Thursday, August 12, 2010

Major Snow Storm...Six Months ago!

What a difference 6 months makes. Six months ago today all of East Texas awoke to one of the greatest snowfalls in East Texas history. Snowfall amounts ranged from just over an inch in the Lufkin area to a foot of snow in Canton. Other substantial amounts were 8” in Athens, 6” in Tyler, and 7” in Longview. The winter of 2009-2010 was a much colder winter than we usually see in these parts thanks to a fairly stagnant weather patter allowing cold air outbreaks to surge into East Texas throughout the winter months. An accumulating snow even occurred on the first day of spring in East Texas. So after such a cold winter, why has our summer been so hot? Well, we once again are in a stagnant weather pattern keeping a strong ridge of high pressure over East Texas. This area of high pressure has allowed high temperatures to remain near the century mark for nearly 10 days.
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Now this heat has been extreme but it has not been record setting. High temperatures have remained about 5 degrees cooler than record high temperatures and we can expect this trend to continue. So yes it has been a very hot summer, especially late July until now, but it has been much worse. The summers of 1921, 1936, 1939, 1980, and 1998 all and numerous consecutive days with record high heat. When will it end? I know the funny and trendy answer here is to say October but, we usually see a fairly significant Canadian air mass move into the area during September. Temperatures in northern Canada and northern Alaska have been cooling down rapidly and we have even seen some snow in these areas. A strong area of low pressure will send some of this air south next week but by the time it reaches the lower 48, the air mass will modify greatly. So I know it seems as though this heat will never end but trust me, in a few weeks it will just be a memory, like our historic snow earlier this year.