Monday, November 29, 2010

East Texas Weather is Constant Change These Days

I hope each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. While it was a holiday for most of us, it has been anything but one for meteorologists over the past couple of days.

We went from record highs last week, to freezing temperatures and a cold snap, back to warmer weather and rain on Monday. This is the time of year when we see the weather change very frequently, as cold fronts and active storm systems move rapidly across the country.

We saw another storm system affect us earlier today, bringing us several rounds of showers and thunderstorms. The images above show rainfall amounts from our awarding winning Weather Watchers in Deep East Texas. Most areas did pick up anywhere from a quarter to one half inch, with some locations receiving over an inch of rain in spots.
This rain is all ahead of another cold front which will drop our temperatures once more on Tuesday. If you are planning on heading out the the City of Lufkin Christmas Parade on Tuesday evening, make sure to bundle up the kids. It will feel like the weather we had over the weekend, which was far different than what we experienced today.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Travelcast

If you are planning on traveling to see friends and family this Thanksgiving week, you will want to stay alert and be prepared for what the weather will be like wherever your destination may take you.Even though we are a few days out, this map above outlines what you can expect across the United States, both with temperatures and precipitation.

If you are headed to the Rockies, Northwest U.S., or the Northern Plain states, make sure you have your winter wardrobe in your travel bag. All of these areas in the dark blue can expect frigid conditions, with even some parts of the Northern Plains seeing some white stuff fall from the sky as well.

The green on the map, which stretches from us in East Texas all the way up through the Mississippi River Valley and into the Northeast U.S., can anticipate some scattered rain showers throughout the course of the day. This rain will form along a cold front, which will provide us and many others with a big dip in the temperatures on Thanksgiving Day.

If you want a warm Thanksgiving, you will want to head down to Florida or the Carolina's, as temperatures in these areas will be running well above normal for this time of year.

If you will be traveling this week, we have you covered with KTRE9 TO GO. It is here you can get satellite and radar updates for any location in the United States, as well as track your flight. All the tools are at your fingertips. Make sure to sign-up today to take advantage of our free software.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

La Nina Setting in This Winter Season

This time of year, I run into people all the time wondering just how cold our winter season will be in 2010-2011?

As you know, I am a meteorologist, and mainly focus on short term forecasts (3-7 days out). We do have a group of weather scientiests that do focus on long term forecast change, based on weather pattern studies.

We call them climatologists, and just recently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their precipitation and temperature outlook for this upcoming winter season. This includes the three month period of December 2010-February 2011.

We are looking for drier than normal conditions, while parts of the Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains are anticipating a wetter than normal winter season.

Considering we are currently in a moderate drought, this certainly is not good news, as ground soils are very dry.

In terms of our temperature outlook, we are expecting warmer than normal conditions. Again, this does not mean we won't see some hard freezes or cold blasts, it just means over the three month period of December -February, our average temperatures should remain above our normal climate values.
It should be noted that this past winter (2009-2010) was colder and wetter than normal, as we had an El Nino type weather pattern in place. If you recall, we had some record low temperatures set last year with three different snowfall events.
Based on current trends with sea surface temperatures, jet stream patterns, etc., we are settling into a La Nina type weather pattern, which is just the opposite of El Nino.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Big Changes this Weekend

After a rather warm and tranquil week weatherwise, we will be in store for some big changes this weekend all thanks to a cold front.

Our November front will move through East Texas overnight Friday and into early Saturday morning. Our Microcast computer model shows the front moving in between the hours of 3-5am on Saturday morning, when most of us are sound asleep.
You can expect some pockets of rain and a little bit of thunder as the front moves through.
Behind the front, look for the rain to taper off on Saturday as the deeper moisture moves further off to the east and exits stage right.

Even though the rain will temporarily move out, the clouds won't. As a result, temperatures will struggle to make it out of the 50's on Saturday, as we are left with mostly cloudy skies and damp conditions.
After a break in the rain Saturday afternoon, look for thicker clouds and another chance of rain to return to East Texas on Sunday, lasting through early next week.
Needless to say, you will probably need a light jacket and some rain gear if you plan on being outside this weekend.
Hopefully we will receive some much needed rain over the weekend and into early next week. With a moderate drought in place, we could surely use a drink of water, courtesy of Mother Nature.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Drought Worsens, Spreads Over Most of East Texas

After several months of avoiding the drought, the time has finally come. Most of East Texas has now been placed under a Stage 1 Moderate Drought.

