Sunday, August 31, 2008

Wind Impact

One part of a tropical system is the wind impact. As Gustav heads towards East Texas, the storm will be weakening as it crosses over southern Louisiana. By the time he arrives to Toledo Bend, or the state line, Gustav is expected to be a tropical storm. That means winds could still be sustained from 39-69 mph. Because of that, the National Weather Service in Shreveport have Shelby, San Augustine, and Sabine counties under a Tropical Storm Watch. In Lufkin and Nacogdoches, we are under a Wind Advisory meaning winds could gust over 40 mph. Keep this in mind that a strong wind gust can knock down trees, which could lead to power outages. Once again, things could change if the center of the storm is farther north or south. Stay tuned!

Our First Signs of Gustav and Latest Models

The first signs of Hurricane Gustav can be seen by our Live Doppler 9 Network as we look at the New Orleans Radar site this evening. Notice the heavy outer rainbands already beginning to move ashore. These rainbands are extending far out from the center of circulation, showing you how broad this storm actually is. Right now, the center of Gustav is sitting approximately 230 miles to the southeast of New Orleans.

Gustav has been moving off to the northwest at 18 to 20 mph. Based on that current speed and its distance from the coastline, that puts Gustav making landfall about 12 hours from now, or sometime late Monday morning.

We expect Gustav to then slow its forward speed down considerably when he moves onshore on Monday afternoon. As he slows down, he will more than likely take a left turn, or turn towards the west. These our the different computer models projecting where Gustav will go. Notice how most of them, in some shape or form, bring Gustav into East Texas. This could be problematic for us. As you well know, any tropical system that stalls or moves at a very slow clip will bring heavy amounts of rainfall. At this point, the general consensus takes Gustav into Shelby county, which includes the towns and communities of Center and Timpson. In addition to the heavy rain threat, tropical storm force winds, greater than 40 mph, will be felt in areas that are close to the circulation as well.
We'll see in the later updates if these computer models continue to remain where they are at the present time. Stay tuned.

Watches/Warnings/Advisories Now Coming Down

We now have Hurricane Warnings that stretch from just east of High Island, TX, all the way eastward to the Alabama/Florida border. That is indicated by the shading of purple in the image to your left. That means hurricane conditions can be expected to impact those coastal communities within the next 12 to 24 hours.

Here locally, we have been placed under a Flash Flood Watch through Tuesday evening. At this time, it includes all the counties shaded in blue. Those counties consist of Angelina, Nacogdoches, Cherokee, Rusk, Panola, Shelby, San Augustine, and Sabine counties. We will more than likely see more counties added to a Flash Flood Watch as Gustav draws closer. Preliminary indications are we could see anywhere from 5-8" of rain, with isolated areas possibly getting up to 10". The reason for these high totals is that Gustav is expected to slow down and move through East Texas. Due to its slow movement, we are talking about lots of rain falling at a rapid pace in a short period of time.

Gustav Moving Quickly, Re-organization Taking Place

Hurricane Gustav is a category 3 hurricane this Sunday morning with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph. The image to the left is what we call a visible satellite image. This is what the storm would look like if you were in outer space and looking down on the earth. The visible satellite always has the best details of cloud formations. The only trick is it can only be seen during the day when the sun is actually out. Once the sun sets, it fades away into black, only to re-appear when the sun rises the next day.

