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.

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Weather In Review And Forecast For May 17, 2015

Flood were the main problem last week. Southeast and South Texas saw a lot of rain last week. Many areas saw rain amounts of over 10 inches! The forecast models did not handle the event well. It comes to show that forecasting flood events is difficult. We have a long way to go. Here is the 7 day rainfall total.

20150518_7Day_Rainfall_Total

Many areas saw 5 to 10 inches of rain with isolated totals of over 14 inches of rain! That is a lot in 7 days! So, how wet has it been in the past 30 days?

20150518_30Day_Rainfall_Total

Many areas of Texas and Oklahoma have seen 7 to 15 inches of rain in the past 30 days. Some have seen over 22 inches! That is mostly in North Texas, Red River, and Central Oklahoma. They were dry not too long ago and now they are wet. That is a good thing as Texas and Oklahoma have been plagued by droughts. Let’s hope California gets a lot of rain as well. They need the rain as much as we do. I will gladly donate the rain to California!

So, why has it been so wet lately for Texas and Oklahoma?

20150518_500mb_GeopotentialHeightAnomaly_NH

Persistant upper level troughing over the Western US with persistant upper level ridging over the Eastern US. This type of setup is favorable for severe weather and flood events as the bring in moisture from Gulf of Mexico and Tropical Pacific. There is also El Nino.

20150518_SST_GlobalAnomaly

The area of unusually warm water in the Equatorial Pacific off the coast of South America is El Nino. It is a strong El Nino. El Nino causes the jet steam to go further south than usual. This brings in storms further south, allowing severe weather and heavy rains to fall over Texas and Oklahoma. Also, California benefits from El Nino.

Since my analog forecast from last week suggested flooding is an issue, I am going to use it again. Let’s start with the 6 to 10 day analog forecast.

20150518_6To10Day_AnalogForecast

6/12/1988-Severe weather plagues Texas in June. A F3 tornado strikes 4 miles south of Denver on 6/15.
6/2/1989-Two tornadoes in Louisiana and Florida claim 5 lives on 6/8.
6/2/1978-Heavy rain falls in the Houston area from 5/29 to 6/7. Bush Intercontinental: 12.35″; Hobby: 5.46″. Houston records its wettest 6/6 and 6/7. The rainfall total for those dates are 2.66″ and 2.29″
5/19/1963-Heavy rain falls in parts of Houston on 5/22. Houston WB: 3.10″; Hobby: 0.05″. Houston records its wettest 5/22.
6/4/1966-June 1966 Tornado Outbreak Sequence from 6/2-12. There are 57 tornadoes, which claim 18 lives. One tornado hits Topeka, Kansas on 6/8 as a powerful F5 tornado. It claims 16 lives.
6/12/1969-Tornado outbreak on 6/22. Two F4 tornadoes hit south of St. Louis claiming 6 lives in Washington County and south of Farmington. A F2 tornado hits Oxford, Nebraska claiming 1 life.
6/8/2003-2003 South Dakota Tornado Outbreak. 67 tornadoes touchdown in one day on 6/24 in South Dakota. Nebraska is hit by severe weather on 6/22. Aurora sees volleyball sized hail. A tornado to the south of Aurora claims 1 life. A total of 125 tornadoes are reported in the outbreak.
5/17/1961-Severe weather outbreak on 5/12 to 5/19 in Central and Southern US. Multiple tornadoes, strong wind, and hail reported. No fatalities are reported.
6/2/2000-Remnant of Tropical Depression 1 dumps heavy rain over Texas on 6/9 to 6/11.

Looking at the analog dates, this suggest that we could see heavy rain that could lead to flooding mixed with severe weather like tornadoes, hail, and strong winds. Let’s look into next week with the 8 to 14 day analog forecast.

20150518_8To14Day_AnalogForecast

6/4/1989-Two tornadoes in Louisiana and Florida claim 5 lives on 6/8.
6/13/1988-Severe weather plagues Texas in June. A F3 tornado strikes 4 miles south of Denver on 6/15.
6/1/1978-Heavy rain falls in the Houston area from 5/29 to 6/7. Bush Intercontinental: 12.35″; Hobby: 5.46″. Houston records its wettest 6/6 and 6/7. The rainfall total for those dates are 2.66″ and 2.29″
6/15/2004-All of Texas has a wet June. Many areas see heavy rain that leads to flooding throughout Texas. Tornado outbreak in the Panhandle on 6/21. Large hail reported of diameter of 4.25″.
5/18/1963 & 5/23/1963-Heavy rain falls in parts of Houston on 5/22. Houston WB: 3.10″; Hobby: 0.05″. Houston records its wettest 5/22.
5/17/2004-Heavy rain falls over Central Texas east of Interstate 35 on 5/13. Hearne, Texas records up to 17 inches of rain in a few hours, which leads to severe flooding. May 2004 Tornado Outbreak Sequence from 5/21-31. 389 tornadoes are reported, which claims 7 lives.
5/30/1989-Two tornadoes in Louisiana and Florida claim 5 lives on 6/8.

The 8 to 14 day analog forecast is similar to the 6 to 10 day analog forecast. Mostly heavy rain and severe weather. The June 2004 analog is interesting as Texas had a very wet June. 2004 had a developing El Nino that time. This suggests that as we head into June, it could be a wet June.

With the analog forecasts, this week will be a wet one despite what forecast models have called for recently. I do not trust forecast models when it comes to handling severe weather and heavy rain. It did not handle it well last week. One reason why I am forecasting another wet week this week. Be prepared for any flooding this week!

