We saw quite a warmup in the temperature this week, with readings peaking close to, or just over 80 degrees on Thursday. This unusually mild pattern is expected to continue through the weekend before we see a brief cooldown early next week.

On this Friday, a small and weak wave of low pressure is tracking northeast from Central into East Texas. This system produced widespread clouds, patchy drizzle and some light rain showers across Central Texas around midday. The clouds and drizzle are predicted to clear from west to east this afternoon as the system exits our region. It’s shaping up to be another unusually mild day, with afternoon temperatures warming to near 78-80 degrees. Parts of the western and northern Hill Country could see mid and upper 80s. South winds will increase to around 10-15 mph as the sky clears.

Expect the sky to become cloudy late this evening and overnight. Patchy fog will be possible after midnight. Low temperatures Saturday morning will range from the upper 50s across the Hill Country to the mid-60s near the coast.

Saturday’s weather will feature widespread clouds throughout the morning, followed by mostly sunny conditions in the afternoon. Forecasts call for a weak cold front to sag south and stall across the northern Hill Country in the afternoon. However, no rain is expected anywhere across the region. High temperatures are forecast to again reach near 78-80 degrees. Expect a south breeze at 5-10 mph. The sky looks to become cloudy Saturday night. Areas of fog will be possible after midnight. Lows Sunday morning will be in the mid-50s across the northern Hill Country and around 60-62 degrees at most other locations.

More of the same is expected on Sunday. Widespread morning clouds will give way to scattered sunshine in the afternoon. It will be breezy and warm, with temperatures reaching near 78-80 degrees. Expect a south wind at 10-15 mph, with occasional gusts to 25 mph.

A change in the weather is predicted to take place late Sunday night into Monday morning when a fairly strong cold front pushes south across our region. The front is forecast to reach the northern Hill Country 2-3 hours before daybreak, the Austin/Interstate 35 corridor around daybreak, and the coast just after noon on Monday. Enough moisture and lift is predicted to be in place to produce a few rain showers and isolated thunderstorms when the cold front moves across the eastern Hill Country and Central Texas. The probability for rain will be near 30-40 percent, but rain amounts should total less than a quarter inch. Towards the coast, the probability for rain and thunderstorms will be near 40-50 percent Monday morning. Here, rain amounts are forecast to average between a quarter and a half inch.

Clouds will clear from west to east behind the cold front Monday morning. Breezy and much cooler weather is forecast Monday into Monday night. High temperatures Monday are forecast to be near 60 degrees across the Hill Country, in the low and mid-60s across Central Texas and be close to 70 degrees across the coastal plains. The sky is expected to become mostly cloudy Monday night. Lows Tuesday morning will include the low 40s Hill Country, the mid and upper 40s Central Texas and the low 50s coastal region.

Overrunning light rain showers and a few isolated thunderstorms will return to the forecast for Tuesday into Tuesday night as a trough of low pressure tracks across Texas out of northern Mexico. The best chance for rain looks to occur over the area along and east of Interstate 35. The chance for rain should end from west to east Tuesday night into Wednesday morning as the troughs exits the region. Rain amounts are forecast to generally average less than a quarter inch across the Hill Country and Central Texas. Towards the coast, totals should average between a quarter and a half inch. Tuesday’s high temperature is predicted to be in the mid and upper 60s. Lows Wednesday morning are forecast to be in the low 40s across the Hill Country, in the low and mid-40s across Central Texas and in the low 50s across the coastal plains.

The sky is predicted to clear from west to east Wednesday morning, followed by mostly sunny conditions in the afternoon. Expect high temperatures in the mid and upper 60s.  Lows Thursday morning will range from the low 40s west, to around 50 degrees near the coast.

Mostly sunny and warmer weather looks to develop next Thursday and Friday. Expect high temperatures in the 70s, with lows in the 50s.

Looking ahead to next weekend, forecasts call for another fairly strong cold front to push south through the area on Saturday. There will be a slight chance for rain with the front, with dry and cooler weather following next Saturday afternoon, Sunday and Monday. High temperatures will lower to the 60s, with lows in the 30s across the Hill Country, and 40s elsewhere.

Looking out into the week of December 13th, warmer temperatures are forecast Tuesday into Wednesday, with highs returning to the 70s. A cold front mid-weeks is expected to bring cooler temperatures for the second half of the week.

The latest forecasts call for an active weather pattern to continue into following week, with more cold fronts moving across our area. However, no unusually cold air or significant rain is expected through the middle of the month.

Earliest Sunset of the Year

For Central Texas, the very earliest sunset of the year occurred Thursday evening. Over the next couple of weeks, the sun will begin setting a minute or two later. Yes, the winter solstice is on December 21st and it is the shortest day of the year.  The reason for this discrepancy is because of a difference between our modern-day timekeeping methods and how time is measured using the Sun that is known as the equation of time. The equation of time is the difference between time measured using a sundial, also known as true or apparent solar time, and time measured using a clock, also known as mean solar time. On most days, solar noon does not occur at the same time as noon on your watch. Around the solstices, solar noon occurs a few minutes later than the previous day. As solar noons increasingly occur later, sunrises and sunsets also steadily occur later each day after the winter solstice. This is why a location’s earliest sunset occurs before, and its latest sunrise occurs after the winter solstice.

In Austin, the earliest sunset was 5:30 pm CST on Thursday. By December 10th, sunset will be at 5:31 pm. And by December 21st, sunset will be a 5:35 pm. Enjoy these extra minutes of evening daylight!

Have a good weekend!