Wunderground launches new Local Climate Change section

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:10 PM GMT on April 20, 2012

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In honor of Earth Day on Sunday, wunderground has launched a new Climate Change Center, which gives people resources to understand how the climate is changing both globally and in their local neighborhoods. I am particularly pleased with our Local Climate Change feature, which allows one to see how temperature and precipitation have changed over the past 100+ years at the nearest station with a long period of measurements. Predictions from climate models on what the next 100 years may bring are overlaid for each station. Data for most U.S. stations goes back to 1895; we have data for a few stations in Europe that extend back to the 1700s. Berlin has the longest period of record in this database, with data back to 1702.


Figure 1. Screenshot of the Local Climate Change page for Washington, DC. Measured temperatures since 1820 are shown in grey. By clicking on the "Show post-1900 trend:" box, we see that the trend since 1900 has been for an increase in temperature of 1.5°C (2.7°F) per century. Moving the thin vertical red line over the image using the mouse shows that the warmest year on record in Washington D.C. was 1991. Predictions for a future with low emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide are shown in yellow; the high emissions prediction is shown in red. Separate tabs are available to examine precipitation and snow.

Skeptical?
Also included in the new Climate Change Center is a section addressing the common skeptical arguments made against climate change. We offer three levels of explanation. The "Basic" level is the default, but one can also see more technical in-depth discussions by clicking on the "See All Explanation Levels" link. The material was developed by physicist John Cook for his excellent skepticalscience.com web site, which is widely referenced in the climate science communication community.


Video 1. I'm featured in this video on extreme weather and climate change done by veteran videographer Peter Sinclair for the Yale forum on Climate Change and the Media this month. I'm also featured in Part 1 of this series. Our new Climate Change Center has a section for climate change videos, which includes a twice-monthly feature from GreenTV detailing the world's notable wild weather events of the past two weeks.

Earth: the Operator's Manual airs Sunday night
Penn State climate scientist Dr. Richard Alley hosts parts II and III of Earth: the Operator's Manual on PBS beginning at 7pm Sunday, April 22--Earth Day. Part I of this excellent series aired in April 2011. The series gives an overview of climate change, but primarily focuses on what we can do to help slow down climate change though smart energy choices. Dr. Alley, a registered Republican, geologist, and former oil company employee, is the Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at the Pennsylvania State University, and one of the most respected and widely published world experts on climate change. Dr. Alley has testified before Congress on climate change issues, served as lead author of "Chapter 4: Observations: Changes in Snow, Ice and Frozen Ground" for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and is author of more than 170 peer-reviewed scientific articles on Earth's climate. He is also the author of a book I highly recommend--The Two Mile Time Machine, a superb account of Earth's climate history as deduced from the 2-mile long Greenland ice cores. Dr. Alley is an excellent and engaging speaker, and I highly recommend listening to his 45-minute keynote speech, "The Biggest Control Knob: CO2 in Earth's Climate History", given at the 2010 American Geophysical Union meeting, via this very watchable recording showing his slides as he speaks in one corner of the video. If you want to understand why scientists are so certain of the link between CO2 and Earth's climate, this is a must-see lecture.

Have a great weekend, everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post. I'd like to thank Wunderground meteorologist, Angela Fritz for spearheading the creating the new Climate Change Center; it's a product I'll be referring to frequently in the future, and one we'll be updating in the coming months with data on local sea level rise, fire risk, and drought.

Jeff Masters

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SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HOUSTON/GALVESTON TX
253 PM CDT FRI APR 20 2012

TXZ199-212-213-227-202045-
HARRIS TX-FORT BEND TX-WALLER TX-MONTGOMERY TX-
253 PM CDT FRI APR 20 2012

...SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY FOR HARRIS...NORTH CENTRAL FORT
BEND...SOUTHEASTERN WALLER AND SOUTHEASTERN MONTGOMERY COUNTIES
UNTIL 345 PM CDT...

AT 252 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR WAS
TRACKING A LINE OF STRONG THUNDERSTORMS ALONG A LINE EXTENDING
FROM TOMBALL TO KATY...AND MOVING EAST AT 25 MPH.