This Week’s Forecast For Week Of March 15, 2015

Beware of the Ides of March they say. It is also the week of St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness starts. This week should be an exciting week. El Nino has been declared and it could persist for the rest of the year. Before about this week, let’s look at last week’s weather shall we.

20150316_500mb_GeopotentialHeightAnomaly_NH

Most areas were warm last week. The exception are Texas, Alaska, Central Mexico, Northeast Canada, Korea, Japan, North Central Russia, and Eastern Russia, which were cooler than normal. How does this come to be?

20150316_SurfaceTemperatureAnomaly_NH

When it is cooler, there is troughing. When it is warmer, there is ridging. Enough said about that. Troughing over Northeast Canada is negative North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and troughing over Alaska is negative East Pacific Oscillation (EPO). The ridging centered over Western US is positive Pacific/North American teleconnection pattern (PNA).

Last week was quite rainy. Here is a 7 day rainfall total from last week up to March 15, 2015.

20150315_7Day_Rainfall_Total

It was very wet in Southeast Texas and Louisiana. The heaviest rain in Southeast Texas is 8 inches, while 10 inches fell in the Mississippi River Delta. Most of Southeast Texas, Southeast Louisiana, and Southern Mississippi got most of the heavy rain last week. Not bad for March. It would be nice to see North Texas and Panhandle get more rain as they are still in a severe drought.

Here is a rainfall forecast model from last week.

20150309_AccumulatedPrecipitationTotal_USA_132Hour_1800Z

It did not get Texas right, while it did handle the Central Gulf Coast okay. These forecast models are not high resolution, so they do not take smaller areas into account.

Rainfall will be the main concern this week as it was last week. Here is a rainfall forecast model til Sunday.

GFS
20150316_GFS_AccumulatedPrecipitationTotal_USA_132Hour_1800Z

Canadian
20150316_GEM_AccumulatedPrecipitationTotal_USA_132Hour_1800Z

Both forecast models have widespread and beneficial rains for Texas and Louisiana. GFS has up to 4 inches for Texas, while Canadian has up to 6 inches of rain in the next 7 days. I think some areas could see higher, like last week. I think some areas could see up to 10 inches of rain in Texas and Louisiana, like last week.

If we could see the future, we could look at the past. In this case, I will be using analog forecasts based on upper air patterns going back to 1950. Let’s start with 6 to 10 forecast.

20150316_6To10Day_AnalogForecast

3/30/1994-A cold blast hits east of the Rocky Mountains in the last week of March 1994.
3/26/1990-Heavy rain hits Houston area between 3/28-30. Three day totals are Bush Intercontinental: 3.61″; Hobby: 2.78″; Galveston: 1.33″.
4/9/2004-Heavy rain falls on 4/10-11 in Southeast Texas. Bush Intercontinental: 3.27″; Hobby: 1.31″; College Station: 0.89″. 2.57″ falls at Intercontinental on 4/10, highest rainfall total for that date.
3/13/1998-Severe weather hits Texas betweem 3/15-19. They range from heavy rain, strong wind, hail, and lightning. It mainly hits North Texas and West Texas. There is snow reported in the Texas Panhandle on 3/19.
4/9/1969-Rain falls 4/11-13 in Houston area. Both Houston WB and Hobby record 2.36″.
4/4/2007-A cold blast hits Texas on Easter Weekend. Snow and sleeted is reported north of Houston. Many areas see near record lows during the cold blast including Houston, which saw 38°F on 4/7 and 37°F on 4/8.
3/11/1987-Cold blast hits Southern and Eastern US between 3/9-15.
4/6/1977-16 tornadoes reported in West Texas and Panhandle between 4/19-20. Hail is also reported during the severe weather outbreak in Texas.

Some of the analog dates really stand out, especially when it comes to cold blasts and severe weather. If we use 6 to 10 day analog forecast, this suggests it could be a rainy one with a chance of severe weather mixed in. Anyways, let’s look at the 8 to 14 day analog forecast. Deja vu, it is wrongly labeled as 6 to 10 day forecast as it centers around day 8. Do not worry, this is a 8 to 14 day analog forecast.

20150316_8To14Day_AnalogForecast

3/31/1994-A cold blast hits east of the Rocky Mountains in the last week of March 1994.
3/25/1990-Heavy rain hits Houston area between 3/28-30. Three day totals are Bush Intercontinental: 3.61″; Hobby: 2.78″; Galveston: 1.33″. Interesting to note on that date, America’s deadliest mass murder occurred on this day at the Happyland Club Fire. A man angry over a break up with his girlfriend set fire to the club in The Bronx borough of New York. The fire claimed 87 lives. It was the deadliest mass murder prior to Oklahoma City Bombing and 9/11.
3/11 & 3/16/1998-Severe weather hits Texas betweem 3/15-19. They range from heavy rain, strong wind, hail, and lightning. It mainly hits North Texas and West Texas. There is snow reported in the Texas Panhandle on 3/19.
3/9/1994-A cold front comes on 3/9 and thunderstorms form ahead. Bush Intercontinental: 1.18″; Hobby: 1.20″; Galveston: 1.26″; Second wettest 3/9 for Bush and Galveston. The cold front brings a light freeze.
3/9/1996-A cold front comes on 3/7/1996. It causes a light freeze for Houston area.

