An early afternoon update on the cold weather and the threat for wintery precipitation.
1 pm temperatures were in the mid and upper 20s across the Hill Country, in the mid and upper 30s across Central Texas and close to 40 degrees across the coastal plains region. The cold temperatures combined with a very strong wind is producing wind chill indices in the upper teens to mid-20s. There have been a few reports of light sleet and freezing rain through the morning hours over parts of the Hill Country, extending east to the Austin area/Interstate 35 corridor. However, precipitation amounts have been very light and the National Weather Service has not received any reports of road impacts as of this time.
Early this afternoon, Doppler radar was showing a large area of precipitation covering most of the Hill Country and parts of Central Texas. Interestingly, this precipitation has been falling through a very dry layer in the lower atmosphere, causing most of the precipitation to evaporate before reaching the ground. The precipitation which has been able make it to the ground has been very light. South of Interstate 10, radar has been showing a large area light rain spreading east across the coastal plains. Some of this precipitation has been making it to the surface in the form of a cold rain. So far, most totals have only been just a few hundredths of an inch.
This afternoon and evening, occasional light sleet, light snow flurries and freezing rain are forecast to continue across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions. Precipitation amounts are forecast to remain light—just a few hundredths of an inch and no significant travel issues are anticipated. Extra caution will need to be given when traveling on any elevated roadways, bridges, and overpasses where some of the light precipitation could stick and cause slippery conditions. Occasional light rain showers will likely continue across the coastal region. Little change in the temperature is expected this afternoon, with most readings holding fairly steady. A strong north wind at 15-25 mph, with gusts to 35 mph will continue.
The National Weather Service will be ending the Winter Weather Advisory for the Hill Country region at 6 pm Thursday evening. However, the advisory will continue for the Austin/Central Texas region until 6 am Friday morning.
The light wintery precipitation is forecast to diminish from west to east across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions this evening as an upper trough of low pressure exits the region. All of the precipitation should end by midnight. Across the coastal plains region, occasional light rain is forecast to continue through the evening and nighttime hours, and some of the precipitation may become mixed with a little sleet and freezing rain. The precipitation should taper off shortly after sunrise Friday morning. Little to no accumulations of frozen precipitation are expected. However, extra caution is urged when traveling on bridges and overpasses.
Clouds are forecast to decrease from west to east Friday morning, leading to a sunny sky across the entire region Friday afternoon. The sunny and dry weather looks to continue through the weekend as well.
- High temperatures Friday will be in the mid and upper 40s.
- Lows Friday and Saturday mornings are predicted to be in the upper teens to low 20s across the Hill Country, in the low and mid-20s across Central Texas, and in the upper 20s to low 30s across the coastal plains.
- High temperatures Saturday are predicted to be in the low 50s, warming to the upper 50s on Sunday.
- Lows Sunday morning will range from the upper 20s across the Hill Country, to the upper 30s near the coast.
Forecasts are pointing toward a fairly good chance for rain across our region Monday into Monday night. Totals are predicted to be less than a half inch across the Hill Country, near 0.5 to 0.75 inches across Central Texas and near 1-1.5 inches across the coastal plains. The temperature will be well above freezing, so all of the precipitation will be in the form of rain.