Thursday, March 22, 2012

Some Areas are Now Drought Free

After spending most of 2011 in an extreme to exceptional drought, parts of Deep East Texas are now drought free as a result of the recent heavy rainfall in the Piney Woods.This image above shows the current state of the drought. The shading of dark brown represents where we still have a "D1 Moderate" drought in place. This is an improvement and an upgrade from the "D2 Severe" drought status from a couple weeks ago.

The areas west and east of the Moderate drought are now drought free for the time being. This includes the communities of Chester, Colmesneil, Woodville, Jasper, Browndell, Pineland, Hemphill, and Newton to name a few. Basically we are talking about Tyler, Jasper, Newton, and Sabine counties as areas that are now drought free.

These locations that are drought free should come as no surprise considering it was in these areas where 5-7" of rain fell this past Tuesday. As you recall, we had several reports of flash flooding in these areas.

It is quite remarkable how fast we have come out of our drought in just the past four months, when at that time, we were in the worst drought category possible.

We will catch a break from the wet weather for the next several days as no storms loom on the horizon.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weak Tornado Touches Down in San Augustine County

The National Weather Service has confirmed a small tornado touched down Sunday in East Texas. Monday morning, meteorologists from the Shreveport Weather Forecast Office surveyed damage following weekend thunderstorms in San Augustine and Sabine counties.

A weak twister, ranked an EF-0, touched about 5 miles northwest of San Augustine, just east of Highway 96. A large tree was discovered uprooted west of FM 3230. Large limbs and tin from a chicken house was peeled back near FM 1279. A National Weather Service survey team reports the tornado tracked north northeast before lifting just south of the San Augustine/ Shelby County line. Officials determined the twister's path is 50 yard wide and traveled for about 8 miles.

Winds speeds were estimated between 65 and 85 miles per hour, based on damage.
According to the National Weather Service, the Sabine County Sheriff's Office also reported wind damage around 3:00 p.m. Sunday. Deputies spotted downed trees about 5 miles southwest of Hemphill.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Current Weather Pattern Reveals Spring

The talk in and around town has been about the warmer than normal conditions and the winter that has gone mild in East Texas. Even I have to look at a calendar on occassion just to make sure that today is March 1st and not May 1st.

With the warm weather that has been locked in place for much of the country, that spells trouble when storm systems pull out of the Rockies and into the Plain states.

This past Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, we saw a widespread severe weather outbreak take shape across mid-America. The graphic to your left shows all the severe weather reports, whichi include tornadoes, large hail, and damaging winds.

With the main storm track off to our north, we only saw a few showers here in the Piney Woods.

Another Storm on its Heels

Even though we have a lull in the storm pattern right now, it won't last long. Another storm, currently in the Rockies, will pull eastward tomorrow, providing another round of severe weather to the Ohio and Tennessee River Valleys.
This weather pattern we are currently in is very indicative of what we would see in late March and April, which is our main severe weather season.

Due to the fact most areas, including us at home, are so warm, that only means more fuel and stronger storms when these systems push across the country.

What We Can Expect

We will feel a glancing blow from our next storm tomorrow. A cold front will arrive on our doorstep Friday afternoon and Friday evening. Along the front, there will be a broken line of thunderstorms that develop. A few storms could be strong, but no widespread severe weather is expected at this time.

Once this front moves through, we will clear out and cool off just in time for the weekend. The clearing skies will also come with some lower humidity and much more pleasant conditions.

Round 2 For our Neighbors up North

Unfortunately for our friends and family to our north and east, it appears they will be under the gun once again for severe storms on Friday. Not only could they see large hail and damaging winds, but scattered tornadoes will be possible as well.

Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 Off To a Wet Start

Whenever I go to the gym, barber shop, store, or restaurants in East Texas, the one thing people like to talk about is the recent heavy rains that have invaded the Piney Woods.

After enduring one of the driest years on record, I guess you could say that is a good thing to be discussing in these parts.

After another heavy and widespread rain event on Saturday, many areas in Deep East Texas have now received anywhere from 7 to 10 inches of rain so far in 2012. Let me repeat that, most areas have received right around 8 inches of rain in the last month and a half.

Looking at the Statistics

Remember that we ended 2011 with about 30 inches of rain. Some areas only saw about 26-28 inches, depending upon location. Based on the rain we have already recieved through mid-February, that equates to nearly a third of how much we received all of last year.

I don't know if that is an indication of how dry it was or just how wet it has been around the Piney Woods this winter.

Seeing the Impacts of Recent Rains

Going back to December, we have had over 15 inches of rain. The wet winter has replenished dried up lakes and vegetation, as well as reduce the fire threat for most of the state. You may have even noticed plants and flowers already blooming earlier than normal.

Short Term Outlook

In looking at the short term outlook, it appears that a very active and stormy weather pattern will continue for the great state of Texas. Even though every storm may not bring heavy rain, there will continue to be areas of low pressure moving in from the western half of the country. As long as we have this pattern in place, we will continue to see normal to above normal rainfall.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Texas Forest Service to Provide Tax Workshop

The Texas Forest Service will be providing a timber tax workshop for landowners looking to recover from drought and wildfire losses from 2011.

This workshop will be held at the Lonnie and Arthur Temple Civic Center in Diboll on Friday, February 17th from 8am-5pm.

During this workshop, landowners will be given tax advice on how to best cope with federal laws geared towards the loss of timber.

