The first widespread rain event of the spring is finally taking place across Central and South Texas. Rain and thunderstorms developed along and behind a slow-moving cold front, spread into parts of the Hill Country and Central Texas late Sunday night into Monday morning. As of 2:30 pm, LCRA’s Hydromet showed the heaviest rains so far have fallen in the western Hill Country between Sonora and Junction. Here, several gauges have recorded between 2 and 2.5 inches. Another area of heavy rain has occurred across the eastern half of Travis County and across much of Fayette County, where several gauges have recorded between 1 and 2 inches. The gauge just east of downtown Austin, along the Colorado River, has recorded a 24-hour total of 3.51 inches.

Early this afternoon, a cold front stretched from Longview, to La Grange, to Uvalde, and Eagle Pass. The cold front is forecast to push slowly south through the coastal plains region this afternoon, moving into the Gulf of Mexico this evening. Atmospheric conditions remain quite favorable for waves of rain showers and thunderstorms to continue to develop behind the cold front this afternoon through Tuesday. The rain and storms are predicted to taper off across the northern Hill Country by about midnight Monday night. The rain is forecast to diminish across the Central Texas region by about midday Tuesday. Across the coastal plains region, the rain and storms are forecast to diminish sometime late Tuesday afternoon.

While widespread severe storms are not expected, a few of the thunderstorms Monday afternoon and Monday night could be strong to severe. The main hazards will be localized large hail and strong winds. Locally heavy rain will also be possible with the stronger storms and any clusters of storms across the region.

The latest forecast guidance continues to call for widespread, soaking rains across the region this afternoon and tonight. Totals through 7 am Wednesday are forecast to generally average between 1 and 2 inches across the area. Some isolated totals of 3-4 inches will be possible–especially for areas with training showers or thunderstorms. Despite the ongoing drought conditions, some minor creek flooding will be possible given any heavier rainfall rates and/or higher localized rainfall amounts.

Low temperatures Tuesday will include the low 50s across the Hill Country, the mid-50s across Central Texas, and the low 60s near the coast.

Tuesday’s weather will include a mostly sunny sky across the northern Hill Country. Across the rest of the region, expect a mostly cloudy to overcast sky with the rain slowly tapering off from north to south. Tuesday’s temperature is forecast to generally warm to the low 70s. Lows Wednesday morning will range from the low 50s across the Hill Country, to the low 60s towards the coast.

Mostly sunny conditions are forecast Wednesday. Expect a high temperature near 78-82 degrees.

Thursday afternoon through midday Friday, there will be a slight chance for a few spotty light rain showers as weak wave of low pressure moves across the state, pulling gulf moisture north into Texas. Rain amounts should total around a quarter tenth or less. Otherwise, expect a partly to mostly cloudy sky both days. High temperatures are forecast to be in the low 80s Thursday, and into the mid-80s Friday.

A slight chance to a chance for rain showers and thunderstorms will return to the forecast for Saturday and Sunday as a wave of low pressure tracks east across the southern Plains state. The probability will be around 20 percent Saturday and near 30-40 percent Sunday. Rain amounts through Monday morning are forecast to generally average between 0.5 and 1 inch. High temperatures both days are forecast to be in the mid and upper 80s.

Looking ahead to next week, forecasts call for generally dry and warm conditions, with high temperatures around 90-92 degrees.

Amazing Morning Planets

This will be a great week to wake up early and look at the planets. They’re all lined up. Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn are stretched out in a line. The view is about to improve even further late this week. Venus and Jupiter are converging for a tight conjunction on Saturday morning, April 30th. They will “appear to nearly collide into each other,” according to NASA. “Due to the glare from both planets, some observers will see them merge into one very bright, spectacular glow!” Between now and then, the crescent Moon will glide by Venus and Jupiter, forming a lovely triangle on Tuesday morning, April 26th, and especially Wednesday morning, April 27th. Set your alarm for dawn (60 minutes before local sunrise) and enjoy the show.