The 8 to 14 day analog forecast has some rather interesting weather. They are either cold blasts to severe weather outbreaks. I think this week is more likely a rain event if any. I do not think temperature will be much of a factor here. This will be another wet week as it was last week thanks to El Nino and strong Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO).

This Week’s Forecast For Week Of March 8, 2015

20150227_DallasSnow01
Source: Wikimedia

Even with March in, it has been rather cold. North Texas has gotten a lot of snow. It is like that Old Man Winter does not want to leave despite the calendar saying so. Not surprisingly, the coldest air is over North Texas. East of the Rocky Mountains has been cold last week. Alaska and Arctic Ocean have been quite warm.

20150309_SurfaceTemperatureAnomaly_NH

Now, why it is cold in some areas, while warm in others. Look no further than the upper part of the atmosphere.

20150309_500mb_GeopotentialHeightAnomaly_NH

What do I see here? I see upper level ridging over Alaska, which is negative East Pacific Oscillation (EPO). There is upper level troughing over Northeast Canada and Greenland, which is positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Cold blasts can happen with a negative EPO and positive NAO. There is also upper level ridging over Northern Russia. Ridging over Arctic areas causes cold air to be shunted down south. Troughing keeps the cold air over the Arctic.

This week has started rainy in Texas. Beneficial rain that puts a dent on the drought plaguing Texas. Here is a 132 hour rainfall total forecast til Sunday.

20150309_AccumulatedPrecipitationTotal_USA_132Hour_1800Z

The GFS and Canadian forecast 0.50 to 1.50 inches of rain. The Canadian goes as high as 3 inches of rain between now and Sunday. Rain will be the main headline for the Southeast as the same system over Texas traverses eastward carrying Pacific and Gulf of Mexico moisture. This is more of an El Nino pattern, which we are in. The GFS forecasts less rain for Alabama and Florida Panhandle. On the other hand, Canadian has up 5 inches of rain for Alabama and Florida Panhandle. The GFS has the heaviest rain over Tennessee.

What can the past hold for this week? Here is a 6 to 10 day analog forecast.

20150309_6To10Day_AnalogForecast

3/13/1972-A slow moving cold front triggers heavy rain over Southeast Texas on 3/20. Bush Intercontinental: 7.47″; Hobby: 0.64″; Independent Heights 7.65″; Halls Bayou 9.50″; Galveston: 0.82″; College Station: 0.07″. Record calendar day rainfall total for Bush.
3/1/1994-A cold front comes on 3/9 and thunderstorms form ahead. Bush Intercontinental: 1.18″; Hobby: 1.20″; Galveston: 1.26″; Second wettest 3/9 for Bush and Galveston. The cold front brings a light freeze.
3/24/1993-Southeast Texas saw rain from 3/19 to 3/23. Heavy rain falls on 4/3-4. Bush Intercontinental: 3.68″; Hobby: 2.17″; Galveston: 0.81″. 3.09″ falls at Houston on 3/9, setting highest one day rainfall total for that date.
3/2/1993-Start of the “Storm Of The Century”, also known as ’93 Superstorm. A strong extratropical low pressure system forms in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of a cold front. The storm rapidly intensifies and becomes a large and powerful storm. Derechos and storm surge are experienced in Florida, while Appalachia and Northeast are pelted by heavy snow and blizzard.
3/15/1995-A March heat wave strikes east of the Rocky Mountains and Northern Canada betweem 3/18 to 3/23. Many areas see near or record highs during that time.
3/5/1992-Heavy rain and flooding hits the Houston area on 3/4. Many areas see 4 to 10 inches of rain during the event.

Some of the analog dates really stand out, especially when it comes to heavy rain. One had a unusual March heat wave. If we use 6 to 10 day analog forecast, this suggests it could be a rainy one. Anyways, let’s look at the 8 to 14 day analog forecast. By the way, it is wrongly labeled as 6 to 10 day forecast as it centers around day 8. Do not worry, this is a 8 to 14 day analog forecast.

20150309_8To14Day_AnalogForecast

4/5/2004-Heavy rain falls on 4/10-11 in Southeast Texas. Bush Intercontinental: 3.27″; Hobby: 1.31″; College Station: 0.89″. 2.57″ falls on 4/10, highest rainfall total for that date.
4/4/2007-A cold blast hits Texas on Easter Weekend. Snow and sleeted is reported north of Houston. Many areas see near record lows during the cold blast including Houston, which saw 38°F on 4/7 and 37°F on 4/8.
3/5/1984-March 1984 starts cold with a low of 31°F at Bush Intercontinental on 3/1.
3/29/1993-Southeast Texas saw rain from 3/19 to 3/23. Heavy rain falls on 4/3-4. Bush Intercontinental: 3.68″; Hobby: 2.17″; Galveston: 0.81″. 3.09″ falls at Houston on 3/9, setting highest one day rainfall total for that date.

In the long term analog, heavy rain or cold blasts are the issue. There was a cold Easter in 2007. If I use the 6 to 10 day and 8 to 14 day analog forecast, it looks to be cooler and wetter than normal for the start of March.

This Week’s Forecast For Week Of March 1, 2015

20150302_SurfaceTemperatureAnomaly_NH

Finally, we are no longer in the meteorological winter. We are in spring, which is from March to May. Last week, the nation was more unified. Unified in the sense of temperature. Most of the US east of the Rocky Mountains had colder than normal temperatures. It snowed and iced in North Texas. The Northeast and Midwest languished in freezes. Even the Western US had more normal temperatures instead of a summer. Of course with all the cold air over the Lower 48, it is much warmer in Alaska and Northwest Canada. All the cold air had to go somewhere and it happens to be us. So, why the cold weather in some areas, while warm weather in others. It is has to do with the upper level pattern.

