Tropical Storm Cindy For 6/21/2017 2200 CDT

Tropical Storm Cindy is getting closer to land. The latest position from National Hurricane Center is 95 miles or 153 kilometers from Port Arthur, Texas as of 10:00 PM or 2200 CDT. Here is the latest Doppler radar image out of NWS Lake Charles.

It is moving 7 mph or 11 kilometers north-northwest. Cindy could make landfall between 3:00 AM to 5:00 AM or 0300 to 0500 CDT at this rate. The question is where Cindy will make landfall.

The data is from UCAR, to be more specific from ATCF data file. I also included the 5 day cone from National Hurricane Center.Looks to make landfall in East Texas our Southwest Louisiana. Still cannot rule a landfall closer to Houston at this time as tropical cyclones tend to wobble. The area around the center of Cindy has produced heavy rain.

Many areas have seen 1 to 2 inches or 2.54 to 5.08 centimeters of rain per hour. Doppler radar estimates the heaviest rainfall rate is 4 inches or 10.16 centimeters per hour! Some areas could see as much as 5 inch or 12.7 centimeters per hour!

Many areas have seen 3 to 6 inches or 7.62 to 15.24 centimeters of rain based on Doppler radar estimates. The highest is 11 inches or 27.94 centimeters of rain. Again, Doppler radar tends to underestimate rainfall totals. I suspect the highest rainfall total is around 12 to 14 inches or 30.48 to 35.56 centimeters of of rain. I think Houston area could see rain from Cindy, especially later tonight. Rainfall total should be about 1 to 3 inches or 2.54 to 7.62 centimeters with amount as high as 5 inches or 12.7 centimeters of rain. I would not be surprised if thunderstorms form on the west side of Cindy and dumps heavy rain over the Houston area while you sleep.

Once Cindy makes landfall, where does it go? Could it stall out over Texas and dump more heavy rain like Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 did? Or could it just move away from Texas? Here is the next 5 day forecast model.

The cone and heat map has Cindy moving towards Arkansas. No forecast model has Cindy stalling over Texas. It can be possible that Cindy will stall over Texas, but that is unlikely at this point. The forecast models are divided where Cindy will go once inland. It can go to the Midwest and Canada or go all the way to the East Coast. Right now, we should keep an eye on Tropical Storm Cindy as it is getting closer to land.

Tropical Storm Cindy For 6/20/2017 2200 CDT

Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 is now Tropical Storm Cindy. Well, I think, it was Cindy since yesterday. Anyways, let’s cut to the chase. As of 10:00 PM CDT, Cindy is stationary. It has not moved much lately. This complicates forecasting where Cindy will go.

Here is a heat map forecast. It is from ATCF data file. The intensity forecast is also from the same link at UCAR. I also included the 5 day cone from National Hurricane Center.

The heat map is from various ensemble member run within 300 miles (480 kilometers) of a point. From there, a heat map is generated. There is an eastward trend. However, Texas is not out of any landfall risk. The 5 day cone encompass Southeast Texas. The National Hurricane Center states that tropical cyclones are within the cone 67 percent of the time, which means 33 percent of the time they deviate outside the cone. The heat map shows that it can deviate easily from the cone.

In terms of intensity it has increased to 60 mph with central pressure of 997 millibars. The forecast models keep Cindy as a tropical storm. I do not expect a hurricane. The intensity forecast is from

On top of it, Tropical Storm Cindy is a large tropical storm. It has tropical storm force winds extending up to 275 miles! The western half has tropical storm force winds extending up to 140 miles. Tropical storm force winds are 415 miles across! The east side has larger tropical storm force winds.

The main concern is rainfall. The Weather Prediction Center has a seven day total of up to 17 inches around Alabama. Southeast Texas could see to 3 to 7 inches of rain. I would not be surprised if areas see higher totals of 20 inches in some areas. Tropical Storm Cindy is more of a rain event if any. I would be most concerned with heavy rain than wind despite the large area of tropical storm force wind.

