Quiet and generally dry weather conditions are forecast to continue across Central and South Texas as we close out the month of January and move through the first week of February.  Earlier this month, several storm systems moved across Texas, bringing periods of rain.  But over the past week, the storm track has shifted further north, and this has limited the development of rain across our region with each passing Pacific storm system.  Forecasts indicate a significant change in the jet stream pattern will take place late next week when a large ridge of high pressure develops just off the West Coast, forcing the development of a broad trough of low pressure across the western and Central US.  This new jet stream pattern will cut off the recent parade of Pacific storm systems moving into Texas, limiting the development of rain as we move into the second week of February.  At the same time, this new jet stream pattern will allow colder air to spill south into Texas out of western Canada.

Friday’s weather maps showed a stable ridge of high pressure covering the south central U.S., causing mostly sunny and stable weather conditions.   Out west, a Pacific trough of low pressure was tracking northeast out of southern California.  This system is predicted to stay north of Texas, reaching the southern Plains states Saturday afternoon and the Ohio Valley on Sunday.  Out ahead of the trough, considerable middle and high-level clouds are expected to spread across Texas Friday afternoon, causing a partly cloudy sky.  Southerly breezes look to increase to around 10-15 mph Friday afternoon.  The temperature will climb to the mid and upper 60s.

The sky is forecast become cloudy Friday night as low clouds spread north from the Gulf.  Breezy and milder conditions will be in place.  Lows Saturday morning will range from the low 50s out west to the upper 50s near the coast.  Widespread clouds will persist through late Saturday morning, followed by a partly cloudy sky in the afternoon.  It will be another breezy day with south and southwesterly winds at 10-20 mph.  Unusually mild temperatures are forecast, with readings reaching the mid and upper 70s.

A cold front associated with the southwestern trough is forecast to push southeast across Texas Saturday into Saturday evening.  The front should move across the Hill Country Saturday afternoon, reaching the Austin/Interstate 35 corridor by early evening.  The front will move off the coast before midnight.  A spotty rain shower or two will be possible across the coastal plains region in advance of the front.  Otherwise, no rain is forecast.  A clear sky and cooler temperatures will follow Saturday night.  Lows Sunday morning will range from the low 40s Hill Country to the mid-40s Central Texas to near 50 degrees towards the coast.

Sunday’s weather is shaping up to be sunny, breezy and a bit cooler as large dome of high pressure spreads in behind the front.  High temperatures will be in the mid and upper 60s.  Expect a north wind at 10-20 mph.  Lows Monday morning will include the low and mid-30s Hill Country, the upper 30s across Central Texas and the lower 40s towards the coast.

Mostly sunny weather is predicted Monday through Wednesday.  Southerly winds returning Monday afternoon will cause the temperature to trend warmer.  Highs Monday will be in the mid-60s, warming to the upper 60s Tuesday and the low to mid-70s on Wednesday.  Lows Tuesday morning will be in the mid and upper 30s while lows Wednesday morning will be in the mid and upper 40s.  Lows Thursday morning will range from around 50 degrees west to the low 60s near the coast.

A change in the weather is expected Thursday when a cold front associated with the western trough pushes southeast across Texas.  The front will bring a slight chance for a few spotty rain showers to areas along and east of Interstate 35 Thursday afternoon into Thursday evening.  Rain amounts, if any, should total less than a tenth of an inch.  Expect a partly cloudy sky and a high temperature in the low and mid-70s.

Dry and cooler weather will follow the cold front beginning Thursday night, continuing through next Saturday.   High temperatures will fall to around 58-64 degrees while low temperatures will fall to the upper 30s and low 40s.

Forecasts call for the chance for rain to increase next Sunday and Monday when a storm system moving out of northern Mexico causes the development of an overrunning pattern.  As of now, rain amounts are only expected to only total around a quarter inch.  Mostly sunny and mild weather is forecast next Tuesday through Friday.  High temperatures look to be in the 60s with lows in the 40s.

Catch the Night Sky Winter Triangle

Once the sky is fully dark, try to spot the equilateral Winter Triangle made up of 3 bright stars in the southeastern sky, near the constellation Orion.   Sirius is its brightest and lowest star.  Betelgeuse stands high above Sirius, by about two fists at arm’s length.  To the left of their midpoint is Procyon.

Can you discern their colors? Sirius is cold white, Betelgeuse is pale yellow-orange, and Procyon is paler yellowish white.

Have a good weekend.