This satellite image below, the one that has different colors, is the infrared satellite, and it shows how cold the cloud tops are. What are cloud tops and what does that mean?
Notice the shadings of yellow and orange and then red. The darker the color, the more intense the showers and storms are around the center of Gustav. These darker colors indicated not only strong convection, but cooler temperatures aloft, meaning these clouds extend some 30-50,000 feet up into the atmosphere.
The one thing you notice from looking at both figures is that the eye is not as well defined as it was yesterday when it was a category 4 storm. Often times, hurricanes go through a re-intensification stage in which they weaken slightly, only to intensify once again. Nevertheless, we expect Gustav to remain a major hurricane through Labor Day before slightly weakening before landfall tomorrow afternoon.
I will be taking part in a couple of conference calls today. If there is any important news or information you should be aware of, I'll make sure to pass that knowledge onto you.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gustav Loses Eye, Still Very Dangerous

The latest satellite imagery shows Gustav is slightly weaker than what it was earlier today. That can be seen by the eye not being clearly visible as it was earlier in the day. The reason for this eye losing its signature is the storm moving over the western part of Cuba this evening. That small interaction with land has led to the eye disappearing for a brief time.

However, this is only temporary, as Gustav is expected to strengthen once again on Sunday, possibly becoming a catastrophic category 5 hurricane. Notice the computer models take Gustav into southern Louisiana on Monday afternoon. Most of the models are converging in this general area, meaning the certainty has gotten much higher than what it has been over the past few days. For us, the biggest question has not so much to do about where it makes landfall, but rather, where it goes afterwards. Some of the models want to take Gustav westward and push it into East Texas. If that scenario occurs, then we will see hurricane force winds along with flooding rains and widespread power outages. The other scenario, a better one for us, is that it stays on a northwestward course, bringing in some gusty winds, and outer rain bands.
Basically, the northwest track would keep Gustave furthur away from East Texas, therefore, limiting the severity. Only time will tell.
Make sure to check back in with us tomorrow morning as we will have another post and update on Gustav.

Gustav Now a Category 4 Hurricane

Hurricane Gustav is now a dangerous category 4 hurricane this afternoon. You can see from the satellite image taken just a few minutes ago that he is a monster.
Hurricane Hunters flew into the storm and found winds of 145 mph, a 25 mph increase in wind speed from earlier this morning.
The eye of the hurricane has just passed the Isle of Youth and is now set to clip the western tip of Cuba in the next couple of hours.
As Gustav encounters land, it may weaken slightly, but is still expected to remain a major hurricane.
Make sure you keep it tuned to KTRE-TV and for furthur updates. We will have another Blog post later on this evening with an update on the track and any new information that comes down.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Evening Update

The idea of Gustav slamming into Louisiana is becoming more likely. The computer models really have not budge much since Thursday, which is a good sign of consistency. This all gives us a little more confidence in the forecast. As you can tell by the graphic on the left, most of the models take Gustav into the central Louisiana coast sometime early Tuesday. What is more interesting to us in East Texas are the models that slow the storm down and push it westward, right into our area. This would be the worst case scenario, producing damaging winds, tornadoes, and heavy rain. However, the other option is the storm continues northwest with the center of the storm passing closer to Shreveport. We will still see some impact but it would not be as bad. Something to watch for as we get closer to landfall.

One other thing to watch for. When Gustav hits the central Gulf of Mexico, there is something called the loop current. This feature is a layer of warm, ocean water that goes deep below the surface. This can add more fuel to a hurricane. In fact, this is what likely caused Rita and Katrina to become monster storms in the Gulf. If Gustav can cross over this loop current, category 5 strength could happen. This would make things much worse for Louisiana.

Gustav Gaining Strength

Check out this satellite image of Hurricane Gustav. An eye is trying to form and I bet it does later tonight. It is not out of the question that he could become a category 3 before reaching the Gulf of Mexico. I will have a detailed update after the 10 PM advisory comes out. Also, we plan to have several updates daily through the weekend. So stay tuned to KTRE for the latest!

Tracking Gustav

Gustav is now pulling away from the island of Jamaica and is getting ready to put on a show. What do I mean? Gustav is entering an environment that could lead to rapid intensification. He is a strong tropical storm right now but could become a category 2 hurricane later tonight. The storm looks rather impressive already on satellite. As for the path, it has not changed much. The hurricane center still calls for a possible landfall early Tuesday, west of New Orleans. Even the big easy might not take a direct hit, it could still cause lots of damage because the east of hurricane is referred to as the dirty side. Why? That is the side that tends to have the strongest winds, storm surge, and tornadoes.

