Forecast for Central Texas
Reports from LCRA’s HydrometRainfall summary
Bob's Blog on Central Texas Weather
A Sunny Weekend Expected Followed by A Chance for Rain Tuesday through Friday
Quiet and windy weather is in place across the region as we close out the work week. On Thursday, a powerful area of low pressure tracking across the Midwest helped push a Canadian cold front through Texas. A large dome of Canadian high pressure sinking south behind the front has brought in a mass of cool and very dry air. A very stable atmosphere behind the front will cause a clear sky this afternoon and tonight.
Elevated to near critical fire weather conditions will be in place this afternoon thanks to the combination of strong /gusty winds and very dry air. A strong pressure gradient between the high pressure system over Texas and low pressure near the Great Lakes is expected to cause strong northwesterly winds with speeds of 15-25 mph and occasional gusts to 35 mph through late afternoon. Extreme caution should be used with any type of open flame. Wind speeds will decrease to 5-10 mph this evening and overnight, lowering the elevated fire weather threat.
This afternoon’s temperature is forecast to warm to around 58-62 degrees. A freeze is expected at most locations early Saturday morning. Lows look to be in the mid and upper 20s across the Hill Country and near 30-32 degrees at most other locations.
A sunny to mostly sunny sky is forecast Saturday through Monday. A weak trough of low pressure is predicted to slide southeast across the region Sunday, but due to the lack of moisture, only scattered clouds are expected with the system. High temperatures will be in the low to mid-60s Saturday and Sunday, warming to 68-70 degrees on Monday. Lows Sunday and Monday mornings will be in the mid and upper 30s. Lows Tuesday morning will be in the upper 40s to low 50s.
A big change in the weather is predicted to take place beginning Tuesday. Forecasts call for a large trough of low pressure to sink south along the West Coast to northwestern Mexico early in the week, with the trough eventually tracking east across Texas Wednesday through Friday. Forecast solutions call for considerable moisture to begin spreading north from the Gulf Tuesday in advance of the trough. Scattered rain showers are forecast to develop across the region Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday night. Rain showers and isolated thunderstorms will continue Wednesday through Friday. Forecasts indicate conditions will be favorable for the development of multiple rounds of light to moderate rain. The chance for rain is forecast to diminish next Friday afternoon as the upper trough finally exits to the northeast.
Rainfall forecasts call for the highest totals to occur across the eastern Hill Country and most of Central Texas, with lower totals out west and near the coast. Friday’s forecast data calls for 7-day totals of 1-1.5 inches across the central/eastern Hill Country as well as all of Central Texas. Projected totals could easily go higher as we get closer to the rain event.
NWS Rainfall Forecast for the Period 6 pm Friday through 6 pm next Friday:
The temperature is forecast to remain fairly mild next week, with daily high temperatures in the 60s. Low temperatures will be in the 40s across the Hill Country and in 50s at most other locations.
Sunny and dry weather is forecast next Saturday. Long-range forecasts show the possibility for a few showers developing next Sunday and Monday as a weak trough of low pressure moves over the area. This will be followed by generally dry weather beginning January 26th. No significant change in the temperature is expected the last week of January, with high temperatures in the 50s to low 60s and low temperatures in the 30s and 40s.
Catch Mercury and the ISS this Weekend
The planet Mercury, the solar system’s innermost planet, isn’t hard to see because it’s faint, it’s because this planet is so often lost in the sun’s glare. At present, Mercury is reaching the outer edge of its orbit as seen from Earth, placing Mercury in position for good viewing. Mercury is currently relatively bright. Friday evening, the crescent Moon hangs in the southwest after sunset. It aims its curve lower right almost at Mercury, like a bow ready to shoot an arrow. Mercury will be about two fists at arm’s length from it during twilight. Even farther down in the same direction, you might be able to pick out Jupiter with binoculars. Jupiter is now very nearly on the opposite side of the Sun from us.
