Friday, December 30, 2011
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 10:47 PM
Thursday, December 15, 2011
We saw pockets of light to moderate rain showers move through the Piney Woods today, providing some East Texans with some decent rainfall totals.
The image to your left shows what our KTRE weather watchers reported in their rain gauges as of this blog entry.
On average, many communities received 0.25" to 0.50" of rain. Obviously some of you saw much less than that, but this is a general consensus on what we had.
Showers Will Linger
The good news is that the chances for light rain showers will continue overnight and through your day on Friday. The cold front that came through this evening will drop our temperatures into the 50's and probably stay there all day tomorrow, as a result of the clouds and showers in the forecast.
The pockets of rain will continue as a result of upper level disturbances moving on top of the cooler air at the surface. This is what we call an "overrunning" situation in meteorology. When we see rain occur behind a cold front, we call that "post frontal precipitation". Usually the rain we see behind a front is light in nature. That will be good for us as it will allow any rain or drizzle that occurs to soak into the dry ground soils.
We've Got You Covered
Remember that you can keep track of the rain anytime by viewing our live streaming radar at www.ktre.com/weather. You can also click on our Interactive Radar link just above the streaming radar if you wish to take over the controls and zoom down to the streets in and near your community.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:12 PM
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Clear skies, dry air, and calm winds will lead to the coldest night of the fall season to date. We woke up to temperatures this morning in the upper 20's to lower 30's, but tonight will be even colder as high pressure builds into the state of Texas.
Due to the impending hard freeze tonight, a Hard Freeze Warning has been issued for Jasper, Newton, and Tyler counties through 9am Thursday morning. A Hard Freeze Warning is issued when temperatures are expected to dip to or below the 25° mark for a period longer than three hours.
Many areas along and north of the Highway 69 corridor will drop into the lower and middle 20's by tomorrow morning. The coldest spots will see sub-freezing temperatures for 8-10 hours, starting later this evening and lasting through the mid-morning hours on Thursday.
This is a reminder that you will want to take care of the 3 P's of Protection.
The first P deals with the pets. Make sure your furry friends have a warm place to stay and plenty of water to drink.
The second P deals with your plants. If you have tender plants or vegetation, make sure you cover them up, or better yet, bring them inside.
The last P deals with your pipes. While tonight's freeze may not qualify as a pipe busting type freeze, it would be a wise idea to go ahead and wrap all exposed pipes.
Keep in mind that many East Texans will be heading out of town in the next few weeks for the Christmas holiday season. By wrapping the pipes now, you will be prepared for any future hard freezes that could possibly cause them to freeze up and burst.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:04 PM
Friday, December 2, 2011
Just like last year in 2010, this year was another gentle giant. Despite the fact the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and Atlantic Ocean were quite active, very few of these storms even had an impact on the United States mainland.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:53 PM
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Just like clockwork, another storm system out west will be moving into the Southern Plain states late Monday and into early Tuesday, giving Deep East Texas another good chance for beneficial rainfall.
Just like the past couple of weeks, there is a "slight" risk for severe weather. That means some of the embedded thunderstorms within the heavier downpours could contain small hail and damaging winds. At this time, the severe threat is rather low due to the timing of this system.
(Image courtesy of: Hydrometeorological Prediction Center)
The image above was taken from the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC). This is the rainfall potential from Monday evening at 6pm through Tuesday evening at 6pm. Notice that the heaviest rainfall will stretch from Oklahoma to Arkansas and into southern Missouri.
The shading of blue painted on the map, represents 0.50"-1.0" of rain on average for the Pineywoods. It should be noted that some areas may receive higher rainfall amounts, but overall, it looks as if Mother Nature will send her blessings on us right before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Timing is Perfect
The timing with this storm system will work in our favor in regards to Thanksgiving travel this week. The storm will exit stage right on Tuesday afternoon, meaning Wednesday will be a nice day for all the travelers hitting the roadways.
Thanksgiving Day is also looking nice, with mostly clear skies and cooler temperatures.
But as we have seen this month, nothing stays the same for too long. Another quick moving low pressure system will bring back warmer temperatures and another chance for rain by Friday and next weekend.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 9:43 PM
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Several counties have lifted their burn bans over the past week, mainly as a result of recent weekly rainfall, and the added pressure from citizens who rely on burning their own trash.
Of our main 13 counties we serve in the KTRE viewing area, 8 of them have now lifted their burn bans, with more likely to follow suit in the days ahead.
Even though burn bans have been lifted, that is not necessarily a sign of an improvement in the drought situation.
During the month of November, we typically average 0.15" of rain per day. That means that in a week's time span, we should receive over an inch of rain just to stay on par with average rainfall for the month.
So far this month, we have had two heavy rain events that have fallen on back to back Tuesdays. While the rain is much welcome, we need even more just to put a dent in the drought. Keep in mind that many of our weather watchers have been reporting 0.40-0.75" of rain with these storm systems, with just a few areas reporting in over an inch.
If you do the math, the drought has not improved one bit. What we need is 2-3 days of steady, persistent rain per week in order to cut into the 17" deficit we now have for the year.
So while the weekly rainfall is nice, it would be even better if we had multiple days of rain, rather than just one day per week.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:16 PM
Thursday, November 10, 2011
National Weather Service meteorologists out of Shreveport surveyed the damage from Tuesday's severe thunderstorms on Wednesday and concluded that two tornadoes touched down in Deep East Texas.