One thing that I have been thinking about is the angle the storm will come in at. It looks like the center of the storm could cross into East Texas by Wednesday. Of course, by then, the storm should only be a depression but heavy rain, tornadoes, and some winds up to 40 mph may still occur. That is why I encourage to get prepared. Have supplies ready to go and a plan of action. Once again, there is still a lot of uncertainty so you need to stay up to date on the storm.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Flip a coin!

The million dollar question is where does Gustav go after he makes it into the Gulf of Mexico. To be honest, we still do not know. As a TV meteorologist, it is my job to portray this uncertainty and not cause a panic. There is no need to panic or worry right now. The storm is not expected to hit until Tuesday, which is 5 days away. I do want to encourage you to think about a plan of action and have some supplies, like water and food, ready to go. That is the biggest thing we preach is to be prepared for anything!
The graphic above shows the forecast from the hurricane center as of the 4 PM advisory. Notice the cone of uncertainty and how large it is. It runs from Corpus Christi all the way to the panhandle of Florida. The different colored lines represent the different computer models. I like to show these so you see the spread, which should reinforce the uncertainty. As you can see, the Texas coast is not out of the woods, but it seems the highest risk for landfall is on the Louisiana coast. Why the spread among computer models? Well, there is an area of high pressure that is centered over Florida and Gustav will be riding around the edge of this system. If this ridge is stronger, the storm will be pushed towards Texas. If the ridge is weaker, the storm goes towards Mobile, Alabama. Time will tell, but like I said earlier in this post, now is the time to get prepared!

Then there was two...

Welcome to the peak of hurricane season! To the left, we have tropical storm Gustav, soon to be back to hurricane strength. To the right, that is newly formed depression #8, soon to be tropical storm Hanna. No relation to the singer! This new storm is located north of the Lesser Antilles and is forecasted to become a hurricane in 3 days. Then it will turn westward and could impact Florida sometime next week. Since Gustav is more of the immediate threat, we will focus more on him.
As of early Thursday morning, Gustav appears to be close to hurricane status again. From my post last night, I talked about the southward jog the storm made. He continues southwest this morning but will gradually start bending back to the northwest late Friday or Saturday. I still think Gustav makes it into central Gulf of Mexico by Sunday as a category 3 hurricane. Since Gustav went farther south than the models thought, the computer models are shifting all over the place today. The afternoon model runs will probably be key to how far west Gustav will go. My best guess is a Tuesday landfall, somewhere between Houston and New Orleans. Still a lot of uncertainty so you will want to stay tuned. As soon as the afternoon models come out, I will post more.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gustav Wednesday Evening Update

As the 10 PM advisory comes out, some interesting things have happened with Gustav. The storm's center jogged southwestward! This will probably cause a big shift in the computer models and in the forecast. We will have to wait and see. I still expect it to become a major hurricane in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico sometime over the weekend. Stay tuned!

Gustav down to a Tropical Storm

After making one landfall on Haiti, Gustav has not really moved in the past 24 hours. The interaction with land has weakened the storm below hurricane status. However, it is beginning to push westward now and as the center of circulation pulls away from land, the forecast calls for Gustav to return to a hurricane. Another thing that has not changed much since yesterday is the track. Most computer models agree on taking Gustav just south of Cuba, then bending northwest into the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend. After that, the forecast becomes murky. On the graphic to your left, I want you to focus on the cone of uncertainty, not the black line. This means Gustav could be from the upper Texas coast all the way to the west coast of Florida. We just don't know yet. The models have a tendency to shift back and forth so we really won't have a good idea on where Gustav will go until Friday and over the weekend. The bottom line is you need to stay updated on the storm, but do not panic or worry. Still a lot of time to watch Gustav.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday Update on Gustav

Hurricane Gustav made its first landfall today on the peninsula of Haiti. Now the storm is interacting with Hispaniola, some weakening may occur. As for the track, the computer models have come into much better agreement today. The general idea is that Gustav turns westward late tonight and through the day tomorrow. By Friday, a bend to the northwest begins and the storm passes near the western tip of Cuba. From there, over Labor Day weekend, it heads into the very warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. After that, well it is still any ones guess. Basically, the entire Gulf coast needs to stay on top of this storm, including the Texas coast. I will have more updates through the week and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Where will Gustav go?