Mercury should come into view about 10-15 minutes after sunset in the same location where the sun sets and remain visible for about an hour after sunset. Mercury will remain visible in the western sky till about January 27th. Take advantage of this golden opportunity to view elusive Mercury while the time is at hand!
You can catch a view of the International Space Station each evening through late next week. Note the station’s view will be quite bright and high in the sky Saturday and Sunday evenings. In addition, there will be opportunities to see the station twice in the same evening on Friday and Sunday. Check out NASA’s Spot the Station website for times and directions for your particular area: https://spotthestation.nasa.gov
Have a good weekend.
La Niña Forecast to Hang On into Spring
The La Niña which developed back in September, continues to plug along quite nicely. A check on Pacific sea surface temperatures in early January showed a large wedge of cooler than normal water stretching from the western coast of South America to beyond the International Date Line. These cool waters are very much the hallmark of a mature La Niña. However, it is interesting to note this La Niña is a bit asymmetric, with more cool water located to the south of the equator and less to the north than other La Niña events of similar magnitude, such as 2007 or 2010.
The atmospheric circulation associated with La Niña strengthened over the tropical Pacific Ocean during December. Low-level wind anomalies were easterly over the western to east-central tropical Pacific and upper-level wind anomalies were westerly across most of the tropical Pacific. Tropical convection was suppressed over the western and central Pacific and enhanced around the Philippines and parts of Indonesia. In addition, both the Southern Oscillation and Equatorial Southern Oscillation strengthened during December. Looking at the big picture, the coupled ocean-atmosphere system is consistent with a moderate-intensity, mature La Niña.
A majority of the long-term climate models in the IRI/Climate Prediction Center (CPC) plume predict La Niña to continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter (~95% chance for January-March). The CPC forecaster consensus is in line with the models and suggests La Niña will end and there will be a transition to ENSO-neutral conditions in the late spring 2021 (55% chance during April-June). However, the forecast uncertainty increases throughout the summer and fall, which is reflected by lower probabilities (less than ~50%) for La Niña and ENSO-neutral. CPC forecasters estimate similar probabilities of either La Niña or neutral for late summer and fall (around 40-45% chance) and much lower odds of El Niño. These lower odds are consistent with history.
If we look at a graph of the eventual fate of every first-year La Niña (meaning, the previous winter did not feature La Niña), we see how rare El Niño is the next winter.
According to CPC, in our 1950-present record, a La Niña winter is more often followed by either neutral or weak La Niña conditions during the summer, with a re-development of La Niña the subsequent winter.
Of the 12 first year La Niña events, 8 were followed by La Niña the next winter, 2 by neutral, and 2 by El Niño. We’ll probably have to get through spring before forecasters can make a more confident prediction about next fall.
Stay tuned for more details of the ongoing La Niña.
A Quiet Week of Weather with Slowly Warming Temperatures
Much of the Hill Country and Central Texas turned into a winter wonderland Sunday as snow developed and persisted across the area till late afternoon. For most locations, it was heavy, wet snow, with the snow to liquid ratio somewhere around 5 to 1. Most locations saw snow totals between 1 and 3 inches. However, amounts were a bit heavier just north of Austin between Leander, Round Rock and Rockdale where totals of 4-6 inches were recorded. Amounts of 4-6 inches were also reported between Brownwood, Abilene and Brady. To the south of a New Braunfels to La Grange to Bellville line, the snow turned into just a cold rain. In Austin, Camp Mabry measured an official total of 1.5 inches while Austin-Bergstrom recorded 1.3 inches. This was the highest snow total for Austin since February 2004, when 1.6 inches was recorded.
While snow was the most unique part of the weather over the weekend, it’s important to note the storm system brought another round of significant rain to much of the area. Liquid totals were generally around a half inch across Hill Country and around 1-1.5 inches across Central Texas and the middle Texas coast.
