Monday, June 30, 2008

4th of July Forecast

After a rainy weekend, the weather is pretty nice for summer. However, it is Texas and the weather always changes. As we get closer to the 4th of July holiday, the humidity levels will rise and it will be back to warm and muggy weather across East Texas. This will also lead to the sea breeze popping up a few afternoon storms. So on the 4th, there is a slight chance we could see one or two storms. I really don't think we will see widespread activity so I would not cancel those outdoor plans. If the rain does develop it will be mainly in the late afternoon hours, so between 3:00 and 7:00. The first half of Friday should remain dry.

If you are going to watch the fireworks this year, we want to know where. Vote in our poll that is on the right side of your screen. Also, you may have noticed the fireworks display above the poll question. Just click anywhere in the sky to create your own fireworks show!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

An Active Sunday Afternoon

The past couple of days, we have been telling you about how active things may be on Sunday as an unusual June cool front dipped into Texas. Sure enough, we saw a couple rounds of storms rumble through the Piney Woods, dumping heavy rainfall, containing gusty winds, and producing lots of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. The first round came through Angelina county and affected the communities of Hudson, Lufkin, and Huntington. That complex then rolled eastward towards Woodville and extended towards Jasper and Newton.

Behind that complex of storms was another that fired up just after 5pm local time. This was an image captured by our very own Live Doppler 9 Network showing you a storm that prompted a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for southern Cherokee county.

The polygon area highlighted in yellow was the area most affected by the storm.

This storm continued its trek towards the east and as it did, we were monitoring it closely.

One of the unique features we have to analyze a storm is a feature we call "XVISION." This allows us to slice into the storm and look at it in a 3-dimensional mode. What this image shows is what the storm looked like entering Nacogdoches county. It showed a very intense storm, with storm heights around 30-40,000 feet.

Anytime storms build that high in the atmosphere, that tells us a couple of things. It first signals very strong vertical motion. But secondly, and more importantly, it tells us that there could be a hail core in which hailstones could have been falling from the storm. Fortunately, no one had reports of hail with this particular storm.

Remember, if you ever see hail falling from the sky or have gusty winds that do some damage, we encourage you to send us an email at This allows our meteorologists to better know what's happening and allows them to relay your message to the public so that they can be properly warned.

We are Your Umbrella of Protection !!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Can You Say Cool Front in June?

It is rare to talk about cool fronts, especially in the summer months. However, it is a fairly strong cool front for this time of year that will drift into East Texas on Sunday, leading to numerous showers and storms.

The cool front has already sparked storms this evening off in north Texas and southern Oklahoma, where Severe Thunderstorm Watches are in effect through the late evening hours.

This front will make progress towards the south overnight and arrive here sometime Sunday afternoon.

This cool front will serve as a focusing mechanism for showers and storms to develop. If we get sunshine early in the day, that could lead to some strong storms by the afternoon. My gut feeling is that we will see lots of clouds and not much sunshine, limiting the threat for severe weather.

There will be two affects from this front.
1.) We should get some more beneficial rainfall from this event. This our Microcast Computer Model showing the potential 48 hour rainfall totals from Saturday evening through Monday evening. Notice that most areas could possibly see anywhere from a quarter of an inch to possibly over an inch of rain. Some areas could see more than that if heavy rainfall develops and moves over the same areas.
2.) The second affect from the front won't be noticed until late Monday and into Tuesday of next week. Will it be cooler weather? Well, no, but it will be lower humidity. This, in turn, will lead to cooler mornings with warm afternoons. Often times the drier air will make for a more refreshing airmass this time of year and can really be felt in the early morning and late evening hours.
Make sure you tune in tonight as we will have the latest updates on those storms to our north. If anything gets rumbling around these parts tomorrow, keep it tuned to KTRE-TV and right here as we will have updates.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer Rain

If you think back to the beginning of June, it had seemed like summer started early and there was no hope for rain. This brought back memories from the summer of 2006 when the state was in a bad drought. I remember showing burn bans almost everyday. Now, the weather pattern is in our favor for more rain over the next 5-7 days. The area of high pressure to our west, known as our summer ridge, will stay far enough away to keep the dry and hot weather over the dessert southwest. A powerful storm system will develop across the northern plains, bringing unwanted weather to Iowa and the Mississippi River. We are stuck in between these two systems, allowing for the sea breeze and daytime heating to spark off scattered thunderstorms. The low pressure to our north might even push a cold front into East Texas late in the weekend, leading to even more rain. Even if you are tired of the rain, we need to be thankful because the dry, summer heat will more than likely invade in July and August.