The first twister touched down at 2:02pm, five miles southwest of Mount Enterprise in northern Nacogdoches county. It moved northeast and caused tree damage along FM 950 and FM 3272 before lifting just west of Highway 259. According to the National Weather Service, the tornado lifted just west of Highway 259 before touching down a second time along FM 3198 near FM 3191. As the tornado continued its second track, it ended up causing widespread tree damage near Highway 84 and FM 3191 before lifting at around 2:26pm.
This first tornado was rated an EF1, with estimated wind speeds of 90 mph. It had a maximum width of 150 yards and had a path length of 12 miles.
(Brad Hlozek cuts in to programming to keep viewers informed on tornado warnings on Tuesday afternoon.)
About an hour later, another tornado touched down in the same general vicinity as the first one. This time, it occurred at 3:34pm, three miles west of Mount Enterprise, just north of Highway 84. This tornado uprooted trees along its journey, before dissipating at 3:43pm just west of the intersection of FM 95 and Highway 315.
Unlike the first twister, this second one was weaker and rated an EF0, with estimated winds of 80 mph. It had a maximum width of 70 yards and a path length of 6 miles.
The best news to report out of these two tornado touchdowns on Tuesday was that there were no injuries or fatalities, as they stayed over mainly rural areas.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:09 PM
Monday, November 7, 2011
Another storm system and cold front is headed for East Texas tomorrow night. However, unlike the past few fronts, this cold front and storm system will be more potent, meaning the threat for heavy rain and severe weather will be possible.
While we may not see much rain for the first half of your Tuesday, that will change by the late afternoon and early evening hours as a trough of low pressure moves through the Pineywoods.
As you can see by our in house Microcast computer model, a squall line (fancy term for strong line of storms) is expected to rumble through Deep East Texas by the late afternoon or early evening hours. It is along this line of storms where there will be a threat for damaging winds ( > 50 mph), small hail, and frequent cloud-to-ground lightning strikes.
It has been quite a while since we had a threat for severe weather. Therefore, make sure to heed warnings if your county gets placed under one tomorrow.
Now to the Bright Side
It should be noted that the severe weather threat is low; what is more likely and beneficial for us all, is the rainfall potential.
Our Microcast computer model shows rainfall will vary from place to place; however, average rainfall amounts will range from 0.25" to as much as an inch in spots.
The return of moisture to the area will aid in rainfall potential with this particular storm system, as it helps increase the instability across the region.
Our rain chances will taper off quickly from west to east Tuesday night as the cold front pushes through Deep East Texas. The front will clear out the skies and usher in some cooler weather for the remainder of the week.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 7:54 PM
Friday, November 4, 2011
The sun is displaying more sunspots and will be very active over the next few weeks. This is due to the CME (coronal mass ejection) that takes place along the surface of the sun.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 4:41 PM
Friday, October 28, 2011
This past Friday, America's newest polar-orbiting satellite launched into space successfully. The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) is a joint project between NASA and NOAA to better help make better forecasts.
The NPOESS Prepatory Project (NPP) satellite includes five brand new instruments that will help collect more information on weather data around the world. This includes both surface observations on land and over the oceans.
According to NOAA, NPP will be able to orbit earth every 102 minutes, flying 512 miles above the surface of the earth.
This newly advanced satellite will be able to help diagnose the atmosphere with more detailed information, which will help meteorologists be able to forecast big weather events (severe weather outbreaks, winter storms) with better accuracy and with more advanced notice.
It will be a few more months, however, until the NPP satellite will have data available to view. According to NOAA, it will be 90 days until the satellite begins its operation and replaces the NOAA-19 satellite.
For more information on the NPP satellite, you can go to http://www.noaa.gov/.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:26 PM
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Our fall weather continues to operate like a seesaw, with wild swings in temperatures from day to day and from week to week.
After a seasonably cool week last week, it has been anything but that over the past several days. A southeast wind and a ridge of high pressure has made for unseasonably warm weather over the past few days, with highs climbing back into the middle and upper 80's.
While the seesaw has been tilted upwards, it will be going down rather quickly, starting tomorrow.
Another strong Canadian cold front will be diving south through the Southern Plains on Thursday and will provide us with some pockets of rain followed by a drop in the temperatures.
While the rain chances tomorrow will be rather high, the rainfall totals won't be all that impressive. The image to your right is from the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. It shows the 2 day rain total between now and Friday evening. Notice the swath of heavier rain will be confined from Oklahoma to Arkansas and then further up the Mississippi River Valley, towards Kentucky and Ohio.
Our guidance suggests a tenth to a quarter of an inch as an average rain total for the Pineywoods of Deep East Texas, with isolated areas receiving slightly higher amounts.
Temperatures on your Thursday will be warmest in the mid-to-late morning hours, before falling throughout the course of the day.
Make sure you take your umbrella and light jacket with you as you head off to work or school in the morning. Even though you may not need it to start the day, you will probably need both by the afternoon.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:42 PM
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Before the cold front blew through East Texas, we did see some areas and communities pick up some beneficial rainfall in the wee hours of the morning.
The image to your left shows the rainfall totals that were reported in by our weather watchers in Deep East Texas.