The trough of low pressure responsible Sunday’s rain and snow exited to the northeast Sunday night. This afternoon, the sky will slowly clear as moisture levels decrease. Forecasts call for a dry weather pattern to take hold across Texas this afternoon and continue throughout the week. Today’s temperature will remain rather chilly as a cold dome of high pressure settles south over our area. This additional push of chilly air will likely cause a widespread freeze across the region Monday night followed by another light freeze Tuesday night.
- High temperatures this afternoon will include the low to mid-40s across the Hill Country with mid to upper 40s at most other locations.
- Lows Tuesday morning will include the low and mid-20s across the Hill Country, the mid and upper 20s across Central Texas and be near 30 degrees across the coastal plains.
- High temperatures Tuesday will be in the upper 40s to low 50s.
- Low temperatures Wednesday morning will include the upper 20s across the Hill Country, the low and mid-30s across Central Texas and mid-30s across the coastal plains.
A weak wave of low pressure is predicted to track east across the state early Wednesday, but no rain is forecast due to so little available moisture. The system will cause a partly cloudy sky. Expect a high temperature in low 60s. Lows Thursday morning will be in the mid-30s across the Hill Country and in the upper 30s at most other locations.
Thursday’s weather will be sunny and a bit warmer as south and southwesterly breezes increase. Afternoon temperatures are expected to warm to around 68-70 degrees. But a dry cold front is predicted to slide south across the region Thursday evening into Thursday night, bringing slightly cooler air for Friday and the weekend.
- Lows Friday morning will be in the upper 30s to low 40s.
- High temperatures Friday will be in the upper 50s to low 60s.
- Lows Saturday morning will range from the low 30s across the Hill Country to the upper 30s near the coast.
- High temperatures Saturday will be in the 60s.
Forecasts call for another chance for rain to develop sometime next Sunday into Monday when a trough of low pressure tracks southeast out of the Desert Southwest and moves across Texas. This system is predicted to cause a chance for rain showers beginning late Sunday, continuing into early next week. Some significant totals of rain appear possible. Mostly sunny weather is predicted for the second half of next week. No significant change in the temperature is forecast next week, with highs staying around 60 degrees and lows in the 40s.
Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury
For the first time since October 2015, you have the chance tonight to view a planetary trio, or three planets bunched together low in the western sky. At dusk Monday evening, watch for the now-famous planets Jupiter and Saturn, fresh from their December 21 great conjunction and still close together. The third planet, Mercury, is just now coming into view. All three worlds will pop out low in the western sky, close to the sunset point on the horizon. Jupiter will be the brightest of the three, followed by Mercury and then Saturn.
Beginning Thursday evening and continuing into next weekend, there will be several opportunities to see the International Space Station cross our evening sky. For the times, days and directions to look, check out spotthestation.nasa.gov
Widespread Rain Developing this Weekend. Snow Possible Hill Country and Parts of Central Texas.
Partly cloudy and quiet weather will be in place this afternoon through Saturday afternoon. Temperatures this afternoon will warm to the low and mid-50s. Lows Saturday morning will include the upper 20s across the Hill Country, the low 30s across Central Texas and the upper 30s towards the coast. High temperatures Saturday will be in the low and mid-50s.
Big changes in the weather are forecast to take place across our region beginning Saturday night. At that time, a strong trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere sinking south out of the southern Rockies is forecast to reach a position near the Four Corners. The trough is predicted to dive southeast across New Mexico Sunday morning, turning east-northeast across Northwest Texas Sunday afternoon into Sunday night. With the trough taking this southerly route into Texas, the system is expected to have a big impact on our region’s weather.
Widespread light rain showers are forecast to develop across the region after midnight Saturday night when Gulf moisture is pulled north up and over the cold air mass in place. A steady, widespread light to moderate rain is forecast to continue throughout the day Sunday and into Sunday evening. The precipitation is predicted to end from west to east Sunday night as trough exits off to the northeast.
