weather

Image courtesy National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has called off a flash flood watch for Travis County, originally in effect until noon. 

In its forecast for the region, NWS writes

Photo courtesy National Weather Service

Caution Urged in Storm’s Aftermath

Storms pummeled the Austin area overnight. Mayor Lee Leffingwell has issued a statement “calling on Central Texans to be cautious and patient after storms moved through our city last night:”

View Extreme Weather Road Closures - 3/20/12 in a larger map

Extreme weather hit Austin overnight, creating several road closures and power outages. Here's what you need to know. 

Street Closures: 

Several closures are in effect, as listed by the  City of Austin Homeland Security and Emergency Management. We’ve mapped them above. 

Update (11:35 am): Austin street closures have changed, which we've reflected in the map and the list below.

Photo courtesy flickr.com/dpbear

Significant rain fall in Central Texas forced the overnight opening of flood gates on two dams in the Highland Lakes.

“Flood gates are still open on Wirtz and Starcke Dams," says Lower Colorado River Authority spokesperson Clara Tuma. "And we need to emphasize that there is a lot of swift moving water moving through the lakes down to Lake Travis. So people need to take precautions to protect people and property that might be affected by that water."

Image courtesy National Weather Service

The National Weather Service’s flash flood warning, in place for Travis, Hays and Willimason County, is on course to expire at 8 a.m.:

AT 509 AM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS HAVE DETERMINED THAT RAINFALL ESTIMATES FROM DOPPLER RADAR INDICATE  FLASH FLOODING ACROSS THE I35 CORRIDOR FROM NEW BRAUNFELS TO THE  AUSTIN AND GEORGETOWN AREAS. ADDITIONAL RAINS OF ONE HALF INCH OVER AREAS THAT HAVE ALREADY RECEIVED HEAVY RAINFALL OVERNIGHT WILL CONTINUE TO KEEP FLOODING PROBLEMS ONGOING.

Image courtesy National Weather Service

With flash flood watches and warnings for most of Central Texas, Austin’s Hill Country neighbors are also experiencing weather-related woes.

Hays County:

Several road closures are in effect in Kyle, Wimberley, Driftwood and Dripping Springs.

KYLE-  

BUNTON LN @ BUNTON CREEK

S. PLUM CREEK @ LOW WATER CROSSING

Image courtesy National Weather Service

Prepare for extreme weather beginning this evening and lasting through Tuesday morning's rush hour commute.

Photo courtesy Andrew Magill, flickr.com/amagill

Texas Gets a Low Grade in Corruption Protection

Image courtesy National Weather Service

We know the old adage about Texas weather: If you don't like it, just wait five minutes. 

But yesterday's unseasonably high February temperatures still came as a surprise to many Austinites, and more warmth is on the way today. 

The National Weather Service says the regional warming streak will continue. It predicts "partly sunny and unseasonably warm" weather and says "highs will be in the 80s" today. "Normal high temperatures for this time of year are generally in the 60s," the NWS notes. 

That said, today’s heat won’t last. NWS forecasts a cold front hitting the Hill Country this evening, with lows in the 40s and a cool, mild weekend. Guess there’s something to that old adage after all. 

Photo by Tim Marshall, www.srh.noaa.gov

One hundred tornadoes may sound like a lot. But according to the Insurance Council of Texas (ICOT), that’s actually below average.

ICOT says that Texas’s 2011 tornado count – an even 100 – is less than the state’s yearly average of 135. Still, the 2011 number was high enough to rank Texas as having the fourth most tornadoes in the U.S., trailing Alabama with 146 twisters (accompanied by 242 fatalities), Oklahoma with 118 (32 fatalities), and Tennessee with 102 (14 fatalities). ICOT's statement comes in the midst of Severe Weather Week, as decreed by Gov. Rick Perry. 

The Texas twisters created no fatalities, basically proving the exception to the rule in a year of violent weather. In a press release, ICOT quotes Greg Carbon with the Norman, Oklahoma office of the Storm Prediction Center as saying “More than a dozen states recorded tornado fatalities in 2011, including Massachusetts that had three people killed from a rare tornado.”

Huma Munir/KUT News

So after yesterday’s sleet and snow flurries, what does Austin’s weather hold?

Fear not -- nothing nearly as dramatic (if you can call it that) as yesterday’s cold snap is forecasted. The National Weather Service reports a continued chance of showers before noon, with a slight uptick in temperatures. That warmth will continue to build through Tuesday – Valentine’s Day – with a projected high in the mid-70s.

Image by National Weather Service

You may want to consider avoiding the roads tomorrow morning. The National Weather Service says a "wintry mix" of weather is in the forecast for much of Central and South Central Texas. The NWS says "no significant accumulations of ice or snow are expected" but that "model timing and precipitation amount uncertainties remain."

Photo by Huma Munir for KUT News

Storms that blew into Austin early this morning are still affecting the city. The National Weather Service is reporting a 24-hour rainfall total of 5.74 inches at Austin Bergstrom Airport.

Power Outages

Austin Energy had several outages to contend with this morning, including one at South Congress and Annie St. Five-hundred customers were without power at that location. Council member Mike Martinez said on Twitter that the South Congress and Annie St. area “is hardest hit right now.” The outage was caused by tree limbs falling on power lines. But according to Austin Energy's outage map, power to the area has been restored. 

Photo by Ian Crawford/KUT News

Happy New Year! A warm start to 2012 brought crowds to Auditorium Shores for ring out the old year, it brought some warm news to Ron Paul's presidential aspirations just ahead of Iowa GOP caucuses and 2012 could bring some warmth to people living on Austin's streets.

Austin Welcomes 2012

Kids are playing in the snow in El Paso and other parts of the state, as a storm system pushes eastward into Texas. People are posting video of the snow to YouTube.

Snow in El Paso isn’t expected to stop until midnight, the El Paso Times reports, bringing three to six inches to the area by Saturday morning.

While snow isn’t expected in Austin, it could come as close as western parts of the Hill Country. A mix of light rain, snow and sleet could hit western Gillespie, Val Verde and Edwards counties, the according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Photo by timandkris http://www.flickr.com/photos/timandkris/

Life is getting back to normal in Lubbock after a dust cloud shrouded the city on Monday. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal newspaper described it as an “end-of-the world sight”, and when you check out this video, you can see why.

Image courtesy National Weather Service

The broken heat records, the endless months of dry weather are gone...at least for today.

Flash Flood Watch for Central Texas

Photo by Nasa Goddard Photo and Video http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/5632231268/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Gusty winds, dry air and vegetation, high chance of thunderstorms and warm weather are all contributing factors to the critical fire forecast released today by the Texas Forest Service (TFS). Pretty much everything south of the Texas Panhandle is considered to be at risk. 

A slow-moving depression strengthened into a tropical storm as it slogged toward the Gulf Coast on Friday, packing walloping rains that could drench the region with up to 20 inches.

Tropical Storm Lee, the 12th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, was moving northwest at just 2 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The storm's center is expected to approach the Louisiana coast over the weekend.

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