Tuesday’s forecast data is showing few changes in the timing and magnitude of the bitterly cold air that is expected to blast through our area on Thursday. In addition, the weather pattern still looks to stay dry through the holiday weekend, with no wintery precipitation forecast.
As of early Tuesday afternoon, the leading edge of the arctic air was located over southwestern Canada, moving to the southeast. The cold air is predicted to race southeast to a position across northern Colorado and northern Kansas by Wednesday evening, then move into Northwestern and northern Texas around daybreak Thursday. The front is forecast to reach the Austin area late morning to around midday Thursday, the La Grange/Columbus area by about 3 pm, then moving off the coast by Thursday evening.
Windy and much colder weather will follow the cold front Thursday afternoon into Thursday night. In fact, temperatures are predicted to fall below freezing across the Hill Country and most of Central Texas by Thursday evening and across the remainder of the region by late Thursday evening. The temperature is forecast to remain below freezing for most areas between Thursday evening and about midday Saturday. Expect strong northerly winds at 15-25 mph, with occasional gusts to around 40-45 mph Thursday night through Friday afternoon. Wind speeds should diminish to around 10-15 mph late Friday afternoon and continue in that range Friday night through Saturday morning. Sunny and very cold weather will then be in place Friday night through Sunday night. Milder temperatures look return on Monday.
Here’s a look at the updated temperature forecast for late week and the holiday weekend:
- Lows early Friday morning are forecast to be around 10-12 degrees across the Hill Country, be between 10 and 15 degrees across Central Texas, and be between 15 and 20 degrees across the coastal plains! Wind chill temperatures are forecast to be as low as -5 degrees across the Hill Country to around 2 degrees across the middle Texas coast.
- Temperatures Friday are predicted to only warm to the upper 20s across the Hill Country, to around 30 degrees across Central Texas, and to the low 30s across the coastal plains. Wind chill temperatures are forecast to be close to zero degrees Friday morning.
- Lows Saturday morning are predicted to be between 10 and 15 degrees across the Hill Country, and between 15 and 20 degrees across Central Texas, and in the low 20s across the coastal plains.
- High temperatures Saturday are predicted to be in the upper 30s.
- Low Christmas morning are predicted to be close to 20 degrees across the Hill Country, and in the low 20s across Central Texas and the coastal plains.
- High temperatures Christmas Day are forecast to be in the mid and upper 40s.
- Lows next Monday morning are forecast to be around 28-32 degrees.
- High temperatures Monday are predicted to be in the mid and upper 50s.
The National Weather Service has posted a Hard Freeze Watch for the entire region from Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning. In addition, a Wind Chill Watch will go into effect Thursday evening and continue through Friday morning.
For interests along the coast, the arctic front and its associated high winds are going to cause extremely dangerous marine conditions for all inland bays and the Gulf waters beginning Thursday night. Widespread gale conditions and potential storm force winds (48 kts sustained) will be possible Thursday into Friday. Seas are forecast to build to 9-15 feet across the nearshore waters. Strong winds will drive blow out tides across all inland bays with water levels quickly falling Thursday night and Friday morning. Tide levels forecast to fall below 2.0-2.5 feet on Friday and may go lower, increasing the risk of vessel groundings. Small craft should be in port by midday Thursday and remain in port through Saturday.
Next week’s weather is looking dry and mild, with the next chance for rain not expected until around New Year’s Eve.