09/05/2017: First Fall Cold Front

09/05/2017: First Fall Cold Front

It has been a while (quite a while) since I have written in this blog, but I am going to try to get back into the swing of things. The main weather story here in the Lone Star State right now (other than the recovery from Hurricane Harvey) is the first fall cold front that is now passing through the state. As I write this, DFW Airport is sitting at a lovely 75/52 (i.e. temperature/dewpoint for the uninitiated) with north-northeasterly winds at 13 MPH. Taking a quick stroll to the mailbox, I noted that for the first time in quite some time, it is actually mildly cool outside (especially given the low 50s dewpoints and breeze)! This is quite a contrast from 24 hours ago when it was 82/64 at 11:30 PM CDT. As nice as it is here, our friends to the north are really getting a taste of fall. As of this writing, Lincoln, NE is 48 degrees! The cold front responsible for this cool down is draped across East Texas and into the Hill Country, and is demarcated nicely by the breezy northerly winds to the north of it, and light southerly winds to the south.

06/0300Z Surface Analysis from WPC

Looking at the high-resolution models, it looks like this will probably be about as far south as this front makes it through Texas. If the 3 km NAM is to be believed, Texans north of the front should be waking up Wednesday morning with temperatures in the upper 50s to lower 60s. This will be quite noticeable as DFW has not had a sub-70 low since June 9 (88 days ago), with the last sub-60 low occurring on May 24 (104 days ago). Highs on Wednesday look to be in the low to mid 80s across most areas north of the front. These temperatures look to persist for the next several days. The NOAA National Digital Forecast Database maps show highs remaining in the 80s through the next seven days, with lows remaining in the 60s. From the looks of it, this front may represent our first “step” down into fall. I don’t want to say we won’t have any more hot days (DFW has experienced 100 F days as late as October), but I think they’re numbered from this point forward. Pretty soon, it’ll be all about opening windows, turning off the A/C, and hopefully a little hiking and camping. 🙂

While this blog tends to focus on Texas weather (with an admitted bias towards North Texas since well, that’s where I live), I would be remiss if I did not mention Hurricane Irma. Irma is an extraordinarily powerful Category 5 hurricane that is approaching some of the Lesser Antilles this evening. The satellite images of the hurricane have been stunning, especially from the perspective of the GOES-16 30-second mesoscale sector. The official forecast track for Irma takes the hurricane and its worst affects near and north of the Greater Antilles, through the Turks and Caicos Islands, and towards South Florida in about five days. Hurricanes of Irma’s intensity tend to undergo many fluctuations in intensity, but given the very favorable conditions ahead of Irma, it will likely remain a very powerful, at least Category Three, hurricane through the next five days.

GOES-16 Infrared image of Hurricane Irma (source: College of DuPage)
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