The unusually mild and quiet January weather pattern continues across Texas. With few strong cold fronts so far this month, the average temperature to date is running around 10 degrees above normal. Through the first half of January 2023, the average temperature across the region is among the warmest, or is the warmest on record. Some cooler temperatures are on the horizon, but nothing unusually cold is expected for at least the next two weeks.
Near-record warm temperatures are forecast across the Hill Country and much of Central Texas this afternoon. A weak cold front that pushed into the area on Sunday has pulled up stationary just east of the Interstate 35 corridor. To the west of the boundary, the air is quite dry, while to the east, humidity levels are much higher. Expect a mostly sunny sky this afternoon. Temperatures are predicted to warm close to 80-82 degrees at most locations. Wind speeds are forecast to be near 5-10 mph.
A change in the weather is forecast to take place late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning when a Pacific cold front pushes east across the area. The front is forecast to move across the Hill Country in the hours before sunrise Wednesday, and the Austin/Interstate 35 corridor near or just after sunrise. The front should continue moving to the east through the morning hours, pushing off the middle Texas coast by late afternoon. There will be a slight chance for a few spotty rain showers along the cold front when it moves across the eastern Hill Country and Central Texas Wednesday morning. The chance for rain will be near 20-30 percent and rain amounts should total less than a tenth of an inch. A better chance for rain showers is expected across the coastal plains region, in a zone of increased moisture. Here, the chance for rain will be near 80 percent, and totals should average less than a quarter inch.
Clouds will clear from west to east Wednesday morning into Wednesday afternoon. Despite the passage of the cold front, temperatures will still be quite mild. Highs will range from around 68-70 degrees west, to the upper 70s across the coastal plains.
There will be an elevated, to near-critical fire weather threat across the Hill Country and much of the area on Wednesday. Everyone is encouraged to avoid any outdoor activities that could inadvertently cause wildfires. The combination of gusty winds with speeds of 15-25 mph, above-normal temperatures, and dryness in both the air and vegetation will be in place. The National Weather Service has posted a Fire Weather Watch for all of the Hill Country for Wednesday afternoon and evening.
A push of slightly cooler air is forecast to arrive Wednesday evening and Wednesday night. Lows Thursday morning will range from the upper 30s across the Hill Country, to the upper 40s near the coast. Mostly sunny and slightly cooler weather will follow Thursday and Friday. High temperatures both days are predicted to be in the mid-60s. Lows Friday morning will generally be in the upper 30s to low 40s.
Forecasts call for another chance for rain to develop late Friday night and continue through Saturday night as a trough of low pressure digs south into northern Mexico and moves to the east. As the trough approaches Texas, widespread overrunning clouds and light precipitation are forecast to develop. The probability for rain will be near 50 percent Saturday, decreasing to around 30 percent Saturday evening and Saturday night. The chance for rain will diminish from west to east late Saturday night as the trough exits to the east. Rain amounts are not expected to be very heavy. Totals through Saturday night are forecast to average less than a quarter inch across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions, and less than a half inch across the coastal plains region.
Mostly sunny weather looks to follow Sunday and Monday. High temperatures both days are predicted to be in the mid and upper 60s. Lows Monday and Tuesday mornings will be in the upper 30s to low 40s.
For next week, there looks to be another chance for rain to take place next Tuesday when another Pacific trough of low pressure moves across Texas out of the southern Rockies. This system is expected to produce widespread light rain showers across the region. Rain amounts are expected to be light, with totals averaging less than a quarter inch. Sunny and dry weather is forecast next Wednesday through Friday. High temperatures are forecast to be mostly in the 60s, with lows in the 40s.
Have a good week.