Confidence is increasing the incoming trough of low pressure will cause the development of accumulating snow across western Texas, much of the Texas Hill Country and even across parts of Central Texas. While all of the precipitation is forecast to start off as a cold rain, temperatures in the lower and middle atmosphere are predicted to fall below freezing with the approach of the upper trough, causing the rain to transition over to snow. There remains considerable uncertainty, however, as to just how far south the potential for snow will exist. Friday’s morning’s data suggests snow will be possible for areas generally north of a line stretching from Sonora to San Marcos to Hempstead. This snow potential area includes the Austin metropolitan area.
- For the Hill Country region, a mix of rain and snow is forecast to develop across the Hill Country region early Sunday afternoon, with the precipitation becoming mostly all snow late Sunday afternoon into Sunday evening. The precipitation should taper off late Sunday evening. Total snow amounts are forecast to range from around 4-6 inches in the Abilene/Brownwood area to around 2 inches in the Burnet/Llano/Junction area.
- For the Central Texas region, a cold rain is forecast Sunday morning into Sunday afternoon. A mix of rain and snow is forecast to develop mid to late Sunday afternoon, with the precipitation continuing through late evening. Total snow accumulations are forecast to be around 1 inch. The precipitation should taper off by midnight Sunday night.
- For the southern counties of Central Texas and the coastal plains region, a cold rain is forecast Sunday into Sunday night. The rain should taper off after midnight Sunday night.
Pasted below is the National Weather Service’s snowfall forecast through Monday morning. Do note the NWS forecast is not calling for the snow to develop as far south as I am predicting.
Temperatures will be cold Sunday, but are predicted to be above freezing. High temperatures will range from around 40 degrees across the northern Hill Country to the low and mid-40s across Central Texas to the upper 40s towards the coast.
Colder temperatures are forecast Sunday night as the precipitation ends and the sky clears. Lows Monday morning will include the mid-20s across the Hill Country, the upper 20s across Central Texas and the low to mid-30s near the coast.
This weekend’s storm system is forecast to bring widespread precipitation to all of the region. Rainfall forecasts call for totals to average around 1 inch across the eastern Hill Country, Central Texas and the middle Texas coast. Some slightly higher totals will be possible across parts of Central Texas.
NWS Rainfall Forecast for the Period 6 pm Friday through 6 pm Monday:
The outlook for next week calls for sunny and dry weather Tuesday through Friday. High temperatures in the mid-50s Monday, will warm to the mid-60s on Thursday and Friday. Lows will be in the upper 20s to mid-30s Tuesday morning and in the 30s for the remainder of the week.
Recent Rains Caused Drought Conditions to Improve
While last week’s rain was the heaviest and most widespread our region has seen in months, it wasn’t quite enough to cause significant drought improvement or drought elimination across the Hill Country or Central Texas regions. Overall, the recent rains appear to have caused about a one category drought improvement.
Thursday’s updated National Drought Monitor showed a large area of severe drought, the second of four possible drought levels, covering the Hill Country between the Brownwood-Coleman area, south to the Kerrville-Boerne area. This area of severe drought then stretched east to Luling, and Smithville. Central Texas and the remainder of the Hill Country were shown to be in moderate drought—the first of four possible levels of drought. Soaking rains last week along with other rains back in December helped cause drought elimination across Southeast Texas, including the middle Texas coast.
Forecasts call for another storm system to move across Central Texas Saturday night through Sunday night and is expected to bring additional rain to our area. National Weather Service forecasts call for totals to generally average around 1 inch.
NWS Rainfall Forecast for the Period 6 pm Thursday through 6 pm Tuesday:
Should these rains materialize, they will likely cause more drought improvement. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Two More Opportunities for Rain in the Forecast this Week.
Sunny and very quiet weather conditions are in place across Texas on this Monday. The atmosphere is dry and quite stable thanks to a ridge of high pressure in the upper atmosphere covering the southwestern US and northern Mexico. At the surface, a weak cold front is pushing south out of North Texas. As of mid-afternoon, the front stretched from Longview to Austin, to Rocksprings. The front is forecast to quietly move south across Central Texas this afternoon, reaching the coastal plains this evening. No rain or clouds are forecast with the front. However, temperatures will trend slightly cooler tonight and Tuesday in its wake.