Let me start by saying it is way too early to be able to accurately predict where Gustav will go. The video below is to show you the uncertainty we have with this storm, and almost every tropical system. Through the week, we should get a better handle of what the future holds.

The Next Tropical Trouble

As Fay brings heavy rain and tornadoes to parts of the southeast, our next tropical features is ready to become Tropical Storm Gustav. The graphic to your left shows this storm in the Caribbean, just south of Hispaniola. It is moving to the northwest at about 15 mph. The environment around soon to be Gustav is very conducive to tropical development, with warm waters and low wind shear. As for the forecast, this one will be another difficult one to track. Some models take it north into Florida, close to the same path Fay took. Other models send the storm towards the Yucatan and possibly into the Gulf of Mexico. It is way too early to tell where this storm will go but I want you to be aware and stay tuned to KTRE for the latest.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Saturday Night Rain

Here are your rainfall totals from
Saturday night's storms. Once again, some areas got over 2 inches in what has become a very wet August for us.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Strong Storms Rumbling Through

We have some strong storms rolling through East Texas this evening. While these storms are not severe, we are seeing some very heavy downpours, gusty winds, and lots of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes. The culprit for these storms is an upper level disturbance moving through the area this evening. It originated in Oklahoma and southern Arkansas earlier today, and is now moving through the Piney Woods. The fact that we got so hot this afternoon is one ingredient that has led to the strong nature of these storms. Look for the storms to continue to move in a south-southwesterly direction and begin to weaken in the next few hours.
In the meantime, you can get constant Live Doppler 9 updates via our 24/7 Weather Channel, and of course, on

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Snake Found!!!

First off, I want to say thank you to everyone who left a comment about where the snake was. Lets me know you are watching! Secondly, the majority of people were able to pick it out. As you can see, it is circled in yellow. However, imagine if you were out walking in the woods. Do you think you would be able to see it, especially if it was not moving? Consider this a warning to be extra careful walking, hiking, or hunting. Thanks to all the rain this week, a lot of animals are beginning to come out, including snakes, frogs, and those pesky love bugs! On the flip side, the rain has added a lot of moisture to East Texas soils so hopefully we will not have to talk about Burn Bans or 100 degree heat anytime soon. Before you know it, the first big cold front of the year will arrive.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Can you find the snake???

Our weather watcher in Huntington, Candye, sent me an interesting picture from a friend, Gerry, who works for the Texas Forestry. Thanks to the rainy weather, it seems like snakes have been more active. This can lead to more encounters for hikers, hunters, or anyone outdoors. The photo to the left has a copperhead in it. Do you see it? Let me know by leaving a comment below. On Friday, I will post the same picture with the snake highlighted so check back then. If you get it right, I might mention your name on air! Good luck!

Tropical Storm Fay Update

We continue tracking Tropical Storm Fay, who is dumping lots of rain on the state of Florida. Rainfall totals have exceeded a foot in many locations and Fay is no where close to being done. From the afternoon's advisory, Fay is moving north at a very slow pace of 2 mph. The center of the storm is hugging the east coast of Florida, so strengthening is not anticipated. Eventually an area of high pressure to the north of the system will drive Fay back west across northern Florida and into the southeast. There is a very small chance that Fay could emerge over the Gulf of Mexico, which could allow her to gain some power. Otherwise, she will be a big rain maker for places that would not mind seeing the rain. However, too much rain will lead to flooding problems.