Where Cindy goes is anyone’s guess at this point. Forecast models are all over the place. We should know more by tomorrow.

Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 For 6/19/2017 2100 CDT

Potential Tropical Cyclone 3, which in my opinion should be named as Cindy as Bret is already taken and traversing across South America. A Bret once paid a visit to South Texas as a Category 3 hurricane on August 22, 1999. A Cindy also paid a visit to Southeast Texas as a Category 1 hurricane on September 17, 1963. Cindy was a rainmaker as it dumped nearly 24 inches of rain (61 centimeters) of rain in Deweyville, Texas. Just in 24 hours, 20.60 inches (52.3 centimeters) fell!

Here is a heat map forecast. It is from from , to be more specific from ATCF data file. The intensity forecast is also from the same link at UCAR.

spite the forecast models having go towards Louisiana.

In terms of intensity, it is already a tropical storm.

Most intensity forecast models keep it as a tropical storm. None have Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 as a hurricane at this time. I do not think it will be a hurricane at this time. It will be a messy tropical storm. Most of the heavy rain is east of the center. Even if Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 made landfall over Galveston, most of the rain would be east. If Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 made landfall around Matagorda County, Houston area could get some heavy rain.

Depending on where Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 goes, Southeast Texas could see tropical storm force winds as early as Tuesday afternoon. The National Hurricane Center-Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 I would not be surprised if it is breezy by tomorrow afternoon.

The forecast is subject to change for Potential Tropical Cyclone 3, so please keep an eye on the weather.

Spring 2016 Report

Flower01

It is deja vu! Spring 2016 was wet like Spring 2015 despite El Nino fading. To make matters worse, there was severe flooding in April and May, which dumped up to 24 inches of rain in both events! That is something you see with tropical cyclones or core rain events with warm core low pressure systems. They are often from tropical cyclones.

For Texas, it has been mostly wet. For others, where’s the rain?

2016_SpringPrecipitationDivisionalRanks

2016_SpringTemperatureDivisionalRanks

America 2016 Spring
Mean Temperature: 53.68°F
Total Rainfall: 9.03

America Spring Temperature (1895-2016)
Mean: 51.10°F
Median: 50.87°F
Standard Deviation: 1.39
Lowest: 56.18°F (2012)
Highest: 47.37°F (1917)

America Spring Rainfall (1895-2016)
Mean: 7.95
Median: 7.95
Standard Deviation: 0.98
Lowest: 5.58 (1925)
Highest: 10.40 (1991)

It was a warm spring, but not a record breaking spring for America. It is nowhere like 2012. The average temperature is 1 standard deviation from the mean in terms of temperature. That is unusual, but not extraordinarily warm. If it was 2 standard deviation or greater that would be abnormal. It was abnormally warm for spring time in America.

It was much wetter as a whole. In fact, the Spring 2016 rainfall total is exceeds by 1 standard deviation. It was a wet spring for most of America.

Texas 2016 Spring
Mean Temperature: 66.27°F
Total Rainfall: 11.90

Texas Spring Temperature (1895-2016)
Mean: 64.76°F
Median: 64.73°F
Standard Deviation: 1.76
Lowest: 69.67°F (2012)
Highest: 59.93°F (1931)

Texas Spring Rainfall (1895-2016)
Mean: 7.37
Median: 7.05
Standard Deviation: 2.34
Lowest: 2.53 (2011)
Highest: 16.48 (2015)

It was warmer than normal for spring in Texas. It is 1 standard deviation from the mean.

It is wet, but not like 2015, which was wetter. Actually, it is the eighth wettest spring on record as it ties with 1914. It was indeed a wet spring for Texas, like last spring. Having two wet springs back to back is a rarity. Here is the top 10 wettest spring in Texas since 1895.