- Today’s temperature will warm to around 70 degrees across the Hill Country, reaching the low to mid-70s at most other locations.
- Lows Tuesday morning will include the mid and upper 30s across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions, with low to mid-40s towards the coast.
- High temperatures Tuesday will be in the mid-60s, and be close to 70 near the coast.
- Lows Wednesday morning will range from the low and mid-40s west to the low 50s towards the coast.
Tuesday’s weather will be mostly sunny. Southerly breezes will return Tuesday afternoon into Tuesday night ahead of a strong trough of low pressure pushing east out of the southern Rockies. Clouds and moisture look to spread north into Central Texas and the Hill Country Tuesday night in advance of the trough. A cold front connect to upper trough will push southeast across our region Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday evening. Forecasts call for a slight chance to a chance for rain showers and isolated thunderstorms to develop across the eastern Hill Country as well as Central Texas and the middle Texas coast beginning Wednesday morning, continuing through Wednesday afternoon as the front moves across the area. The rain should end from west to east late Wednesday afternoon. The most organized rain is predicted to occur over areas east of Interstate 35, where totals should average between a quarter and a half inch. For areas along and near I-35, totals should average around a quarter inch. Little to no rain is forecast across the western and central Hill Country.
NWS Rainfall forecast for the Period 6 pm Monday through 6 pm Thursday:
Sunny and cooler weather will follow the cold front Thursday and Friday. High temperatures Thursday will be around 60-62 degrees, trending down to the mid and upper 50s Friday. Lows Thursday morning range from the low and mid-30s Hill Country to the low 40s near the coast. Lows Friday morning will range from the low 30s across the Hill Country to the upper 30s near the coast.
Forecasts call for another trough of low pressure to track southeast out of the southern Rockies Saturday, then move across the northern half of Texas on Sunday. With this system coming in further south compared to Wednesday’s system, forecasts show the potential for more widespread and somewhat heavier rains to develop across the region Saturday night into Sunday night. The chance for rain should diminish Sunday night. Forecasts call for totals of 0.25 to 0.5 inches across the Hill Country and totals between 0.5 and 1 inch for most other locations.
NWS Rainfall Forecast for the Period 6 pm Saturday through 6 pm Sunday:
Weekend temperatures will be cool, with highs in the low and mid-50s. Lows will be in the mid and upper 30s.
Looking out into the week of January 11th, long-range forecasts call for sunny, dry and cool weather for most of the week. There are some indications another storm system could move across the area late in the week. High temperatures will be in the upper 50s to low 60s while low temperatures will be in the 30s to low 40s.
Last Thursday’s Snow Still on the Ground Across Parts of West Texas
It’s hard to believe, but quite a bit of the snowpack received from last week`s storm system is still hanging around across parts of West Texas. The snow is still in place across portions of the eastern and southern Permian Basin, the Stockton Plateau, the higher terrain south of I-10, and portions of the Big Bend Area. According to surface observations, snow totals of 12-14 inches fell across Howard and Mitchell Counties, in the area around Big Spring and Colorado City last Thursday. The following visible satellite image from 12:20 pm Monday clearly shows the snow still in place across West Texas.
RAMMB-Colorado State University 01/04/21 2:50 pm CST
December Closes with Much Need Rainfall. A Look at Some 2020 Rain and Temperature Stats.
The rain which fell Wednesday into Thursday night was one of the most widespread and heavy rain events our region has seen in months. LCRA’s Hydromet and Doppler radar estimates showed much of the Hill Country received between 1 and 2 inches of rain while totals were generally between 2 and 3.5 inches across Central Texas. The middle Texas coast received anywhere between 1.5 and 6 inches of rain. LCRA’s highest gauged total was 6.94 inches at Glen Flora, in central Wharton County.