The heaviest rain fell over areas along and north of the Highway 69 corridor. Most areas in Nacogdoches, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, and Shelby counties received anywhere from one half inch to well over one inch of rain.
These rainfall totals match up well with our Doppler Radar estimates. The shading of green represents one half to one inch of rainfall, with the blue showing 0.10" to 0.25". You can clearly see a defined cutoff point from the areas that received the rain vs. the areas that barely got a trace.
The strong northerly winds we saw today dried out the ground soils very quickly, limiting the usefulness of the rain we saw around daybreak.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:25 PM
Thursday, October 13, 2011
A cold front moved through Deep East Texas earlier today, clearing out the skies and ushering in some cooler temperatures.
This cold front will act more like a "cool" front, as the airmass behind the front is not all that cold. Our overnight lows the next few nights will be below normal, as we fall into the upper 40's and lower 50's, while our highs will be above normal, as we warm up into the middle to upper 80's.
While the weather will be less humid and quite refreshing in the days ahead, we are going to see a much stronger fall cold front sweep through the Pineywoods next week.
Next week's cold front will literally be a ":cold" front, as a dip in the Jet stream and a deeper trough pulls down some Canadian air into the heart of mid-America.
Parts of the upper midwest and northern Plain states could dip below freezing. We won't be quite as cold, as much of the chill will modify as it moves further south. Nonetheless, it looks as if you might be able to break out the boots, jeans, and sweaters next week as we really get our first significant fall cold front.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:49 PM
Monday, October 10, 2011
Very heavy and beneficial rains fell across the extreme to exceptional drought grounds of Texas this weekend. The rain that fell started on Saturday morning and lasted all the way through Sunday night before finally tapering off.
The affects of the rain were felt state-wide as a weak Pacific front combined with a strong upper air disturbance to generate widespread showers and storms.
Waco had the highest 48 hour rainfall total, reporting 5.83". San Antonio received 3.12", Houston got 3.02", followed by Abilene with 2.97".
East Texas Misses Out
As you look at those totals, you are probably becoming depressed as many of you did not receive even a tenth of an inch of rain.
As we talked about on Friday, most of the heavy rain was going to stay to our north and west. As it turned out, the forecast verified with only parts of Houston, Trinity, and Polk counties getting in on some rain on Sunday.
Rain chances will be dwindling as drier air moves into the Pineywoods on Tuesday. There will be a brief window for an isolated shower or storm late Wednesday night, as a cold front swings through the Texas Forest Country.
Once that window passes, we will be in store for some beautiful weather, as cooler and drier air filters into the region. However, with our drought situation, sometimes beautiful is an adjective that can sum up rain; unfortunately, we don't see much of that wet stuff in the offing over the next five to seven days.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 7:55 PM
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
The weather phenomena known as "La Nina" is likely to persist for another year, which means our exceptional drought status could remain the same for a second year.
My college professor at Texas A&M University, Dr. Nielsen-Gammon, spoke Monday at a climate workshop in Fort Worth. He is our state climatologist and has been reiterating the fact that no significant rain relief looks to be in the offing at this point as La Nina is expected to strengthen and last for at least another year.
If there is any good news, it's that Nielsen-Gammon says there is only a 25% chance that Texas' drought will persist for another five years.
La Nina is a weather phenomena associated with cooler than normal sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, as seen by the image to your left. It is these abnormally cooler water temperatures that alter the weather patterns across the globe and can influence a region's temperature and precipitation outlook.
Unfortunately for us in East Texas and all Texans across the state, it means warmer and drier than normal conditions throughout the entire year. It just so happens that this particular phase of La Nina is stronger than normal, which has led to the worst drought in over 50 years.
What Lies Ahead
With a persisting La Nina, we would see a dry fall and winter, which would only worsen the ongoing drought. We would also see a few cold blasts, but the overall trend would be warmer than normal conditions when averaged out for a two or three month period.
With very little rainfall and strong winds blowing in behind cold fronts, the fire threat will also be increased. The combination of dry fuels, low relative humidity values, and gusty winds means the wildfire season could get worse.
Going into next spring, we could see a few severe weather outbreaks that are more violent than normal. If you recall, we had a very active spring earlier this year with several tornado reports. We had two consecutive nights of active tornado warnings this past April. This was part of the storm system that ended up producing the violent tornadoes across Dixie Alley in the days that followed.
History has shown that La Nina years have more severe weather episodes and that's not good as it means any chances for wet weather in the spring will come at a steep price.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:11 PM
Thursday, September 22, 2011
The weather phenomena known as "La Nina" has been responsible for our worst drought in Texas history as well as the hottest summer on record.
La Nina is associated with cooler than normal waters in the equatorial Pacific Ocean that alter the weather patterns around the world.
The image shows the cooler than normal sea surface temperatures by the shading of blue.
These below average water temperatures bare bad news for Texas, as it means warmer and drier conditions than normal.
What made the 2010-2011 La Nina worse was the fact we had a "strong" La Nina. That meant that not only were we in a drought, but we had an "exceptional" drought. That ended up leading to 63 days of 100° temperatures as the dry and parched soils lead to unsusually hot weather.
What happens during a La Nina phase is the Jet stream configures itself in a way that keeps Gulf of Mexico and Pacific moisture out of the state. Therefore, when fronts blow through East Texas, we see very little rain and low humidity.
