... and eastern Gonzales counties received between 15 and 20
inches of rain rom April 17th to the 18th. This heavy rain event
ended on Saturday afternoon April 18th.

As may began... very warm Summer like conditions persisted in the
early part of the month. Del Rio experienced the warmest day of the
year... when the high was 107 on may 6th... and Uvalde had 108 on may
8th. Beneficial rains came with showers and thunderstorms along a
strong cold front on may 16th... that left several pleasant days from
may 17th to the 21st. Warmer weather returned in late May.

June of 2009 was dry for a June setting. A severe weather event came
June 11th... when showers and thunderstorms moved across Llano...
Burnet... Williamson and Travis counties... producing strong winds and
hail. Another Summer severe weather event came July 30th... when
a line of thunderstorms brought high wind gusts to south central
Texas. The pace of hot days picked up in June 2009 and continued
throughout the Summer. The Summer of 2009 was the hottest Summer of
record for Austin... del Rio... and San Antonio. July 2009 was the
warmest July and overall month on record at Austin Mabry and at
San Antonio. July 2009 was the 3rd warmest July at del Rio. August
2009 was the warmest August at Austin Mabry. August 2009 tied with
2006 for the warmest August at San Antonio... while at del Rio August
2009 was the 2nd warmest August. The most 100 degree days for the
year came to Austin Bergstrom... 55 100 degree days... and at San
Antonio... with 59 100 degree days. Austin Mabry with 68 100 degree
days in 2009 had the 2nd most 100 degree days in a year... while
del Rio with 65 100 degree days had the 4th most 100 degree days for
a year in 2009.

August 2009 ended a very dry 2 year period for the area. The driest
non-overlapping 2 year period of record from September 2007 to
August 2009 was observed at San Antonio... with only 24.83 inches of
rain... far below the 2nd driest of 30.23 inches from August 1954 to
July 1956 and 3rd driest of 30.41 inches 100 years ago from October
1908 to September 1910. At Austin Mabry it was the 3rd driest
non-overlapping 2 year period of record with 35.23 inches of
rain... after the driest 2 year non-overlapping period of 33.87
inches from October 1916 to September 1918 and 33.96 inches from
January 1954 to December 1955.

When September and October came... rainfall amounts jumped
significantly. A wetter weather pattern emerged September 4th and
continued for the rest of the year... improving drought conditions.
The most rain fell in September and October. This brought several
brief flash flood events. A few September flash flood events
occurred. The heaviest rain came on Friday September 11th to
Saturday September 12th... when 19.42 inches of rain fell near
Jarrell in Williamson country. Another flash flood event came in
early October. The heavy rains of 5.42 inches at San Antonio on
October 4th was the 14th wettest calendar day of record at
San Antonio. On the afternoon of October 21st to the night of
October 21st and early morning of October 22nd... heavy rains fell
over parts of Burnet County... eastern Llano County and over northern
Blanco County. This left 6 to 9 inches of rain. The fall of 2009
was the 5th wettest September to November at San Antonio since
1871... the 12th wettest at Austin since 1856... and the 54th wettest
at del Rio since 1906. Most of the rain in the fall came in
September and October... followed by a few days of heavy rain in
November. The faster pace of weather systems in December caused
rainfall amounts to decrease from what was observed in the fall.

After mild weather for most of November... much colder conditions
came the night of Sunday... November 29th to Monday November 30th.
The colder than usual conditions persisted through most of December
2009. December 2009 tied for the 15th coolest December at Austin
Mabry with December 1865 since 1854... tied for the 4th coolest at
Austin Bergstrom with December 1989 since 1942... was the 8th coolest
December at San Antonio since 1885... and tied for the 13th coolest
December at del Rio with December 1976 since 1905.

Like April 2nd... 2009... windy conditions followed a fast moving cold
front on December 24th... 2009 leaving wind gusts to near 40 to
near 50 mph... along with colder temperatures. A few snow flurries
accompanied this event in the morning to the early afternoon over
Gillespie... Llano... Burnet... Williamson... northwest Travis... and
blanco counties. Later in December another mixed precipitation event
came... with snow flurries reported over The Hill Country the morning
of December 29th. Cold rain was briefly mixed with sleet from
San Antonio to Austin on the morning of December 29th... 2009.

The coolest decembers at Austin... del Rio... and San Antonio are
listed below.

