How significant is holiday shopping to Galveston County? How about $969 million?
How significant is holiday shopping to Galveston County? How about $969 million?
The owner of pit bulls that killed a neighbor’s aged beagle late last month has taken her case to Facebook, prompting a firm rebuttal from an attorney representing the slain dog’s owners.
There’s a different feel around the city these days, one to which coach John Snelson and his team are more than happy adjusting.
The first four years of the Friends of Galveston Island State Park Fun Run, I was the only photographer.
Water temperature in the 50s is a game changer. Even our hard core surfers don’t last long with the 3 millimeter wet suits most Texans wear, and the only swimmers we encounter seem to be Russian or Canadian.
Galveston’s planning commissioners should be congratulated for their work updating the city’s zoning standards in the draft “Land Development Regulation” (LDR) being considered for adoption by city council on Dec. 2.
Seventeen years ago Janice Hallisey had the idea to throw League City a Christmas party. The event would be a “social event” that would include entertainment, holiday shopping in the city’s historic district and park and, of course, a parade.
What do you get when you combine dozens of volunteers and more than 1.5 million Christmas lights?
NEW YORK (AP) — A sharp drop in crude prices tugged down shares in oil and gas companies on Friday, leading the Standard & Poor's 500 index to a slight loss in a short trading session.
CHICAGO (AP) — Grain futures were mostly lower Friday on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Cool, dry air and a developing high pressure ridge to our west, should ensure fairly good weather for this week and the Thanksgiving Holidays. Although the week will start out on the chilly side, we should see seasonably mild to cool weather for most of the period, including Thanksgiving Day, when high temperatures should be in the mid to upper-60’s, with the mercury climbing into the low-70’s by the weekend.
An upper-level short wave trough is expected to develop over California and swing eastward into Texas on Friday and Saturday, bringing the threat of severe storms to much of Southeast Texas, including Galveston County. Strong winds and even a few tornadoes cannot be ruled out as moist air from the Gulf of Mexico provides fuel for the upper-level system.
The Houston-Galveston National Weather Service has issued Gale Warnings for near shore and offshore waters for this evening and Monday as a blustery cold front barrels towards Southeast Texas.
Given the media coverage, it is certainly no secret that this coming week will see both the chilliest weather in southeast Texas so far this season and a major outbreak of very cold air over the eastern 2/3 of the country. What may not be so clear is that the cool-down this week will usher in a colder than normal period that will persist until late November.
It has been more than three weeks since Galveston County has received any substantial rains (0.42” at League City and 0.59” at Galveston on October 13). As nice as the dry, cool weather has been, we are in a situation where precipitation is definitely needed.
October, 2014 will go into the record books as milder and drier than normal in Galveston County. The lowest temperature so far this month on Galveston Island is 60 degrees. Barring a rapid chill down Friday night, this will be the mildest October minimum since 1988.
Hobgoblins and other strange creatures should find near ideal conditions for trick or treating on Halloween, with clear skies and seasonably cool to mild temperatures. This is a continuation of a weather pattern that has provided nearly perfect outdoor weather for outdoor activities for most of this month.
A developing system in the Bay of Campeche, a persistent easterly breeze and high pressure ridging in from our northeast, may all contribute to tides running 1-1 ½ feet above normal levels over the next few days. The system (93-L) is associated with a 1007 MB low that is generally expected to track to the east or northeast this week with a 60% chance for developing into a tropical cyclone.
I don’t wish to tempt fate, especially given the quiet hurricane season we’ve had in the Gulf of Mexico and with the strongest hurricane of the 2014 season bearing down on Bermuda, but Friday does bring a key date in the hurricane season for the Galveston County area. Going back 150 years, no hurricane or tropical storm has made landfall on the upper-Texas coast later than October 17.
Humid air flowing in off the Gulf of Mexico, a weak cool front in north Texas and an upper-level disturbance will keep unseasonably warm conditions and a chance of rain in our picture through the weekend.
A squall line moving south and moist, unsettled air moving in from the Gulf of Mexico has prompted a Special Weather statement from the Houston-Galveston NWS as well as a special Marine Warning that includes the northern half of Galveston Bay.
Rains over the past few days have guaranteed that Galveston Island and most of the County will have the wettest September since 2008. As of Monday morning, 6.11” of rain had been measured this month at Scholes Field. A very wet 9.18” of precipitation had been totaled for the month at the National Weather Service Office in League City/Dickinson.