NWS Estimate of Rain Falling Between 9 am Wednesday and 9 am Friday:
December’s wet weather significantly changed the annual rainfall totals. What was shaping up to be a very dry year before December, ended up being a calendar year with near normal to just slightly below normal rain totals. Southern Travis County, eastern Hays County, Schleicher County and most of Wharton County showed rainfall amounts that were above normal. Meanwhile, rain totals were well below normal across Fayette and Williamson Counties along with much of the southern Hill Country.
2020 Annual Departure from Normal Precipitation (Data Courtesy National Weather Service)
In Austin, Camp Mabry’s total for 2020 was 35.08 inches, which was 0.76 inches above normal. 2020 ranks as the 54th wettest or 71st driest year on record. Austin-Bergstrom’s total for 2020 was 37.86 inches, which was 3.22 inches above normal. 2020 ranks as the 24th wettest year on record.
Finally, 2020 ended up being very warm year across Texas. For the Hill Country, Central Texas and the middle Texas coastal regions, readings generally averaged between 1 and 2.5 degrees above normal. 2020’s average temperature ranks among some of the warmest years in the record book.
At Austin-Camp Mabry, the average temperature for the year was 71.7 degrees, which was 2.3 degrees above normal. 2020 ranks as the 3rd warmest year on record, behind 2017 and 2011. At Austin-Bergstrom, the average temperature for the year was 69.6 degrees, which was 2.3 degrees above normal. 2020 tied with 2016, 2012, 2011 and 1951 for the 8th warmest year on record.
Precipitation Ending Thursday Night. A Sunny and Pleasant New Year’s Day and Weekend
Widespread rain showers and thunderstorms developed across the region overnight as an unusually strong area of low pressure over northern Mexico created a very efficient overrunning pattern across Texas. Some of the highest totals of rain occurred along the middle Texas coast and Southeast Texas where Wednesday’s cold front pulled up stationary. As of midday Thursday, LCRA’s Hydromet showed general totals of 1-1.5 inches of rain have fallen across the Hill Country, totals of 1-3 inches across Central Texas and totals of 2-4 inches along the middle Texas coast. An area of 5-6 inch totals stretched across much of Wharton County.
At midday, weather radar showed the moderate to heavy rain that had been over the Hill Country and Central Texas regions this morning has pushed up to the north. An area of light precipitation covered a good part of the Hill Country and West Texas. Meanwhile, moderate to rains were still occurring along the middle Texas coast between La Grange and Matagorda in the vicinity of the stalled cold front.
High-resolution forecasts call for the area of low pressure currently over located over northeastern Mexico to lift north-northeast and move over West Texas and the Edwards Plateau this afternoon and evening. The low will cause occasional light to moderate precipitation to spread over the Hill Country and most of Central Texas this afternoon and evening. However, the precipitation is expected to diminish by late evening across Austin and Central Texas, and diminish across the Hill Country around midnight. The rain and thunderstorms are forecast to exit the middle Texas coast by mid-afternoon. Rainfall forecasts call for additional rain amounts of a quarter to a half inch through late evening.
Observations at 1 pm showed light snow falling across a good part of the Concho Valley, extending east to the western Edwards Plateau, between Sonora and Eldorado. Light freezing rain was being observed around Brady. Further east, all of the precipitation was being reported as rain.
The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Storm Warning for the Concho Valley, the Big Country and the western Hill Country including San Saba, Mason, Kerr, Edwards and Real Counties through 6 am Friday. Across this area, a mixture of light rain and sleet is forecast this afternoon, with the precipitation becoming mostly all snow by this evening. The precipitation should end around midnight. Snow totals of 3-6 inches are forecast for the area between San Saba and Junction.
A Winter Weather Advisory has been posted for Gillespie, Llano and Burnet Counties were the light rain will become mixed with sleet, freezing rain and snow this afternoon and evening. Snow totals are forecast to be near 1 inch.
A few snow flurries may become mixed with the light rain over parts of Travis, Williamson and Hays Counties this evening, but no accumulation is expected.
