Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sam the Weatherman

Well, it's usually "damn the weatherman" or "dammit, Sam" but as a geographer and amateur weather freak it is always of interest to me. For example, later this afternoon or evening we're expecting a major cold front to come through SPI, and while the radar looks innocent right now the gurus say to prepare for the big one.

I guess we'll have to see it if and when some rain happens, since we're technically in a severe drought right now. One to three inches of rain sounds great! The smart money seems to be on development of the tail of the front right over the coastal counties of Willacy and Cameron counties due to lift, moisture, and other dynamics. So we'll see.

I might believe it because yesterday there was an outflow boundary that came through in the morning, a day ahead of the actual front. That means that this storm has something technically known as "boogie."

However, us Islanders know better because sometimes these squall lines come through, nail the mainland, skip right over SPI, and then form a coastal trough offshore. Sea breeze storms do it the opposite in the summer, a huge rage out at sea, side-wind right around SPI, and pummel the mainland with massive thunderstorms.

Last year we were flooded about this time of year but this year the La Nina event pushed most of the rain up north. I heard that many Central Texas were full, with Travis only running a few feet below basin level (678 today out of 681 max, or three feet down from flood stage ... it used to be 20-40 feet down). So obviously we're missing some serious winter and spring rain.

So anyway, let's hope for a nice farmer's rain of about an inch, which I think is possible. It's fun and I blog with the big boys and girls on Jeff Master's Weather Underground site to learn some of their tricks. I also have been helping the folks on the outer islands of the Bahamas called the Abacos ... and so far they haven't complained TOO much. That's a tough area to call because of persistent Bahamian low pressure cells interacting the Gulf and Bermuda high pressure, which can result in screaming easterlies when Miami seems fair with mild winds.

Time to go check my PWAT and k-factor indexes ... see you later!

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