Flooding in Texas will finally subside this weekend as rainy weather makes its way out of Texas and into the East. Two bouts of precipitation will effect the East this weekend: one containing mostly rain and showers and the other holding the possibility for more snow. Speaking of snow, NOAA released a Winter Outlook yesterday, explaining why they think this winter will be warmer, but wetter, in many parts of the country.
This is this week’s Friday edition of your Morning Briefing. Let’s get started.
Flooding in Texas Continues Today, but Ends this Weekend:
- Texas has been flooded all week, with total rainfall in the last 5 days of 15 inches in some areas. This has caused many roads to flood and rivers to overflow. Ground is saturated in many areas, making it more susceptible to flooding.
- South Central TX will continue to see showers today into tomorrow, with rainfall totals near 1-2 inches. Locally higher amounts of up to 5 inches are possible, however, even small amounts of rainfall can exacerbate flooding due to the heavy rain that fell earlier this week.
- Southern TX will continue to see rain until early next week. Most of the state, will get a break in the form of clearer skies and drier weather after Saturday. This will give the area time to recover from the record breaking flooding they experienced this week.
In the last 5 days, parts of Texas have seen upwards of 15 inches of rain. This excessive rain has put most of the state under flood and flash flood warnings and watches of the better part of a week. Any additional rainfall today or tomorrow, however minuscule, would only exacerbate the hazardous conditions already in effect. Most ground is saturated and most rivers have already reached their flood stage. Weak lifting will allow light to moderate showers, producing 1-2 inches of rain, to continue today and into tonight for South Central TX. Local amounts of up to 5 inches are possible if precip rates are enhanced, or if moderate showers stall over an area. Again, due to heavy rains earlier this week, flooding of rivers and smaller county roads will persist due to these relatively light rains. Some parts of Southern TX will continue to see rain until Tuesday, however, the majority of the state will experience nicer weather after Saturday. A cold front moving over the area will change flow to be more northeasterly, causing much drier conditions.
Showers and More Snow for the Northeast This Weekend:
- A cold front will move through the Northeast tonight and early tomorrow morning. High temperatures for tomorrow across the region will drop 5-10 degrees after its passage. High temperatures for today are expected to be seasonable in the 50s, and even 60s in the Ohio River Valley. Temperatures for tomorrow are expected to drop to the 40s in many areas. In addition, rain and showers can be expected ahead and along its passage, with rainfall amounts of up to a half an inch.
- A secondary, stronger cold front will move across the area Saturday night. This will be more intense, dropping lows on Saturday night almost 15 degrees from what they’ll be tonight. Lows tonight will be warmer than the last couple nights, in the 30s and 40s. However, following the secondary cold front, lows for Saturday night will drop into the 20s in some areas.
- Precipitation accompanied with the second cold front will still mostly be rain. However, higher elevations could turn precip to mixed or snow. Snow along the Appalachians is expected as far as into WV. Accumulations are expected to be minor, however this opens up many winter sports facilities, especially up in ME and VT, early this season.
Similar to what we saw last weekend, the northeastern US will experience a first cold front tonight, accompanied by a secondary surface front tomorrow. These two blasts of cold air will set the stage for some rainy, and even snowy, conditions. High pressure over the Appalachians will drive dry, sunny skies for most of the region during the day today, until a strong low from Canada makes its way into the Great Lakes region. As this low pressure descends, the primary cold front attached to it will begin to swing across the East. Early tonight, it will pass the Lower Great Lakes region and Ohio River Valley. Early tomorrow morning, it will complete its journey as it reaches the coast. This first shot of cold air will lower high temperatures for tomorrow by 5-10 degrees. Ahead and along this first cold front, rain and showers will make the same path from west to east earlier in the day Saturday. A brief respite from precip will occur midday Saturday, but will be quickly followed by a secondary cold front, this one stronger than the last. Focused more at the surface, this cold front will lower temperatures for Saturday night into Sunday by almost 15 degrees from what they’ll be tonight. In addition, a second round of precip can also be expected. Although mostly rain, areas of higher elevation will most likely see snow and mixed precip with this second round of cool air. New York just saw its first snowfall of the season this week near Vestal, and more is expected to come. Accumulations will be near nothing, but any wintry precip causes new hazards in the form of slippery roads and walkways. Grounds and roads aren’t expected to be cold enough yet to facilitate any ice, however, it is important to keep in mind as we move into the colder months.
Winter 2018-2019 Outlook Indicates a Likely Mild Winter:
- Wetter-than-average conditions are expected for the southern tier of the US, reaching up into the Mid-Atlantic in the east, while drier-than-average conditions are expected for parts of the Northern Rockies, as well as the Great Lakes region.
- Warmer-than-normal conditions are expected for almost the entire US, including AK and HI. Equal chances of below or above average temperatures are expected for the Southeast, Tennessee and Ohio River Valleys, and the Mid-Atlantic. Nowhere in the US is there a greater chance for colder-than-average temperatures.
- Drought conditions are likely to continue across the Southwest, Central Great Basin, Central Rockies, and Northern Plains. Drought conditions are likely to improve in AZ, NM, coastal parts of the Pacific Northwest, and the Central Plains.
- Even in areas where above-average conditions are most likely, below-average conditions are possible, and vice versa. This means that, even in an area that is expected to have warmer-than-normal temperatures, colder-than-average temperatures can still occur.
Yesterday, October 18, 2018, NOAA released its Winter Outlook for December-February 2018-2019. A weak El Nino is expected to develop later this season, contributing to slightly wetter conditions expected for the South, and drier conditions in the North. Wetter-than-average conditions are expected for the southern tier of the US, reaching up into the Mid-Atlantic in the east. Drier-than-average conditions are expected for parts of the Northern Rockies, as well as the Great Lakes region. Other oscillations, such as the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO), can also strongly affect precip in the US, but are harder to predict on a seasonal time-scale. As far as winter temperatures, no where in the US has a greater change for below average temperatures. Warmer-than-normal conditions are expected for almost the entire US, including AK and HI. Equal chances of below or above average temperatures are expected for the Southeast, Tennessee and Ohio River Valleys, and the Mid-Atlantic. The Arctic Oscillation could also affect winter temperatures by determining the number of cold arctic air masses that make their way into the US. However, this oscillation is also harder to predict on a seasonal time-scale.
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Also remember to lookout for The Sunday Storm this upcoming Sunday evening as well as Five Things to Watch This Week next Monday.