Jim Spencer’s Winter Outlook

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Central Texas’ first round of cold weather lasted nine days, and with an El Niño still likely to develop and a new winter outlook predicting a colder, wetter season than normal, we dug through KXAN’s Weather Diary to give you perspective on how this winter could look.

The KXAN Weather Diary is a unique tool. Updated daily since January 1, 1997, you can find more than just high and low temperatures. It includes a written narrative of every day’s weather conditions across the KXAN viewing area, giving you a historical perspective you can’t find anywhere else. Access the diary online, where you will immediately see what happened on this date over the past 10 years. Then, using the search feature, enter any date or range of dates to see a fascinating history.

An old, reliable forecasting tool is to look at past weather in similar ocean/atmosphere settings. In selecting a past Central Texas winter to highlight in our report on the winter outlook, we chose the winter of 2006-2007. While not a perfect analog to the coming season, it was a winter with a weak El Niño in place, and a good example of what an El Niño winter can look like.

Visible below are just portions of the diary entries from significant weather events that winter. Click on the individual dates to see the complete entries.

On Dec. 1, 2006, Austin saw its first freeze of the season, which was then followed by three days of record lows.

Later that month, on December 29, another extreme hit many parts of the state with record rainfall and tornadoes. More than a dozen tornadoes touched down. President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush took cover during a tornado warning in Crawford.

January 2007 was the wildest month of central Texas weater that winter with more record rainfall, snow, ice, and tornadoes.

February saw the coldest temperature in more than a year.

As El Nino wound down in 2007, Mother Nature did not let up.

In March, more record rainfall and flash floods hit central Texas.

The next month, central Texas saw a rare event: an ice storm on Easter weekend.

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