Did you get a Weather Station or Thermometer for Christmas?

December 31, 2007 at 10:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nice affordable weather stations are great gifts, and if you were lucky enough to receive one, you can accurately monitor lots of weather information, and in some cases, even wirelessly from the comfort of your living room.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you install it.

Thermometer:
Thermometers are the hardest thing to install and get accurate readings.
If your thermometer has a radiation shield, you’re in great shape, if not, the thermometer needs to be over grass, and in the shade. Don’t mount the thermometer on anything that’s in direct sun, even if the thermometer side is in the shade-direct contact will allow heat from the sun side to conduct over to the thermometer. Keep it away from your house too!

Wind:
Easy, it just needs an open area, nothing to block or veer the wind.

Rain gauge:
This one is easy too! Just an open area with nothing nearby that can block rain from dropping into the gauge

Barometer:
Perhaps the easiest! Indoor or Outdoor, the reading will be the same.

New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day

December 30, 2007 at 9:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

As we prepare to begin 2008, we will be talking about the weather in 2007 for years to come. One of the warmest and one of the wettest years on record; an incredible severe weather season; the wettest start to a summer; memorable and massive tornadoes in very populated areas; the end of an historic drought.

With no more rain in this year’s forecast, 2007 is now the 5th wettest year on record for the metroplex. Here is the official list:

1) 53.54″ (1991)

2) 51.03″ (1932)

3) 50.62″ (1973)

4) 50.49″ (1957)

5) 50.05″ (2007)

As far as temperatures, the average for 2007 thru December 29th is 67.8 degrees. That makes this the 12th warmest year on record. 2006 was the warmest year ever for North Texas as well as other parts of the world. The average low temperature this year was an incredible 58.3 degrees which ties 2006 for the 2nd warmest year on record. Only 1998 had a warmer average low temperature over the course of the year.

Sunday was a beautiful day with highs in the mid 60s. But a big cold front will bring us back to reality on Monday with very cold temperatures and blustery winds by New Year’s Eve. Below are two links. The first is the history of New Year’s Eve weather in North Texas. The second is the history for New Year’s Day.

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/fwd/CLIMO/dfw/holiday/ddec31.html
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/fwd/CLIMO/dfw/holiday/djan01.html

Hoping for a GREAT 2008,
Steve Mac

Good to be home in Texas again

December 30, 2007 at 1:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

After a weeklong Christmas trip to Springfield, MO to visit family, it is so good to be back home.

Loved the trip, and its good to spend relaxed time with family, but that is a cold place to spend a week in December. Highs were in the 30s most of the time, and a cold drizzle and mist seemingly fell every day.

Its hard for me to dig around and find winter clothing, and keeping track of a coat everytime I went outside is a hassle. Not to mention all the salt and sand on the roads and sidewalks.

Its good to be home with great restaurants and warmer weather. I’m afraid warm Texas winters are in my blood!

What is Freezing Fog?

December 29, 2007 at 1:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Often times in North Texas, we get fog.

Fog usually forms at night or early in the morning, with wet ground or very high low level humidity, clear skies and light winds.

Usually on foggy mornings, that fog will condense moisture on our lawns, sidewalks and highways. When temperatures drop below freezing, that moisture condensing will freeze.

Since visability is lower in the fog, and its usually at night or in the predawn hours, often drivers can’t see that the road is wet, or in the case of freezing fog, is icy!

The best advice on foggy winter mornings that are below freezing, is to assume there are icy spots on your drive and drive accordingly.

Cold Winter Weather in North Texas

December 28, 2007 at 11:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In a typical La Niña year, like we are experiencing this winter, we don’t really expect a lot of bitterly cold weather. Sure, we will still have occasional freezing weather, and there is still a chance for some ice or snow before the winter ends. But we don’t expect this to be a really bad winter.

But what about winters past? What are some of the records for the coldest weather we have ever experienced?

What winters had the most freezes? Here is a link to the greatest number of freezes in our area:
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/fwd/CLIMO/dfw/annual/dannmo32s.html

It has dropped below zero only four times in our history, and only once in the past 60 years. Here is a link to a list of the coldest days we have ever experienced around here: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/fwd/CLIMO/dfw/annual/dgr8mxmn.html

The longest period that we stayed below freezing was 295 hours, or over 12 consecutive days, back in December 1983. Here’s a link to the longest-lasting cold spells we have seen:
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/fwd/CLIMO/dfw/annual/d32info.html

Christmas Forecast & History

December 23, 2007 at 9:57 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

People keep asking me if it’s gonna snow on Christmas. I’m talking about some very smart, talented people who are successful, reasonable and rational. My colleagues; my friends; people who live in my building; people who know the answer before they ask the question.

We all know the chances of snow on Christmas in Texas are slim-to-none. I guess we all become kids at this time of the year and start wishing or hoping for snow even knowing the odds are stacked against us.

