As of early Wednesday afternoon, the arctic cold front was located across North Texas, stretching from south of the DFW area, to near Abilene, to just south of Midland. Behind the front, readings were generally in the 30s across the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma. For Central and South Texas, it is going to be a sunny, breezy and warm afternoon, with temperatures peaking in the mid and upper 70s. Expect a southwesterly breeze at 10-15 mph, with occasional gusts to 25 mph. The cold front is predicted to reach the northern Hill Country around mid-afternoon, the Austin area about 6-7 pm and the coastal region around 10-11 pm.

No rain is predicted along the front when it moves across the Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor. However, forecasts do indicate a few showers and scattered thunderstorms may develop along the cold front beginning around Fayette county and continuing southeast to the coast. Some of these thunderstorms could become severe. The Storm Prediction Center has placed Southeast Texas, including Colorado, Wharton and Matagorda counties under a Marginal Risk (a 1 out of 5 risk) for severe thunderstorms through 7 am Thursday. The primary severe weather threat is forecast to be damaging downburst winds. However, there will also be a low threat for an isolated tornado or two.

Cloudy, breezy and much colder temperatures can be expected overnight. In fact, the temperature is forecast to fall to or below freezing across the Hill Country and the Interstate 35 by sunrise Thursday. Lows Thursday morning will include the mid and upper 20s across the Hill Country, around 30 degrees along the I-35 corridor, in the low and mid-30s across Central Texas and near 40 degrees across the coastal plains region.

Forecasts continue to show a low to medium chance for the development of some light wintery precipitation across Hill Country and Central Texas regions Thursday through Thursday evening, and across the coastal region late Thursday night into Friday morning. High-resolution forecasts call for an area of light snow and sleet to develop across the Edwards Plateau region around sunrise Thursday, in advance of a trough of low pressure tracking east out of northern Mexico. Occasional light rain, light sleet and light freezing rain is predicted to develop and spread east through the Hill Country and into the I-35/Central Texas regions beginning mid to late morning. On-again/off-again, light wintery precipitation is forecast to continue across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions through the afternoon, with the precipitation ending from west to east early Thursday evening. I want to stress that forecast precipitation amounts for this event will be low—generally just a few hundredths of an inch. Minor ice and snow accumulations will be possible mainly on bridges, overpasses, and some elevated roadways. The ground itself will be too warm for any winter precipitation to stick. The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Weather Advisory for the Hill Country and Central Texas regions from 3 am Thursday through 6 am Friday.

Thursday is going to be a cold and windy day, with high temperatures only in the mid and upper 30s. Expect a north wind at 15-25 mph throughout the day, producing wind chill readings in the upper teens to low 20 degree range.

For the coastal region, expect cloudy and cold weather Thursday, with a high temperature in the low 40s. Occasional light rain is forecast to develop in the late afternoon and continue through the evening. The rain is forecast to become mixed with some sleet and freezing rain after midnight Thursday night, continuing till about mid-morning Friday. No frozen accumulations are forecast and precipitation amounts are forecast to be under a tenth of an inch. The precipitation should exit the area by Friday afternoon.

Prepare now for some very cold temperatures!

  • Lows Friday and Saturday mornings are forecast to reach the upper teens to low 20s across the Hill Country, the mid-20s across Central Texas and be near 30-32 degrees across the coastal plains.
  • High temperatures Friday are forecast to be in the mid and upper 40s.
  • High temperatures Saturday are forecast to be in the low 50s.
  • Lows Sunday morning will range from the upper 20s across the Hill Country, to the upper 30s near the coast.

I’ll pass along another update Thursday.