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Fire Weather Threat Continues in California; Wintry Conditions in Northern Rockies, Great Lakes & Northeast

Gusty winds and low humidity will again result in elevated to critical fire weather conditions across portions of California through the weekend. Meanwhile, a cold front will bring rain and high elevation snowfall to the northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest. Areas of snow and seasonably chilly temperatures will also persist near the Great Lakes and parts of the Northeast. Read More >

Rain returns to the region Saturday and Sunday. The rain will spread into the region from the south Saturday afternoon and evening, and exit the region to the east on Sunday morning. Highest rain chances are Saturday night along and east of Interstate 35/35W. Rainfall totals are generally expected to be less than a half of an inch, but some heavier amounts are possible across our eastern and southernmost counties.
Today will be mostly sunny and seasonably cool with highs in the middle and upper 50s. The wind will be northwest 5 to 10 mph.
While plentiful cloud cover will exist on Saturday, the lower- levels of the atmosphere will remain quite dry north of I-20. The combination of the dry air and strong southerly winds will result in an elevated fire weather threat during the afternoon. Exercise great care if any outdoor activities could result in fire ignition!
Maybe you've heard a rumor about wintry weather before Christmas? It's true, some of the forecast data does suggest a weather pattern favorable for winter weather. However it's such a long way out, weather forecasters have to deal with uncertainty. One of the best ways to show uncertainty is with probabilities. Hear's a chart that shows the highest probability of a certain type of weather December 21st through December 25th. See why snow and ice may be possible, but the most likely forecast is cold and dry.
Forecast models are showing cold air arriving next week around December 22nd and 23rd (on average). What we do not know for sure yet is exactly when the cold air arrives, how cold temperatures will be, and if there will be any precipitation and what kind. We will be providing updates when/as we acquire better confidence in the late week forecast.
With very little rainfall the past several weeks, widespread moderate to severe drought has overspread much of the region. Burn bans are in effect for many counties across the region due to the resultant increased fire danger.
Another cold front will move into the region this evening and overnight. This front will result in a north wind shift, but gusty winds are not expected until Thursday. Low temperatures tonight and Thursday morning will be in the 30s for most locations.

 
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COOPERATIVE CORNER

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NWS Fort Worth COOP Newsletter:    National COOP Newsletter:
 

     
   

 National COOP Website

THE COOP PROGRAM


The Cooperative Observer Program (COOP) consists of volunteer weather observers who take and record weather observations every day.  The data from these COOP sites help to fill in data voids where automated weather stations at airports don't exist. Across the United States and its territories, over 12,000 COOP volunteers take daily weather readings every day. The mission of the COOP Program is two-fold:

  • To provide observational meteorological data, usually consisting of daily maximum and minimum temperatures, snowfall, and 24-hour precipitation totals, required to define the climate of the United States and to help measure long-term climate changes.

  • To provide observational meteorological data in near real-time to support forecast, warning and other public service programs of the NWS.

Data from these COOP sites are processed and published in various forms by the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina. In fact, the data sent in by local COOP observers is one of the most requested products from the NCDC archives!  The data is used by thousands of people and organizations including government agencies, lawyer and insurance groups, medical fields, construction crews, engineers, farmers and agriculture, transportation, real estate, and many more!  A few ways that the National Weather Service uses the COOP data is:

  • Daily weather forecasting
  • Maintain historical records and normals
  • Study weather patterns
  • Drought monitoring
  • Extreme weather events (severe and winter weather, heat waves, cold snaps, etc)
  • Verify severe and winter weather events
  • Climate study and climate change

The National Weather Service office in Fort Worth has over 140+ COOP sites; the second most for any NWS office in the Southern Region. These sites are located at private residences, businesses, and lakes across north Texas. All of the sites in north Texas record precipitation and over half of them also report temperature.

 

HISTORY OF THE COOP PROGRAM


The history of taking weather observations dates all the way back to the colonial days. The earliest known records are those of John Campanius Holm who took weather observations in the mid-1600s.  After him, weather records by famous people such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin have also been found and archived. Thomas Jefferson recorded an unbroken weather record from 1776 until 1816, and George Washington took observations until just days before he died.

However, it was Thomas Jefferson who first envisioned a network of weather observers. He managed to recruit volunteer weather observers in six states including Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New York and North Carolina.  In 1849, the Smithsonian Institute set up a system for receiving weather data from telegraph companies, via the telegraph, and used the data to produce weather charts. At the time, there were 150 volunteers sending in their weather observations.

The Weather Bureau (now the National Weather Service) was created under the Organic Act in 1890 and the COOP program was soon transferred into their responsibility. By then, the number of weather observers had grown to around 2,000 stations. However, it wasn't until 1953 that the push was made to expand the network across the country. Dr. Helmut Landsberg conducted a study with Iowa State University and came to the conclusion that an observation site was needed every 25 miles. This is the system that the National Weather Service uses today. By 1990, the number of observers had grown to 10,000 stations, and today there are over 12,000 COOP stations.

 

RESOURCES, GUIDES, AND INFORMATION

arrow Requesting Supplies

arrow COOP Climate Data

  • Daily COOP Report - A table of daily observations reported by our COOP Observers. This table is generated and sent every day
  • NCDC COOP Page - Link to COOP records at the National Climatic Data Center
  • Regional COOP Records, Normals, and Extremes - Select your location on the map below for monthly normals of temperature, precipitation and degree days. You will also see the monthly and annual rainfall for each site for many years. Selecting either DFW or Waco will provide extensive climatological data.

arrow WxCoder

  • WxCoder Tips - Tips for using the system and filling out your form each month

arrow IV-ROCS

  • 1-877-266-7627

arrow Forms

  • How to correctly fill in your form (including tips):     B-91     B-92

arrow Fischer-Porter

arrow Snow

arrow Severe Weather Reporting

 CONTACT US!

3401 Northern Cross Blvd

Fort Worth, TX 76137

(817) 429-2631

sr-fwd.webmaster@noaa.gov
 


 

Normals and Data

Select a location on the map below or from the menu beneath it. You will find monthly and annual normals as well as archived precipitation totals. Selecting either DFW or Waco will provide extensive climatological data.

DFW Waco Dallas Love Alvarado Alvord Ambrose Antelope Aquilla Arlington Athens Bardwell Benrbook Bonham Bonita Bowie Brandon Brazos Breckenridge Bremond Bridgeport Burleson Cameron Carbon Center City Centerville Chalk Mountain Cleburne Cleburne 7SE Commerce Cooper Copperas Cove Corsicana Cranfills Gap Crawford Cresson Davilla Decatur Denton Dublin Edom Emory Evant Farmersville Ferris Flat Forestburg Fort Worth NWS    Fort Worth
                        Nature Center Franklin Frisco Gainesville Gatesville Goldthwaite Gordon Graham Granbury Grapevine Greenville Hamilton Hico Hillsboro Honey Grove Huckabay Hurst Springs Itasca Jacksboro Joe Pool Lake Justin Kaufman Kaufman 13ENE Kopperl Lake Bridgeport Lake Tawakoni Lampasas Lavon Lewisville Lipan Marlin McGregor McKinney Meridian Mexia Midlothian Monkstown Morgan Morgan Mill Muenster Navarro Mills Nix Store Oakwood Olney Palestine Palo Pinto Paris Pidcoke Proctor Rainbow Remuda Richardson Roanoke Rockdale Rockwall Rosebud Rosser Sherman Stephenville Stillhouse Hollow Strawn Sulphur Springs Terrell Thorndale Thornton Trenton Troy Waco Dam Waxahachie Weatherford West Whitney Wills Point Wolfe City Youngsport