Top 10 Wettest Spring In Texas
1.) 2015 16.48
2.) 1957 14.75
3.) 1905 12.59
4.) 1941 12.43
5.) 1900 12.36
6.) 2007 12.16
7,) 1922 11.97
8.) 1914/2016 11.90
9.) 1997 10.85
10.) 1929 10.79

Many of the wettest springs occurred when El Nino is developing (1914, 1957, 1997, and 2015), persistent (1905 and 1941) or dying (1900 and 2007). 1922 was La Nina, while 1929 was Neutral. It shows that El Nino does have an impact on spring rainfall,whether is strengthening or dying. Interesting to note hurricanes made hurricanes made landfall in 1900, 1929, 1941, 1957, and 2007. Two were major hurricanes, Galveston Hurricane and Audrey in 1957.

Upper Texas Coast 2016 Spring
Mean Temperature: 71.07°F
Total Rainfall: 20.77

Upper Texas Coast Spring Temperature (1895-2016)
Mean: 68.54°F
Median: 68.42°F
Standard Deviation: 1.69
Lowest: 72.83°F (2012)
Highest: 63.37°F (1931)

Upper Texas Coast Spring Rainfall (1895-2016)
Mean: 10.58
Median: 10.02
Standard Deviation: 4.53
Lowest: 2.43 (2011)
Highest: 24.75 (2015)

It has been a warm spring. It is nearly 2 standard deviations from the mean. It was abnormally warm spring. It is the eighth warmest spring for Upper Texas Coast. Here is the top 10 warmest spring in Texas since 1895.

Top 10 Warmest Spring In Upper Texas Coast
1.) 2012 72.83°F
2.) 2011 72.03°F
3.) 2006 72.00°F
4.) 2000 71.57°F
5.) 1967 71.43°F
6.) 1963 71.40°F
7.) 1908 71.37°F
8.) 2016 71.07°F
9.) 1991 71.00°F
10.) 1925 70.97°F

Spring 2012 was warm everywhere, especially up north. 2011 was very warm as well. Who could forget Summer 2011? It was Hell for sure, which was made worse by the drought. The warmth is due to abnormally warm low temperatures. All that heavy rain makes the air more humid. Humidity keepers temperatures from going too cold or hot. It is the seventh warmest low temperature for spring. Here is a divisional ranking map of low and high temperatures.

2016_SpringMinTemperatureDivisionalRanks

2016_SpringMaxTemperatureDivisionalRanks

It was very west for Upper Texas Coast. It exceeds 2 standard deviations, which makes a near outlier. In fact, it is the third wettest spring on record! Yes, third wettest. There have been two back to back wet springs in the Upper Texas Coast. Here is the top 10 wettest spring in Upper Texas Coast since 1895.

Top 10 Wettest Spring In Upper Texas Coast
1.) 2015 24.75
2.) 1997 22.18
3.) 2016 20.77
4.) 1900 19.54
5.) 1957 19.32
6.) 1929 19.06
7.) 1914 18.54
8.) 1944 18.33
9.) 1993 18.32
10.) 1905 17.60

Many of the wettest springs for Upper Texas Coast occurred when El Nino is developing (1914, 1957, 1997, and 2015), persistent (1905) or dying (1900). 1944 had a developing La Nina from Neutral. 1929 was Neutral. April and May 1929 had heavy rain that led to massive flooding in the Houston area. The 1929 flood is considered an epic flood on par with December 1935 and Tropical Storm Allison in 2001. It shows that El Nino does have an impact on spring rainfall,whether is strengthening or dying. Interesting to note hurricanes made hurricanes made landfall on Upper Texas Coast in 1900, 1929, and 1957. Two were major hurricanes, Galveston Hurricane and Audrey in 1957.

Could this be a harbinger of things to come? America has not seen a Category 3 or stronger hurricane since Wilma in 2005. Now, if we lowered Category 3 by 1 mph from 111 mph to 110 mph, than Ike would be a major hurricane. Even than, America has not seen a major hurricane make landfall since 2008, which is a long stretch. Keep in mind, hurricane re-analysis is happening, so this long stretch of no Category 3 or stronger hurricanes we are seeing may not be the longest.