Severe Weather Update 2:00 PM

The National Weather Service in Houston has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Polk and Trinity counties until 3:00 PM. This storm is capable of producing penny size hail and gusty winds in excess of 60 mph. It is moving north at 20 mph. The storm will effect Corrigan in about 30 minutes and if it holds together, will move into Angelina county in about an hour. As you can see, more thunderstorms are developing and moving into the area. More updates to come!

More Afternoon Storms

More storms are developing to our south and moving northward into our part of East Texas. I already had a little rain and thunder at my house in Lufkin and more is on the way. Look at profiles of the atmosphere, we have almost no cap, lots of moisture, and plenty of energy for these storms. That means, just like yesterday, a few of the storms could turn severe briefly. We will be watching closely. Remember that lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from a storm so if you can hear thunder, head inside and stay there until the storm has passed. In Houston yesterday, a man was riding his bicycle and was struck by lightning. Luckily, he was revived at the hospital and is doing ok. Let's learn from his mistake.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Damage Report

The storms from this afternoon did cause some damage across the area. We had a wind report of 60 mph in Lufkin that blew down several trees. However, overall reports were limited so it could of been worse. Summer storms like these have the tendency to be pulse severe. In other words, they briefly produce severe weather then quickly weaken. There was a lot of energy in the atmosphere today so it was no surprise these storms erupted. I expect another round tomorrow afternoon, but the storms will probably be more isolated.
The good news from the storms is the rain we saw. For the year, we were about 2 inches below normal. Today's rain has helped! Our weather watchers had some nice totals as well. I have a neighbor who is a gardener and asked if he could get some rain on Wednesday for his garden. I am glad I could help! If you want more rain, keep your fingers crossed that you see it Thursday or Friday.

Signal Problems

We took a lot of lightning strikes earlier this afternoon and some of our equipment here at KTRE was fried. Our engineers are working hard on getting things repaired and hope to have the signal back up ASAP. We are sorry for the interruption.

Severe Weather Update 4:30 PM

We now have a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Polk and Trinity counties until 5: 00 PM. This storm is capable of producing penny size hail, damaging winds up to 60 mph, and deadly lightning. The storm is moving east northeast around 15 mph and will be heading into Corrigan, then into southern Angelina county in the next hour. Take shelter from this storm and stay indoors until the storm has passed. We are also getting lots of reports of tree limbs down on local roadways. Be careful driving this afternoon as you leave for work. The limbs maybe hard to see so slow down.

Severe Weather Update 3:50 PM

We are getting several reports of severe weather from the National Weather Service in Shreveport.

  • Pea size hail in Douglass
  • 1.5" hail in the city of Lufkin
  • Amateur radio reported trees down in Lufkin with an estimated wind gust of 60 mph

More updates will be coming through the afternoon. Stay tuned!

Severe Weather Update 3:20 PM

Severe Thunderstorm Warning now in effect for Angelina and Nacogdoches counties until 4:15 PM. Very intense storm continues moving through Lufkin and will be heading towards Chireno and Etoile in about 30 minutes. Intense lightning and thunder, heavy rain, small hail, and gusty winds up to 60 mph can be expected within this storm. Stay inside until the storm has passed. More storms are popping up across the area so we will be tracking them closely.