The coolest decembers at Austin Mabry from 1854 to 2009 follow.

1. December 1859 40.9
2. December 1983 41.9
3. December 1898 42.9
4. December 1876 43.4
5. December 1989 44.3
15. December 1865 and 2009 47.5... 4.6 degrees below normal.

The coolest decembers at Austin Bergstrom from October 1942 to 2009 follow.

1. December 2000 43.9
2. December 1983 45.3
3. December 1963 45.5
4. December 1989 and 2009 46.1... 6.8 degrees below normal
5. December 1997 47.5

The coolest decembers at San Antonio from 1885 to 2009 follow.

1. December 1983 43.0
2. December 1989 43.4
3. December 1963 45.7
4. December 1914 46.3
5. December 2000 46.4
6. December 1898 47.4
7. December 1909 47.8
8. December 2009 48.3... 4.1 degrees below normal
9. December 1905 48.5
10. December 1944 48.9

The coolest decembers at del Rio from 1905 to 2009 follow.

1. December 1989 44.3
2. December 1983 44.6
3. December 1914 45.6
4. December 1963 45.8
5. December 1905 46.4
12. December 2009 49.0... 3.4 degrees below normal.

The warmest highs... coldest lows... average yearly temperature... and
rainfall for 2009 are listed below. The departure from the 1971 to
2000 normal for the average yearly temperature and yearly rainfall
are also listed.

Location warmest day coldest low average 2009 temperature/2009 rain
departure from 1971-2000 normal

Austin Mabry 106 Jun. 25 25 on Dec. 5 70.5 +2.0 31.38 -2.27
106 Jun. 29
106 Jul. 8

Del Rio 107 may 6 27 on Dec. 5 71.6 +1.9 12.96 -5.84

San Antonio 104 Jun. 29 23 on Dec. 5 71.0 +2.3 30.69 -2.23
104 Jul. 5
104 Jul. 8
104 Jul. 9
104 Aug. 23

year 2009 was the 5th warmest year at Austin Mabry from 1854 to 2009...
the 6th warmest at del Rio from 1906 to 2009... and the 6th warmest year
at San Antonio from 1885 to 2009. After the warmest Summer... much
cooler conditions came in September... and this set the tone for a
cooler fall. The milder conditions for most of November... ended
quickly with colder weather in December of 2009.

"Mini Me" Low moving out...time for the Big One!

As the small upper low moves out of the San Antonio area, look for just some very light drizzle and fog until the "Big Bad Upper Low" moves across our area on late Thursday through early Saturday. Based on the latest computer forecast models, it looks like we have a real shot at setting the all time 24hr rainfall record for San Antonio of 2.72 inches, set on January 18th, 1968. I think 3-4 inches of rain between Thursday and late Friday is a real possibility.

Speaking of records, I will be writing about record highs and lows and how they don't mean much for proving "Global Warming". I'll try to get that blog out later today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mild weather to last at least a week

After our arctic air outbreak last week, it is still looking like we are going into at least a week of normal temperatures with some "above normal" rainfall. An upper low will park over us from Thursday through Friday, delivering some heavy rain...estimates range from 1-4 inches in our vicinity. After that, we will have some very mild and nice weather through Wednesday of next week, when another rain system moves through.

Based on long range models (not known for accuracy), we won't see any really cold air again until around the 24th...that will also give us another chance of snow. So far, as usual, snow has been avoiding San Antonio.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Warming, wet week ahead...

After several days of hard freezes, we should be moving into a warming trend that may last for more than a week. Current weather models show a great chance for rain from Thursday through Saturday morning, then fairly normal temperatures for the first part of next week. At this point, it looks like the jet stream will be too far to the north for our precipitation this week to turn into the fun, frozen type.

Our low in Helotes this morning was 26 degrees.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

El Niño is coming back to visit....

After a few weeks off for a Christmas break, El Niño will be visiting San Antonio later this week, bring copious quantities of rain and a chance for some snow in West Texas and possibly the Hill Country. Right now, the highest rainfall totals will be to our east, as usual, but we could see 1-2 inches of rain in our area. Computer models were looking more "bullish" for snow in our area a couple of days ago, but the latest runs point to cold rain instead of snow. I will continue to monitor this system as we get further into the week.

Our low in Helotes last night was 22 and we may approach 50 by the afternoon. Clouds start moving in on Monday and should be with us through Saturday...