This year, it looks like it’s gonna be sunny and warm with highs in the 50s for sure and maybe even into the 60s. So……….no snow!

But sometimes the stars align and magic happens at just the right time. Below are two links to the ghost of Christmas past. A look back at the extreme weather in North Texas for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day.

And don’t forget – Monday we continue the tradition started decades ago: Tracking Santa. Only now, he’s in High Definition and 3-D. We’ll follow his journey during our 4pm, 5pm, 6pm and 10pm newscasts as he hops from continent to continent and into North Texas.

Have a great and happy holiday and here’s to 2008.

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/fwd/CLIMO/dfw/holiday/ddec24.html
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/fwd/CLIMO/dfw/holiday/ddec25.html

Steve Mac

A SNOWY CHRISTMAS?

December 21, 2007 at 12:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chances are, it’s unlikely. It will be cold and windy by tomorrow, and during the Christmas week, we’ll have several reinforcing shots of cold air. It’ll finally feel like winter…and it’ll feel like Christmas…but as of today, snow isn’t in the forecast for Christmas 2007.

How many snowy Christmases have we seen? Not many.
According to records kept by the National Weather Service, it has only snowed on three Christmases’ since 1926. The weather service has kept records for 100+ years.

From their website, here is a list of Significant Christmas Day weather events:

2000 – Record rainfall of nearly 2″ fell during the evening with temperatures from 32°F to 34°F with some minor freezing rain. However, severe freezing rain occurred north and northeast of the Metroplex.
1997 – A few flurries were mixed with rain during the evening. The next morning a blanket of up to ½” of snow covered portions of the Metroplex.
1975 – 0.4″ of snow fell on the first almost white Christmas in nearly 50 years.
1974 – A trace of sleet was reported.
1963 – No snow remained from a 2″ snowfall on December 22.
1926 – 2″ of snow fell in Fort Worth but melted by afternoon. Dallas received 6.3″ of snow.
1914 – There was a trace of snow recorded with a few brief flurries.
1879 – 1″ of sleet and snow was on the ground. It was said that the snow and sleet was so compacted that a horse’s hoof did not leave an imprint in the snow.
1841 – Three soldiers from a nearby fort were tracking a bear in 6″ of snow near what is now White Rock Lake

Great weather for Travel, and perfect flying weather for Rudolph

December 18, 2007 at 11:49 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We will have fairly quiet weather through Christmas Day, with a couple of fronts and a couple of chances of rain. But no wintry weather and no major air travel or auto travel problems expected.

A weak front will arrive Wednesday night or Thursday morning, that will give us a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm, but not much temperature drop. Highs will be in the lower 70s Wednesday, but cool to the upper 60s on Thursday.

A quick warmup again to the 70s on Friday, but the stronger cold front blows in Saturday morning, and that will give us another chance of light rain, but much colder temperatures. Highs Saturday and Sunday will be in the upper 40s and lower 50s.

By Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we’ll see mostly sunny skies and highs in the upper 50s and lower 60s. Perfect flying weather for Rudolph. He may even be able to Go Green, and save power since he won’t even need his nose on full power!

Good Bye Freezing temps

December 17, 2007 at 11:37 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We’re off and running on another mild weather streak!

Temperatures all week will be delightful.

Normal temps range from mid 30s for lows to mid 50s for highs, but this week, we’ll see highs in the 60s, and parts of North Texas will be near 70 on Wednesday-and that’s close to a record high!

We will have a couple of weak systems sail by, but we’ll only see slight rain chances and no super cold outbreaks of Arctic air.

Sunday Morning Chill!

December 16, 2007 at 10:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sunday, December 16th was the first time this season that DFW Airport, Dallas and areas south & east dropped below freezing. Many parts of North Texas have been below freezing this fall, but this was the first time the entire viewing area was sub-freezing; In fact, every reporting location around the area was below 30 degrees, making this the coldest night of the season.

At one point early Sunday morning, strong winds created wind-chills in the teens, but as the coldest temperatures moved in, the winds diminished significantly.

Officially, DFW Airport bottomed-out at 28 degrees which hasn’t happened since February 18th. This was the 7th latest ‘first’ freeze in the metroplex. The latest first freeze ever was January 4th, 1972. The normal low is 37. Temperatures tonight will once again be below freezing before we thaw out this week with very warm temperatures and mainly dry weather.

Here’s a list of the low temperatures from Sunday morning:
Fort Worth: 26.
Dallas: 27.
Denton: 23.
McKinney: 24.
Cleburne: 27.
Waxahachie: 27.
Decatur: 25.
Greenville: 27.
Terrell: 25.
Granbury: 27.
Mineral Wells: 20.
Stephenville: 25.
Hillsboro: 28.
Corsicana: 25.
Gainesville: 21.
Sherman: 23.

Have a great week,
Steve MacLaughlin

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