|And Finally, Autumn Arrives
Strong Cold Front to Bring Lasting Effects
While several early season "cool" fronts have teased the Valley with a quick shot of pleasant, fall-like conditions, the atmosphere has quickly recovered each time, returning late summer-like humidity to the area. Early during the week of November 9th, temperatures rose back into the mid and upper 80s, but more notably, dew points, a measure of how humid it feels, rose back into the upper 60s and lower 70s. Typically, the late summer swelter tends to break sometime between late October and early November, so the change is a little tardy in 2008. But change is coming by the weekend of November 15th and 16th. Simply put, local residents looking to dip their toes into still warm (near 80°F) surf while enjoying balmy breezes, Friday, November 14th may be your last chance.
While the cooler air will be a refreshing change from the warm, humid air common for many days early this November, it won't come without some threats. Prime among these will be for boaters and beach goers alike, particularly on Saturday. As the cooler air mass spills over the warmer than normal Gulf waters, winds will crank up to near 30 knots, with some gale force gusts. Seas will rapidly build above 10 feet in the open waters, and could reach 15 feet in a few spots by mid day Saturday. The combination of strong winds and rising seas, a still compromised beach at South Padre Island, and a high astronomical tide cycle just past full moon could result in overwash or minor tidal flooding, particularly from beach access #3 northward, particularly during the late afternoon and evening hours on the 15th. Note: high tide at South Padre Island is around 836 PM CST. Rough and confused surf, and dangerous rip currents, go without saying on Saturday the 15th, with residual swell and current continuing into the 16th.
Needless to say, all marine and coastal interests should plan to stay safe this weekend. Click here for more information, and stay tuned for possible coastal advisories and other statements from this office through the weekend.
Current data suggest that a return to warm, humid air is unlikely as we head into the week before Thanksgiving. A period of tranquil mid November weather appears on tap, with pleasantly balmy days and cool nights, along with comfortable humidity. However, more fronts may be in the offing later next week, as we edge closer to meteorological "winter", which begins in December.