Austin / Travis County and South Central Texas Weather Update #4
Prepared by Incident Meteorologist Troy Kimmel (www.troykimmelweather.com)
640pm CT – Thursday / 6 February 2014
…. Low Probability Winter Weather Event Again Possible Tonight into Friday Morning ….
…. WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for all of our local area from 6am to 12 noon Friday ….
…. Little Changes in my Forecast Thought ….
A massive arctic high pressure area continues across our area.
Later tonight into tomorrow, another upper air low pressure disturbance will move overhead over
the top of the surface based arctic air mass with enough atmospheric lift to give us renewed low
precipitation chances. At this point, we could see freezing drizzle, freezing rain, sleet and snow
as far as precipitation types are concerned which could start as early as 3am tomorrow and
continue on and off into the midday and even early afternoon. Temperatures have already
fallen to below freezing (after reaching highs today of 31/32 F).. this will continue into
midday tomorrow so any precipitation that does occur could easily create icy conditions.
Remember, with what we’ve seen over the past two months, we all know what a sprinkle or even
several hundredths of an inch of rain, in the Austin metro area and the IH35 corridor, can produce
in a freezing/subfreezing surface environment. As a result, we must continue to monitor model
precipitation trends over the next 6 to 9 hours and then, like early this morning, monitor the
disturbance in real time as it passes overhead.
As far as current (Thursday evening) precipitation forecast probabilities, I’m raising my precipitation
chances slightly to 30% for late tonight into midday tomorrow. You can compare this to NWS Austin
forecasts also showing a 30% chance of precipitation.. local broadcast meteorologists have made
changes in their raising their probabilities to average between 20% to 50% for the same period.
Private sector weather forecast companies’ probabilities are generally slim (around 20%) for late
tonight into tomorrow with the exception of AccuWeather which still shows a 50% probability locally
for Friday morning.
All of the major atmospheric computer models (through the 6am/12noon data) suggest.. through
their output statistics.. relatively slim probabilities (around or less than 20%) late tonight into
Friday. Guidance amounts in that output are only a few hundredths of an inch with no model
showing more than .05″ to .10″ of liquid precipitation.
Bottom line.. my forecast thought.. for the event tonight into early Friday, is that this is still a low
probability event with, if it materializes, a high potential impact for the Austin metro area and
the IH35 corridor.
A reminder.. winter weather episodes are difficult to predict at 30 degrees north latitude.. the
latitude of the Austin metro area and the IH35 corridor. Precipitation types.. i.e., sleet, snow,
freezing rain.. are even more difficult to predict. You should be prepared in case the forecast or
the on going weather conditions change expectantly at the last minute. I will do the best I can to
keep you informed during this potential weather event.