Fay's impact on East Texas will be very minimal. Our surface winds will switch to the north as what is left of her moves closer and we may see a few isolated storms, but that is it. We are about to hit the peak of hurricane season so you know the next storm is on the horizon.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fay Throwing Us for a Loop?

Tropical Storm Fay continues bring wind and rain to parts of south Florida. It looks like Fay will not be able to strengthen into a hurricane before pushing ashore on the southwest coast. However, we may not be done talking about Fay anytime soon! The image to your left shows the different computer models and their forecast for Fay. Look at what happens when the storm moves into north Florida. There is an upper level high that is expected to build in to the north of the system. This would force Fay to the west and possibly into the Gulf of Mexico. This is something the models started showing today, with more and more coming on board with this solution. Do not worry, we are still safe. The upper low that is bringing us rain should help turn Fay northward eventually. The question will be when.

Elsewhere in the tropics, there is one wave in the middle of the Atlantic that has shown the potential for development. This feature should be near the Lesser Antilles by weeks end so we will have to watch for our next storm soon.

Heavy Rain Possible

As the rain moves in Monday evening, this is only the beginning of a three day rain event across East Texas. We will see multiple rounds of rain, leading to some healthy rainfall totals. Our in house computer model, Futurecast, shows about 1-2 inches through Wednesday evening. There could be isolated spots as high as 3-4 inches! Right now, our soils can take in a lot of the rain but I am concerned about the potential for Flash Flooding by midweek. Remember, if you approach a road that has water over it, Turn Around, Don't Drown! Flash flooding kills more people every year than any other type of severe weather. As the rain accumulates, let us know how much you receive. Click the comment link below to leave your rain total and community.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Our Rainmaker Will Keep Fay Away

We will be in store for a rather wet week across the Lone Star State. That wet weather includes us right here in East Texas as well. The culprit for our rain will be a cutoff low pressure system currently spinning over eastern Colorado. This low will meander in a southeasterly direction and settle into north Texas. With its close proximity, it will draw in lots of tropical moisture and lift the atmosphere, giving us periods of on and off rain.

We call this feature a cutoff low because it is cutoff from the main flow of the jetstream. The jetstream is still well off to our north, but this low pressure system will keep us cloudy, wet, and cool this week with temperatures running well below normal. This feature will not only bring us rain, but will steer Tropical Storm Fay away from us and take it towards the Florida panhandle. Upper level winds will be out of the southwest, and it is that southwest direction which will pick up Fay and turn it northward.

If we would have had a ridge of high pressure overhead at this time, then Fay would have probably moved much farther west and may have had an impact on our weather. Thanks to our low, we will see our own rain, but stay clear free from Fay.

Our rainfall over the next couple of days will be heavy in spots. This is our exclusive microcast computer model, showing the potential for rainfall that goes through Tuesday evening. Notice that it depicts many areas seeing 0.50" to 1.0" in many locations, with isolated areas possibly seeing as much as 2"-3" of rain. Pinpointing when and where the heavy rain will develop is often difficult to determine. Needless to say, you will want to have your umbrellas on hand this week as we will see periods of rain at times.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Evening Update on Tropical Storm Fay

You can watch my discussion on Fay on the video above. I also wanted to share part of the official discussion from the National Hurricane Center. It will show you the uncertainty that exists with this storm.


Finally....we have Fay!

It took a while but the Hurricane Hunters finally found enough evidence to classify our tropical disturbance as Tropical Storm Fay. Sustained winds are at 40 mph and she is moving west at about 15 mph.

Fay has a long road ahead of her. As I talked about in my last post, the terrain of eastern Cuba has tall mountains. This will help disrupt the storm and keep it from strengthening. So the official forecast keeps Fay at tropical storm status through the weekend. A gradual turn to the north is expected but not guaranteed. I have seen this many times before when a tropical system never takes that turn. I do not expect Fay to reach Texas, but she maybe a little more in the eastern Gulf of Mexico than the cone of uncertainty shows. Something to keep in the back of your mind.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hello Fay?