Prognostications Not Good
According to NOAA and Texas state climatologist Dr. Nielsen Gammon, La Nina is expected to continue through the fall season and very well could last through the winter months as well.
The big question is whether or not La Nina will weaken to a moderate or slight phase or remain the same. Regardless of the phase, this news does not bode well for East Texans or anyone else in the state for that matter.
The impacts could be even more devastating if we continue to see below normal rainfall and very little moisture over the next 3 to 6 months.
You can click here to read the full article on what our state climatologist, Dr. John Nielsen Gammon has to say about the climate outlook as we move forward this year.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:50 PM
Monday, September 19, 2011
An upper level trough combined with a weak cold front to generate some much needed rain for all Deep East Texas over the past couple of days.
The rain came in several waves. One wave came on Saturday evening, where parts of the area received some moderate rain showers.
The second wave came Sunday morning, where scattered showers and isolated storms woke many of you up and provided some nice rainfall to start your day.
Then came the last and final round that occurred overnight Sunday and into early Monday morning. This last batch of rain was the heaviest and also came in the form of some strong thunderstorms as the actual cold front sweeped through the area.
When you add it all up, there were several areas that picked up over an inch of rain, with most areas receiving at least a half inch and some spots getting over 2 inches.
Here is a graphic that shows all the rainfall totals over the weekend, as reported by our loyal weather watchers. Feel free to click on the image to see it in better detail.
This one and a half day rainfall event was the most we had seen since June 21st and June 22nd, when 1-2" of rain were quite common across the Piney Woods.
It should be noted that we still have a rain deficit for the month and an 11.59" deficit for the year. Please refrain from doing any outdoor burning and note that the fire threat is still high, despite the fact we received some much needed rain.
Unfortunately, rain chances are dwindling quickly and the forecast looks fairly dry for the next five to seven days.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:44 PM
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
After enduring 4 consecutive days of record breaking heat and several wildfires flaring up each afternoon, it seems that Mother Nature will finally give in and provide East Texans with a much deserved break.
The map to your right shows the forecasted highs for later today. Notice that Amarillo is only looking for a high of 58° and Oklahoma City will only make 62°. It will still remain hot for South Central Texas due to the fact that the front will not make it to their area until later tonight.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:52 PM
Monday, September 12, 2011
After a week of cooler temperatures, the heat has returned to Deep East Texas as a ridge of high pressure builds in overhead.
We have now hit the century mark a record 60 times so far this summer, and will continue to add to that total yet again today and possibly on Wednesday as well.
An exceptional drought means the extreme heat will continue due to the dry fuels in place across the entire Texas Forest Country.
Fire Threat Still High
The ongoing threat for wildfires will only be increasing over the next couple of days as the wind speeds pick up out of the west-southwest at 10 to 15 mph. These breezy conditions will only dry things out even more, causing the relative humidity to be in the 10-15% range. That is not a combination you want to see when we have already seen several wildfires flare up over the past several days.
Our Futurecast computer model shows the wind forecast at Wednesday evening at 7pm. Notice the wind arrows are blowing from south to north. The winds will have a westerly component as well, which is a dry wind that heats up the atmosphere very rapidly.
Don't let your eyes fool you...that blue triangle feature you see on the map is a cold front that will push into East Texas late this week. This front will bring back slight rain chances to the forecast and will drop temperatures back down into the lower 90's.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:42 PM
Friday, September 9, 2011
For the third time in this 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, we have a tropical storm which has formed in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortuantely, Tropical Storm Nate will not provide East Texas with any substantial rain to help the ongoing wildfires and drought status for the Pineywoods.
The image to your right shows that Nate will be headed due west and into Mexico sometime on Sunday afternoon.
Because Nate will be so far south of Texas, we will not see any rain make it up in this direction. As a result, look for more dry conditions with the fire threat still remaining high, even though wind speeds won't be as strong this weekend.
A ridge of high pressure, currently situated over Mexico, will be building over the state of Texas late this weekend. It is this high pressure ridge which will keep Tropical Storm Nate well south of Texas, while at the same time, allow the heat to start building once again.
We will see morning lows creep back up into the 60's this weekend, with daytime highs climbing back up into the middle 90's. Don't look now, but next week will be even hotter, as upper 90's return to Deep East Texas.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:46 PM
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
One of the benefits of satellite and radar is not only can they detect clouds and rain, but they can also pick up on other objects in the atmosphere.
Our high resolution satellite was able to show some of the ongoing wildfires across East Texas this afternoon. You can clearly see the whispy white colors fanning off to the south. That is the smoke plumes fanning off from the source of where the actual wildfires were burning earlier today.
I have labeled the wildfire locations with a red dot as seen on the image above.
While the winds will subside tonight, look for them to pick back up a bit again on Wednesday. The wind speeds will be on the order of 10 to 15 mph the next couple of days, especially in the afternoon hours. Because the wind direction will be from the north, that means the smoke plumes will be moving in a southerly direction the next few days.
Keep checking back with ktre.com to stay up-to-date with all the fire developments in Deep East Texas. There is also a very useful link tied into the Texas Forest Service, which shows the ongoing fires across the state. You can view that link by clicking here.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:39 PM
Saturday, September 3, 2011
While we have not seen any rain in Deep East Texas up to this point, we still have a chance for receiving some of that wet stuff later today and then again on Sunday as Tropical Storm Lee moves onshore along the Louisiana coast.