BTW...a record low temperature of 13 degrees was set at Austin Bergstrom today. This breaks the old record of 15 set in 1962.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

More lows from West Texas and Hill Country

Very cold temperatures across west central Texas Saturday morning...

Here is a summary of low temperatures for Saturday morning

... Across the Big Country...

Hawley... 5
Cross Plains 6wnw... 6
Dyess Air Force Base... 10
CLyde 6s... 11
Stamford... 12
Haskell 1nw... 13
Abilene... 14
Sweetwater... 16

... Across the Concho Valley...

Eden 3s... 4
Christoval... 9
San Angelo 7nw... 9
San Angelo... 10
Sterling City... 10
Paint Creek... 11
wall 1e... 12
Barnhart... 13

... Across the Heartland...

Burkett 9s... 4
blanket 4s... 4
Colorado River at Winchell... 4
Brownwood 4se... 5
Melvin 2s... 5
Cherokee creek near Bend... 5
Brownwood 10ssw... 6
may 1n... 6
Pecan Bayou at Hwy 279... 6
Richland Springs 11n... 6
Colorado River near San Saba... 6
Brownwood Airport... 7
Brady 11e... 7
Colorado River at Bend... 7
Richland Springs 6wnw... 7
San Saba river at San Saba... 7
Lake Brownwood... 8
San Saba river near Brady... 8
Mason 11ne... 8
Tow 11n... 8
Mason 15nne... 8
Lake Coleman near Novice... 9
Bangs 6w... 9
Gouldbusk 4n... 9
Richland Springs 7s... 9

... Across the northern Edwards Plateau...

Fort mackavett 6nw... 4
Roosevelt 10wsw... 5
Ozona 22se... 6
Sonora... 9
Sonora 14se... 11
Sonora 17ene... 12
Eldorado 2e... 12

... Across the Northwest Hill country...

Junction 17nw... 3
fort mackavett State Park... 3
Menard 11ne... 5
Menard 14e... 6
San Saba river at Menard... 6
Llano river near Junction... 6
Junction 14se... 6
Mason 13wnw... 6
Mason 15w... 6
Johnson Fork near Junction... 7
comnache creek near Mason... 8
James River near Mason... 8
Junction... 8
south Llano river at Telegraph... 8
Junction 18ene... 9
Telegraph 9nw... 9
Mason 14ssw... 9

Record lows throughout our area last night...

Our low in Helotes was 17 overnight. Del Rio set a record low of 18, San Antonio dropped to 16 (not a record), Austin set a record low of 10 degrees, Kerrville hit 10 degrees and Junction dropped to 8 degrees! Although we will see some "warming" into the 40's today, look for another cold night with lows near or in the teens. Next weekend continues to look very interesting...a strong upper low will drift over our area and cold temperatures will also be in place. This could be our best chance for snow so far this year...

Friday, January 8, 2010

-4 degree dew point in Helotes

This is a first since I moved to Helotes in 1999...a dew point below zero. At 4:30, my dew point in Helotes is -4 degrees! If the clouds ever part, look for a plunging thermometer tonight. The record low of 12 degrees, set in 1886, could be in jeopardy. Even Sunday's record low of 17 degrees is within possibilities, given the slowness for arctic air masses to move out.

So far, the high in Helotes has been 32.7 after a low of 24 degrees. Depending on when the clouds break, we could see an even lower temperature than 24 before midnight.

There will be a warming trend and what looks like a good chance of fairly heavy rain by the end of the week. There could also be some cold air mixed in, to make things more entertaining.

Could be coldest temps since 1989

This in from NOAA:

Dewpoints are extremely low and the clearing skies will make for ideal radiational cooling tonight as the winds decrease. Areas of the Hill Country will see single digit low temperatures...I-35 corridor from AUS to SAT will see 10-15 degrees...with other areas of south central Texas expecting Teens.

If we get down to the forecast lows at SAT 14, Austin Mabry 14, and AUS Bergstrom 10, these will be the coldest readings since the cold outbreak of 1989. Temps were much colder with that outbreak, but it still does give you an idea that this cold snap means business. Continue with precautions against pipes, plants, etc.