20150302_500mb_GeopotentialHeightAnomaly_NH

There is upper level troughing over Northeast Canada and Greenland, which is a positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). It is also the polar vortex, which brings down cold air from Arctic. The upper level ridging over Alaska is the negative East Pacific Oscillation (EPO). The ridging causes cold air to be shunted down south. Freezes can happen when there is a positive NAO and negative EPO, like in January 1962, December 1983, and February 1989.

Here is a 6 to 10 day analog forecast.

20150302_6To10Day_AnalogForecast

2/27/2009-A late February heat wave hits the South and Northeast US. Houston records a high of 85°F on 2/27/2009. Second hottest 2/27 on record.
3/16/1978-A cold mid March cold blast hits east of the Rocky Mountains and Eastern Canada. Houston records a low of 33°F on 2/27/2009.
3/8/1982-A cold early March cold blast hits east of the Rocky Mountains and East Central Canada. Northern New England and Maritime Provinces of Canada are warmer than normal. Houston records a low of 30°F on 3/7/1982.

Some of the analog dates for the 6 to 10 day forecast stands out. Those dates had a cold blast right before or after the date. One of them was a warm one in 2009. Now, let’s look at 8 to 14 days analog forecast.

20150302_8To14Day_AnalogForecast

3/7/1989-America sees an early March cold blast. Houston sees 25°F on 3/5 and 3/6 and 28°F on 3/7, shatter low temperature records for those dates. Night time sees freezes from 3/4 to 3/9.
2/26/1974-A late February cold blast hits America in a La Nina Winter. Houston sees 26°F on 2/25 and 2/26, which are record lows for those dates.
2/23/1976-A late February cold blast hits America in a La Nina Winter. Houston sees 27°F on 2/23, which is a record lows for those dates.
3/26/1982-As El Nino is developing, Southern US is hit by a heat wave in April. Houston records a high of 91°F on 4/5/1982 and 4/8/1982, warmest for 4/5. That week is a roller coaster ride of warm and cold.

Some of the analog dates for the 8 to 14 day forecast stands out. There were mostly cold blasts in some of the dates I listed. One had a heat wave in April, which gave way to cold again. I can this week as a roller coaster as it warms up and cools down. Here are temperature forecast model by Friday of this week.

20150303_2MeterAirTemperature_84Hour_0000Z

GFS and NAM are not much different as they have a low of 28°F to 29°F on Friday morning. The Canadian is the warmest at 31°F. That is quite cold for this time of year for Southeast Texas! I think it will be cold this week. Freezing rain and snow is not out of the realm for sure. This is going to be an interesting week.

Spring 2014 Report

Spring2014Ranks

Spring has passed as we approach summer as the days get longer. So, did winter choose to remain despite the fact the calendar says spring? Some areas were still cold and ice still prevailed in the Great Lakes. It was warm in the Western US as they are still languishing in a drought.

America
Temperature: 51.13°F
Rainfall: 8.01

1895-2014 Spring Statistics
Spring Temperature Mean: 51.06°F
Spring Temperature Median: 50.82°F
Standard Deviation: 1.36

Spring Rainfall Mean: 7.93
Spring Rainfall Median: 7.91
Standard Deviation: 0.97

America as a whole had a largely normal spring because of the stark contrast in temperature and rainfall. Some regions were cooler, while others were warmer. In terms of rain, some regions got more, while others got less. So that cancels each other out. This surface temperature anomaly map shows the eastern half of the US was cooler, while western half of the US was warmer. Most of the cold air was over Canada and Upper Midwest. Most of Arctic, Asia, and Europe had warmer than normal spring.

2014SpringSurfaceTemperatureAnomaly

One wonders why was the Eastern US cooler than the Western US this past spring. Look at a 500 millibar level geopotential height to look for anomalies. A positive anomaly is persistent ridging, while negative anomaly is persistent troughing. Here is a map of the 500 millibar level geopotential height anomaly map.

2014Spring500mbGeopotentialAnomaly

The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is in a positive phase, as there is persistent troughing over Greenland and Northeastern Canada. A positive NAO usually means warmer than normal winter when NAO is positive. However, there is persistent ridging over Alaska. That area is called Nort Pacific Oscillation (NPO) or East Pacific Oscillation (EPO). When there is ridging over Alaska, the NPO/EPO is negative, while troughing over Alaska means positive NPO/EPO. The NPO/EPO is similar to NAO, but over the North Pacific Ocean. A negative NPO/EPO gives America a cooler than normal winter. It can have much influence than NAO, like this past winter, which was a cold one. Another cold winter where the NAO was positive, but NPO/EPO was negative is the winter of 1983-1984. That winter was really cold, especially December 1983.

Now, let’s look at the great state of Texas’s spring.

Texas
Temperature: 64.13°F
Rainfall: 6.12

1895-2014 Spring Statistics
Spring Temperature Mean: 64.75°F
Spring Temperature Median: 64.73°F
Standard Deviation: 1.77

Spring Rainfall Mean: 7.26
Spring Rainfall Median: 7.05
Standard Deviation: 2.16

Like America, Texas had a normal spring in terms of temperature and rainfall. The temperature is below average, but within average. Texas saw normal March rainfall as it got beneficial rains to put a dent on the drought. However, Texas needs more rain to end this drought, which will hopefully be case with El Nino. So, how did Houston area fared in Spring.