Galveston County will move out of its best multi-day (3 or more consecutive days with measurable precipitation) since August, 2012. Rainfall amounts over the County varied from 3.88” at Scholes Field in Galveston to 5.19” at the National Weather Service Office in League City and 5.42” in both Friendswood and Texas City.
A combination of moist, unstable air from the Gulf of Mexico and additional moisture coming in from the remnants of former Hurricane Odile to our west, should keep showers and thunderstorms around through the end of the week. Locally heavy rain will be possible in some areas, depending on where the showers and thunderstorms develop and rainfall amounts of 1-3 inches will be possible over all of Galveston County.
A cold front slipped off the Texas coast overnight bringing a fresh, autumn breeze to the area. While the front may not pack as much punch as some can in mid-September, it will still bring lower humidity levels and milder temperatures to Galveston County. Lows on Sunday morning are expected to dip into the lower-70’s and I would not be surprised to see them drop to the 60’s over the northwest part of the County.
From a climatological point of view, September is a month that finds many of us in Galveston County waiting. We wait for the first “real” cold front of the season, looking for a break from prolonged summer heat. We find ourselves waiting to move beyond the peak of hurricane season (which statistically comes around September 10). We tell ourselves that if we can only make it a few more weeks, we will be out of the woods for another season. And, we find ourselves looking for some respite from the onslaught of mosquitoes, thinking more fondly of the coming winter.
Not unexpectedly, the National Hurricane Center has upgraded the disturbance in the Bay of Campeche to Tropical Storm Dolly overnight and a Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for Mexico from Tuxpan north to Barra El Mezquital (just south of Brownsville).
The League City/Clear Lake area received heavy rains yesterday, while a downpour measuring nearly 3 inches caused street flooding and the heaviest rain on the Island since October 31, 2013.
Many people that I know have had enough steamy, August weather for a while and would like a break. This time of year, however, relief usually comes from a spell of increased cloudiness and scattered thundershowers, since late August cold fronts are exceedingly rare.
A heat advisory has been issued again today for the counties along the upper-Texas coast. While the mercury is generally are not expected to rise above the mid-90’s nor topple any daily high temperature records, a combination of intense August heat and high humidity levels will inhibit vigorous outdoor activities
Sunday, I was on the extreme East End of Galveston. A thunderstorm rumbled off to the southwest, but only a few drops of rain fell at that location. Later as I traveled towards the central part of the city, the streets were flooded in some areas to curb level and a CoCoRaHS observer (a volunteer precipitation observation network) in that area reported 0.96” of rain. Meanwhile, just a couple of miles further west, the official reporting station at Scholes Field monitored but a trace of rain from the same event.
The period between Aug. 1 and Sept. 22 is usually the most active part of the hurricane season. How we fare during this crucial period often determines what kind of season we will have locally.
This afternoon a cold front is pushing slowly through Central Texas and should move off the coast by sometime Friday. Although a cold front this time of year is somewhat unusual, do not get too excited. Any cooling from this frontal passage will be quite modest, with morning temperatures dipping only into the upper 70s near the coast and mid- to low 70s inland.
With Tropical Depression #2 weakening back into a tropical wave, systems in the Tropical Atlantic Basin continue to have a difficult time developing — not that I am complaining.
The elements are coming together for fairly decent rains over large parts of North and East Texas. Whether this will benefit Galveston County remains the big question.
Hurricane Arthur may be typical of what we see this season with tropical systems. Given cooler than normal water in the Tropical Atlantic, dry air over the central Tropical Atlantic, high wind shear levels and a very slowly developing El Niño, many forecasters are saying that the greatest threat from tropical cyclones this year will be from what is colloquially called “home grown storms.”
A slowly developing low pressure area (AL 91) located 125 miles east of Melbourne, Fla., is being given an 80 percent of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm during the coming 24 to 48 hours. Although the low is currently drifting in a southwest to westerly direction, it should turn northeast during the next couple of days and head towards the coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina.
The current rainy spell has brought much needed precipitation to Galveston County (which largely missed out on the heavier rains north and west of Houston). Thunderstorms on Wednesday and Thursday delivered 1.13” of rain to Galveston and 0.91” to League City. This still leaves both locations well below normal for June (and the year), with Galveston running 3.46” below normal for the month and League City 3,98” receiving less than would be expected by June 26.
This is the time of year when rain is less likely to be the result of mid-latitude events (cold fronts, low pressure troughs and so on) and more likely to appear as the result of tropical weather systems.
Now that grumbling about heat and humidity has become the norm again, I thought that I would revisit what may be the strangest weather event ever for Galveston. This involves a sharp mid-June cold front on this date 111 years ago (June 14, 1903) that shattered the all-time cold weather records for the month.
