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By: Hurricane1216 , 12:32 AM GMT on May 23, 2013
The Weekly Weather Outlook details weather events in the Greater Austin area in the next few days, as defined by the counties of Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson. This blog also summarizes a severe event in Austin history within the past 20 years.
After a period of cloudy days and some rain, the Austin Metropolitan area is back to its usual routine of producing clear skies and hot Texan weather. A cold front which passed through the area lowered temperatures a dab, and despite moderate and slight categorical outlooks from the Storm Prediction Center, failed to produce any severe activity or rain at all, with the exception of northern areas of Williamson County. For the next few days, expect high temperatures steady in the low-mid 90s, and low temperatures steady in the low 70s, with some occasional clouds. The latest 6-10 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center shows a pattern of higher than average temperatures and lower than average precipitation, reflecting the expected weather conditions of the next few days. A low-pressure disturbance is supposed to move around northwestern Texas on Friday and produce some intermittent shower activity in the Texas Panhandle and in West Texas, though impacts in Greater Austin remain minimal for the most part.
Austin Feature Storm of the Blog Post:
The June 11, 2009 Mesoscale Convective System
Figure 1: The storm at its peak during the evening of June 11.
At about 1845 UTC on June 11, 2009, multiple storm cells began developing in a small region just east of Abilene. These storms quickly coalesced, forming a mesoscale convective system/bow echo situation which moved across Central and South Central Texas. The meteorological feature dominated the Texan troposphere, as seen in Figure 1. Although the system had weakened by the time it reached the Greater Austin area, though it still retained severe characteristics. Numerous severe thunderstorm warnings were issued during this storm's passage of the Austin Metro. The first warning for the metropolitan area was at 0039 UTC on June 12, by which time the storm began to enter Williamson County. The first tornado warning was issued at 0043 UTC on June 12 in Williamson County, and another warning was later issued for Travis County. Warnings in the Austin area were discontinued following the storm's passage.
The storm was a damaging severe event in Austin's history, causing at least $2.05 million in damages, based on available damage estimates. While radar estimates indicated at least 2" of rain near the Florence, Texas, area, a report from Cedar Valley, Texas indicated that 2.75" of rain in a short timespan; given the storm's fast movement at approximately 40 mph, the relatively small amount of rain led to some cases of flash flooding. Flash floods in Austin, Texas alone caused $2 million in damages. The NWS office in San Marcos issued 2 flash flood warnings which covered some portion of the Austin Metro.
Despite the rain, the mesoscale complex in Greater Austin was most notorious for its driving hail and wind. Hail peaked at 1.75" in numerous locations, and strong winds up to 60 mph caused widespread damage. However, most people can recall this storm because of a scud cloud that it produced in the Jollyville, Texas area, near the border between Travis and Williamson Counties. Reports that it was a funnel cloud and possible tornado prompted tornado warnings for the area. However, damage surveys concluded that the event in question did not produce a tornado.
Figure 2: Animated loop of the storm's progress through the Austin Metro. May require refresh to replay loop.
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