There will be a light freeze across the Hill Country and parts of Central Texas Thursday night into Friday morning. Lows New Year’s Day will be near 30-32 degrees across the Hill Country, near 31-35 degrees across Central Texas and be in the upper 30s across the coastal plains.
Mostly sunny, dry and cool weather is forecast New Year’s Day, continuing through the weekend. Another freeze is expected across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions Saturday morning. High temperatures will be in the 50s Friday and Saturday, warming into the 60s on Sunday.
The next chance for rain is forecast to develop the middle of next week when another trough of low pressure tracks east across Texas. As of now, rain amounts are forecast to average between 0.25 and 0.5 inches.
I hope everyone has a Happy and Safe New Years! For folks in the Hill Country, enjoy the snow!
Rain and Colder Much Temperatures. Hill Country Snow Still Forecast
A very active period of weather is forecast across the region this afternoon through Thursday evening. This afternoon a Canadian cold front is pushing southeast across the region. As of midday, the front was moving through Central Texas along a line from about College Station to Bastrop to new Braunfels. Behind the front, temperatures were mostly in the 40s. The front is forecast to slowly track southeast, arriving in La Grange area by late afternoon. The front is forecast to pull up stationary across the middle Texas coast this evening and overnight.
In advance of the cold front, scattered showers and thunderstorms are predicted to develop in a very moist and somewhat unstable atmosphere. In fact, some of the thunderstorms will have the potential to become strong or severe. The Storm Prediction Center has placed the I-35 corridor between Georgetown, Austin, San Antonio and areas to the southeast under a Marginal Risk (a 1 out of 5 risk) for severe thunderstorms through Wednesday evening. Do note the severe weather threat will continue overnight for the middle Texas coast. The main severe weather threats will be large hail and damaging thunderstorm winds.
This afternoon, scattered to numerous rain showers and thunderstorms are forecast to spread north from the coast into Central Texas and the Hill Country. Some of these showers will have the potential to produce totals to near 1-1.5 inches. Across the Hill Country region, scattered light rain showers and a couple of isolated thunderstorms are expected. This afternoon’s temperature will hold in the 40s across the Hill Country. Across Central Texas, readings will fall from the 70s into the 50s and 40s behind the front. Across the coastal region, readings will reach the upper 70s.
Beginning this evening, continuing overnight and Thursday, a fairly widespread coverage of light to moderate rain showers and isolated thunderstorms is forecast to develop and persist across the Hill Country, Central Texas and coastal regions as a powerful trough of low pressure begins to track northeast out of northern Mexico. The trough will cause a very efficient pattern of overrunning clouds and precipitation. The precipitation is forecast to taper off from west to east Thursday evening as the upper trough exits to the northeast.
Rain amounts from Wednesday afternoon through Friday morning are forecast to be lowest across the western Hill Country and the highest along the middle Texas coast. National Weather Service forecasts call for totals of 1-1.5 inches across the western Hill Country and totals of 1-3 inches for the eastern Hill Country and Central Texas regions. Across the coastal plains, totals are forecast to average between 2 and 4 inches, with isolated totals of 4-6 inches possible. The National Weather Service has posted a Flash Flood Watch for Southeast Texas, including Colorado, Wharton and Matagorda Counties from 6 pm Wednesday through Thursday evening.
NWS Rainfall Forecast for the Period 6 pm Wednesday through 6 pm Friday:
Winter Weather Potential
Beginning late tonight, temperatures in the middle and lower atmosphere across much of the Hill Country are forecast to fall to, or just below freezing. This will allow the light rain to become mixed with sleet and snow flurries. On Thursday, the majority of the precipitation is forecast to become mostly all-snow, with the precipitation tapering off Thursday evening.
The Concho Valley and the western Hill Country will have the highest potential to see accumulating snow, where totals of 3-5 inches will be possible. Across the central and eastern Hill Country counties, totals of 1-3 inches are forecast are generally forecast. Further to the west, significantly higher snow totals are forecast along the Interstate 10 corridor, to the west of Ozona.