There is an area of low pressure that is moving through Puerto Rico Thursday evening. Hurricane hunters were in the storm all afternoon but could never find a close, low level circulation. So the storm has not been named just yet. However, I bet this will happen on Friday. The next name on the list is Fay. The computer models generally agree that if Fay develops, she will head into the Bahamas over the weekend and turn northward, near the east coast of Florida.

I have been watching this storm all week and every time it looks like it will blow up, it doesn't. One factor has been the dry air that keeps getting pulled into the circulation. That can keep thunderstorms from developing. Another factor over the next few days will be the high terrain of Haiti and eastern Cuba. If she is too close to, the mountains will tear her apart. There is still a lot of uncertainty so you will want to stay tuned for the latest. As for the soon to be Fay heading towards Texas? Not going to happen. This will be a Florida/East coast storm.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Take it for what it's worth...

You are looking at the Wednesday afternoon, GFS computer model run with pressure and rain contours, for Tuesday, August 26th. Basically, we are looking 2 weeks into the future. Can you pick out the weather feature that made me almost spit out my diet coke? It is the monster hurricane in the western Gulf of Mexico! Since this is 14 days away, I do not believe this will actually happen. So why am I showing you this? Well, late August into September is the peak of hurricane season. The time of year we see very intense hurricanes in the tropics. Since the computer models are hinting at development and showing hurricanes like this one so far out in the future, I do believe the next big storm is only weeks away. There is no way to tell if, when, and where this could happen but I want you to keep this in the back of your mind. We have to be prepared for whatever mother nature throws our way.

The Mars Hoax!

Some things never go away. It is that time of year again when an email is circulated to millions of people claiming that in August of (insert current year), the planet Mars will make a close approach to the Earth. Therefore, making Mars the same size as the moon. The email goes on to say this will not happen again until 2287 or something like that. Is it true???


For more information on this hoax, check out

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Now that is some rain!

As we talked about yesterday, the rain moved in overnight and it rained for most of the morning across all of East Texas. Our exclusive Rain Vision shows the heaviest rain was across our northern counties with up to 5 inches in Cherokee county. We did not see as much rain to our south but still everyone picked up at least an inch of rain. This kind of rain event was nice because we didn't have to worry about Flash Flooding since the rain gradually fell over an extended period of time. I hope this is enough to lift the few burn bans we have in place. The good news, if you want more rain, is that more is in the forecast for the upcoming weekend!

How much rain did you get on Tuesday? Let us know by clicking the comment link below.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bring on the Rain!

It looks like summer is beginning to lose its grip, allowing for high rain chances across East Texas. One disturbance will be swinging through overnight and into the day on Tuesday. This will lead to widespread showers and storms. Our computer model, Futurecast, is showing very heavy rain to our north but I would not be surprised to see some rain totals over one inch here in deep East Texas. This will be some welcome rain as the soils were beginning to really dry out. Nacogdoches county is still under a burn ban but this rain should help cancel that. There is also a slight risk of severe storms on Tuesday so you will want to stay tuned if warnings are issued. Don't forget to check the Live Doppler 9 Network and we will have more updates to come. Also, be looking for a tropical update this week. Things could get really interesting by the end of the week!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Turning Cloudy and Wet This Week

I know many of you have asked me 'Is there more rain in sight?' Fortunately, there is and we could be getting a good soaking rain in parts of East Texas over the next couple of days.

This image shows the 48 hour rainfall accumulations across Texas and the Southern Plains region. This goes from Sunday evening through Tuesday evening. Keep in mind that this is just a model indicating the potential rainfall we could see across Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Notice that 3-5 inches is quite common in Arkansas with several areas seeing 1-2 inches through the forecast period. For us, I think we will be on the leading edge of possibly picking up an inch or more of rainfall through Tuesday.