The latest satellite image shows mid and high level clouds drifting into East Texas this morning. Our StormTracker Live Doppler Network is showing a batch of light rain now moving westward and spreading into Jasper, Newton, and Sabine counties.
As we have reiterated the past few days, areas in and near the Sabine River and Toledo Bend will have the best chance of receiving rainfall. Lufkin and Nacogdoches will have about a 2 in 5 chance (40%) of getting some rain this afternoon, while areas west of Highway 59 will have only a 20% chance of rain. As Tropical Storm Lee moves onshore Sunday morning, we will still have about the same odds of getting wet for tomorrow.
Since the state of Texas is on the backside of the system, we will not see the heavy, soaking rains that many of you wanted. It does, however, beat the weather they are seeing in southern Louisiana, where flooding and numerous tornado warnings are currently in place.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 10:03 AM
Monday, August 29, 2011
Both of these hurricanes were only category 2 hurricanes, according the the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, in which sustained winds were around 100-110 mph. However, both of them were unusually large hurricanes and had more widespread impacts than just the wind speed.
If you watched any of the national coverage over the weekend, you probably kept hearing meteorologists saying that the category does not do the storm justice for just how strong it is or the impacts it could create.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 7:40 PM
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Today's storms provided some beneficial rains to Deep East Texas, but it did come at a cost. That cost was damaging winds, which at times, were gusting over 50 mph.
These high winds occurred along a "gust front." A gust front is a boundary of rain cooled air that rushes out of a thunderstorm and then spreads out along the ground. They are often times associated with thunderstorm complexes, much like the one we saw today.
I was able to capture this radar image at 3:09pm this afternoon, when the gust front was encroaching on the Pineywoods. The gust front is the thin blue line that stretched from Center to near Mount Enterprise at this particular time.
It is that boundary which surged to the south and southwest preceding the rain that soon followed. Due to our drought situation, the high winds not only knocked down trees, but also kicked up a bunch of dirt, creating a scene you would typically see in West Texas.
Despite the fact the rain did not last as long as many of you would have liked, we did see a big drop in the temperatures once the storm complex moved through. Have you stepped outside this evening? The overcast skies and rain cooled air are something we have not seen in quite a long time.
For any updates on storm damage or to see all the pictures sent in from our loyal viewers, make sure to view our homepage at ktre.com.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:12 PM
Monday, August 22, 2011
Hurricane Irene continues to strengthen as she churns through the western Atlantic Ocean. She has already done damage to Puerto Rico and is currently spinning just to the north of Hispaniola.
The strength of Irene will highly depend on whether or not the center of circulation can stay away from Haiti and the Dominican Republic. If the center stays out over open waters, which most models agree on, then Irene will strengthen even further, possibly into a category 2 hurricane by tomorrow.
Irene will continue to track off to the northwest and is slated to make landfall somewhere along the eastern seaboard this weekend, possibly as a major hurricane. While the center of the track brings landfall into the Carolina's, there is still a lot of uncertainty in regards to where exactly she will end up since we are still five days away.
The average forecast error this far out (5 days)averages around 200 miles. That's why areas such as the east coast of Florida to the Virginia's are in the cone of uncertainty.
The track of Hurricane Irene will be bittersweet for us. The good news is that we won't have to deal with a hurricane. However, we could use a tropical depression or storm to help alleviate the ongoing drought.
There are a few more tropical waves well out in the Atlantic Ocean, but at this point, they don't appear to be threatening the Gulf of Mexico anytime soon.
Remember that you can stay up-to-date with the current position, forecast track, intensity forecast, and links to the National Hurricane Center by going to our Hurricane Center on ktre.com. It even shows you the latest radar and satellite images.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:03 PM
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
As I mentioned on air the other day, breaking records and obtaining them are typically a good thing in life, except when it comes to weather. When dealing with weather records, we are talking about extremes in some shape or form.
For instance, record cold, record heat, record rainfall, record drought, etc. are the kinds of things you don't want to hear or see reported in your local weathercasts. Unfortunately, weather records don't go hand in hand with records obtained in sports or any other endeavour for that matter.
As of this evening, the Angelina County Airport in Lufkin has had 42 100° days this year. That ties the mark for the most number of 100° days that last occurred in the hot summer of 1998. We will break that record tomorrow and then shatter it as we progress through the second half of August.
On average, we see about 2 days of 100° temperatures heading into August, and about 7 days of triple digit heat per year. We have exceeded the average mark by a factor of 6 and still climbing.
More Heat Records
Not only are the number of days over the century mark a talking point, but so is our current streak of consecutive 100° days. We are at 18 days in a row, in which the temperature has hit or exceeded the century mark. That too, is an all time record for consecutive days being in triple digit territory. This treak started back on July 30th and has continued ever since.
No Relief in Sight
Outside of a stray evening shower or storm, there is no real relief to speak of. It looks as if our triple digit heat will continue right through the weekend and into next week.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:37 PM
Thursday, August 11, 2011
It seems like we are beating a dead horse, but the heat has been a big topic so far this summer, due in large part to record highs and the number of triple digit days. While it seems like there may be no end in sight, there are some positives to point out as we head through the rest of August.