Severe Weather Update 2:35 PM

A Severe Thunderstorm warning for Houston and Trinity counties is in effect until 3:15 PM. The storm is moving north at 18 mph. More than likely it will have some lightning and thunder, small hail, and gusty winds up to 30 mph. Right now it does not look that impressive but we have a lot of energy in the atmosphere so any storms that do develop, could easily turn severe. I expect more storms in the next several hours so stay tuned. Remember, to submit a weather report, email us at

Kiwanis Club of Lufkin

I want to say a special thank you to the Kiwanis Club of Lufkin, especially to President Rodney Ivy and Vice President Jim Head. They invited me out to talk to them about weather and it was a great time. They had good questions that I hope I answered well. The Kiwanis means a lot to me because in high school, I was part of Key Club, which is part of Kiwanis. In college, it is called Circle Key. They do so many good things for the community and I encourage you to check them out. Check with your city officials to see if there is a local club in your town. You can also search for local clubs by clicking the link below:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Possible Tornado over the Weekend?

I had a video link submitted to me this evening from one of our viewers, Michael Vinther. He was chasing this past Saturday, June 24th. He went after the storm that developed over Nacogdoches county and caught what appears to be a brief tornado touch down. I have passed on the video to the National Weather Service in Shreveport to see if we can verify the tornado.

Stormy Afternoon

It has been a stormy afternoon across East Texas. The sea breeze really lit up this morning and continued pushing northward into our area. This has lead to numerous storms, some producing heavy rain, winds, and lightning. Overall, the severe weather threat should remain low. With a tropical like airmass in place, we could get up to an inch of rain in some spots. Other places, might not see much rain at all. Do not give up hope yet if you do not see the rain today. More is expected to come up from the south on Wednesday.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lightning Safety Week

Summer is the peak season for one of the nation's deadliest weather phenomena— lightning. But don't be fooled, lightning strikes yearround. The goal of this Website is to safeguard U.S. residents from lightning.

In the United States, an average of 62 people are killed each year by lightning. Already in 2008, 8 people have died due to lightning strikes. In 2007, 45 people were struck and killed by lighting in the U.S.; hundreds of others were injured. Of the victims who were killed by lightning:

98% were outside
89% were male
30% were males between the ages of 20-25
25% were standing under a tree
25% occurred on or near the water

The reported number of injuries is likely far lower than the actual total number because many people do not seek help or doctors do not record it as a lightning injury. People struck by lightning suffer from a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms, including memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, numbness, dizziness, stiffness in joints, irritability, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, depression, and an inability to sit for long.

Source: NOAA

First Day of Summer=Longest Day of the Year

While Summer officialy started last night at 6:59pm local time, today was the first full day of the summer season. So what does the first day of summer actually mean?

The answer has to do with the earth's tilting on its axis. As you know, our seasons are determined by the tilting of the earth on its axis, which causes certain parts of the earth to see more sunlight than others, while others see less. During the Summer Solstice, the sun lies directly over the Tropic of Cancer at high noon. This is the northernmost point that the sun reaches throughout the entire year. It is this tilt to the earth that allows the Northern Hemisphere to experience longer days, and therefore, hotter temperatures. The Southern Hemisphere, on the other hand, is now experiencing winter with cold temperatures and long nights. Speaking of long days, in case you have not noticed, today was the longest day of the year. With sunrise at 6:15am this morning and sunset at 8:26pm this evening, we saw 14 hours and 11 minutes worth of daylight. For each successive day that goes by from now until December, each day will get a little bit shorter by a minute or so.

Iowa Tornado Victims

The Little Sioux Scout Camp is located just northeast of Little Sioux, Iowa, and was destroyed by an EF-3 tornado last Wednesday, June 11. The tornado killed four Scouts and injured 40+ others. It was the same tornado that hit Kenny Allen and I while we were storm chasing. The tragedy has affected us deeply, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and everyone affected by the tornado. For the next 72 hours, we want to help raise funds to rebuild the Scout camp, and to help the kids who deserve to have a positive place to visit in the summer. 100% of the funds we raise between now and Sunday at Midnight CDT will be given to the Scout Ranch. SevereStudios has already pledged $1000.00 to get things started. Here's a direct link to the page with more information: . You can use PayPal or a major credit card. There's also info there if you want to donate via check.