A weak cold front sagging southward over Texas and an upper-level trough and low moving into the southern Plains may bring some rain to the county over the next day or two. A storm complex and squall has reformed over North Texas this morning and could track south to the coast by later today or this evening.
The rains over the past week were definitely what the doctor ordered. The 3.32 inches of rain that fell in Galveston over the past five days of the month ended a dry spell that lasted much of April and May.
An upper-level low to the northwest and a moist, unstable atmosphere is contributing to shower and thunderstorm activity over southeast Texas this morning. This has resulted in a special marine warning for Galveston Bay and adjacent waters and a flash flood watch for the area.
Most people have heard that the experts are predicting an average to below-average season in terms of named tropical systems. This consensus was reflected the other day by NOAA’s official forecast calling for a comparatively slow season in the Tropical Atlantic Basin, as a developing El Niño pattern suppresses activity in the Atlantic while enhancing it in the eastern Pacific.
A very dry spring and an intermediate-term outlook that offer little hope for much precipitation is raising severe drought risk for Galveston County as we move towards summer.
A number of people this spring mentioned how ready they were for summer after our long, chilly (by Galveston standards) winter. However, I also found some of these same people grumbling a couple days ago when warm, muggy weather hinted at our long, impending warm season.
The latest system to roll through Texas failed again to bring any meaningful precipitation to Galveston County. With the long, hot days of summer looming, our chances for slipping into severe drought conditions are certainly on the high side.
April 2014 went into the record books as the third driest April ever for Galveston with only 0.10 inches of rain recorded. That brought total precipitation since January 1 to 4.97 inches of rain, 8.14 inches less than would be expected for the first four months of the year. League City fared a little better with 1.46 inches in April, but that was still less than half of normal for the month. League City has measured 6.35 inches of rain since Jan. 1, which is 7.58 inches less than would be expected.
The dry spell that has left Galveston with a 7.44-inch precipitation deficit since Jan. 1, and on the verge of the driest April since the drought of 2010, shows little sign of abating over the coming few weeks.
It may seem premature to talk about tropical weather with a long, chilly winter barely behind us and Hurricane Season a month and a half away. Still, the topic has been in the air among forecasters and emergency management specialists, with the National Tropical Weather Conference concluding in South Padre Island and the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando, Fla.
A strong late season cold front will roar into Galveston County today, bringing strong, gusty winds, a winter-like chill and a threat of showers and thunderstorms.
Rainfall has been elusive so far this month over Southeast Texas. Galveston has recorded but 0.04 of an inch through the first 10 days of the month — 10 percent of normal. League City has fared a little better with 0.46 of an inch for the month. But even that is less than half of what would be expected through April 10.
With summer rapidly approaching, April tends to be a pivotal month in southeast Texas.
March brought the fifth consecutive month with below normal temperatures and below normal precipitation to the area.
Severe weather is breaking out along a squall line in north-central Texas this afternoon. The good news is an upper-level cap (a layer of warm air aloft) may keep the severe weather north of Galveston County. This is particularly true along the coast, where cool, foggy conditions may keep temperatures below the threshold needed to “break the cap”. Still, I will be watching the radar closely this evening.
An upper-level system expected to track east from Southern California to Texas, combined with a surface trough that may develop along the coast and/or a dry line advancing eastward across the region may complicate efforts to clean up an oil spill in Galveston Bay.
Spring was definitely in the air yesterday, with sunny skies and mild temperatures in the afternoon after a cool start to the day. The long-term forecasts seem to indicate that we have finally turned the corner for good on winter. Still, there may be a few bumps in the road, before we can finally say goodbye to chilly weather.
It will come as no surprise that the first half of March in Galveston County has been much cooler than normal, with average temperatures running near 6 degrees below normal at both Galveston and League City. At this rate, March, 2014 has a chance to go into the record books as one of the 10 coldest of record, locally. Based on the temperatures so far, and long-term forecasts, it seems unlikely, however, that this month end up anywhere near the top five coldest of record.
A touch of spring was definitely in the air yesterday with sunshine and mild temperatures. Accompanying the generally pleasant conditions were increasingly brisk breezes this afternoon. The breezes are as much a sign of spring as the sunshine and milder temperatures.
Spring breakers will encounter unusually chilly water if they try wading or swimming. The cold water is a direct effect of a prolonged period of below normal temperatures that appeared in November and stubbornly persisted into March. Ironically, while southeast Texas shivered during January, it was turned out to be the fourth warmest January of record for the globe. I guess we just got the “luck of the draw.”
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