Another sign that fall is just around the corner is when we start talking about "cold fronts." Yes, I did say cold front.
We have had a cold front trigger storms the past few days in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and North Texas.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:39 PM
Monday, August 8, 2011
This high pressure ridge started to expand and strengthen in June and has been stuck in neutral for most of the summer months. As a result, we have seen day after day of record heat and scorching temperatures across the Lone Star State.
A July Fry to Forget
This past July was the second warmest July on record at the Angelina County Airport, just south of Lufkin. The average temperature for that month was 86.9°, which was 4.3° above normal. The warmest average July on record took place in 1998, where the average temperature was 87.7°.
July was also historic in the number of 100° days we saw as well. The 16 occurrences was second all time, only to the July of 1998, where we saw the thermometer climb at or above the century mark 22 times that year. To put the frequency of triple digit days in perspective, we typically average about 3 triple digit days for the entire month of July.
Triple Digit Days Adding Up
As of today, we have now hit or exceeded the century mark 34 times in 2011. The highest frequency of 100° days in a single year was 42, which occurred in the hot summer of 1998. At the pace we are on right now, we will more than likely break that record.
The Drought a Major Player
The overriding factor for our sizzling summer temperatures has been the ongoing extreme to exceptional drought across the Texas Forest Country. With the soils being parched and extremely dry, there is no moisture to evaporate into the atmosphere. Therefore, it makes it a whole lot easier for the environment to heat up, especially when we get into the months of July and August.
Not as Oppressive, But Not Much Relief
As we head through the week, daytime highs are still expected to reach triple digit territory with relative ease. However, the dome of high pressure will not be as strong as last week and will be shifted slightly furthur to the west. This means that we will take an edge off the extreme heat and will see slight rain chances re-enter the picture.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 7:36 PM
Monday, August 1, 2011
We are entering the month of August with the hottest weather we have seen so far this year. While feeling the triple digit heat is not all that uncommon in August, what is unusual is how high the mercury will be climbing each afternoon this week.
On Monday, we reached 106° at the Angelina County Airport, just south of Lufkin. That reading was the hottest day we have seen to date so far in 2011. Unfortunately, it could get worse in the days ahead, as a big dome of high pressure strengthens and situates itself over the Southern Plain states.
This is the type of weather pattern which often gives us a stretch of triple digit temperatures this time of year. However, just as we've seen through the spring and summer months so far, this summer is not your typical summer. It has been unseasonably hot, due in large part to the exceptional drought, which continues to plague most of the state.
With that dry ground in place, it makes it easier for the temperatures to heat up, especially now that we are in the month of August.
With our hottest stretch of weather setting in this week, the National Weather Service has put several of our East Texas counties under an "Excessive Heat Warning." This is a step up from the regular heat advisory that we typically see issued this time of year.
What this advisory means is that heat stroke and/or heat exhaustion can set in very quickly, especially if you find yourself outdoors for an extended period of time.
While advice on how to keep cool is common sense, there is one thing I want to point out that I feel is vitally important to those of you that don't have air conditioning: Please seek that A/C if you don't have any. This might mean calling a friend or neighbor, and having them take you in at their place of residence. Another option would be to go to a mall, movie theater, grocery store, or restaurant that has air conditioning. Try to take advantage of these public facilities that have air conditioning.
It is during these types of heat waves we often hear about heat related deaths and illnesses. Please don't let yourself or a close friend be a victim. Let's take care of ourselves and each other and make sure we are doing what is necessary to stay cool during this heat wave.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:56 PM
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Tropical Storm Don will continue his west-northwestward jog through the Gulf of Mexico over the next 36 to 48 hours. While there is a high certainty he will make landfall along the Texas coast, the answers aren't as clear as to where along the coast that will be.
The steering currents, or the wind direction, is the overriding factor as to where tropical systems will end up going. Just like wind aiding along a sailboat, the winds in the mid levels of the atmosphere will ultimately decide where Don will go in the days ahead.
The main steering current will be our large dome of hot, high pressure. It is expected to strengthen and move towards the Southeast United States. With that clockwise flow around the ridge, Don will continue his northwestward trek through the Gulf.
The tricky part comes in how strong will the ridge become and where exactly will it be positioned. If it is slightly weaker or farther away than models indicate, then Don could take a northward jog, meaning the upper Texas coast is in line to see a direct landfall Friday evening. However, if the high pressure ridge is as strong as the models make it out to be, then Don will probably end up making landfall somewhere around Corpus Christi or far South Texas.
Our rain chances on Friday will be soley dependent upon Don's position. Because he is not a broad system, the rain bands will be confined to areas in and near the low pressure center. So while we typically don't welcome tropical storms to the state, this time around is different. After all, we've been saying all along that a tropical system is what we need to help alleviate the ongoing extreme drought.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 9:30 PM
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
An area of disturbed weather, which has been affecting portions of Cuba the past few days, has now emerged in the western Caribbean Sea, and is now setting its sights on the Gulf of Mexico.
This tropical wave has shown signs of getting better organized, and now has a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Anytime there is a tropical wave that enters the Gulf of Mexico, we must watch it very closely, even if models don't think it will strengthen in the short term.
At this time, hurricane hunters are expected to fly into this system tomorrow to see if it has a closed circulation of low pressure at the surface. If they find this on their flight out to sea, it will be given the name "Don," which is the next name on our Atlantic hurricane list for this year.
