Monday, January 31, 2011

An Arctic Blast is Just Hours Away

We have had a couple of cold blasts this winter season, but none quite as cold as what we are going to experience this week.

Before the cold air arrives, we will have to deal with some showers and thunderstorms, some of which could be strong in the early morning hours on Tuesday.
Our Futurecast computer model shows those storms forming ahead of the front as you are commuting into work or school.

Temperatures will actually start out on the mild side in the early morning hours on Tuesday. Most of us will be in the 60's, which is fairly warm for this time of year.

Our Microcast computer model shows that by 8am, residents in Houston county, in and near Grapeland, Crockett and Lovelady, will already be in the 40's. Everyone else further to the east, however, will be in the 60's.
However, once the front moves through your neighborhood, notice
how the temperatures start to plummet. We will see about a twenty degree drop in the temperatures in a matter of hours, courtesy of a very stiff north wind.
As you pick up the kids from school in the mid to late part of the afternoon hours, temperatures will have already dropped into the middle and upper 30's, as indicated by the image on your right.
People have asked me "will we see a wintry mix with this system?" The answer is no. It appears that all the moisture will move out before the really cold air filters into the region.
Brace yourselves for the cold and the wind. Blustery conditions will prevail for most of the week, with temperatures running well below normal for early February.
Keep checking back with us here on our blog and on KTRE-TV. We will keep you posted on our cold blast throughout the week.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It May Be Nice Now, but Next Week?

Our weather has been rather spectacular for January standards as sunny skies and warmer afternoons have made way for great outdoor weather.

If you have not made plans to get outside and soak up some Vitamin D, you will have a day and a half to do so before the clouds roll back in to East Texas.

Clouds will thicken up and produce rain Saturday night through most of the day on Sunday. Even with the rain, temperatures will stay mild through the upcoming weekend.

However, a blue norther will be moving into the Piney Woods by next Tuesday, as we receive another shot of cold air.

The jetstream, which is the main highway for storms moving across the country, will take a big dip to the south, allowing another surge of cold air to spill into our region.

This cold front will be accompanied by some heavy rain on Tuesday, followed by much colder air for the rest of the week.

There is a slight chance of seeing some wintry precipitation overnight Tuesday and into early Wednesday morning. I want to emphasize the word "slight." Odds are the moisture will move out before the really cold air settles in. Having said that, it will be worth watching as we have several days to monitor the latest computer model runs. Only time will tell.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Monday Soaker

Today's soaking rain showers looked all too familiar. After all, it was a week and one day ago where we saw 2-3" fall on several neighborhoods across East Texas. The rain we saw 8 days ago was the same kind of rain we saw today: a slow, steady downpour, allowing the moisture to really soak into the ground soils.

We still have a persistent, steady rain ongoing tonight, all thanks to a surface low along the Gulf coast. Due to our close proximity and an upper level low in North Texas, there is plenty of lift in the atmosphere to give us this much needed rainfall.

Look for the rain to continue overnight, before tapering off by Tuesday morning. As the low pressure center pushes eastward, all the rain and moisture will soon follow.
We may not see much sun Tuesday, but the rain should be gone by late morning. Sunshine will return by mid-week, along with some cooler temperatures.
As promised, here are the rainfall totals from our weather watchers in East Texas. Keep in mind that these were called in around 9:30pm this evening. Some of these totals will be a little low when it is all said and done as another 0.10" to 0.25" is possible overnight.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Another Big Chill Headed for East Texas

Despite our mild temperatures over the past week, Old Man Winter will make a return to East Texas tomorrow.

A strong cold front will move into the Piney Woods of East Texas shortly after lunchtime. As the front approaches, we may see a few scattered showers, but nothing widespread or heavy.

You will know when the front moves through your neighborhood because of the strong winds that will pick up behind it. We will see winds gust up to 20 to 25 mph late Thursday, making for very blustery conditions.

The strong winds will usher in much colder air into the region, dropping our temperature values to below normal for the rest of the week and lasting through much of the weekend.

Look for our highs tomorrow to top out near 60, but Friday, that will be a different story.
Highs for most of us will be in the 40's, with many areas not getting above 50°. The good news, though, is that at least the sun will be out. It will just be a cold sunshine.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ask and You Shall Receive

It was a soaker this weekend, but the steady, persistent rain showers was exactly what we needed.

Anytime you are in a drought (like we are now), a slow and steady rain is the best kind to receive as it allows the moisture to soak into the parched ground soils.

Rainfall totals were rather impressive, as many areas picked up well over 2". Some even received 3" and some change. Considering the rain accumulated over a 36 hour period, it allowed the drains to absorb the water with relative ease.

Here are rainfall totals as reported from our always observant and dedicated weather watchers. Take a look at the images below to see how much rain fell where you live.

We will see a break in the rain on Tuesday and Wednesday, before a strong cold front provides us with more showers by Thursday.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Keep The Umbrellas Handy This Weekend

As we start to thaw out from the winter cold, temperatures will start to moderate this weekend, getting us back to where we should be for mid-January.

With the "not as cold" air in place, moisture will start to return to East Texas this weekend. This will keep the thicker clouds in place, and not allow any sunshine to peak through.

While we will start off the weekend on a dry note, it will end far different.

An upper level disturbance (18,000 ft.) will move through the state late Saturday through the day on Sunday. This disturbance will bring us a good chance for some rain showers, especially on Sunday. The image to your left is our in house Microcast computer model. It shows widespread light to moderate showers moving through on Sunday. While we won't see heavy thunderstorms, some of the rain could be heavy at times.

