Weather conditions look to stay dry and quiet through the middle of next week as a stable ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere sets up across Texas and the south central US. Warm and humid weather will continue.
On this Friday, satellite images show a widespread area of low clouds blanketing most of South and Central Texas. These clouds are the result of considerable moisture in the lower atmosphere trapped under a strong temperature inversion located up around 5,000 feet. Beginning early this afternoon, these clouds should start to thin, with the sky turning partly cloudy by mid-afternoon. However, the sky is expected to turn overcast by about midnight tonight. Warm temperatures are expected this afternoon, with highs generally in the low 80s. Parts of the western and northern Hill Country will see middle 80s. Low temperatures Saturday morning will generally be in the low 60s. A moderate pressure gradient will cause breezy conditions this afternoon and tonight. Expect a south wind at 10-20 mph with occasional gusts to 30 mph this afternoon. Speeds should decrease to around 10-15 overnight.
Very similar weather conditions are expected across the region Saturday and Sunday. Morning clouds will give way to a partly cloudy sky in the afternoon. High temperatures both days should continue in the low 80s, while low temperatures in the low 60s. Wind speeds are expected to be lower Saturday into Sunday due to a weakening pressure gradient. Expect south winds at 5-10 mph Saturday and around 10-15 mph Sunday.
Few changes in the weather are forecast next Monday through Wednesday as Texas remains under that stable ridge of high pressure. Expect a daily pattern of morning clouds and mostly sunny conditions in the afternoon. High temperatures are forecast to be in the low 80s, with low temperatures mostly in the low 60s.
Some changes in the weather pattern are forecast to take place next Thursday and Friday when the ridge of high pressure over Texas shifts to the east, allowing a West Coast trough of low pressure to track east to the southern Plains states. While the trough is forecast to stay north of our region, it will help push a Pacific cold front across the area late Thursday into Friday morning. There will be a slight chance for a few scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms Thursday afternoon in advance of the cold front, with a slightly better chance for rain occurring along the cold front Thursday night into Friday morning. For areas that do see rain, totals should generally be around a quarter of an inch or less. Drier and just slightly cooler air is expected behind the cold front next Friday. High temperatures Thursday will be in the low 80s, falling to the mid and upper 70s on Friday.
Long-range solutions call for dry conditions next weekend, followed by a more unsettled weather pattern the last week of March. A series of storms systems from the West Coast are forecast to track across the state, bringing a couple of periods of rain. Stay tuned for more details over the next few days. Above normal temperatures are forecast to continue for the next couple of weeks.The Start of Astronomical Spring (and the end of winter)
The Vernal Equinox will occur Monday, March 20th at 5:29 am CDT. At the start of spring, the sun crosses the equator, heading north toward the tropic of Cancer. On the day of the equinox, the amount of daylight and darkness is approximately the same all across the Earth. Day and night are both roughly 12 hours in length. For example, the sun will rise in Austin on Monday at 7:34 am and set at 7:42 pm.
A lot of folks seem to think you can get eggs to balance on the equinox. Well, sorry to bust this misconception. Science tells us there is nothing special about gravity on the day of the equinox; you can probably stand eggs on their end on almost any day of the year. Basically, there is no relationship between the equinox and balancing eggs. So don't waste your time with this; they'll behave the same on every other day of the year.
Have a good weekend.