The image to your right shows the various computer models we have access to in the StormTracker Weather Center. Notice how they all take this wave into the western Gulf over the next few days. Regardless if this system develops, it looks as if this area of low pressure will track anywhere towards the lower to middle Texas coastline by Friday.
If this scenario pans out, we could see some enhanced rain chances for the drought stricken state, including us in Deep East Texas.
If our tropical wave does develop, make sure you check our hurricane center for all the latest coordinates, forecast track, satellite images, and more. And of course, we will have comprehensive analysis on KTRE-TV, your East Texas News and Weather Leader.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:15 PM
Friday, July 22, 2011
While it has been a scorcher so far this summer in East Texas, other parts of the country are stuck in the July Fry as well.
Check out the high temperatures felt across the nation today. It's not surprising to see triple digit heat in the southern half of the United States, but it is uncommon to see the triple digits expand as far north as the Canadian border. The exception and not the rule occurred today for most of the central and eastern half of the country.
The heat was so extreme on Friday, that some all time records were set in the Northeast United States.
Newark, New Jersey: A high of 108°, which makes it the hottest temperature of all time.
Dulles International Airport in Virginia: The high of 105° was an all time record high at the airport.
Central Park, New York: The high of 104° was the 2nd hottest day on record.
Boston, Massachusetts: The high of 103° made it the 2nd hottest day of all time and the hottest day they have experienced in 85 years.
If you know of anyone from here in Deep East Texas visiting friends or family in the Northeast right now, give them a call and ask them how they are enjoying the cooler weather up north? I'm sure they will give you a loud and unhappy response.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 6:48 PM
Sunday, July 17, 2011
On Sunday afternoon, hurricane hunters flew into an area of disturbed weather off the east coast of Florida, near the Bahamas. They found a closed low pressure center which led to Tropical Depression #2.
Just a few hours later, Tropical Depression #2 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Bret, making it our second named storm of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season.
While we have had some afternoon showers as of late, it would be nice to see Bret head in our direction and give us some widespread, soaking showers while remaining a tropical storm or depression.
Unfortunately, the steering currents will steer Bret towards the northeast by the middle part of this week, making it a non-threat to the United States.
While we are only on our second storm, remember that the hurricane season really doesn't get going until mid to late August. That is when the weather patterns become more favorable for tropical development, along with the fact that sea surface temperatures are much warmer later on in the summer months.
Keep it tuned to KTRE-TV. As always, we will have all the latest developments on the tropics.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 11:35 PM
Thursday, July 14, 2011
As I stepped outside the station on my dinner break this evening, I smiled as I saw things I have not seen in a while. Namely, rain clouds all around East Texas, a few lightning strikes, and that smell of rain when the ground is already wet. Maybe the best part was feeling the cooler temperatures as a result of the rain cooled air. Now that's what makes summer days feel better, doesn't it?
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 8:29 PM
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
The song, "The Heat is On" by Glenn Frey would be fitting for our East Texas weather over the past couple of months. Only now, it is really on and has become more dangerous.
Our heat index or feels like temperatures this afternoon have gone over 105° and have been closer to 110° in many instances.
The heat index is determined by combining the actual air temperature with the relative humidity. Typically, during the afternoon, when the temperatures are in the low 100's, the relative humidity values are in the 20-30% range. When the highs only reach the lower to middle 90's, the relative humidity is much higher, say 50%. They have an inverse relationship and offset each other.
That's why sometimes residents in Arizona will tell you they have a dry heat. In some cases, a temperature of 102° may feel not as hot or oppressive as a temperature of 95°. Why would that be? Well, that's because the hotter temperature has the lower humidity value, therefore, it does not feel quite as humid and sauna-like.
A Heat Advisory remains in effect for Angelina, Nacogdoches counties, and all points north and east of there through Thursday evening. Unfortunately, those heat indices will be at dangerous levels again on Thursday.
The image above is a heat index chart. It plots the temperature on the horizontal axis vs. the humidity on the vertical axis. The value that comes together is the actual feels like value. You may want to refer to this so you can see just how hot it actually feels where you live.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 4:36 PM
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
We have seen multiple rounds of showers and storms over the past couple of days here in Deep East Texas.
These afternoon thunderstorms have helped keep temperatures a little cooler, but more importantly, have dumped some beneficial rainfall on the parched grounds of East Texas.
Have you noticed that these thunderstorm complexes have been moving from north to south? You might be thinking to yourself that this is an unusual direction. Well, it is, considering most of our rain and storm systems move from west to east, not north to south.
What has happened is the big dome of high pressure has moved off to the west and is currently centered over Colorado. With a clockwise flow around the periphery of the ridge, that has allowed any storms that form upstream (Oklahoma and Arkansas) to move downstream and get parts of the Pineywoods wet.
This weather pattern looks to hold for a couple of more days, which means you still have a chance of getting wet, even if you have not received rain in the past few days.
Of course you can track the rain on StormTracker Live Doppler Network by heading to our weather page at www.ktre.com/weather. It is there where you can view our live streaming radar anytime of day. You can also get the latest radar images on your cell phone by going to KTRE9 TO GO.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 10:47 PM
Thursday, June 30, 2011
We will end the month of June and ring in July much like we did the months of April and May: that is, hot and bone dry.