With a severe to extreme drought still in place for all of East Texas, this batch of moisture is exactly what the doctor ordered. Even though the rainfall will be distrubuted throughout the day, it will be a nice, soaking rain. Those are the best kind to get in order to moisten up the soils and vegetation.

In terms of rainfall potential, the graphic on the left shows one half to one inch of rain is likely to fall where you live this weekend. Some areas could even get more than that, depending upon where the heavier rain bands set up.

Remember that you can view our Storm Tracker Live Doppler Network streaming live on our weather page this weekend. It would be wise to check it frequently, so you won't be caught off guard.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Week of Freezing Temperatures Nearly Over

After being in the deep freeze all week long, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. While it may not be all that bright, it will turn on, nonetheless, and allow for a very slow warm-up.

We will see our last night of twenty degree temperatures tonight, but it won't be as cold as this morning.

The main reason we will be a little warmer tonight is due to the shield of clouds which have overspread East Texas this afternoon.

At night, the clouds act as a blanket, trapping in any heat we have at the surface. Just think about when you snuggle up under a comforter at night. The reason it keeps you warm is because it traps y0ur body heat. The clouds act the very same way when it comes to how cold temperatures drop overnight. This time, it will help us out by a few degrees.

Instead of falling into the lower 20's, we will only fall into the upper 20's, about 3-5 degrees warmer thanks to the cloud cover.
It will still be cold enough that you will want to bring the pets inside, keep the plants covered, and make sure your neighboors have a warm place to stay.
The good news is after tonight, our low temperatures will fall into the lower 30's on Saturday morning, and will be near 40 by Sunday morning.
Our high temperatures will slowly moderate as well this weekend, but not enough to warrant a return to t-shirts and shorts.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hard Freeze Warnings Posted, Likely to Stay for Awhile

An Arctic outbreak has invaded most of the country, including us here in Deep East Texas. As a result, we will be in store for some very hard freezes over the next few nights, with tonight being the coldest.

Here are the forecasted low temperatures overnight where you live. Generally, most areas in our KTRE viewing area will dip down into the teens, with the lone exception being parts of Polk, Tyler, Jasper, and Newton counties. Even then, areas around Barnum, Chester, Livingston, Woodville, and Colmesneil will still fall into the lower 20's.

With the frigid airmass in place, we will not warm up much during the next few days, as we only reach the lower to middle 40's.

As a result of the frigid weather, we have Hard Freeze Warnings in effect for all of East Texas through Wednesday morning.

That will more than likely be extended as we will see a few more nights with lows dropping down into the lower and middle 20's.

A reminder that with this cold blast lasting for a few more days, make sure you continue to take care of the four P's of protection: the pets, pipes, plants, and people.

Also, be careful with space heaters and make sure your vehicle has plenty of anti-freeze.

We should finally start to thaw out by next weekend, but even then, we are only talking about getting back to normal temperatures for mid-January.

Please stay warm.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Turning Wetter Followed by a Cold Blast

It has been well documented that with our La Nina climate pattern holding firm, it has been warmer and drier than normal.
That is going to take a backseat in the days ahead, however, as a strong storm system moves into the Deep South. This storm will provide us with some soaking rain showers followed by the coldest air we have experienced so far this winter season.

Our next storm will move into the state on Sunday. Due to its delayed arrival, Saturday will be partly cloudy and dry.

By Sunday, a strong surface low will combine with an upper level low to give us widespread rain showers. Some of the rain on Sunday will be heavy at times. Not only will it be wet, but it will be a cold and raw day, as temperatures only make the middle 40's for highs.

With cold air wrapping around the low pressure area, it will be cold enough to support a wintry mix with snow possible in portions of Northeast Texas, Southwest Arkansas, and extreme northern portions of Louisiana. Even though it will be cold and wet, our temperature profile will be just a little to warm to see any white stuff fall from the sky in Deep East Texas.

After the rain moves out, a surge of Arctic air will be spilling into the Southern Plains, bringing with it some very cold temperatures.

The surge of cold air will come in late Monday and early Tuesday. A big trough, or dip in the Jetstream, will allow that cold blast to spill all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico.

As a result, temperatures most of next week will not make it out of the 40's and on Wednesday, we may be hard pressed to get out of the 30's. At night, low temperatures will bottom out in the lower to middle 20's.

With hard freezes next week and with it staying below freezing for several hours, now would be a good time to wrap your pipes and protect your home from the brutally cold weather.

Keep in mind that rain is moving in on Sunday, so I would wrap your pipes on Friday or Saturday, while the weather is still tolerable.

Keep it tuned to KTRE-TV. We will continue to give you updates on our forecast and the cold blast heading our way next week. You can also follow us on Twitter at

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010 Was One of the Driest on Record

After doing some number crunching, here is a look at just how dry things have been this past year.

In December, our meager rainfall amount of 0.86" was the second driest December of all time.

Driest Decembers: 1.) 1980-----0.61"
2.) 2010----0.86"

For the entire 2010 calendar year, we received 30.01" of rain at the Angelina County Airport. Dating back to 1947 when rainfall recording started, this past year was the third driest of all time. You have to go back to 1988 to find the last time we received less rain from January 1st through December 31st.

Driest Years on Record: 1.) 1963----26.49"
2.) 1988----29.65"
3.) 2010----30.01"

The rainfall we are receiving tonight and the rain expected over the weekend will help out our drought conditions, but we have a long way to go before things improve for us in East Texas.