weather

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.

Image courtesy National Weather Service

The sweltering heat in Texas has taken Austin past an important milestone: We have set a new record for the number of days with triple digit temperatures in a single year.

At 2:00 this afternoon, thermometers at Camp Mabry registered 100 degrees, making it the 70th time this year that has happened. It breaks the previous record of 69 days set in 1925.

“This is just one way to measure the absolute severity of the summer,” Lower Colorado River Authority meteorologist Bob Rose told KUT News. “We’ve had a lot of days at 99 as well, and they’ve felt every bit as hot.”

Hot Jobs In The City

Aug 5, 2011

Photo by National Weather Service

With a heat advisory in effect until Friday night, the City of Austin is initiating Phase 1 of its heat emergency plan. Phase 1 involves monitoring “at-risk” people for signs of heat-related illness.

These are people the city defines as at-risk:

Photo by Callie Hernandez for KUT News

Crack open an ice cold drink and give yourself a pat on the back: you just survived the hottest month in Austin history.

The average daily temperature for July 2011 was 89.7 degrees. The previous record for the hottest month was set in July 2009, when the average daily temperature was 89.5 degrees.

Don't expect it to get cooler anytime soon. The National Weather Service forecasts highs of 104 degrees or higher all week long.

Photo by KUT News.

High Temperatures in Forecast, Hopes of Rain

Triple-digit temperatures are welcoming us into August with the 48th day of highs over 100. Austin residents had hopes Tropical Storm Don would bring rain over the weekend, but no such luck. Expect the next few days to be near record levels, around 104-106 degrees.

Perry's Inner Circle

Photo by KUT News

In case you haven't noticed, it is hot, hot, hot outside and Central Texas is in need of some showers. Late July and early August are normally the driest and hottest parts of the summer, so the chance of rain is slim.

KUT News

Fireworks displays have been banned, lakes drying up and crops scorched. It's safe to say the drought in Central Texas is bad. And it's not over yet.

Photo by jdeeringdavis http://www.flickr.com/photos/hayesandjenn/

Water fountains at the University of Texas at Austin will go dry on Monday as UT begins implementing voluntary Stage 2 water conservation measures. UT expects doing this will save more than 300,000 gallons each month on the 40 acres.

Photo by pedroesteban86 http://www.flickr.com/photos/56243206@N06/

Travel may be slowly returning to normal at Dallas' largest airport, but many people are still stranded after hail storms suspended service last night. NBC Dallas-Fort Worth says about 10,000 people got stuck when airport officials took tornado precautions and pulled passengers off planes.

Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News

Update at 8:50 am Friday: Austin Energy says power was completely restored to customers at 3 am. Here's their final release.

The majority of outages were due to either tree limbs on power lines or lightning strikes. In all repairs had to be made at more than 260 locations. Many of those repairs were on lines located at the rear of properties rather than at the street. This prevents the use of bucket trucks and requires materials be carried in through backyards, tree trimmers climb trees to remove limbs in power lines and linemen climb poles to make the necessary repairs. About half of the Austin Energy electric system is located at the back of lots rather than at the street.

Update at 5:26 pm: Austin Energy now says the number of people without power is down to 2,400.

Update at 4:50 pm: Austin Energy says the number of people without power is now below 5,000.

Earlier: Austin Energy says it currently has about 11,500 customers without power at 140 different locations across the city. The worst affected area is this part of southeast Austin, where more than 1,700 people are without electricity.

Photo by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

A large area of rain and thunderstorms moved into Central Texas this morning bringing much needed moisture to our drought stricken region.  Almost two inches of rain fell at Camp Mabry this morning with another one to two inches on the way. A flood advisory was issued until noon.

Photo by Whatknot http://www.flickr.com/photos/whatknot/

Historically dry conditions have brought the the Texas agriculture industry to its knees, according to the Texas Farm Bureau's board of directors. The board met for its quarterly meeting in Waco today and released this statement.

Photo by Mississippi Emergency Management Agency

Five Central Texas residents left Austin for Jackson, Mississippi this morning to help provide food, first aid and mental health services to people whose communities were devastated by storms that spawned tornadoes. At least 32 people in north and central Mississippi were killed, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

A strange and unusual cloud rolled in over Central Texas last night, and people took out their cell phones to capture video of it. One person even set up a Facebook fan page that already has more than 2,000 "likes".

Image by National Weather Service

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a tornado watch for Travis, Bastrop, Williamson, Hays and other Central Texas counties. As of this posting, the tornado watch was due to expire at 10 pm.  You can find the latest information from the NWS here.

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