The month of March has been quite dry so far, with most rain totals averaging less than a half inch. This week, there will be a couple of opportunities for rain across the region, but unfortunately, soaking rains do not appear likely. Temperatures will be mild throughout the week, with readings forecast to warm into the 80s by next weekend.

The first of this week’s rain opportunities is forecast to occur this afternoon and tonight when a trough of low pressure near the Four Corners region moves to the Texas Panhandle, then turns northeast into the Plains states. Out ahead of the trough, clouds and moisture began spreading north from the Gulf of Mexico Sunday night and this has resulted in a cloudy sky across the region. This afternoon, scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms are predicted to develop across the western and northern Hill Country where the atmosphere will become increasingly unstable. Across the rest of the region, there will be just a slight chance for some scattered light rain showers. Afternoon high temperatures will range from the mid-60s west, to the mid-70s close to the coast.  South winds are forecast to increase to around 10-20 mph, with occasional gusts to around 25 mph.

The chance for rain showers and scattered thunderstorms is forecast to increase across the western and northern Hill Country this evening when a Pacific cold front begins pushing east out of West Texas. The area of rain and thunderstorms is predicted to spread to the eastern Hill Country just before midnight, then spread across the Interstate 35 corridor and Central Texas regions in the hours just after midnight. Showers and isolated thunderstorms are predicted to spread across the coastal plains region in the hours just before daybreak Tuesday. Forecasts show the greatest threat for severe thunderstorms will be across northern Texas and southern Oklahoma, although a strong to severe storm or two cannot be ruled out across the Hill Country and the northern counties of Central Texas. The Storm Prediction Center has placed the area along and north of a Junction to Georgetown, to Madisonville line under a Marginal Risk (1 out of 5 risk) for severe thunderstorms overnight. Should a severe storm develop, large hail, damaging winds, and dangerous lightning will be the primary threats.

The rain and storms are predicted to exit the area from west to east overnight as drier air spreads in behind the Pacific front. Rain totals are forecast to average between a quarter and a half inch across the western and northern Hill Country and average around a quarter inch at most other locations.

Sunny and warm weather looks to develop Tuesday in the wake of Monday night’s cold front. High temperatures are forecast to be near 80-82 degrees. Expect a light southwesterly breeze at 5-10 mph. Lows Wednesday morning will range from the upper 40s west, to the low 50s central, to the low-60s near the coast.

The second opportunity for rain is forecast to develop Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning when another trough of low pressure pushes east out of the Desert Southwest. This system is expected to track a little further to the south and offers a better potential for slightly higher rain totals, compared to the system Monday night. There will be a 40 percent chance for scattered rain showers and thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon, followed by a 50-60 percent probability for rain and thunderstorms Wednesday night into early Thursday morning. Severe storms are not anticipated, but a couple of strong storms will not be out of the question. Totals from this system are predicted to generally average between a quarter and a half inch. The rain is forecast to end from west to east just after daybreak Thursday morning. High temperatures Wednesday will be in the upper 70s. Lows Thursday morning will be in the mid-50s.

Sunny and mild weather is forecast Thursday afternoon through Friday. High temperatures Thursday will range from the upper 60s west to the mid and upper 70s near the coast. Lows Friday morning will be in the mid and upper 40s. High temperatures Friday look to be near 78-80 degrees.

Sunny, dry and warm weather is expected this coming weekend. High temperatures are forecast to be in the low 80s, with low temperatures in the mid-50s.

Looking out into next week, forecasts call for sunny and mild weather Monday and Tuesday, with high temperatures around 80 degrees. There will be a chance for rain showers and scattered thunderstorms in the middle of the week when a Pacific cold front moves through the area. Sunny and mild weather will return late week. High temperatures should be in the 70s, with lows in the 50s.

Have a good week.