Counties: southern Val Verde, Kinney,Maverick, Zavala, Dimmit, Frio, Atascosa, Bexar, Uvalde, Medina

Forecast Period

Precip Chances (percent)

Temps (degrees)

Windchill (degrees)






Coldest morning of this outbreak, widespread mid to upper teens. Winds will drop off significantly





Temps in the mid to upper 40s

Saturday Night




Continued cold

Counties : northern Val Verde, Edwards, Real, Kerr, Bandera, Gillespie

Forecast Period

Precip Chances (percent)

Temps (degrees)

Windchill (degrees)






Coldest morning of this outbreak, widespread low to middle teens. Winds will drop off significantly





Temps in the low to mid 40s

Saturday Night




Continued cold

Counties: Comal, Hays, Travis, Williamson, Llano, Burnet, Blanco, Kendall, Lee, Bastrop, Caldwell, Guadalupe

Forecast Period

Precip Chances (percent)

Temps (degrees)

Windchill (degrees)






Coldest morning of this outbreak, widespread low to middle teens. Winds will drop off significantly





Temps in the middle 40s

Saturday Night




Continued cold

Very cold now, but warming is on the horizon...

25 degrees as I type this update in Helotes at 8:30 this morning. There is light snow being reported to the NW of us, around Sonora and the moisture is trying to move our direction. As I have been forecasting, it would not surprise me to see a few "random" flakes floating around here this afternoon.

Later, skies will clear and we will be seeing extremely low temperatures tonight...our current dew point is 0 degrees, which is very low for our part of the world. We may go down into the lower teens and parts of the Hill Country will see single digits. Once we get into next week, look for a warming trend and better chances for rain. Our next round of cold air will be next weekend and there could be some precipitation at the same time...too early to tell yet.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Duh, Arctic front is here...

Just in case you slept in and can't hear winds gusting to 36mph, the arctic front arrived around 5am this morning dropping our temperatures in Helotes from 51 degrees to our present low of 34 degrees at 9am. A few current state temperatures: 12 degrees in Amarillo, 18 degrees in Lubbock, 24 in Dallas, 24 in Kerrville, 25 in Junction and Brownsville hanging in there at 65 degrees (front has not arrived yet).

If it stays cloudy today, I still expect temperatures to drop below freezing and stay below freezing until almost noon on Saturday. Even if the clouds part, I don't see us geting out of the 30's until Saturday afternoon. During the next couple of days there will be a chance for seeing a few flurries, especially on Friday, when a small upper low drifts into NW Texas. Models are showing the low to evaporate before it reaches our area, but I still think it might have enough energy to throw a few flakes our direction.

Meanwhile, record lows and bitter cold are occurring throughout the northern hemisphere. There are so many reports of record lows that I've just about given up on posting them in my "Global Cooling" section of

Enjoy the cold!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Arctic Front Entering Texas-4:30pm Update

As of 4:30, the arctic blast was somewhere between Amarillo and Lubbock. Lubbock warmed up to 66 degrees this afternoon and is forecast to drop to near 10 degrees tonight. Dalhart hit 60 degrees before the front came in and is now at 29 degrees with winds gusting to 40!

For us, the big factor will be whether the clouds part or not on Thursday and Friday. I'm still thinking it will remain mostly cloudy and that we will stay below freezing for most of Thursday, all day Friday and until late morning on Saturday, when the skies do clear. I also think we will see mid teens for lows on Saturday morning if it does clear by Friday afternoon.

Looking further down the calendar, our area will be in a pattern of below normal temps and above average chances for precipitation for the next two weeks. If we can get some more arctic air to move in, we might still have a decent shot at getting some snow. Our next chance may be around the 15th of the month...we shall see!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Latest on upcoming arctic event.

As of this morning, after looking at more weather models, it's starting to look like we may see a few flurries or light sleet on Thursday morning as the arctic front pushes through. Once it comes through, look for temperatures to fall to near or just under freezing for all of Thursday. Right now, it looks like clouds will be around during the day on Friday, so I expect us to stay below freezing all day on Friday. Late on Friday, the clouds should part, allowing us to fall into the mid teens on Saturday morning. Under clear skies, we should see low 40's on Saturday, ending almost 48 hours of sub-freezing temperatures.

LCFS: 278

The second round of arctic air appears to be holding off until the 15th or 16th. At this time, precipitation looks to be on the light side. Despite us being in an El Nino pattern, the cold arctic air is not allowing for much moisture to move into our area in the short term.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Special Weather Statement 4pm 1-4-10

Statement as of 4:00 PM CST on January 04, 2010

... Arctic outbreak likely later this week...

