Looking ahead to the holiday weekend

June 27, 2005 at 11:19 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

That stubborn summertime upper high continues to dominate our weather. Because of that, we don’t see any major shifts or changes in our weather for the next 10 days or so, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

The extended dry spell will also continue to slowly dry our landscape day by day. As a result, DFW’s first 100 degree reading could very well occur this week. The good news with this heat, is that overnight lows are still dropping into the 70s in most spots. For our friends that have more difficulty coping with extended hot weather, those lows in the 70s help quite a bit.

Looking ahead to the upcoming holiday weekend, it sure looks like the lakes may be the spot to try to cool off, we’ll see highs in the upper 90s and mostly sunny skies.

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Deadly, Record-Breaking Heat A Quarter Century Ago

June 27, 2005 at 3:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

25 years ago this week was arguably the worst stretch of weather that North Texas has ever seen since records have been kept.

From June 23rd to July 3rd, 11 consecutive days, triple digit heat broke all previous daily records. Each day during this stretch was at least 104 degrees and June 26th and 27th hit 113, the hottest DFW temperature ever recorded.

That stretch was only part of an amazing summer. From June 1st to September 30th, 12 additional daily records were broken.

This year, there are no complaints that DFW hasn’t officially hit 100 degrees, although this week we get very close and the triple digits would not be surprising.

Planetary Conjunction

June 24, 2005 at 10:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If the sky remains clear west of the Metroplex this weekend, be sure to take time to look at an unusual sight in the sky – the conjunction of three planets. If there are no clouds intervening, Venus will be easy to spot. It’s the brightest object in the NW sky, about 30 minutes after sunset. Above and to the left of Venus will be the giant ringed planet Saturn. But because of it’s much greater distence from earth, it won’t be as bright. And to the lower right of Venus will be dim Mercury. It will be much easier to spot with binoculars.

The three planets will be close enough together, that if you outstretch your arm, your thumb will cover all three planets at once. We won’t see another conjunction this tight until 2030. So go outside around 9pm, and look towards the northwest, just above the horizon.

For more information, check out the following link:
http://skyandtelescope.com/observing/article_1534_1.asp

Orange moon?

June 24, 2005 at 10:42 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If you looked east after sunset last night, you probably saw the full moon rising above the horizon… with a definite orange tint to it. The moon is always more orange-hued when it is near the horizon. That’s because the thicker atmosphere near the horizon filters out the blue wavelengths of light, leaving only the orange and red hues to show through. As it rises higher in the sky, it becomes more yellowish, and then almost white. The following link gives a detailed explanation of why the atmosphere causes this effect:
http://home.hiwaay.net/~krcool/Astro/moon/moonorange/

But the past few nights, the effect has been more noticeable than usual. That’s because of the increased haze and air pollution in the atmosphere we have seen this week. That makes the air optically thicker, so the moon looks more orange than when the air is clear of pollutants.

Living in an Urban Heat Island

June 22, 2005 at 2:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The last few days, our weather has really been quite pleasant, considering that it is now officially summer. The humidity has dropped into the 3o% range each afternoon. And that makes temperatures in the low 90’s a lot easier to deal with. With low humidity, perspiration on the human body evaporates quickly. And since evaporation is a cooling process, that cools the skin, which makes the heat much easier to take than when we have high humidity.

And those same low humidities mean that the air cools off more readily after the sun goes down. But not everyone gets the same amount of cooling. Early Tuesday morning, for instance, the official low at DFW was 71. And it was also 71 at Love Field. But in the surrounding countryside, it was much cooler. The temperature dropped to 61 in Mineral Wells and McKinney. And believe it or not, Bridgeport reported a low of 55! That would have been cool enough for a record low if it had occurred at DFW.

So why is there such a discrepancy in morning temperatures? It all comes down to the greater population and greater development of buildings and pavement that we have here in the Metroplex. This is what we call the Urban Heat Island effect. Every night, temperatures are typically warmer in the Metroplex than in the surrounding rural countryside. But that effect is especially noticeable when we have low humidity, as we do this week. If you want to learn more about what causes Urban Heat Islands, check out the following web site:
http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/wxwise/heatisl.html

Welcome to summer

June 21, 2005 at 10:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Summer rolled in this Tuesday morning, just after 1am. I wasn’t awake to see it, but I’m sure it was uneventful. Air stagnation is rearing its unhealthy head, mainly in the form of ozone. Ozone is formed by sunlight reacting with fluorocarbons, mainly exhaust from engines. It reaches its peak each day in the late afternoon and early evening, so those are the times to stay indoors if you’re prone to respiratory problems.

It looks like the fairly low humidity levels we’ve seen this week will continue until the end of the week. By Saturday, humidity will increase to the point where a few afternoon and early evening pop-up storms will be possible mainly east of I-35.

Slow warm up this week

June 20, 2005 at 10:48 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Good morning, it certainly feels like summer, as Steve said, we’re starting to see things turning a little on the dry side, both for the month and for the year, we’re nearly five inches below normal.

That big upper high that we always talk about in summer above Texas will continue its grip on our weather. We’ll see temperatures slowly reaching toward the century mark by Wednesday.

Some things may still change over the weekend. Some tropical moisture will start to move toward north Texas. It doesn’t look like enough moisture to generate widespread rain and thunderstorm activity, but we may start to see some of those afternoon and early evening pop-up heat and humidity thunderstorms by Saturday and Sunday. At any rate, the moisture will be enough to spread some clouds across Texas. Those clouds will help knock temps back to normals, near 94 or 95 for highs.

Have a great Monday.

Temperature & Rainfall Update

June 19, 2005 at 10:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Father’s Day. With one full day of spring left, we started looking two weather items: the heat and the rain. So far this year, we have had 23 days above 90 degrees. Of those, five hit 99 and two of those broke daily records back in May of this year. So far, DFW hasn’t hit 100 degrees although some local thermometers have made it to triple digits. Last year, through June 19th, we had 18 days above 90 degrees and the hottest was only 93. That was followed by a summer in which we only hit 100 degrees once; that was on July 16th. As for the rain, so far this month we have seen exactly 50% of normal; 1.14″. For the year, we’re at 73% of normal with 13.17″ of rain at DFW. Although we didn’t know it last year at this time, we were beginning the wettest June, July and August ever, reversing a drought and keeping the temperature down and the humidity up. Have a great week.

Summer Begins In Three Days

June 18, 2005 at 9:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Summer begins on Tuesday, and although we hit 99 the last three days at DFW (100 at other locations), we still haven’t officially made it into the triple digits. Saturday was only 90 degrees; the reason why: higher humidity levels and clouds keeping the temps lower. Over the next five days, we will once again heat up and approach 100.

Summer time in North Texas

June 18, 2005 at 11:39 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

High pressure in the upper atmosphere will continue to expand over the next few days, and it really looks like we will see our first 100 degree day of the year sometime between now and Thursday. Factor in the humidity with the heat index and it will feel like 105 each afternoon.

Another factor we deal with is stagnant air, and the buildup of air pollution. Expect to see regular air pollution watches in effect.

There is some indication of change by next weekend. Some of the numerical models we use to help forecast weather are starting to show some tropical development in the Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico. There are a lot of “ifs” associated with this scenario though, but IF something develops, and IF it moves our way, and IF its strong enough to push some moisture up to North Texas, we can look forward to more clouds, some showers and cooler temperatures.

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