Christmas Storms

RowlettTornado01

It was a terrible Christmas for sure. The warm Chrsitmas last week made it felt like late Spring or early Summer. Christmas was very warm throughout America, east of the Rocky Mountains. The warm weather could not last forever in Winter. Cold air from the north came and it clashed with the warm air. That leads to severe weather including tornadoes.

Christmas2015_SurfaceTemperatureAnomaly_NA

The Eastern two thirds of America is abnormally warm. However, the warm and humid air by itself does not create storms. It needs lift. There is a large upper level trough to the west and upper level ridging to the east. That kind of setup is favorable for severe weather. The upper level trough brings in cold air from Canada and Alaska. The upper level ridging keeps things warm throughout America.

Christmas2015_500mb_GeopotentialHeightAnomaly_NA

The day before Christmas Eve, known as Festivus, severe weather hit the Southeast and Midwest. It mainly centered around Kentucky, Indiana, Arkansas, and Missouri. There were numerous reports of tornadoes, hail, and strong wind. Christmas Eve had tornadoes hit the Southeast, Alabama and Mississippi. Once the tornadoes and storms past, 15 people lost their life. It is not over yet.

Christmas2015TennesseeTornado01

Christmas2015TennesseeTornado02

Christmas sees more tornadoes and severe weather in the Southeast, again over Alabama. The tornadoes do not stop there. The day after Christmas, tornadoes strike the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. A large EF-4 tornado hits Garland and Rowlett, destroying houses in its path. Once it is all over, 11 people lost their life.

RowlettTornado02

RowlettTornado03

Christmas2015Storm

There is also flooding from heavy rain. The heavy rain is mostly over Southeast Alabama, Southwest Missouri, Northeast Oklahoma, and Northwest Arkansas. The heavy rain is from the same storm system and warm air clashing. Many areas see 6 to 12 inches of rain in a 7 day period. Southeast Alabama saw as much as 19 inches of rain in 7 days! That is a lot for Winter! Then floodings have claimed at least 18 lives. Many areas in Missouri could see record flooding on par with 1973 and 1993.

20151228_7Day_Rainfall_Total

To make matters worse, there is an epic blizzard that hits New Mexico and West Texas. Many areas see 6 to 12 inches with isolated totals of 15 inches of snow. Talk about an epic blizzard right there!

Christmas2015ElPasoSnow

Christmas went from Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter all at once! Talk about crazy weather! This is what El Nino can do to our weather. My Winter forecast had a higher chance for severe weather for the South and Southeast. I think this Winter will be known as the Winter of severe weather. It is not even January and February yet.

RowlettTornado04

This Christmas is a tragic one for 43 families. At least 43 people have lost their life in this severe storm. Thankfully, severe storms around Christmas are rare.

Heavy Rain Part 2

20151031_DopplerRadar_0800CST

Heavy rain have returned to Texas this past weekend. It was indeed scary as it happened on Halloween. It is the second storm to hit Texas in a weekend in October. First it struck Central Texas with heavy rain as high as 17 inches in a short time! Many rivers flooded. The storms fire up and hit Southeast Texas dumping up to 16 inches of rain causing more floods on super saturated grounds from the previous weekend’s rain.

To make matters worse, there were multiple tornado touchdowns in the storms. The strongest was an EF-2, which has winds of up to 135 mph. That is equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane. Most of the tornadoes were in Brazoria County. They also had the strongest tornadoes reported.

20151031_TornadoTouchdown

Here is a GIS map of 7 day rainfall total.

20151102_7Day_Rainfall_Total

The heaviest rain fell around San Marcos and Southern Travis County including Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, which saw 15 inches of rain. It is one of the highest rainfall measured in Austin. For Southeast Texas, the heaviest rain fell over Liberty County and Eastern Harris County. 12 to 16 inches of rain fell. Many areas in Houston saw 5 to 12 inches of rain, which is impressive.

Wonder what the past two week total has been?

20151102_14Day_Rainfall_Total

Many areas have seen over 5 inches of rain. The highest is 28 inches of rain. That is Navarro County, where some areas around Corsicana saw over 20 inches of rain! Some areas in the Houston area saw up to 25 inches of rain, mainly in Eastern Harris County and Liberty County.