We ended up with 2.39" of rain for the month of June, which is 1.79" below our normal value for the 30 day period. Other than a two day period between June 21st and June 22nd, the rest of the month was virtually rain free in Deep East Texas.
As you can see from the graphic above, our 2011 rainfall departure stands at 6.47". When you consider we ended the 2010 calendar year with a deficit of 16.61", we are now about 23 inches behind in rainfall dating back to last year. Wow!
The drought conditions have not changed much, as you might imagine. By in large, all of East Texas is either in an "extreme" or "exceptional" drought.
According to the Texas Forest Service, 97% of the state is in a drought, with nearly 75% facing "exceptionally bad conditions."
Our state climatologist, Dr. Nielsen-Gammon, has said that this is one of the worst droughts Texas has seen since 1895, when the state first began keeping records.
This drought has led to billions of dollars in lost crops, and has led to several wildfires across the state. The Texas Forest Service says that since fire season began on November 15, 2010, almost 13,000 fires have burned 3.3 million acres across the Lone Star State.
This is a reminder to obey those firework restrictions this weekend and be safe.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 4:49 PM
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
On Tuesday evening, Tropical Storm Arlene formed in the southern Gulf of Mexico in what is also known as the Bay of Campeche.
Arlene is our first named storm of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season and looks to be a rather insiginficant threat for the United States.
The forecast track for Arlene calls for a landfall along the eastern coast of Mexico very early tomorrow morning.
This will affect most of Central Mexico and could bring flooding rains and mudslides to interior areas, especially areas near the higher mountainous terrain.
With Tropical Storm Arlene tracking well south of Texas, we will not see any of her moisture thrown in our direction. Considering we are in an "extreme" to "exceptional" drought, this is the type of tropical system we could use to help drop some soaking rains on East Texas soils.
Unfortunately, the ridge of high pressure, which has been keeping the Pineywoods high and dry, will also steer Arlene well to our south.
As always, you can stay up-to-date with the latest position, forecast track, satellite images, and more by visiting our Hurricane Center on our weather page. At this time, there are no signs of our "B" name storm developing within the next couple of days.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 4:50 PM
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
After dealing with months of virtually no rain and wildfires raging out of control, the only thing we wanted was rain.
Well, we got some rain on Tuesday, and lots of it. That's the good news. The bad news was it came with a punch, in the form of severe weather.
These storms moved in from the Marshall and Shreveport areas late Tuesday afternoon. With all the moisture and heat we had in place, the atmosphere was ripe for these storms to maintain their strength, if not, strengthen even further.
Unfortunately, we had several reports of damaging winds, which knocked over trees and even took down a few power lines. As of Tuesday night, most of the power was being restored to residents in East Texas.
Alright, that's enough of the worst of what we dealt with on Tuesday. How about the bright side? Many areas picked up some incredible rainfall amounts as the storms merged over Lufkin and Nacogdoches. The end result was we saw many areas pick up anywhere from 1-3" of rain on average.
The image to your left shows some of the highest rainfall totals, as called in by our loyal weather watchers.
One of my colleagues here at the station said he received nearly three inches of rain in about an hour and a half. Wow! Talk about coming down in buckets.
So while we had a bittersweet symphony with the storms on Tuesday, I'll say it was more sweet than bitter. Heck, if I knew we could get two inches of rain for being without power for a couple of hours, I'll take it.
The good news is that more rain is in the forecast for Wednesday, and some of that rain will be heavy in spots.
Make sure you check our weather page for frequent updates on our live streaming radar as you head through your hump day on Wednesday.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 10:55 PM
Sunday, June 19, 2011
The "Bearing" and "Powerline" wildfires continue to rage across the Pineywoods this afternoon. Make sure you check back frequently with ktre.com and our facebook fan page. Our reporters and news team will be working hard to ensure you get all the latest developments on the wildfires.
For the first time in what seems like an eternity, our weather pattern will be undergoing a shift this week. This shift will be for the better, as rain chances will be on the upswing as we head towards the middle part of your work week.
The image to your left is an upper level weather map at around 18,000 feet high in the atmosphere. Without getting to technical, the one main feature I want to point out is the ridge of high pressure that is located over Florida.
(Image: unisys 500 mb 72 hour forecast)
If you have been watching KTRE-TV for the past few weeks, one of the things I have mentioned just about every night is a big bubble of hot, high pressure, which has been situated on top of Texas. This forecast model shows that by Wednesday, that ridge of high pressure will loosen its grip on the state and slide east towards Florida.
With that high pressure ridge getting out of our way, we will finally see the door open up for some deep tropical moisture to surge into Deep East Texas starting on Tuesday. At the same time, a few disturbances will be moving through the Southern Plain states, helping to enhance the lift across our region.
(image: HPC 3 day rainfall total)
They Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) image shows three day (72hour) rainfall totals starting this evening and lasting through Wednesday evening. On average 1-2" of rain look to fall across portions of Deep East Texas.
It should be noted that we have rain forecasted starting Tuesday and lasting through the end of the week.
At this point, however, our best chances for seeing that precious liquid precipitation will be Tuesday through Wednesday.
Make sure you check back in with us over the next couple of days as more details start to emerge with our rainfall.
Posted by Brad Hlozek at 3:26 PM