HAIL UP TO THE SIZE OF DIMES AND WIND GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH WILL BE
POSSIBLE WITH THESE STORMS.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
SPRING...THE WOODLANDS...MISSION BEND...BELLAIRE...HUMBLE...ALDINE...
WEST UNIVERSITY PLACE...KATY...JERSEY VILLAGE...TOMBALL...HUNTERS
CREEK VILLAGE...BUNKER HILL VILLAGE...SPRING VALLEY...PINEY POINT
VILLAGE...OAK RIDGE NORTH...HEDWIG VILLAGE...PORTER HEIGHTS...
SOUTHSIDE PLACE...HILSHIRE VILLAGE AND STAGECOACH.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

FREQUENT CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING IS OCCURRING WITH THESE STORMS.
LIGHTNING CAN STRIKE 15 MILES AWAY FROM A THUNDERSTORM. SEEK A
SAFE SHELTER INSIDE A BUILDING OR VEHICLE.

THESE STORMS MAY INTENSIFY...SO BE CERTAIN TO MONITOR LOCAL RADIO
AND TV STATIONS...AS WELL AS LOCAL CABLE TV OUTLETS...FOR
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS FROM THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE.

&&

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 800 PM CDT
FRIDAY EVENING FOR SOUTHEASTERN TEXAS.

LAT...LON 2968 9546 2971 9596 3016 9572 3017 9514
TIME...MOT...LOC 1952Z 271DEG 24KT 3009 9567 2967 9591

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37050
SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
318 PM EDT FRI APR 20 2012

FLZ056-057-061-202000-
DE SOTO-HARDEE-HIGHLANDS-
318 PM EDT FRI APR 20 2012

...A SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR NORTHWESTERN
HIGHLANDS...SOUTHEASTERN HARDEE AND NORTHEASTERN DESOTO COUNTIES FOR
A STRONG THUNDERSTORM WITH HAIL AND STRONG WIND GUSTS VALID UNTIL 400
PM EDT...

AT 309 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATES A
STRONG THUNDERSTORM LOCATED NEAR CREWSVILLE...OR 11 MILES SOUTHWEST
OF SEBRING...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 10 MPH WILL AFFECT SWEETWATER...
CREWSVILLE AND SEBRING.

GUSTY WINDS OF 45 TO 55 MPH CAN BE EXPECTED WHICH CAN CAUSE UNSECURED
OBJECTS TO BLOW AROUND...SNAP TREE LIMBS AND CAUSE POWER OUTAGES.
HAIL UP TO PENNY SIZE MAY OCCUR.


&&

LAT...LON 2764 8147 2734 8131 2722 8166 2750 8184
TIME...MOT...LOC 1918Z 247DEG 8KT 2741 8159

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37050
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Extremely moist across the state of Florida right now.

I have to tell you, i just planted a whole row of flowers etc, I was soaking wet from sweating, humidity is real high here along the coast, no strom cloud, just fair weather clouds above me now
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 37050
Extremely moist across the state of Florida right now.

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Quoting jeffs713:
The situation here in Houston is definitely changing. This morning, both major airports (and two smaller airports I checked, in Sugar Land and Galveston) were reporting massive caps, and a lot of dry air at the middle lower levels.

Now... its a bit different. At SGR (Sugar Land) and IAH (Intercontinental), the cap is completely gone, and CAPE is running 2000+. At HOU (Hobby), the cap is almost totally gone, and CAPE is around 1800. At GLS (Galveston), the cap is still there, but much weaker, and CAPE is around 1100.

In addition to all of this, LI is -4 to -6 (meaning lots of lift available), and Precipitable water levels are up there, too (30-35mm).

The good part of this forecast is that the only shear present is that of speed. There is not much in the way of directional shear, so the tornado risk is low. (the severe risk is higher, as any storms that pop will have excellent outflow)

So... looks like a bumpy afternoon for the Houston area.


Yeah, I don't like how these storms fired up so fast and they're dumping a lot of rain out near Katy. Doppler indicated 1.0 - 1.5 inches so far. If we get that here in Houston we might just have some street flooding.
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I am sure nobody cares about the demise of 91L,but here is the final epilog.