Upper Texas Coast
Temperature: 66.93°F
Rainfall: 11.12

1895-2014 Spring Statistics
Spring Temperature Mean: 68.50°F
Spring Temperature Median: 68.39°F
Standard Deviation: 1.68

Spring Rainfall Mean: 10.38
Spring Rainfall Median: 9.91
Standard Deviation: 4.28

It is not your imagination that Spring 2014 was cool in Southeast Texas. It was cooler than normal despite the fact that Texas and America had normal spring. The Upper Texas Coast cracked the top 20 coolest spring on record. It is even cooler than Spring 2013. Winter prevailed in Spring 2014 for Upper Texas Coast. This is despite the fact it is within the mean, but close enough to be outside the mean to be considered abnormal. Here is the top 20 coolest spring in the Upper Texas Coast.

Top 20 Coldest Spring
1.) 1931 63.37°F
2.) 1915 64.87°F
3.) 1926 65.53°F
4.) 1913 65.63°F
5.) 1983 65.67°F
6.) 1914/1969 65.87°F
7.) 1952 65.90°F
8.) 1924/1960 66.07°F
9.) 1941 66.40°F
10.) 1947 66.53°F
11.) 1970/1993 66.57°F
12.) 1912 66.60°F
13.) 1919 66.63°F
14.) 1917 66.67°F
15.) 1932 66.77°F
16.) 1942 66.83°F
17.) 1937 66.90°F
18.) 2014 66.93°F
19.) 1928/1962 67.03°F
20.) 1930 67.07°F

Spring 2014 is the 18th coolest spring on record since 1895! Spring 2013 is 22 coolest spring on record and ties with Spring 1901 as the average was 67.13°F. Interesting to note following a cool spring, a major hurricane has made landfall on the Upper Texas Coast in these years. Here are the correlation values between Spring Temperatures (March to May) and tropical landfall on the Upper Texas Coast.

Tropical Storm
r = 0.03
p = 0.71

Hurricane
r = 0.11
p = 0.22

Major Hurricane
r = -0.21
p = 0.02

All Landfall
r = 0.00
p = 0.99

There is a significant negative correlation between cool springs and major hurricanes making landfall on the Upper Texas Coast. Cooler the spring, the more likely a major hurricane is likely to make landfall. It is significant because the p-value below 0.05. Anything above 0.05 is not significant. Four of the top 20 coolest spring had a major hurricane make landfall during the hurricane season from June to November.

Major Hurricane
1915-Galveston Hurricane of 1915 (Category 3)
1932-Freeport Hurricane (Category 4)
1941-Hurricane #2 (Category 3, Based on Reanalysis)
1983-Alicia (Category 3)

Hurricanes
1947-Hurricane 3 (Category 1)

Interesting to note that San Antonio Spurs won the NBA Championship, a hurricane made landfall. Here are the championship years for Spurs and hurricanes that made landfall.

1999-Bret
2003-Claudette
2005-Rita
2007-Humberto
2014-?

Two are Category 3 or above, while the other two are Category 1. In Humberto’s case, had it stayed over the Gulf of Mexico longer, it easily would have been a Category 3 or above hurricane. Thankfully that never happened as it made landfall east of Galveston on September 13, 2007 at 2:00 AM. Eerily, exactly one year later on that day and time, a much larger hurricane, Hurricane Ike, made landfall on the eastern part of Galveston Island.

However, none of them had an El Nino developing that year. Most were either Neutral (2003) or going into La Nina (1999, 2005, and 2007). El Nino is forecasted to develop for this year and that reduces storm formation from westerly wind shear. However, during El Nino years, storms form closer to land and increase their chance for landfall. My spring forecast for the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season used years that saw El Nino developing early. Looking at it this 2014 analog GIS heat map, many of them end up in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico.

2014AnalogHurricaneHeatMap

Notice the highest risk for storms to hit are the Central Gulf Coast region, which is Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Southeast Texas is also in a high risk area for landfall during an analog season where El Nino is developing. It proves that even a less active season is just as dangerous as an active season.

2014 Spring Forecast

1997ElNino

Winter 2013-2014 has departed into memory lane. We welcome Spring 2014 as it is on a cold start. I have been reading that we could see El Nino this year. Even NWS Climate Prediction Center has an El Nino Watch. It can develop in late spring to fall. The westerlies have been getting stronger, which has been the case in 1997, which had a strong El Nino in 1997-1998. Based on this, I choose these past springs for Spring 2014 Analogs. It is based mostly on El Nino development.

Analog For Spring 2014
1957
1965
1972
1982
1991
1997
2002

I choose these springs because the year started either neutral or weak La Nina to El Nino by end of year. 1982-1983 and 1997-1998 had strong Eastern Equatorial El Nino, while 1957-1958, 1965-1966, and 1991-1992 had strong Modoki El Nino. Modoki El Nino is where the warmest water is in the Central Pacific, which is Region 3 to 4.

ElNinoRegion

Region 1+2 is off the coast of South America. Region 3 is west of Region 1+2. Region 3.4 is between region 3 and 4. Region 4 goes past the International Date Line. El Nino covers a great area of the Equatorial Pacific. The picture below is an Eastern Equatorial El Nino.

