Friday, February 26, 2010

USA temperature increase being inflated...

In a new study, just released by Dr. R. Long, increases in USA temperatures are being "over-inflated" by the National Climatic Data Center. When Dr. Long used RAW data and compared temperatures from the start of the 1900's to now, he found a large difference in urban and rural sites, due to the "heat island effect".

It has been my contention for a long time, that rises in recorded temperatures have been polluted by thermometers that are being impacted by quickly growing urban centers. San Antonio is a perfect example...our official thermometer is located on the runway of our international airport. Not only is there a lot of concrete from the runways, but San Antonio International is surrounded by two major highways (Loop 410 and Hwy 281) and large streets, such as Broadway, Wetmore and Bitters.

In a nutshell, rural temperatures have changed very little over the past 100 years.

Below is a link to the study:

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Record cold and snow hits Russia

I dedicate my blog from today to Al Gore, who's blog today blames "Global Warming", or as he likes to call it, "Climate Change" on our snowy and cold winter for most of the country. He also mentions those extreme hurricanes that will be on the increase...just like last year, eh Al? Funny how he doesn't mention natural cycles like El Niño in his blog. The graphic to the left is from Wikipedia and accurately illustrates this winter. Nor does Al mention that Europe and Asia are having extremely cold winters throughout most of the continents. Last year, "Climate Changers" were blaming Global Warming on a lack of snow in the SW and our warm winter. They also failed last year to mention we were in a La Niña pattern...

Meanwhile, Russia has been setting some snow records and almost set the coldest temperature ever recorded in Europe.

Here are the links:

Latest Helotes Snow Update 11:30am

At 11:30 am it is snowing in Helotes!

Noon Update: Now that the upper atmosphere has finally chilled, our moisture has diminished a bit. Hoping for more this afternoon.

1pm Update: Snow is starting to fall in Del Rio, to the west of us as the upper low pulls out of Mexico. There is a band of snow moving our direction from the west. As the low moves through, look for snow to start falling by 3pm and last for 1-2 hours. After that, most of the snow will be over as the low passes to the east of us.

4pm Update: Poof! Dryer air filtered in and evaporated our last chance for snow this afternoon. I saw a few anemic flurries, but that was all.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Snow chances are increasing despite warm day.

I know it's hard to fathom, but despite getting into the low 60's today, we actually have a great shot of seeing enough snow to cover our yards and cars outside.

As the night progresses, our winds will get stronger out of the NE, ushering in colder air and later, clouds. As we awake tomorrow morning, some light rain will start falling as a strong upper low drifts over us from the NW. By noon, we should start seeing sleet, and by afternoon through midnight, we should see mainly snow. Because it was so warm today and yesterday, driving should not be a problem until late tomorrow night, when we get very close, if not below, freezing. I'm a little worried about the Wednesday morning commute.

Above is the latest graphic from NOAA.

Based on the latest precipitation forecasts I'm seeing, I think we could see 1-3 inches of snow, with only 1/2 inch-1 inch accumulation tomorrow night.

Either way, it would be the first time in decades that we have seen snow cover our yards in San Antonio.

9pm we have a 90% chance of snow in the afternoon!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hmm...shall I really say it again?

I know you are all saying, "here he goes again with the snow forecast".

Even though we are nearing the end of February, and statistics are against us, those darn forecast models and some very cold air from Canada are giving me optimism for a potential snow event on Tuesday night of next week. At the present time, it looks like we have a chance for 1-2 inches of snow, and since it will be falling at night, a fairly good chance it might stick around for a few hours on Wednesday morning.

As usual, areas just north of us have a really good chance for snow, including the Texas Hill Country. This will be a fairly quick event, so snow amounts won't be very high.

What's amazing about all of this is that we are even talking about snow chances to begin with, this late in the season. We are now less than 30 days from Vernal Equinox, which is usually a safe time to start planting for Spring. The way things are going this season, I wouldn't be surprised to see freezes going late into March.

On another note, our drought is officially over! The Express-News ran a great article earlier this week. Here are two links from it:

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lots of "Anti Global Warming Articles" Today

Once again, we are having another "below normal temperature day" today in San Antonio. This late in February, our average high should be near 70 and our low should be in the low 40's. After a freeze last night, we are struggling to get out of the mid 50's and will be back to the lower 30's by tonight and possibly the upper 20's.

I have posted the latest 8-14 day forecast from NOAA. As you can see, we will be trending below normal for almost the rest of February.

Below are several "Anti-Global Warming" articles from today's news sources.

Steven Goddard 2-15-10

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Winter is not giving up anytime soon!

After a slightly warmer day today and almost hitting 70 on Sunday, a strong front will move down Sunday afternoon, putting us very close to freezing, with strong winds on Monday. Monday night we should see lows in the upper 20's, with a slight rebound the rest of the week. Late in the week, moisture returns and yet another strong cold front moves down on Friday or Saturday. With my dismal track record this year forecasting snow, I won't mention that we could see yet another chance for frozen precip by next weekend. Unfortunately, since we will be in our third week of February, our snow chances for San Antonio are quickly evaporating...

