Last week’s persistent wet weather pattern diminished over the weekend as the area of low pressure responsible for the rain shifted west into Mexico. Although the weather trended drier across Central Texas and the coast, a weak cold front sagging south out of North Texas caused the development of  rain and thunderstorms  across the northern Hill Country Sunday and again this morning. These rains are forecast to diminish by this evening as the cold front begins lifting back to the north. Mostly sunny and warm weather looks to follow the Tuesday through Friday as weak high pressure spreads over Texas out of the southwestern U.S. Although temperatures will be warmer in the coming days, no extremely hot readings are forecast over the next couple of weeks.

Early this afternoon, Doppler radar showed a large area of rain and thunderstorms in an east-west band stretching from Ozona, to Menard, to San Saba and Temple. Individual storms within the band have been moving to the east while the band itself has been slowly sinking to the south. The rain and storms have been developing along and south of a weak cold front that has stalled across north central Texas. Some of the rain has been quite heavy, with many cells training over the same area. LCRA Hydromet gauges as of 2 pm showed numerous totals between 2 and 4 inches since midnight across the rain area. High resolution forecasts call for the rain area to sink a little further south into the Hill Country and Central Texas regions, including the Austin area, this afternoon. The probability for rain will be near 40-50 percent for locations along and north of U.S Highway 290. To the south of 290, the probability for rain will be near 20-30 percent. Rain amounts this afternoon are forecast to generally average between 0.25 and 0.5 inches, with isolated totals of 2-4 inches possible. Cloudy cover and the rain are expected to keep temperatures down a bit this afternoon. High temperatures will include the mid and upper 80s across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and the lower 90s across the coastal plains.

The probability for rain is expected to decrease this evening as the cold front weakens and begins lifting back to the north. A partly cloudy sky is forecast overnight.

A weather pattern more typical of July is forecast Tuesday through Friday as the atmosphere becomes drier and a bit more stable. Forecasts call for large ridges of high pressure to be situated across the western U.S. and just off the East Coast. A moist flow will continue off the Gulf of Mexico. Areas along and east of Interstate 35 may see a few spotty rain showers and isolated thunderstorms each afternoon and evening, but the chance for rain will only be 20 percent. Daily rain amounts should only average around a tenth of an inch, or less. Expect a mostly sunny to partly cloudy sky each day. Temperatures will trend a little warmer, with highs in the low and middle 90s.

The outlook for the upcoming weekend calls for few changes, with just a slight chance for a few spotty rain showers continuing for areas along and east of I-35. High temperatures will continue in the low and mid-90s.

Looking into next week’s weather, forecasts call for the center of the western high pressure ridge to pull north up to the northern Rockies while a trough of low pressure develops south across the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. This setup is forecast to push another unusual July cold front south into North Texas next Monday, with the front settling south into Central Texas by the middle of next week. Based on this pattern, expect an increasing chance for rain showers and scattered thunderstorms across the region beginning next Tuesday, with additional scattered rains expected Wednesday through Friday. High temperatures next week are forecast to generally be in the low 90s.

Tropical Weather Outlook

Weather conditions are quiet across the tropical Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. There are no systems in place which pose a threat for tropical development over the next 5 days.

Venus and Mars Conjunction July 12 and 13

Venus and Mars orbit the sun on either side of Earth. Right now, Venus outshines Mars by about 200 times. Over the next few nights, look west after sunset, watch for Mars and Venus. They will be in conjunction. The exact time of the conjunction is 2 am Tuesday morning, July 13, 2021. At that time, Venus will pass 1/2 degree north of Mars on our sky’s dome, or about one moon-diameter.

Do you have binoculars? Any ordinary binoculars will show Venus and Mars in the same field of view at their closest. Depending on where you live worldwide, Venus and Mars will be closest together in the evening sky on July 12 or July 13.

Also, take note of the thin crescent moon just above the two planets.

Have a good week.