An early January outbreak of cold Arctic air will arrive early
Thursday morning and remain through this coming weekend. This
Arctic outbreak will bring the coldest temperatures so far this
winter. Temperatures will likely be colder during this cold snap
than for the past few Winters.

Blustery northerly winds of 20 to 35 mph can be expected Thursday.
Some sleet is possible near the coastal plains during the mid
morning hours on Thursday. However... no accumulation is expected.

Dry and cold conditions are expected to follow Thursday afternoon
through Friday and continue Saturday and Sunday. Overnight
temperatures on Thursday night... Friday night... and Saturday night
will fall below freezing for much of the night. Lows will be in
the teens across The Hill Country with upper teens and lower to
mid 20s across south central Texas. New record lows may be

These hard freezes will be significant enough to damage tender
vegetation and exposed pipes. Precautions to protect tender
vegetation and exposed pipes is advised.

Early Climate Change Study

Reading the following excerpt from a weather study, would lead one to think this is from a typical "Global Warming" scare story from some current day magazine or newspaper. Instead, this is from 1933, when much of the globe was going through a major warming cycle. This cycle may have lead to the disastrous "dust bowl" of the 30's. In less than 10 years, the earth would move into a cooling cycle that lasted through the 70's.

The present wide-spread and persistent tendency toward
warmer weather, and especially the recent long
series of mild winters, has attracted considerable public
interest; so much so that frequently the question is asked
“Is our climate changing? ”

All of these confirm the general statment that we are in the midst of a period of abnormal warmth, which has come on more or
less gradually for many years. An example of this
auxiliary evidence is shown in figure 12, in which the
general trend of the number of days with freezing weather
in fall and in spring at Washingt,on, D.C., is charted for a
period of 6O years (data in table 2). It will be noted
that for the 20 years ending with 1892 there was for the
spring months (after February) a total of 354 days with
minimum temperature 32' or lower, and for the 20 years,
ending with 1933, this had dropped to 237 days.

Here is a link to the entire study...

Weather Bureau, Washington, D.C., Sept. 29, 1933

Cold weather throughout Northern Hemisphere

Recent cold weather has not just been limited to our part of the world. Throughout the Northern Hemisphere, this has been a very cold winter and it's only early January.

Here is a recent article about China and South Korea:

It's not just Britain shivering as record snow hits China and South Korea

Early preview

On my way to my morning photo shoot I decided to gas up my van. I forgot how chilly mid 30's and a slight breeze was! Of course, this is nothing compared with what Thursday and Friday will be like! Recent models are showing clouds on both days which would keep us below freezing for 24-48 hrs. If it clears, we will easily be in the teens. No moisture is showing up in the latest models during the arctic plunge.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Looks like 2 Arctic Surges Now!

Looking at recent model runs this morning, it is starting to look like we will get a second arctic front on or near the 13th of January. Unfortunately, both fronts look fairly dry at this point.

For this week's arctic front, models are suggesting a brief sleet and snow event on Thursday morning, then extremely cold air, with lots of wind and wind chill. Wind chill indices may go into the single digits and lows on Friday morning and Saturday morning may reach the teens.

Meanwhile, before the front, our temperatures will remain below normal, with mostly cloudy skies today and more sun on Monday through Wednesday.

Here are some chilling headlines for you...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

LCFS Arctic Front Rating

Based on latest modeling data, the arctic front, due to arrive on Thursday, has a LCFS rating of 278.

Introducing the LCFS, "Langford Cold Front Scale". Contains 3 digits, ranging from 0-9, with 9 being highest. 1st digit=Probability that precipitation will fall along or after front arrives. 2nd digit=Wind Velocity. 3rd digit=Strength of front relative to seasonal norm. (0 would be normal temps)

Arctic Air on the way

Latest forecast models suggest our first major arctic surge will be arriving around Thursday of next week. Could see some of the coldest temps in several years for much of the country, including San Antonio. If the skies clear, we might see lows in the teens and highs in the lower 30's. If it stays cloudy, we could be below freezing for a couple of days. Unfortunately, at this time, moisture for snow appears to be in short supply. December ended up the 8th coolest in San Antonio since 1885.