Speaking of snow, one model has consistently shown snow flurries for us on Sunday night a few hours after the arctic front moves in. Nothing this year would surprise me!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rainfall Records from NOAA

Since we didn't get any of the snow that I predicted, I'll take the safe route and share some NOAA rainfall reports released this afternoon...

This past five month period, September-February, has been the second rainiest September-February in San Antonio, since records have been kept. San Antonio has almost received a year's worth of rainfall in only 5 months. Pretty amazing when you stop and think how we went through one of the worst 2 year droughts in our history. Here are the top 4 rainiest September-Februarys so far. Don't forget, we are only halfway through February.

1. September 1875 through February 1875: 31.71 inches of rain
2. September 2009 through February 2010: 30.70 inches of rain
3. September 1991 through February 1992: 28.73 inches of rain
4. September 1967 through February 1968: 28.33 inches of rain

One more wave of rain and a tiny chance of snow

Nice to know I wasn't totally off on my prediction last night. Here is the latest graphic, released about 30 minutes ago from NOAA. As expected, the upper low will throw some cold air aloft and give the area dotted in the graphic, a chance for seeing some snow.

On radar, there is a fairly heavy band of rain, sleet or snow approaching us from the west at 4:15. If we don't see a few flakes with this band, that will probably be it for this round. We may even see a sunset tonight. Meanwhile, Dallas really saw a lot of snow and is expecting even more tonight. They are currently in a winter storm warning and may get up to 7 inches of snow with this system.

At this time it appears we will go into a dry pattern for several days, with a strong front moving in on Sunday afternoon. In fact, we could see some light freezes on Monday and Tuesday with this cold front. Our next chance for some frozen precipitation will be around the 20th, but that is still too far off to get excited about. Also, as we go past the middle of February, it becomes increasingly difficult to see snow around here, due to us being so darn close to the equator!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010,now what?

OK, I realize that it is over freezing and that the odds of it snowing in the next 24hrs is pretty remote now. So, what happened? Well, for starters, the cold air that came down a couple of days ago was not as cold as forecast by the models. Secondly, the sun came out yesterday and warmed us up to 50 degrees. Although we were clear for most of last night, we did not get down below freezing as had originally been forecast. On top of that, the clouds thinned during the day and allowed us to warm up to over 40 degrees. We did have some "BB" size sleet for a few minutes this morning for a little fun., now what? Well, the good news at my place in Helotes, is that we have already cooled down into the upper 30's, now that the sun is going down. Secondly, our winds continue to blow from the NE, which is keeping the air chilled. And, most importantly, our dew point in Helotes is still 5 degrees below freezing, which means that the air will cool rapidly if moisture starts falling soon. Lastly, the upper low will track very close to our area, with cold winds aloft. If we can even get into the low to mid 30's, we might still have a chance of seeing some snow around here. It might not stick, but would still look great. I rate our odds at about 20% that this will happen. More than likely, we will see some more sleet and of course, the ever so boring, cold rain!

I am reminded of a snow event that took place about 38 years ago in Comfort, TX. At the time, my family had a small ranch there and the weather was almost identical to tonight's weather. It was above freezing and snow was not even mentioned. My friends and I (Jon Johnston and John McClenny) were playing night volleyball and not paying attention to the light drizzle that was coming down. Anyhow, we all went to bed around midnight and to my surprise as I went outside to use the crude, outdoor, bathroom facilities around 3am, huge snow flakes began to fall. I mean, huge! Some of the flakes were as large as half dollar coins. In just over 4 hours, we ended up with almost 5 inches of snow.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sunshine not a friend to snow chances...

So, on the positive side, I was able to do a photo shoot today that I didn't think I'd have a chance to shoot, due to clouds. That's actually a big positive, since sunshine has been in such short supply lately.

Now the negative side...for all of us wanting to see some snow in the next couple of days, our high temperature of over 50 degrees didn't exactly help those odds. Now we have to hope the clouds come in late tonight so that our dry, cool air moves the thermometer down into the lower 30's. With San Antonio's luck, the clouds will come in early, while the temps are their highest, making our lows in the upper 30's or lower 40's.

So, here is my latest thinking...if the clouds stay away most of the night and allow the temps to get near freezing, because of the abundant moisture on the way and cold air aloft, I still think we have a shot at some snow, sleet or ice on Wednesday and Thursday. If the clouds come in close to sunset and the temps stay in the upper 30's, then a "Seattle Pattern" will kick in, giving us a cold, nasty rain throughout the period.

On a different note, a new blizzard will be drifting through Washington, DC overnight, adding to their woes. Meanwhile, it hasn't stopped the Obama Administration from announcing today they created a new "Climate Change" website!

Monday, February 8, 2010

2 Fronts, snow, sleet and freezing rain! we go!

I've been reviewing the latest forecasts, modeling data and snow cover for the United States and I'm convinced we will see snow, sleet and freezing rain in San Antonio, starting on Wednesday and possibly going through Friday.