The threat for heavy rain is due to a slow moving cool front that will slowly take its time in advancing southward through the forecast region. Due to its slow movement, that will allow mutliple rounds of heavy rain to develop across north and northeast Texas. This batch of heavy rain will then slowly makes its way into our northern counties and then should begin to overspread much of our viewing area by late Monday and Tuesday.

With the added cloud cover and rain around, these are the forecast high temperatures around the state for Monday. Notice that areas such as Dallas and Shreveport will only reach the upper 80's, rather than the triple digits they have been accustomed to seeing over the past couple of weeks. We should see low 90's with upper 80's in our northern counties. Hopefully, everyone can cash in on some rain and get their lawns and gardens all hydrated once again.
This rainfall would also be good for the Burn Bans we currently have in effect for Nacogdoches, Houston, Trinity, and Sabine counties. Perhaps if these counties can get some good soaking rains, they may be lifted. At this point, we will have to wait and see how things play out.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Back from Vacation

I leave East Texas for one week and a tropical storm hits the Texas coast! The wife and I took a family vacation to Port Aransas, Texas this week. It was an awesome trip and the weather for us was not that bad. On Monday, we went bay fishing, where 40 people go out on a boat and fish close to the bays. We did this two years ago and caught nothing. This year, we caught lots. The second picture shows you the catch of the boat. Most of the fish caught were Bonnet Head sharks! They are related to the Hammerhead but are much smaller. The one I caught was about 39 inches long and it put up a fight! At the end of the trip, we fileted the meat and had one large fish fry. If you are looking for a close to home vacation, going to Port Aransas could be a good option.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Latest Burn Bans

There are now four East Texas counties in our viewing area under a Burn Ban. Nacogdoches and Trinity counties now join Houston and Sabine counties as the four counties that prohibit outdoor burning.

The main reason is a lack of rainfall and the triple digit heat we saw last week. That sun baked the parched soils and really allowed things to dry up.
While your county may not be under a burn ban, it still would be wise to not do any outdoor burning in the near future until we get some rain.

Fortunately, we have a chance of seeing a some rain as we head into Friday, courtesy of an early August cool front.

While it won't bring us a cooldown, it will get close enough to bring us some rain. The best time for these showers and storms to develop will be during the middle to latter part of the afternoon. If you do get some rain, that will help keep temperatures slightly cooler, and more importantly, give your lawns and gardens a much needed drink of water.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Edouard Now a Depression, Last Advisory Issued

Edouard has been downgraded to a depression tonight and will become just an area of low pressure on Wednesday. It is currently centered near the Lake Livingston/Onalaska area, and will continue to drift slowly to the west/northwest over the next 24 to 48 hours. This will bring heavy rains to parts of Central Texas, which could use some considering they are in a much more severe drought than what we have currently in East Texas.

While Edouard will weaken and move into Central Texas on Wednesday, we will still be close enough and have enough moisture in place to generate some rain showers in the heating of the day. After tomorrow, though, we start to dry things out on Thursday as temperatures start to go back up into the upper 90's.

This will be our last post and update on Edouard. Please feel free to leave comments and let us know about what you liked or didn't like about our coverage.

Edouard Slowly Weakening

Tropical Storm Edouard is slowly weakening this afternoon and will continue to do so now that it is moving over inland areas.

The 1pm Advisory has Edouard still as a tropical storm, but winds have come down from 60mph to 50mph. Look for him to continue to drop in wind speed and intensity for the remainder of the afternoon. At this time, Edouard is located about 40 miles east of Houston and is moving off to the west-northwest at 8 mph. This forward speed has decreased from last night and earlier this morning. As a result, look for heavy rainfall to be the main threat with this system for areas around the Brazos Valley and the Hill Country over the next 24 to 36 hours.

This ended up being a good situation for us locally, as we got some rain, and more importantly, saw an end to that heat wave which was bringing us the triple digit temperatures.