The shading of maroon on the image to your left shows just how far the moderate drought has expanded to the south and west. Excluding Anderson county, the rest of our KTRE viewing area is under a drought.
If you look real closely, extreme eastern Newton county is in a Stage 2 Severe Drought. It gets even worse in Louisiana as many residents east of the Sabine River are in a Stage 3 Extreme Drought.
Keep in mind that the worst possible drought is a Stage 4 Exceptional Drought.
Even though we are just in a Stage 1 Moderate Drought, it is still a cause for concern as very little rain has fallen over the past few months.
With a drought now in place for many of us, don't be surprised to see damage to crops and pastures. Reservoirs and wells will remain extremely low, and water restrictions could be imposed if things don't improve soon.

Friday, November 5, 2010

First Freeze and Fire Restrictions

Parts of East Texas will see their first freeze of the fall season coming up tomorrow morning. Areas along and north of a Crockett to Lufkin to Hemphill line will have a chance to hit the freezing mark on Saturday morning.

Areas along and south of a Groveton to Corrigan and Woodville line will stay just above freezing, with lows falling into the middle 30's in these locations.

If you have any plants or tender vegetation, make sure you cover them up with a blanket or bring them inside. Even though we are just expecting a light freeze, you don't want to be caught off guard when you check on your plants Saturday morning.

With the cooler weather also comes the time for deer hunting. As the season begins on Saturday, the weather will be nice and cold in the morning, just like many of you hunters like.
We want to remind you, however, of some fire restrictions that the U.S. Forest Service has put in place as a result of the parched grounds soils.
The U.S. Forest Service has stated that only gas and propane grills, lanterns and stoves may be used in developed recreation areas and designated hunter camps in the Angelina, Sabine, Davy Crockett and Sam Houston National Forests.
This means that campfire use is prohibited until more rain falls across the Piney Woods.
In the meantime, whether you plan on hunting, camping, or just watching college football this weekend, have a great one. It will certainly be sweater weather, that's for sure.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Rainfall Where You Live

A slow and meandering upper low has situated itself over East and Southeast Texas the past couple of days, bringing with it light to moderate rain and overcast skies.

Due to the slow and steady rainfall, we were able to see lots of the rain and moisture soak into the very parched soils of the Piney Woods. This is the type of rain we needed, considering we are in a moderate to severe drought.

As a result of the rainfall, we have seen two East Texas counties lift their burn bans in as many days.

On Tuesday, Angelina county lifted their burn ban and today, Shelby county followed up by dropping their burn ban as well.

We still have nine counties in our KTRE viewing area still under burn bans, and we will keep you posted and let you know if any more are dropped in the days ahead.

If you are wondering how much rain you or your neighbors received, here's a list of rainfall totals through Tuesday night from our Weather Watchers.

1. Tim Martin, Broaddus----------------- 0.70"
2. Bill Wallace, Chireno------------------- 1.40"
3. Glenda Douglas, Crockett---------------1.16"
4. Daryl Thomas, Cushing---------------- 3.50"
5. Willie Lankford, Etoile----------------- 0.92"
6. Gordon Hooker, Groveton------------- 0.60"
7. Lane Lowery, Huntington-------------- 0.96"
8. Cindy Hoyt, Kennard-------------------0.90"
9. Jerry Fender, Livingston--------------- 0.80"
10. Jimmy Partin, Looneyville------------ 1.80"
11. Staci Byrd, Milam-------------------- 0.60"
12. Dave Olszewski, South Lufkin--------- 1.85"
13. Bill Teague, South Nac. Co.-------------2.10"
14. Dorothy Penney, South Rusk Co.-------2.30"
15. Larry Graybill, Trawick----------------2.50"

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cooler and Wetter: We'll Take It

A cold front will move through East Texas overnight, bringing an end to the quick warm-up which occured on Monday.

Along the front, we will see some scattered strong storms rumble through East Texas.

The best news is that when the front moves through, the rain will not move out.

We will see a strong upper low move over Southeast Texas the next couple of days, keeping rain in the forecast. With the clouds and rain around, temperatures will struggle to make it out of the 60's over the next few days.

Our in house computer model suggests we could see 1-2" between now and Wednesday evening, with the highest rainfall amounts across our southern and eastern counties.

Notice that our western counties won't see as much, but even then, we could pick up 0.50" on average in these areas.

The best part about this rain event is that it will be drawn out over a couple of days. That means the moisture will be able to soak into the very dry ground soils. Considering we have a moderate to severe drought in place across the Piney Woods, this slow rain event is