Warm and humid conditions have returned to the region as Wednesday’s cold front returned back to the north Thursday night. Friday’s analysis showed considerable moisture spreading north from the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in the development of widespread clouds over Central, South and East Texas. While a few breaks in the clouds will be possible, this afternoon’s sky is expected to remain mostly cloudy. No rain is forecast. Southerly breezes are predicted to be in the range of 10-15 mph, with occasional gusts to 25 mph. Today’s temperature should reach the low and mid-80s.

Cloudy and warm conditions are forecast Friday night. Lows Saturday morning will range from the mid-60s across the Hill Country, to the low 70s near the coast.

aturday’s weather will feature widespread clouds through the morning hours, followed a partly cloudy to mostly sunny sky in the afternoon. Do note there will be a slight chance for the development of some scattered thunderstorms across the Hill Country and Interstate 35 corridor (including the Austin metro area) mid to late Saturday afternoon. During that time, the dry line is forecast to push east from the Edwards Plateau and a cold front is forecast to sag south out of Northwest Texas. Forecasts call for a fairly strong cap to be in place over the area Saturday afternoon, but if convergence along either of the two boundaries is strong enough to break the cap, scattered strong to severe thunderstorms could develop. The probability for thunderstorm development is 20 percent.  Should any thunderstorms develop, they are predicted to become severe, capable of producing large hail and damaging winds. The Storm Prediction Center has placed most of the Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor under a Marginal Risk (a 1 out of 5 risk) for severe thunderstorms Saturday afternoon through Saturday night. Again, this will be a low-probability. Most forecast solutions are indicating a dry pattern for Saturday. High temperatures Saturday are forecast to be in the low 90s. Lows Sunday morning will be in the mid-60s.

Easter Sunday is showing a slightly better chance for scattered rain and thunderstorm development across the eastern Hill Country and Central Texas regions as Saturday’s cold front slowly sinks south across the area. The probability for rain will be at 30 percent. The threat for severe thunderstorms appears low as the necessary ingredients needed in the middle and upper atmosphere seem to be lacking. For locations that do happen to see scattered thunderstorms, rain amounts are forecast to average around a quarter inch. Sunday will certainly not be a washout. In fact, most areas will see a sunny to partly cloudy sky. Despite the front, the temperature will still be warm, with highs near 90 degrees.

A second cold front is forecast to sweep south through the area Sunday night, bringing in a push of drier and slightly cooler air for Sunday night and Monday. Lows Monday morning will include the upper 50s across the Hill Country, the low 60s across Central Texas and mid-60s towards the coast.

Monday and Tuesday’s weather is shaping up to be mostly sunny and pleasant, with high temperatures both days in the low 80s. Lows Tuesday morning will be in the upper 50s.

A change to a more unsettled weather pattern is forecast to take place mid and late next week. Forecast solutions call for a trough of low pressure to track east out of the Desert Southwest beginning Wednesday. This system is expected to cause a 20-30 percent chance for rain showers and thunderstorms across the region Wednesday, and a 40-50 percent chance for rain and thunderstorms Thursday. Rain amounts over the 2-day period are currently forecast to average around a half inch. Some higher totals will be possible. High temperatures both days are forecast to be in the mid-80s.

The chance for rain is predicted to decrease next Friday, but long-range forecasts call for the chance for rain and thunderstorms to increase next weekend when a large trough of low pressure over the southern Rockies tracks southeast into Texas. While there is considerable uncertainty in the forecast, this system will have the potential to bring the best chance for widespread rain to our region in quite some time. Stay tuned for additional details as the forecast solutions get a better handle on this system.

Four Planets Visible Just Before Sunrise

A rare sight will be visible over the next week as Saturn, Mars, Venus and Jupiter will all line up in an almost perfect row. This planetary alignment will begin to come together the morning of April 16th, with the best view occurring the morning of April 20th. All of these planets will be visible to the naked eye. Just look toward the east-northeastern sky about 45 minutes before sunrise.