Halloween forecast is the best in four years

Halloween Weather 2016

AUSTIN (KXAN) — This year will feature a Halloween that, for the first time in four years, will be dry and pleasant.

Central Texas has a history of deadly flooding on or around the holiday. Multiple moisture sources can combine from the Pacific and the Atlantic, and the passage of a cold front can force heavy rain development in our area. This setup is common in late October and again in late May.

On top of the usual wet pattern during October, the larger global pattern has either been El Niño or neutral for the past three Halloweens. El Niño creates cooler, wetter than average conditions here, especially in the fall and winter.

This year is different: we’re in a La Niña Watch. There is a 70 percent chance that La Niña will develop before winter, which means it’ll make our winter drier and warmer.

October is traditionally our third-wettest month of the year, with just under 4 inches of rain expected. So far this year, we have less than 0.20 inches at Camp Mabry, Austin’s official reporting site.

Halloween Weather 2016

Here’s a synopsis of the past three Halloweens from our Weather Diary:

2015

On Oct. 30, ABIA reported more than a foot of rain, and three people were killed due to flooding. By Halloween, another inch fell, making it Austin-Bergstrom’s wettest October on record.

An early-morning line of storms began in the Hill Country just after midnight on Halloween, triggering Severe Thunderstorm Watches for the Hill Country and a rare Tornado Warning for Gillespie County. 1 to 3 inches of new rain fell in Central Texas, pushing ABIA to its wettest year, ever, and Camp Mabry up to its second wettest. One mile WNW Buda hit 48-hour area rainfall total at 18.46 inches. Major flooding occurred on the Colorado River near Bastrop, creating evacuations of Bastrop County RV Park – and on Plum Creek near Luling.

2014

This was a calmer year with another cold front passing in the morning. Kids were still able to get out and trick-or-treat during the evening, as only a few tenths of an inch of rain fell in Austin. The cold front moved through mid-morning with pre-dawn showers preceding it.

2013

On the morning of Halloween, people had to be plucked off their roofs and rescued from rushing water as Onion Creek reached an all-time high of 42 feet. It was the worst Austin flood since Memorial Day 1981. Six people died: three along Onion Creek, one near Lockhart, one in the Guadalupe River and one in south Austin.

Seven-hundred and fifty-five homes were damaged and there was significant damage to county facilities after Onion Creek crested. Flash floods occurred on other area creeks and rivers, including Blanco, San Marcos, Brushy Creek, Bull Creek and Barton Creek. Nineteen homes were damaged in WIlliamson County, most near Hutto, with $1.1 million in damage. Training of torrential rainfall continued early, with storm totals of 10 to 11-plus inches over a large area from just southwest of Buda to Kyle, west to southwest of Wimberley to Canyon Lake. Rain ended in the morning for a warm Halloween day.

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