The National Weather Service has posted a Winter Storm Watch for Burnet, Llano and Gillespie Counties and counties to the west for Thursday afternoon and evening.
NWS Snowfall Forecast through Friday Morning:
For the Austin area and the Interstate 35 corridor, a few snowflakes will be possible late Thursday afternoon and evening, but no accumulations are forecast and no travel problems are anticipated as temperatures will be too warm.
Sunny and dry weather will be in place New Year’s Day and through the weekend.
Rain Likely Wednesday into Thursday. Chances for Snow Diminishing in the Austin Area
A strong trough of low pressure currently digging into northern Mexico is forecast to slowly push east across Texas Wednesday and Thursday, producing a variety of weather from heavy rains and possible severe weather over Southeast Texas, to snow over the Texas Hill Country and much of West Texas. Considerable moisture is spreading north from the Gulf in advance of the trough, setting the stage for an active period of weather.
This afternoon’s weather will feature a mostly cloudy sky along with breezy south winds at 10-15 mph. A few spotty light rain showers will be possible, but rain amounts should average less than a tenth of an inch.
A cold front currently located across New Mexico is forecast to push east/southeast this afternoon and tonight, reaching the western Hill Country Wednesday morning. The front is predicted to reach the Austin area in the early to mid-afternoon and the La Grange/Columbus area by evening. Rain showers and scattered thunderstorms are forecast to develop across the region out ahead of and along the cold front Wednesday morning and continue through Wednesday afternoon and evening. The Storm Prediction Center has placed the Austin/San Antonio area and locations to the southeast under a Marginal Risk (1 out of 5 risk) for severe thunderstorms on Wednesday. Large hail and damaging winds will be the primary severe weather threats. The threat for severe storms will decrease late Wednesday afternoon and evening as cooler air spreads in behind the cold front.
Widespread moderate to occasionally heavy rain is forecast across the region Wednesday, continuing through Wednesday night. The precipitation is expected to trend lighter across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions after midnight Wednesday night. A widespread coverage of mostly light precipitation is forecast across the region Thursday, with the precipitation diminishing Thursday evening.
Rain between Tuesday afternoon and Friday morning is forecast to generally total between 1 and 1.5 inches across the western and central Hill Country while totaling between 2 and 3 inches across the eastern Hill Country, Central Texas and the middle Texas coast. Isolated totals of 3-5 inches can be expected across the coastal area.
NWS Rainfall Forecast for the Period 6 pm Tuesday through 6 pm Friday:
The eventual track of the upper trough over Mexico will be critical to where mixed precipitation and snow develops. The latest forecasts call for the trough to move across the southern half of the Hill Country and Central Texas during the day on Thursday. As the trough pushes east, the atmosphere over much of the Hill Country is forecast to cool sufficiently to allow for the light rain to become mixed with light snow and sleet beginning early Thursday morning. Forecasts call for accumulating snow to develop across the western and northern Hill Country during the day Thursday, mainly to the west of a line stretching from San Saba to Rocksprings. Here, totals of 1-3 inches and possibly higher are forecast. Mainly a light dusting of snow with accumulations to near 1 inch is forecast across the eastern Hill Country.
The following National Weather Service snowfall forecast shows the highest snow totals to occur to the west of San Angelo and also across the mountains of Far West Texas
For the Austin area and the Interstate 35 corridor, forecasts now indicate the atmosphere will be too warm for measurable snow to develop and make it to the ground. While a few flakes of snow cannot be ruled out, most of Thursday’s precipitation is expected to be just a cold rain. High temperatures Thursday will range from upper 30s across the Hill Country to the upper 40s towards the coast.
All of the precipitation is expected to come to an end Thursday evening, with the sky clearing by Friday morning. A light freeze is forecast across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions Friday morning. Lows will be near 28-30 degrees across the Hill Country, the lower 30s across Central Texas and the mid to upper 30s near the coast.
Sunny and cool weather looks to continue Saturday and Sunday.