Accuweather’s Joe Bastardi is pretty much saying Central Texans should get out their ice scrapers for what could be an ice storm of sorts on Easter Sunday. KVUE’s Mark Murray emails that he isn’t so sure:
"I don’t know exactly what to make of this cold air coming in for the weekend…But, models do have a VERY hard time with this time of the year. They work best in the middle of winter and the middle of summer…[Today’s] forecast will be a good one!"
UPDATE Early forecasts say the ice and snow (!) will stay north of the Austin area. It’ll just be cold.
So we can hope. We’d certainly like to avoid the single-digit days of the Northeast, if we can. Indeed, the deep-freeze-by-next-weekend prognostications of meteorologists Bob Rose (who left town for a long-scheduled cruise) and Troy Kimmel seem to be defunct. The National Weather Service isn’t buying it, nor is Accuweather, and Austin’s KXAN weather folks have the daytime highs rising into the 60s by Saturday, about thirty degrees warmer than Rose and Kimmel were predicting last Friday. Fine with us here at the rancho, where the sun is out today but the air is in the chilly 40s. We’re already tried of winter, which usually only lasts a few weeks here in Central Texas, which we’ve grown to believe is our natural right.
UPDATE The weather service has altered its forecast somewhat, saying the arctic air will come next Sunday but is expected to be "modified" before it reaches South Central Texas–their term for Central Texas–and so not as cold as previously advertised. But they’re hedging their bets on how cold.
Accuweather has a new freebie for bloggers, a perky forecaster for your city or region whose act can be plugged into your main index. Check it out at the bottom of the sidebar on the right. The only thing I don’t like about it is the size. It’s a bit too big for my layout. But keeping it down at the bottom is OK.
Chris doesn’t seem to have much chance to become a hurricane, after all, but the hurricane center still has it headed for South Texas by next Wednesday as, at least, a tropical storm.
UT lecturer Troy Kimmel concludes: "With this forecast track and intensity forecast, the effects locally most likely would be minimal with an increase in moisture and instability as the system moves ashore as the counterclockwise flow off in the Gulf increases."
The Chron’s SciGuy, Eric Berger, who is in Houston, still worries: "If the storm remains even very moderately organized, there certainly will be ample fuel for it in the Gulf. All the more reason, then, to hope that wind shear and Cuba rip it apart."
If we got some rain out of it, it would be fine with me. The only problem with wanting rain for Central Texas in July and August is somebody on the coast has to get hit by a tropical storm or hurricane first.
UPDATE Saturday a.m. Chris appears dead, but Accuweather.com’s Joe Bastardi hasn’t given up yet: "Still pressures are near 1010 with what is left of the system and while this means Chris is no problem at all for the Florida Straits, it is still something to watch for south Texas."