10am Advisory on Edouard

Tropical Storm Edouard is now over land with the center of circulation located about 40 miles west of Port Arthur,TX and 45 miles northeast of Galveston Island. As a result of Edouard making landfall further up the coast, it spared Galveston and many coastal residents down the coast.

As of the 10am advisory, Edouard is still at tropical storm with winds at 60mph. It will continue to weaken throughout the day as the fricition of the land will deprive it from its heat energy source.

This is what Edouard looks like on our Live Doppler 9 Network this morning. You can tell by the cyclonic curvature of the radar where he is centered. However, due to it being asymetrical and rather erratic, it did not have a very definitive eye like we see with many tropical storms and hurricanes.

So far, we have seen some outer rain bands affect Polk, Tyler, Jasper, and Newton counties. It is in these areas where we will pick up the most rain.

At this point, areas along a line from Crockett to Lufkin to San Augustine may see some light to moderate rain as some outer rain bands try to work their way a little farther north. With that said, rainfall accumulations should remain on the light side.

Edouard Speeding Up, Headed For TX/LA Coast

The 4am advisory just came out a few minutes ago, and Tropical Storm Edouard is now moving much faster, off to the northwest at 12 mph.

This puts the eye of Edouard now approximately 50 miles southeast of Port Arthur, TX, and about 85 miles east of Galveston, TX. Based on the current forward speed and direction, Edouard will make landfall later this morning somewhere between High Island and Sabine Pass.

Since it has taken on more of a northwest direction, that means we will start to see conditions go downhill rather quickly in Jasper and Newton counties within the next 3 to 6 hours. Outer rain bands are beginning to move into the Toledo Bend reservoir and will be moving into those locations this morning. We talked in our 10pm post about how most of these tropical systems in the northern Gulf like to turn towards the right and take on more of a northwestward track. That has indeed happened here, meaning landfall will be farther up the coast than what the official forecast track had been over the past 24 hours.
More than likely, most of East Texas will be placed under a Tornado Watch within the next few hours as rain bands become more numerous and overspread the area. This, along with heavy rain, and tropical storm force winds will be our main threat.
So, to recap the 4am advisory: Edouard has strengthened slightly from our last advisory as winds are now up to 65mph, moving to the west-northwest at 12 mph. Landfall will occur later this morning and weather conditions will be going downhilll rather quickly at that time.
I will be back with more updates as we get new information later this morning. Make sure your tanks are filled up and are prepared to ride the storm out. It should be a rather active day for many of us.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Edouard Strengthens as Wind Speeds Now 60 mph

The 10pm advisory indicates that Edouard has increased in intensity as winds have gone from 45mph to 60 mph. That still keeps it as a tropical storm, but it makes it a strong tropical storm.

Keep in mind for him to become a hurricane, the maximum sustained winds must reach 74 mph.
The increase in strength comes as no surprise considering it has looked better organized in the last few hours. The northern and northwestern side of the circulation has seen an increase in convection, leading to a more defined circulation.

Another interesting feature to note is the projected path as indicated by all the different computer models. Most of them have Galveston Island as their main target for landfall Tuesday. However, tonight, some of the models have shifted Edouard's track farther up the Texas coast.

Edouard Looks Better, But Still Fairly Weak

The 4pm advisory came out, and although Edouard has looked better organized, its winds are still only 45mph. It continues drifting slowly to the west at 6 mph.
This general westward trend will continue over the next 12 to 18 hours.

This is a look at the satellite and radar composite just after 4pm this afternoon. We have noticed showers and storms beginning to fill in on the north side of the circulation. When we see an increase in convection around the low pressure center, that often indicates that the system is strengthening. So while Edouard remains fairly weak at this point, I would not be surprised if our 10pm advisory this evening has it just a bit stronger.

Speaking of 10pm, make sure you check back as we will have another update and discussion on Edouard.