weather

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.

Photo courtesy of the National Weather Service

 

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for the Austin area until 4 p.m.  The advisory warns of 30 mph winds, with wind gusts up to 40 mph. As the cold front moves through south central Texas, winds are expected to gradually die down throughout the evening.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
Image by Nathan Bernier for KUT News

The two-day winter storm has ended in the northeast, but the effort to dig out from the snow is still going strong. Some flights to the region from Austin are still being canceled and the Wall Street Journal reports that it could take days to clear the backlog of travelers.

Several factors stood to delay a full resumption of flights, including the need to plow gates and get airport staff and flight crews back in place.

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Dry lakebed
Image courtesy Whatknot http://www.flickr.com/photos/whatknot/

The latest US Drought Monitor Map, released this morning, shows 85 percent of Texas is "abnormally dry."

Eighty Texas counties currently have burn bans in effect, according to a Texas Parks and Wildlife map. Travis County is not currently under a burn ban but the neighboring counties of Williamson, Lee, Burnet, and Blanco are.

Winter weather pounded several areas in the northeast yesterday, especially Buffalo, NY. Storm warnings are being issued all over the colder parts of the United States, including our doppelganger, Austin, Minnesota.

Here's some video to keep that slightly chilly Central Texas weather in context.

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