NHC_ATCF
invest_DEACTIVATE_al912012.ren
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201204201351
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
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Thunderstorms are really blowing up in the eastern gulf already, interesting, this certainly wasn't expected by the models...
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7304
Clouds trying to break up some, sun trying to come out, if that happens, that line is gonna explode
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Hydrus, check out the gravity waves on that visible Keeper posted in #55. pretty much start as full lighting sets in, the lower left corner of the image in southern TX. those are the ones i frequently observe preceding severe storm setups, whether marginal or major events... they usually present :)
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Friend just reported nickel size hail at Walt Disney World...
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Perfect, cells east of Victoria being sucked in ahead of line into it, means full steam ahead. It's got the inflow it needs.
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Meanwhile, the small airplane pulling the giant "Geico: Saves Money" banner keeps circling downtown Houston, trying to get in his ad time before making a run for it.
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Well that's rather nasty.

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Line west of Houston is thickening
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Quoting oreodogsghost:
Is it troll:30 already!?!

Apparently school let out a bit ago on the east coast. So yes.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting StormTracker2K:
Quarter size hail was reported near Clermont just a little bit ago.
Yeah my cousin just posted a picture on his fb of hail the size of golf balls, hitting his roof, but he shot it from inside his house, so it's hard to tell.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormTracker2K:
Quarter size hail was reported near Clermont just a little bit ago.


The storm is going like directly over Disney World... I hav some friends there I just alerted to the incoming storm. I also told them to send me hail pics if they get any.
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Is it troll:30 already!?!
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like the sayin goes
sometimes you can get
too much of a
good thing
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
@ #7-aspectre Those globes are really neat to look at.
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No. I work for myself. My building is between the Chevron building and the soon-to-be-empty Exxon building.
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Quarter size hail was reported near Clermont just a little bit ago.
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The garbage science about Gorebal warming is the reason I no longe trust anything from The Wunderground (I used to think that was a poorly picked name, but the more I read here and about Ayers and Dohrne and their current work, the more I see the perfection of the choice.

I don't trust NOAA, NASA, TWC, Wunderground, or you for anything except current raw data (I have not caught you futzing with that yet) as long it tracks with what I or somebody I trust can see.

And your current efforts drove me to write just now; the distrust is several years old since I discovered your PWSs a mile or two away from me consistently report temperatures significantly higher than what I see. (I reported them and you did not address the issue.)

It will be interesting to see if this article sees the light of day--I'll post a copy at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/20/a-request-to -readers-write-a-connect-the-dots-letter-this-week end/ in case a question comes up about what I said.
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Causes lots of leaks. Not a great design.
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Quoting oreodogsghost:
Wedge Tower, between Exxon and Chevron


You work for Exxon? I work for an Exxon EPC contractor. We also do business with Dutch Shell and Chevron (but mainly overseas)
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Radar indicated 2+ inches near Prairie View already.
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Quoting oreodogsghost:
Wedge Tower, between Exxon and Chevron


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Wedge Tower, between Exxon and Chevron
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Quoting oreodogsghost:
Tomball and Katy about to get it


Which oil/gas bldg you in?
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Tomball and Katy about to get it
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It's already knocking on the door west of Houston
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Watching the sky darken to the SW, W and NW from high in my beautiful office building in downtown Houston.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The situation here in Houston is definitely changing. This morning, both major airports (and two smaller airports I checked, in Sugar Land and Galveston) were reporting massive caps, and a lot of dry air at the middle lower levels.

Now... its a bit different. At SGR (Sugar Land) and IAH (Intercontinental), the cap is completely gone, and CAPE is running 2000+. At HOU (Hobby), the cap is almost totally gone, and CAPE is around 1800. At GLS (Galveston), the cap is still there, but much weaker, and CAPE is around 1100.

In addition to all of this, LI is -4 to -6 (meaning lots of lift available), and Precipitable water levels are up there, too (30-35mm).

The good part of this forecast is that the only shear present is that of speed. There is not much in the way of directional shear, so the tornado risk is low. (the severe risk is higher, as any storms that pop will have excellent outflow)

So... looks like a bumpy afternoon for the Houston area.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Around here it is becoming more like West Texas, most of our rains do not come from East or Southeast Texas but from Mexico and the West Unfortunately. There is a great chance you will remain Wet and we will remain Dry unless we get a storm system to Dig well south into Mexico and move this way but we are close to the end for Fronts to come thru, soon they will stall in North Texas or Oklahoma.


