We’re wrapping up another very hot week across Central Texas, with daily temperatures being well above 100 degrees. Austin-Camp Mabry has now recorded 20 consecutive days with temperatures at or above 100 degrees. This ties with a similar 20-day streak in 2020 for the 3rd longest stretch of consecutive triple digit temperatures on record. (The longest consecutive streak is 27 days set in 2011). Friday is going to be another very hot day, but a slight moderation down in the temperature is forecast this weekend and next week as the stagnant heat dome shifts further to the north, allowing more clouds and moisture to spread inland from the Gulf.

Friday’s analysis showed a broad ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere covering the southern and central U.S., with the ridge being centered over western Kansas. The ridge is causing a general hot and dry pattern across most of the state. However, today’s analysis is also showing a weak, non-tropical area of low pressure centered over the northwestern Gulf of Mexico. This feature is expected to impact our region’s weather this afternoon  through Sunday as it spreads to the west. The low is forecast to push inland along the upper Texas coast this afternoon, track across Central Texas Saturday, then move into northern Mexico Sunday. Circulation around the low is expected to pull an area of clouds and tropical moisture inland beginning this afternoon, continuing through Sunday. The tropical moisture is expected to bring a good chance for rain to the coastal plains region today and Saturday, and a chance for showers and thunderstorms for areas along and east of Interstate 35 Saturday and Sunday. A fairly stable atmosphere over Central Texas and the Hill Country will unfortunately limit the coverage of rain.

For Friday afternoon and evening: Expect mostly sunny and hot conditions across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions. High temperatures are predicted to be near 101-104 degrees. Across the coastal plains region, clouds will increase in the mid to late afternoon. There will be a 50 percent chance for scattered rain showers and thunderstorms, with most of the activity diminishing after sunset. Totals are forecast to average around a half inch, with isolated higher totals. Expect a high temperature in the mid-90s.

For Saturday: Expect a mostly sunny to partly cloudy sky across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions. There will be a 20 percent chance for scattered afternoon rain showers and isolated thunderstorms for areas along and west of Interstate 35. For areas between Bastrop and La Grange, the probability for rain will be near 30 percent. Spotty rain amounts to around a quarter inch will be possible. Expect a high temperature near 97-100 degrees. For the coastal plains region, expect a partly to mostly cloudy sky Saturday. There will be a 60 percent chance for afternoon rain showers and isolated thunderstorms. Rain amounts are forecast to average between 0.5 and 1 inch, with isolated heavier totals. Most of the activity should diminish in the evening. Expect a high temperature in the low 90s.

For Sunday: Expect a partly cloudy to mostly sunny sky across the region, along with a slight chance for scattered afternoon rain showers. The probability for rain will be 20 percent across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions, and 30 percent across the coastal plains. Rain amounts should average around a quarter inch or less.  Expect high temperatures between 98 and 101 degrees.

For Next Week:

Mostly sunny and hot weather is forecast across the region Monday. A few isolated showers will be possible across the coastal plains region, but most other locations should stay dry. Expect a high temperature of 98-102 degrees.

There will be a slight chance (20 percent chance) for scattered afternoon rain showers and thunderstorms across the entire region next Tuesday through Friday as a couple of weak waves of low pressure track south into Texas out of the Plains states. At the same time, a moist flow will continue off the Gulf of Mexico. Spotty rain amounts to around a quarter inch will be possible. But in general, weather conditions are forecast to be mostly sunny and hot, with high temperatures near 98-103 degrees.

Next Weekend into the Following Week:

Mostly sunny and hot weather is expected next weekend, continuing into the first part of the week of August 15th. There are some indications a period of scattered rain showers could develop around the 17th. High temperatures are forecast to remain in the range of 98-103 degrees.

Tropical Weather Outlook

Weather conditions remain quiet across the tropical Atlantic. There are not features in place which pose a threat for tropical development for at least the next 5 days.

Jupiter and Saturn are Back in the Evening Sky

The evening and early nighttime sky have been void of visible planets so far this summer. But this is finally changing, with the reappearance of Jupiter and Saturn.

Jupiter rises due east soon after the end of twilight, shining at a bright magnitude –2.7 at the Pisces-Cetus border. It’s highest in the south (transiting) just before dawn begins. In a telescope Jupiter is now a good 46 arcseconds wide, nearly its maximum. Jupiter comes to opposition September 26th.

Saturn will appear very low in the east-southeast sky in late twilight, moving higher into the southeastern sky in late evening. Saturn is at its highest and best in the southern sky around 1 am. Saturn is not nearly as bright as Jupiter at magnitude +0.4.

Have a good weekend.