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.