Since were getting the rains, I feel a tropical system will relieve your area this year. Our rains are coming from the SW and your direction, so that in itself marks the change this year, I don't believe you will be left out
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SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
FLC069-095-202000-
/O.NEW.KMLB.SV.W.0007.120420T1906Z-120420T2000Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
306 PM EDT FRI APR 20 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MELBOURNE HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
SOUTHERN LAKE COUNTY IN FLORIDA
WESTERN ORANGE COUNTY IN FLORIDA

* UNTIL 400 PM EDT.

* AT 305 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
LAKE LOUISA...OR 10 MILES SOUTHEAST OF GROVELAND...AND MOVING EAST
AT 15 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE...BUT ARE NOT LIMITED
TO...WINDERMERE...ORLANDO AND THE ATTRACTIONS AREA.


PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCE DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 58 MILES AN
HOUR AND OR LARGE DESTRUCTIVE HAIL. FREQUENT TO EXCESSIVE LIGHTNING
AND VERY HEAVY RAIN WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE. IF THE STORM APPROACHES
YOU...SEEK SHELTER IN AN ENCLOSED BUILDING ON THE LOWEST FLOOR. KEEP
AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

&&

LAT...LON 2867 8146 2864 8146 2864 8140 2858 8130
2835 8125 2835 8179 2836 8181 2856 8183
TIME...MOT...LOC 1904Z 267DEG 10KT 2844 8175

$$
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7304
I think a course on climate change would be appropriate for an outfit like Coursera. They are affiliated with Univ. of Michigan (along with Princeton, U. of Penn and Stanford) so it would not be a reach for Ricky Rood, I think.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5961
Quoting StormTracker2K:


constant thunder here in Orlando.


WUUS52 KMLB 201906
SVRMLB
FLC069-095-202000-
/O.NEW.KMLB.SV.W.0007.120420T1906Z-120420T2000Z/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
306 PM EDT FRI APR 20 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MELBOURNE HAS ISSUED A

* SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR...
SOUTHERN LAKE COUNTY IN FLORIDA
WESTERN ORANGE COUNTY IN FLORIDA

* UNTIL 400 PM EDT.

* AT 305 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING QUARTER SIZE HAIL...AND
DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR
LAKE LOUISA...OR 10 MILES SOUTHEAST OF GROVELAND...AND MOVING EAST
AT 15 MPH.

* OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE...BUT ARE NOT LIMITED
TO...WINDERMERE...ORLANDO AND THE ATTRACTIONS AREA.


PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCE DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 58 MILES AN
HOUR AND OR LARGE DESTRUCTIVE HAIL. FREQUENT TO EXCESSIVE LIGHTNING
AND VERY HEAVY RAIN WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE. IF THE STORM APPROACHES
YOU...SEEK SHELTER IN AN ENCLOSED BUILDING ON THE LOWEST FLOOR. KEEP
AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

&&

LAT...LON 2867 8146 2864 8146 2864 8140 2858 8130
2835 8125 2835 8179 2836 8181 2856 8183
TIME...MOT...LOC 1904Z 267DEG 10KT 2844 8175

$$



52
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Jedkins01:
Some thunderstorms over interior Florida and the gulf are looking pretty strong already, DBZ over 60 in many cells. However, dynamics aren't impressive at all yet, so severe weather shouldn't get out of hand, but instability I believe will support the potential for a few cells going severe.


constant thunder here in Orlando.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Some thunderstorms over interior Florida and the gulf are looking pretty strong already, DBZ over 60 in many cells. However, dynamics aren't impressive at all yet, so severe weather shouldn't get out of hand, but instability I believe will support the potential for a few cells going severe.


One thing I am finding a little strange is that the SPC says instability will be marginal tomorrow and will be the one limiting factor for severe, I'm not sure why because cold air aloft will be moving overhead and there will be a deep southwest flow out of the Caribbean. Maybe they are expecting thick higher clouds to limit heating from the sun? That the only thing I can think of, I don't see why else they would expect instability to marginal tomorrow.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7304
I spent some time looking around the WU climate change section yesterday, and all I can say is: awesome! I think it's a great addition to the site, and should go a long way toward helping eliminate some of the confusion promulgated by the deep-pocketed pro-pollution industry.