If you have any questions or would like to register for this event, you can contact Monica Jadlowski at 979-458-6630.

Friday, January 27, 2012

National Weather Service Confirms Tornado Touchdown in Mt. Enterprise

In the wake of Wednesday's severe storms, the National Weather Service out of Shreveport has confirmed that the damage in and around Mount Enterprise was that of an EF1 tornado, with estimated winds between 86 and 110 mph.

(Note: This is the image captured on StormTracker Live Doppler Network minutes before the line of storms produced a tornado around Mount Enterprise this past Wednesday.)

According to the National Weather Service, an EF1 tornado touched down just to the southwest of Mount Enterprise in southern Rusk county at 10:32am. The tornado moved through town and stayed on the ground for one and a half miles and had a path width of 175 yards.

Some of the damage consisted of a large tree falling on a house, while another residence had a carport torn off, injuring one person.

The National Weather Service also found that numerous trees were snapped and uprooted throughout the town. There was also a small retail building that had their roof torn off and throw across State Highway 259.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Heavy Rain and Strong Storms Likely Tomorrow

A strong area of low pressure will be moving into West Texas later tonight, setting the stage for some widespread, heavy rainfall to move back into the Piney Woods on Wednesday.

Therefore, make sure you have your umbrellas on hand tomorrow because you will more than likely need it on more than one occasion.
Our first wave of rain moved in today, providing around a quarter of an inch in some locations.

We will see the rainfall become more heavy and widespread tomorrow as a surface low pressure system and warm front lift through East Texas.
Due to the slow movement of this storm, widespread 1-2" rainfall amounts are likely, with some areas possibly receiving 3-4" where the heavier rain bands develop.

The clouds and light showers will linger through Thursday before gradual clearing takes place by the end of the week.

One of the concerns with this storm, however, is the threat for severe weather. While we just have a "slight" risk for severe thunderstorms, any storms that do move in on Wednesday afternoon will be capable of producing damaging winds and even an isolated tornado.

To stay on top of any weather developments on Wednesday, make sure you keep it tuned to KTRE-TV and You can also follow us through our social media networks in Facebook ( and Twitter ( for all your weather needs.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Drought Conditions Improve Here at Home and Statewide As Well

After heavy rains throughout the month of December and in early 2012, much of Deep East Texas have seen an improvement in the ongoing drought.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows that areas from Henderson to Carthage to Nacogdoches and down towards Livingston have seen the drought stage go from extreme to severe. This is an improvement of one category, going from a stage three to a stage two. At the same time, areas in Cherokee, Rusk, Jasper, and Newton counties have been upgraded from a stage four exceptional drought to a stage three extreme drought.

The only area that is still in the worse possible drought category (stage four, exceptional drought) is in western Houston county and western Trinity county.

This improvement in the drought has not just been confined to East Texas, but for the entire Lone Star State. Just three months ago, 73% of the state was in a stage four exceptional drought. At the present time, that percentage has been reduced to 25%. The stage three extreme drought has been reduced from 92% to 63% in the same three month time period and the stage two severe drought has been trimmed from near 100% to just under 63%.

While the improvement has been nice to see, we still have a long ways to go before we can catch up on several years worth of rainfall and erase the deficit.

In the meantime, the recent downpours have led to every county being burn ban free, ponds filling up with water, and water restrictions being lifted.

Let's hope that Mother Nature offers East Texas more beneficial rainfall in the months to come. Otherwise, the drought could worsen and more problems would rear their ugly head once again.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

First Significant Rain of 2012 on the Way

After enjoying nearly seven inches of rain this past December, the rain faucets have dried up for the past couple of weeks.

However, it looks as if our first significant rain event for the new year is just day's away and it could not come at a better time considering we are still in a severe drought.

If you recall, December was wet because we had an active jet stream overhead, bringing us heavy rain from low pressure systems located to our west.

After Christmas, the weather pattern changed and shifted back to the one we saw most of last year. You remember that one, right? The one where we saw dry conditions and unseasonably warm weather. That is why temperatures, by in large, have been warmer than normal over the past week and is also why we have been dry for a couple of weeks now.

Our computer models are showing things may be looking up once again, in regards to better rain chances returning to the Piney Woods.

The Setup

The graphic image above shows what the upper level wind pattern will look like by Monday evening of next week. Notice that we are expecting a potent area of low pressure to set up shop in West Texas. Due to its position to our west, we will be able to see the moisture levels increase signficantly, aiding the development of widespread rainfall. Anytime we are east of low pressure, we have a good shot at rain as that is the favorable area for lift and precipitation.

Heavy Rainfall Amounts Possible

The rainfall for Monday and Tuesday of next week will be heavy and it looks as if we will see not one, but perhaps two days of beneficial rainfall. The biggest factor as to why we will see some good rain amounts is due to the fact that this low pressure system will slow down and be slow to move across the state. Anytime you get a slow moving system, the potential for heavy rain is there.

It's early, but the prognostications at this point indicate 1-2" of rain are likely with this next storm system next week. We anticipate the rain starting as early as Sunday night before coming to an end Tuesday evening.

Make sure you find that umbrella for early next week because you will need it.

Stay with StormTracker 9 weather. We will continue to keep you updated on our heavy rain threat for early next week. I know I'm excited to see more wet weather head our way after a break in the action.