A weak overrunning weather pattern produced cloudy, damp and somewhat dreary weather conditions across the region over the weekend.  Despite the periods of light rain, most totals stayed under a tenth of an inch.  According to LCRA’s Hydromet, rain amounts were heaviest along the Interstate 35 corridor, were a couple of quarter inch totals were recorded near Austin.  Month to date, rain totals have been near normal to slightly below normal across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and between 1 and 2 inches below normal across the middle Texas coast.

The cloudy weekend pattern has given way to scattered sunshine as we kick off the new week.  The trough of low pressure responsible for the cloudy, damp pattern tracked northeast to the southern Plains states Sunday night and helped push a Pacific cold front across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions.  As of noon, the front was still moving across the coastal plains region but it expected to push offshore in the early afternoon.  Dry and mild air is spreading in behind the cold front.  Expect west and northwesterly breezes at 10-15 mph along with some occasional gusts to 25 mph through late afternoon.  Under a mostly sunny sky, this afternoon’s temperature is forecast to warm to the low and mid-70s.  It will be clear and cool Monday night.  Lows Tuesday morning will range from the upper 30s across the Hill Country to the low and mid-40s across Central Texas to around 50 degrees towards the coast.

Tuesday’s weather is shaping up to be sunny and continued mild, with high temperatures around 68-70 degrees.  Expect light northwesterly breezes in the morning, with the wind shifting out of the southeast in the afternoon.  Lows Wednesday morning will again range from the upper 30s across the Hill Country to around 50 degrees near the coast.

A second trough of low pressure located over southern California and the Desert Southwest is forecast to track into the southern Plains states Tuesday night into Wednesday.  The trough will help push another cold front across our region, but this time it will be tapping into some cool, Canadian air.  The front is forecast spread across the Hill Country Wednesday morning, reaching Central Texas midday and the coastal region mid-afternoon.  The atmosphere looks to be too dry for the development of any rain along the front.  Breezy and cooler air will spread in behind the front.  Expect northerly winds at 10-20 mph, with occasional gusts to 30 mph Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday evening.  High temperatures are predicted to be in the mid and upper 50s across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions and in the mid-60s across the coastal plains.

A light freeze is forecast for the Hill Country and most of Central Texas Wednesday night.  Lows Thursday morning will include the upper 20s across the Hill Country, the lower 30s across Central Texas and be around 38-40 degrees across the coastal plains.

Mostly sunny and dry weather will be in place Thursday and Friday.  High temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 50s Thursday, warming to the mid-60s Friday.  Lows Friday morning are forecast to be in the upper 30s while lows Saturday morning will be in the low 50s.

A few spotty light rain showers will be possible Saturday as moisture increases in advance of another trough of low pressure lifting northeast out of the Desert Southwest.  Rainfall, if any, should be limited to just a few hundredths of an inch.  Expect a partly cloudy sky Saturday with high temperatures in the low and mid-70s.  A cold front associated with the upper trough is predicted to sweep south across the region during the day on Sunday.  Sunny, breezy and just slightly cooler weather will follow the cold front Sunday afternoon.  Expect a high temperature near 70 degrees.

Looking out into next week, forecasts call for mostly sunny, dry and mild weather conditions for the first half of the week.  High temperatures look to be around 68-70 degrees with low temperatures around 48-50 degrees.  Forecasts call for the development of some showers and thunderstorms late Wednesday into Thursday when a Pacific storm system moves across the state.  Cooler temperatures are predicted late week into the following weekend, with high temperatures in the 50s and lows in the 30s to low 40s.

January’s Full Wolf Moon

The January full moon will occur this Thursday evening, January 28th.  January’s full moon is often called the Wolf Moon.  It’s thought that this name came about because wolves were more often heard howling at this time of the year.  It was traditionally believed that wolves howled due to hunger during winter, but we know today that wolves howl for other reasons.  Howling and other wolf vocalizations are generally used to define territory, locate pack members, reinforce social bonds, and coordinate hunting.