Quiet weather is in place across Central and South Texas as we close out the workweek. Widespread morning clouds will give way to a partly cloudy sky this afternoon. It’s shaping up to be a breezy day as the pressure gradient has strengthened between an area of low pressure over Kansas, and an area of high pressure over the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Expect southerly winds at 10-20 mph, with occasional gusts to 30 mph Friday afternoon through Friday night. This afternoon’s temperature is predicted to warm to the mid and upper 80s. Widespread clouds look to develop around midnight Friday night. Lows Saturday morning will be in the range of 68-72 degrees.
Some slight chances for rain will enter the forecast late Saturday when a weak cold front sags to the south and stalls out across the Hill Country and Central Texas. Saturday’s weather will feature widespread morning clouds and a partly cloudy sky in the afternoon. High temperatures will again be in the mid and upper 80s. There will be a 20 percent chance for scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over the northern and eastern Hill Country late Saturday afternoon as the cold front drifts south to a position from just south of San Angelo, to near San Saba.
Saturday evening, the slight chance for rain and thunderstorms will expand to include the Austin and Central Texas region as the cold front sinks south to a position just north of U. S. Highway 290. Severe storms are not expected. For locations that do happen to see rain, most totals should average around a quarter inch or less. Lows Sunday morning will range from the mid-60s west, to the low 70s near the coast. The cold front is predicted to return back to the north after midnight Saturday night.
Sunday’s weather will feature morning clouds and a partly cloudy afternoon. No rain is expected through the late afternoon. It will be breezy, with southeasterly winds gusting to 25 mph. Sunday’s temperature is predicted to warm to the upper 80s.
Forecasters will be monitoring weather developments to our west and northwest late Sunday afternoon into Sunday night. A trough of low pressure tracking east out of the southern Rockies is expected to cause strong to severe thunderstorms to develop along the dry line across West Texas late Sunday afternoon. These storms are forecast to track to the east, potentially moving across parts of the Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor late Sunday evening and Sunday night. Do note that some of the storms could still be severe when they move over parts of the Hill Country. The probability for rain and storms will be near 30-40 percent. Rain amounts are forecast to average between 0.25 and 0.5 inches. The rain and storms are forecast to diminish after midnight. For locations east of Interstate 35, no rain is forecast Sunday night.
For next week, the weather pattern is forecast to remain somewhat unsettled for the northern half of Texas as a series of low pressure troughs move from the southern Rockies to the southern and central Plains states, causing a daily slight chance to a chance for rain and thunderstorms. Most of the rain activity is forecast to stay north of the middle Texas coast.
For Monday, expect a mostly cloudy sky across the region. Scattered thunderstorms are forecast to develop along the West Texas dry line Monday afternoon, with the potential for some scattered thunderstorms to spread east to the Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor late Monday afternoon into Monday evening. The probability for rain will be near 30 percent. For locations that do happen to see rain, most totals should average between a quarter and a half inch. Monday’s temperature is predicted to warm to the mid and upper 80s.
For Tuesday, the sky will be partly cloudy. There will be a 20 percent chance for scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms across the Hill Country. Expect a high temperature in the upper 80s.
Wednesday into Thursday is expected to be the most favorable period for rain and thunderstorms next week as the next trough of low pressure pushes east out of the southern Rockies. Scattered thunderstorms are forecast to ignite along the West Texas dry line Wednesday afternoon, with some of the storms spreading east across the Hill Country and toward the Interstate 35 corridor Wednesday evening and Wednesday night. This will be followed by another chance for scattered rain and thunderstorms for the Hill Country and Central Texas regions Thursday afternoon and Thursday evening as the southern Plains trough tracks to the east. Rain amounts from late Wednesday through late Thursday are forecast to average between a quarter and a half inch. Unfortunately, the storm activity is expected to stay north of the middle Texas coast.
Just a slight chance for rain is forecast next Friday and next weekend. High temperatures are predicted to remain around 88-90 degrees.
The Venus-Jupiter Conjunction
Set your alarm to get up early Saturday morning and look low in the southeastern sky about 60 to 45 minutes before your sunrise time. There will be Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest objects after the Sun and Moon, spectacularly close at ½° apart. They’ll be lined up more or less horizontally. And, look off to their upper right for much-fainter Mars and Saturn. Mars is 16° from the bright pair. Saturn is about the same distance farther beyond Mars.
For the evening sky watchers, the planet Mercury will be peeking through the fading twilight low in the west-northwest sky over the next few evenings, But it will be getting fainter every day! On April 29th and 30th, when it’s passing the Pleiades, Mercury will be at magnitude +0.4 or +0.5. But as quickly as May 4th it will be down to +1.2, only about half as bright.
Have a good weekend!