With 62% of the country now under snow cover and an arctic front making it's way southward tonight, it would not surprise me to see us stay at or below freezing from Tuesday night through Thursday or Friday. Because most areas to our north are under snow right now, this will preserve the cold air moving into South Texas tonight, making the air colder than current forecasts and models are indicating. The snow factor will also keep the cold air depth deeper, allowing a better chance for snow, starting on Tuesday night and Wednesday. The precipitation chart above shows forecast rainfall amounts on Wednesday. If this pans out in the form of snow, we could see 2-3 inches of the white stuff. Another upper level low moves in on Thursday. At this time, forecasts are for the high pressure to move to our east just enough to keep the precipitation in the form of sleet or freezing rain. If the high pressure does not move out as anticipated, we could see half a foot of snow on Thursday, based on precipitation forecasts. Actually, this scenario would be better for traffic and potential downed power lines if the precipitation falls as rain.

Here's how I see things progressing:

This afternoon, front #1 will move through, switching our winds into the north and giving us a chance for a small thunderstorm or two. Later tonight, the arctic front will move in, dropping temps into the lower 30's with high winds and a low wind chill on Tuesday. At this time, we may see enough sun on Tuesday to take us into the 40's for a high. Later on Tuesday, clouds will thicken as moisture starts moving over the high pressure from the Pacific. That's when things start getting interesting. A small upper level low will move in on Wednesday, giving us a good chance for snow on Wednesday morning and afternoon. Then, a stronger system moves in on Thursday and Friday. That's the one that could deliver either heavier snow or ice. My LCFS rating for the arctic front is 878. For an explanation on this system, please go to

Front #1 came through Helotes around 2:45 this afternoon. We got .13 inches of rainfall this morning and when the storm came through with the front.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

2.46 inches for Helotes

Over the past 48 hours we've gauged 2.46 inches of rain in my backyard in Helotes. I was surprised this afternoon, while returning home from the Medical Center, when a heavy downpour hit me near Huebner and Bandera Rd. It got so bad that I was getting a little concerned about getting flooded out. At noon, NOAA had dropped our chances to 20% and were only calling for light rain. This was not light rain!

I was just checking the forecast for Baltimore, where my nephew lives, and this system is forecast to move toward the NE and drop 2-3 feet of snow. I always love it when the "Capital of Climate Change" gets buried in snow. It amuses me up to picture our current administration, which lectures to anyone who disbelieves Anthropogenic Global Warming, having to shovel themselves out of a blizzard.

All of the models continue to show a very good chance for snow or ice next week and a second chance for frozen precip the following week.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

At least 2 good chances for snow

Long term forecasts and latest modeling data suggest at least 2 good opportunities for the San Antonio area (and most of central and south Texas) to see snow and or ice in the next two weeks. Our first chance will be next week as an arctic front slides down on Monday night. As it does, we could see a slight chance for ice or snow when it moves in, but the best chance will be Wednesday through Friday of next week as two disturbances move in from the SW. Then, about a week later, we will see yet another arctic front and almost the same scenario play out, based on the latest models.

How about that Global Warming!

Meanwhile, rainfall today in Helotes has been very close to 2 inches, with more on the way...right on with my forecast of 2-3 inches from a couple of days ago.

1.18 Of Rain-Snow Odds Increasing

Our 8am storm total is 1.18 inches from last night through this morning. As everyone has noticed, it's still raining and will be doing so for at least another 24 hours. A slow moving upper low will drift our way from Mexico and will pull out of South Texas late tomorrow.

Next week is looking "very interesting"! Arctic air will invade us again on Monday night, giving us a chance of frozen precip on Tuesday morning. Our best chance, though, will come on Wednesday, as an upper low moves into South Texas while the arctic air is still in place. That looks like our best chance of the winter season so far for snow or ice.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Wet Weather Just Around the Corner!

An upper level low will move across South Texas in the next 24-36 hrs, giving us a great chance of seeing 2-3 inches of more rain. It's amazing to me how weather patterns can so dramatically change...this time last year we were begging for drizzle!

By Friday, sunshine will be back again for 48 hrs until, yet another, low pressure and a very strong cold front move into our area. As this front moves down, I think we will have a pretty good chance of seeing some snow or ice on Monday night through Tuesday. Later next week we could see another round of cold air and possibly our second chance of ice or snow.

Meanwhile, take care if you have to drive around will be a great "body shop" day!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Latest NOAA 5 day precipitation forecast still has our area in the 2-3 inch rain zone. Looks like a "Seattle" kind of week, with cool temps and very wet weather ahead until Friday. After a dry weekend, another big system hits us in about a week. This one still has a chance of coming in with some cold air, although the latest models are beginning to show more of a rain event than an ice or snow event. We should know more in the next couple of days.

December was the 14th coldest December for the United States in 115 years. Good ol Global Warming!