ElNino1950-2012

Eastern Equatorial El Nino
1972-1973
1982-1983
1997-1998

The picture below is a Modoki El Nino. Notice the warmest water is south of Hawaii.

ModokiElNino1950-2012

Modoki El Nino
1957-1958
1965-1966
1991-1992
2002-2003

Four of the seven were Modoki El Nino, while three out of seve were Eastern Equatorial El Nino. I am inclined to think this will more likely be a Eastern Equatorial El Nino. When I look at the anomaly and atmospheric and oceanic patterns, it looks fairly similar to 1997. The subsurface of 1997 and 2014 are similar as they are unusually warm.

Here is a weekly El Nino pattern chart I made. I got it off of Climate Prediction Center It is from March to early April.

Analog2014SpringENSO

1991 had an overall cooling trend in Region 1+2. Region 3 warms and than cools. Region 3.4 warms up. Region 4 warms up.
1997 has an overall warming trend in all regions. There are some fluctuations.
2002 is like 1997 with overall warming trend in all regions.

When I look at 2014, Region 1+2 cools at first, than starts to warm up. Region 3, 3.4, and 4 warm up considerably. It is following a pattern similar to 1997.

Let’s look at the statistics for those analog springs, regardless of PDO in America. Data is from Divisional Weather

2014SpringAnalogUSDivisionalWeather 2014SpringAnalogWeather

America Spring Analog
Temperature
Mean: 50.89°F
Median: 50.66°F
Lowest: 49.38°F (1965)
Highest: 52.61°F (1991)

Precipitation
Mean: 8.53
Median: 8.21
Lowest: 7.34 (1972)
Highest: 10.40 (1957/1991)

Overall Spring Temperature (1895-2013)
Mean: 51.06°F
Median: 50.78°F
Standard Deviation: 1.37

Overall Spring Precipitation (1895-2013)
Mean: 7.93
Median: 7.86
Standard Deviation: 0.98

Overall, analog years in America are wetter. In fact, 1957 and 1991 are the wettest spring on record and they tie! They can also be dry, but within average as it is within the standard deviation of 0.98. In terms of temperature, spring is cooler than average. Here is the top 20 wettest, coolest, and warmest spring in America. It goes back to 1895.

Wettest Spring For America (1895-2013)
1.) 1957*/1991* 10.40
2.) 1983 10.37
3.) 1973 10.36
4.) 1995 9.92
5.) 2011 9.76
6.) 1922 9.65
7.) 1912 9.76
8.) 1905 9.48
9.) 1975 9.35
10.) 1944 9.33
11.) 1929 9.25
12.) 1938 9.23
13.) 1935 9.19
14.) 1979 9.10
15.) 1945 9.04
16.) 1990 9.03
17.) 1908 9.00
18.) 1920 8.87
19.) 1980 8.86
20.) 1984 8.85

Coolest Spring For America (1895-2013)
1.) 1917 47.37°F
2.) 1924 48.45°F
3.) 1975 48.63°F
4.) 1920 48.79°F
5.) 1912 48.94°F
6.) 1950 48.98°F
7.) 1983 49.12°F
8.) 1909 49.15°F
9.) 1923 49.24°F
10.) 1960 49.27°F
11.) 1899/1965* 49.38°F
12.) 1971 49.39°F
13.) 1906 49.47°F
14.) 1970 49.67°F
15.) 1951 49.68°F
16.) 1907 49.71°F
17.) 1932 49.82°F
18.) 1944 49.83°F
19.) 1915 49.90°F
20.) 1984 49.92°F

Warmest Spring For America (1895-2013)
1.) 2012 56.18°F
2.) 1910 54.09°F
3.) 2004 54.00°F
4.) 2000 53.92°F
5.) 1934 53.74°F
6.) 2007 53.51°F
7.) 2006 53.39°F
8.) 1946/1986 53.38°F
9.) 1985 53.31°F
10.) 1987 53.02°F
11.) 1925 52.99°F
12.) 1977 52.97°F
13.) 1992 52.80°F
14.) 1991*/1994 52.61°F
15.) 1921 52.58°F
16.) 2001 52.46°F
17.) 1936 52.37°F
18.) 1981 52.31°F
19.) 1939 52.25°F
20.) 2010 52.23°F

*Analog Spring

Only one of the coolest warmest springs on record occurred in an analog spring. 1965 ties with 1899 as the 11th coolest spring on record. 1991 ties with 1994 as the 14th warmest spring on record. So, it could be possible that America could see either a cool or warm spring in the analog springs. I think it will depend on what region. Some areas might be warmer, while others are cooler.

Let’s go the Lone Star State and see how analog years are like.

Texas Spring Analog
Temperature
Mean: 64.94°F
Median: 64.80°F
Lowest: 62.90°F (1957)
Highest: 67.00°F (1991)

Precipitation
Mean: 8.75
Median: 7.63
Lowest: 5.67 (2002)
Highest: 14.75 (1957)

Overall Spring Temperature (1895-2013)
Mean: 64.75°F
Median: 64.73°F
Standard Deviation: 1.78

Overall Spring Precipitation (1895-2013)
Mean: 7.27
Median: 7.05
Standard Deviation: 2.17

Overall, analog years in Texas are wetter. Some of the wettest springs have occurred in analog springs. Here is a list of wettest, coolest, and warmest springs in Texas.