Patricia And The Floods

20151023_VIIRS_I-Band5_Patricia20E_0523EDT

Hurricane Patricia underwent explosive intensification from a Category 1 to Category 5 hurricane in 24 hours. It went from 980 millibars to 879 millibars! That is the most rapid intensifying hurricane in the Western Hemisphere! To make matters worse, it has 200 mph wind! That is much stronger than Atlantic’s most intense hurricane, Wilma in 2005. To put that in perspective, Wilma peaked at 882 millibars. Patricia is about to barrel towards Mexico as a full blown Category 5 monster.

However, with any intense hurricanes, they tend to fluctuate in strength due to eyewall replacement cycle and wind shear. By the time Patricia makes landfall on Mexico, it has a central pressure of 920 millibars and 165 mph winds. On land that would be 141 mph due to a 15 percent reduction from friction. However, the friction increases the gust by a factor of 1.5, which would be 210 mph! A weather station in Chamela-Cuixmala Biosphere Reserve recorded 185 mph winds with gusts as high as 211 mph, which suggests the station got damaged. 185 mph sustained winds on land is 278 mph! That would be a nightmare anywhere! Think of that in a major city like Houston, New Orleans, Miami, or New York. It turns out that Patricia made landfall on Cuixmala, Jalisco, Mexico, which is between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. Mostly small villages and towns were affected by Patricia’s strong winds. Also, people evacuated from the coast as storm surge is possible. The death toll at this writing is 13. Pretty low for a potentially catastrophic hurricane.

Patricia was an average sized hurricane. East Pacific hurricanes tend to be smaller than Atlantic hurricanes due to a smaller basin area compared to the Atlantic. At peak and landfall, hurricane force winds were 50 miles in diameter. In comparison, Hurricane Ike before it hit Southeast Texas had hurricane force winds of over 200 miles in diameter! Smaller sized hurricanes produce smaller storm surge. Larger sized hurricanes produce larger storm surge. One reason why Ike and Sandy were so bad despite not being strong like Patricia was their large size. Interesting to note that Katrina made landfall on the Mississippi Delta as a Category 3 hurricane with central pressure of 920 millibars. The reason for that is Katrina is a large hurricane like Ike.

So, what allowed Patricia to undergo explosive intensification?

It had large area of warm water. This is due to a strong El Nino and warm Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO).

20151022-23_SSTAnomaly_NA

There was a large area of Precipitable Water (PW) over the Pacific near Mexico. The values are easily over 2 inches.

20151022-23_850mb_PrecipitableWater_NA

The relative humidity was very humid. This is relative humidity at 10,000 feet or 700 millibar level. That is more favorable for tropical development. Dry air kills tropical development.

20151022-23_700mb_RelativeHumidityAnomaly_NA

As all strong hurricanes, they must weaken and in this case, the Sierra Madre Occidental sheared it apart. Mountains are deadly for hurricanes as they can cut through their circulation. Yet, mountainous areas see higher winds and heavier rain, especially on the windward side. Once Patricia is reduced to a tropical low, the moisture from it dumps heavy rain over Texas. The heavy rain affects a large area of Texas. The heavy rain is from a slow moving Pacific front and Gulf of Mexico and Pacific moisture.

North Texas sees some of the heaviest rain. Corsicana, Texas go hammered with the heaviest rain. Powell saw over 20 inches of rain in 24 hours! Southeast Texas saw widespread heavy rain with flooding. Many areas saw 5 to 10 inches of rain. Some areas saw over 12 inches of rain.

20151026_7Day_Rainfall_Total

Here is a GIS map I created from AHPS and US Drought Monitor. Notice the heaviest rains is around Corsicana. In the 7 days, many areas saw over 8 inches of rain with totals as high as 15 inches of rain. The rains are beneficial as Texas is in a severe drought. Corsicana and Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex were in the severe drought. I expect they will be out of the drought by this week according to US Drought Monitor.