El Nino is being merciless, away down there off the coast of Peru, so it looks like Mr. B. and his Tiger Cub buds will not be making a Longhorns practice for the fourth Thursday in a row. Because the field at DK-Royal-Memorial Stadium will be soggy again and they’ll move the practice inside where there is no seating for cubs and parents. Oh, well, it was a cool invite. And there’s always next week, maybe, after Oklahoma State, which might be another Tech, or worse.
From the Austin-San Antonio National Weather Service Forecast Center in New Braunfels.
Wednesday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 61. East northeast wind between 5 and 10 mph.
Thursday: A 50 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 71. Northeast wind between 5 and 10 mph.
Rainwise, El Nino is being merciful. Spacing it out like this–midweek now for four weeks–means we haven’t had a flash flood yet. Of course, we haven’t had a lot of rain, either, and the lakes/reservoirs are still way down.
Rain is coming down hard at times at the Rancho with already four inches in some spots across the city, and a flash flood warning and a tornado watch until 2 p.m. It’s ponding on the walks in the back yard. Mark Murray, KVUE meteorologist, says in today’s paper that this is "a typical El Nino autumn weather pattern" and the radar shows plenty of yellow and some red, the colors of storm intensity. After more than a year of drought we can sure use the rain. But I am reminded of the rain in the Shenandoah Valley last week, which was steady instead of coming in bursts like our climate gets. I heard the valley’s apple crop was losing out this year to Japan, free trade the old timers could not have imagined.
Austin meteorologist Bob Rose says the federal Climate Prediction Center made the call Monday and the weather service will issue a news release on it tomorrow. Big rains a’comin’, probably.
"…the Climate Prediction Center stated that atmospheric conditions and oceanic temperatures in the Pacific have reached a critical threshold to declare El Nino conditions. Water temperatures in the tropical Pacific have been warming over the past couple of months. This warming combined with increased westerly trades and a negative Southern Oscillation Index all indicate the onset on El Nino.
"…El Ninos often bring Texas and the southern US increased rainfall during the fall and winter months. They also tend to bring our region cooler temperatures during the winter. El Nino will likely play a large role in our region’s weather over the next several months."
Like they say, in Texas it’s either droughtin’ or floodin’. We’ve had the former for almost a year (some say more) and the latter looks to be on the way. Some of the fall-winter storms we’ve had in El Nino years have been hellacious.
Eastern Pacific Hurricane Ioke, packing winds of 160 mph, is expected to cross the International Dateline on Sunday, becoming a typhoon, and so match Hurricane/Typhoon Ele, which also was spawned southwest of Hawaii, and crossed the dateline in August 2002–which turned out to be an El Nino onset year.
"It might be one more clue that we’re headed toward El Nino this fall," said Austin meteorologist Bob Rose. "It is interesting that the current drought resembles similar dry patterns in 1996 and 2000 which ended as La Nina faded and El Nino began. In 2000, the rains began to return in late September and October. In 1996, the rain began to return in October as well."
Of course the astrometeorologists (read astrologers) have been predicting the return at least since May.
El Nino generally means rain for Texas, and gentle, soaking rains would be welcome, after this stressful drought, but post-drought flash flooding is more common in the Texas feast or famine weather cycle.