Wettest Spring For Texas (1895-2013)
1.) 1957 14.75*
2.) 1905 12.59
3.) 1941 12.43
4.) 1900 12.36
5.) 2007 12.16
6.) 1922 11.97
7.) 1914 11.90
8.) 1997 10.85*
9.) 1929 10.79
10.) 1926 10.44
11.) 1908 10.18
12.) 1935 9.96
13.) 1990 9.90
14.) 1979 9.75
15.) 1969 9.66
16.) 1992 9.64
17.) 1919 9.49
18.) 1968 9.46
19.) 1995 9.35
20.) 1981 9.20

Coolest Spring For Texas (1895-2013)
1.) 1931 59.93°F
2.) 1915 60.67°F
3.) 1924 61.07°F
4.) 1926 61.50°F
5.) 1958 61.53°F
6.) 1969 62.03°F
7.) 1983 62.17°F
8.) 1941 62.37°F
9.) 1947/1987 62.50°F
10.) 1914/1970 62.57°F
11.) 1903 62.73°F
12.) 1912/1952 62.80°F
13.) 1913 62.83°F
14.) 1917/1957*/1960 62.90°F
15.) 1923/1973 62.97°F
16.) 1968 63.00°F
17.) 1932 63.13°F
18.) 1993 63.20°F
19.) 1906/1997* 63.23°F
20.) 1919 63.27°F

Warmest Spring For Texas (1895-2013)
1.) 2012 69.67°F
2.) 2006 69.17°F
3.) 2011 68.73°F
4.) 1967 68.17°F
5.) 2000 68.13°F
6.) 1974 68.03°F
7.) 1925 67.90°F
8.) 1963 67.87°F
9.) 1927 67.03°F
10.) 1991 67.00°F
11.) 1972 66.97°F
12.) 1955 66.90°F
13.) 1902/1986 66.83°F
14.) 1908 66.70°F
15.) 1985/2004 66.60°F
16.) 2003 66.53°F
17.) 1989 66.50°F
18.) 1946 66.47°F
19.) 1939 66.30°F
20.) 1896/1904/1938/2002* 66.17°F

*Analog Spring

Two of the twenty wettest springs have occurred in analog spring; 1957 and 1997. Texans in 1957 were pleased that it was a wet spring as they were languishing in a severe drought that plagued the great state for years. They thought rain will never return and got their glorious liquid gold. El Nino causes the jet stream to go further south, which allows storms to track over Texas, which makes it wetter.

1957 and 1997 also happened to be in the top 20 coolest spring on record for Texas. The cool spring is from all the rain falling and clouds covering the Sun. Interestingly, 2002 is in the top 20 warmest spring for Texas. 2002 ties with 1896, 1904, and 1938 as 20th warmest spring on record. This is despite the fact that there was a deep freeze in early March. I suspect that this spring will be cooler than normal for Texas based on the analog.

Upper Texas Coast Spring Analog
Temperature
Mean: 69.32°F
Median: 68.93°F
Lowest: 68.10°F (1997)
Highest: 71.00°F (1991)

Precipitation
Mean: 13.94
Median: 13.04
Lowest: 7.02 (1965)
Highest: 22.18 (1997)

Overall Spring Temperature (1895-2013)
Mean: 68.52°F
Median: 68.40°F
Standard Deviation: 1.68

Overall Spring Precipitation (1895-2013)
Mean: 10.38
Median: 9.91
Standard Deviation: 4.29

Again, there is a wide range of rainfall total in analog springs. However, they are wetter compared to spring overall. Analog springs are interesting as they can be wide ranging as they can be cool and warm. Here are top 20 wettest, coolest, and warmest spring for the Upper Texas Coast.

Wettest Spring For Upper Texas Coast (1895-2013)
1.) 1997 22.18*
2.) 1900 19.54
3.) 1957 19.32*
4.) 1929 19.06
5.) 1914 18.54
6.) 1944 18.33
7.) 1993 18.32
8.) 1905 17.60
9.) 1941 17.46
10.) 1907/1979 17.02
11.) 1991 16.66*
12.) 1992 16.41
13.) 1970 16.16
14.) 2007 15.85
15.) 1923 15.49
16.) 1922 15.45
17.) 1946 15.35
18.) 1995 15.23
19.) 2004 15.17
20.) 1973 15.16

Coolest Spring For Upper Texas Coast (1895-2013)
1.) 1931 63.37°F
2.) 1915 64.87°F
3.) 1926 65.53°F
4.) 1913 65.63°F
5.) 1983 65.67°F
6.) 1914/1969 65.87°F
7.) 1952 65.90°F
8.) 1924/1960 66.07°F
9.) 1941 66.40°F
10.) 1947 66.53°F
11.) 1970/1993 66.57°F
12.) 1912 66.60°F
13.) 1919 66.63°F
14.) 1917 66.67°F
15.) 1932 66.77°F
16.) 1942 66.83°F
17.) 1937 66.90°F
18.) 1928/1962 67.03°F
19.) 1930 67.07°F
20.) 1906 67.10°F

Warmest Spring For Upper Texas Coast (1895-2013)
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.) 1991 71.00°F*
9.) 1925 70.97°F
10.) 1933/1953/1999 70.67°F
11.) 1974 70.57°F
12.) 1955 70.50°F
13.) 1985 70.47°F
14.) 1902/2002* 70.37°F
15.) 1899 70.33°F
16.) 2004 70.27°F
17.) 1927/1935/2008 70.23°F
18.) 1972 70.17°F*
19.) 1897 70.07°F
20.) 1929 70.03°F

*Analog Spring

Three of the twenty wettest springs have occurred in analog springs; 1957, 1991, and 1997. Two are also in the top 10 and 20 wettest springs for Upper Texas Coast. I remember 1991 and 1997 being quite stormy. Heavy rain would fall almost every week in those years.