There's a stiff onshore wind this afternoon here along the southwest coast, so the western sky is all clear. But ten miles or so inland a north-south line of fast-growing cumulonimbus clouds has appeared, many sporting pileus caps. Interesting, as it's been pretty much cloudless most of the day. I actually caught the distant rumble of thunder awhile ago, something I haven't heard for quite a while...
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Around here it is becoming more like West Texas, most of our rains do not come from East or Southeast Texas but from Mexico and the West Unfortunately. There is a great chance you will remain Wet and we will remain Dry unless we get a storm system to Dig well south into Mexico and move this way but we are close to the end for Fronts to come thru, soon they will stall in North Texas or Oklahoma.

Right. But don't y'all get rain from shortwaves pushing up from Baja across the mountains? That is where most of our instability comes from, along with moisture from the gulf.
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Things are already beginning to come together, increasing cape, LI's are becoming more impressive, and deeper moisture is surging north into the southern gulf, moisture over the state is still somewhat tame as its limited to the surface, but that will change as deeper tropical moisture heads north.









Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7304
Quoting RitaEvac:


Don't panic yet, remember the gulf coast like SE TX and East TX are outta the drought, so now since that is in place Central TX will be next as it works it's way westward. When the gulf coast and East TX is in drought, then you really have something to worry about there, because if we're not getting it you sure as hell aint gonna get it. We've been getting it so that at least ups your chances
Around here it is becoming more like West Texas, most of our rains do not come from East or Southeast Texas but from Mexico and the West Unfortunately. There is a great chance you will remain Wet and we will remain Dry unless we get a storm system to Dig well south into Mexico and move this way but we are close to the end for Fronts to come thru, soon they will stall in North Texas or Oklahoma.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RitaEvac:


Don't panic yet, remember the gulf coast like SE TX and East TX are outta the drought, so now since that is in place Central TX will be next as it works it's way westward. When the gulf coast and East TX is in drought, then you really have something to worry about there, because if we're not getting it you sure as hell aint gonna get it. We've been getting it so that at least ups your chances

Good point. It all really depends on where the Sonoran ridge decides to set up this year. If it parks over TX (like last year), we're doomed. If it parks over the SE (like a few years ago, when they had the horrendous drought), we will have a wetter-than-average year, while they roast. Hopefully, it sets up in its "normal" spot, over the great basin, and everyone west of the Rockies gets their rain.
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Everything in the sky is stationary here
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Interesting free online courses. Found post about it on Slashdot here.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 5961
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
It's times like these when I really appreciate observing the weather from Florida due to the state's very abnormal geography. Every part of the state has its own very unique microclimate that plays a key role in determining how the storm system will react with the region.




Me too, I love living here!
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7304
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
It is getting very dry around here again, the grass on side of the roads is very tall and getting very dry, setting up for a bad fire Summer Season I feel. Anyone drive thru Hill country lately? There are thousands and thousands of Dead Trees, pretty depressing. Most from Oak Wilt i believe and some from the drought but those trees stick out like a sore thumb. My last few rains have been a trace or slightly more since middle of March. The heavy rains really do not develop very often until they are well east of IH 35 unfortunately, I have a fear of 100 one hundred degree days again, if I never see 100 again I will be happy. The cracks in the ground around here are something to be concerned about.


Don't panic yet, remember the gulf coast like SE TX and East TX are outta the drought, so now since that is in place Central TX will be next as it works it's way westward. When the gulf coast and East TX is in drought, then you really have something to worry about there, because if we're not getting it you sure as hell aint gonna get it. We've been getting it so that at least ups your chances
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Quoting RitaEvac:


35 corridor missed out, it's everything east of there


My place in Wimberley got an inch - but that was about it for the hill country. That same cell is now in western Gonzales County. Interesting afternoon.
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Weird clouds here along the coastal area of TX, have these mid level dark clouds that are barely moving, as if waiting for the trigger to the west
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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