In terms of temperature, none of the analog years are in the top 20 coolest spring on record. However, some of the analog years are the warmest spring on record. 1991 had 8th warmest, 2002 had 14th warmest spring, a tie with 1902, and 1972 had 19th warmest. This suggest this spring could be warmer than normal for the Upper Texas Coast. However, I think we could have average to slightly cooler spring. The reason is in those analog years, the East Pacific Oscillation (EPO) is negative, which means there is ridging over Alaska. When there is ridging over Alaska, cold air goes down south.

2014SpringAnalog500mbGeopotentialAnomaly

What is my forecast for Spring 2014? My forecast is this could be a wetter than normal spring with possibility of severe storms and flood events happening, especially in the latter half of spring. Usually with a developing El Nino, severe storms are more likely to happen, especially in the southern half of America, including Texas. Here are examples of severe weather events in the analog spring.

1957
April to June had series of heavy rain in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The heavy rain end the severe 1950s drought.
April 1957 Southeastern United States Tornado Outbreak occurs in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia on April 8. The outbreak produces 14 tornadoes and claim 7 lives.
April 1957 Dallas Tornado Outbreak on April 2 to 4. The tornadoes primarily hit the Dallas-Fort Worth Area and North Texas. It also affects Mississippi and Oklahoma. Once it is over, 19 people are killed from 50 recorded tornadoes.
May 1957 Central Plains Tornado Outbreak produced 57 recorded tornadoes in Kansas and Missouri on May 19 to 21. The outbreak claims 59 souls, 52 of them in Missouri.
Late-May 1957 Tornado Outbreak in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, and Arkansas on May 24 to 25. The outbreak claims 4 lives from 37 recorded tornadoes.

1965
1965 Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak ravages Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa on April 11 to 12. At least 47 tornadoes are confirmed and many were violent. The massive tornado outbreak claimed 271 souls, including 138 souls in Indiana. It remains the deadliest tornado outbreak in Indiana history and one of the deadliest in American history.
Early-May 1965 Tornado Outbreak hits Minnesota on May 5 to 8. 72 tornadoes are recorded and claim 17 lives.
Brazos River Valley in Central Texas is hit by flooding on May 16 to 17 from 10 inches of rain.
On May 18, San Antonio area is hit by 6 inches of rain, which leads to flooding. The flooding claims 2 lives in Bexar County.

1972
Thunderstorms develop ahead of a cold front on March 20. Many areas in the northern part of Harris County saw over 7 inches of rain, including 7.47 inches at Bush Intercontinental Airport. All that rainfall fell in three hours!
The Portland, Oregon area is hit by a severe weather outbreak, including a F3 tornado, which hit Oregn and Washington. The F3 tornado is the first recorded in Oregon. Once it is over 6 people perish.
Central Texas is hit by massive rain on May 11 to 12 with areas seeing up to 16.50 inches of rain in four hours. 12 inches of rain fell in one hour!

1982
Heavy rainfalls in North Texas with 13 inches falling in Pilot Point on May 13 in 24 hours. It leads to widespread flooding.

1991
A derecho hits on April 9 from Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Two people lose their life in the event.
Heavy rain falls in South Texas on April 5. Harlingen records over 17 inches of rain, while there are unofficial reports over over 20 inches in six hours.

1997
A Nor’easter hits on March 31 to April 1, which is dubbed the April Fool’s Blizzard as it dumped snow, sleet, and rain. Many areas saw 10 to 20 inches of snow with some isolated areas seeing 32 inches of snow. Boston Logan had the foruth biggest snowfall amount from that event, which remains the largest April snowfall total.
Heavy rain falls on night of April 10 to wee hours of April 11 over Texas Gulf Coastal Bend. Up to 13 inches of rain is recorded over Lavaca and Shiner. The flooding claims 2 lives.
Houston area is hit by series of storms and flooding rains from March to May. The heavy rain of May 21 to 22 claims the life of an elderly man.
North Dakota, Minnesota, and Southern Manitoba is flooded by the Red River from massive snowfall amount and warm weather. It is the worst since 1826.
Central Texas is hit by a severe weather outbreak including tornadoes on May 27. A monsterous F5 tornado hits the town of Jarrell, which claims 27 lives. The town is wiped out from that deadly tornado. The tornado outbreak produces 20 known tornadoes and claims 28 souls.

2002
Unusually strong cold front passes through Texas in early March. Many areas see record lows including 12°F in Austin and 22°F in Houston.
Heavy rain and strong winds from severe thunderstorms on the night of April 7 to early morning of April 8 over Houston area.

When I look at this, I think Spring 2014 could be a rough one, especially in April to early June. Some of the deadliest tornado outbreaks have occurred in analog spring, the 1965 Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak. There is also the 1997 Jarrell Tornado, which destroyed Jarrell. There was even a spring blizzard in the Northeast. Texas is often hit by heavy rain and flooding that usually occurs at night. Interesting that most of those extremely heavy rain happen at night. Does this mean, we could see those events? No, it just means there is a better chance to see severe weather and flooding.