The weather has been fantastic this week, featuring total sunshine, pleasant days and cool nights! This “Chamber of Commerce” type weather pattern looks to continue this afternoon, with readings reaching their warmest level of the week–into the mid-70s. But the pattern will be changing late Friday night into early Saturday morning when a Canadian cold front sinks south through our area, delivering a batch of noticeably cooler air. The front is predicted to move off the middle Texas coast by sunrise Saturday. Lows Saturday morning are forecast to be in the low and mid-40s, with low 50s expected towards the coast.
Saturday’s weather will feature a partly to mostly cloudy sky, breezy conditions, and cooler temperatures. Expect a northerly wind at 15-25 mph, with occasional gusts to 35 mph. A weak trough of low pressure tracking east across North Texas is predicted to cause a 20 percent chance for spotty light rain showers across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions through mid-afternoon. Across the coastal plains region, there will be a 40 percent chance for scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms through late afternoon. Rain amounts, if any, will be low—averaging less than a tenth of an inch. Saturday’s temperature is forecast to warm only to the low and mid-50s. The chance for rain should diminish by Saturday evening as the trough of low pressure exits to the east.
A light freeze is forecast across the entire region Saturday night as the strong winds diminish and the sky clears. Lows Saturday morning are forecast to be in the upper 20s across the Hill Country, be near 28-32 degrees across Central Texas and in the low 30s across the coastal plains.
Sunny and milder weather is forecast for Sunday as the Canadian air mass begins to slowly move off to the east. With a light west and southwesterly breeze, temperatures are predicted to reach the mid-60s. Lows Monday morning will generally be in the mid and upper 30s.
For next week, expect mostly sunny, dry, breezy, and warm conditions for Monday and Tuesday. A strengthening pressure gradient is expected to cause southerly winds with speeds of 10-20 mph on Monday, and between 15 and 25 mph Tuesday. High temperatures both days are forecast to be near 70 degrees. Lows Tuesday morning will be in the low and mid-40s, while lows Wednesday morning are forecast to be in the mid-50s.
A change in the weather is forecast to take place Wednesday through Thursday when a trough of low pressure over the Desert Southwest is predicted to track east-southeast, moving across western and northern Texas. Increasing moisture off the Gulf of Mexico ahead of the trough is expected to cause the development of scattered rain showers and thunderstorms across the region Wednesday afternoon, with periods of rain and thunderstorms continuing Wednesday night through Thursday. Rain amounts are not expected to be all that heavy, with most totals averaging between 0.25 and 0.5 inches. High temperatures Wednesday and Thursday are forecast to be around 70-72 degrees.
Sunny, dry, and cooler weather is predicted to follow the cold front next Friday and next weekend. In fact, temperatures are forecast to dip close to freezing for much of the area next Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. High temperatures Friday are forecast to be in the 50s, warming to the 60s Saturday and Sunday.
Looking out into the week of February 21st, dry and mild weather is forecast early in the week, followed by a chance for rain in the middle of the week. Temperatures look to be mild, with highs in the 70s, and lows in the 50s.
This Week’s Planet Roundup
Mercury, Venus, and Mars continue to shine in the early dawn sky. They’re all located low in the southeastern sky, forming a triangle that will change shape slightly through the week.
The brightest planet is Venus, now peaking at a dazzling magnitude –4.9. In a telescope it’s a thick crescent; the globe appears about a quarter sunlit, as it always does when Venus is at its greatest brilliancy.
Mars is only one three-hundredth as bright as Venus, at a puny magnitude +1.4. Look for it 6° to Venus’s lower right.
Mercury is more than twice that far to Venus’s lower left. It’s about magnitude 0.0 all week.
Jupiter (magnitude –2.0, in Aquarius) sinks ever lower in evening twilight day by day. It will soon be departing the sunset sky. Look for it above the west-southwest horizon as twilight deepens. It sets before twilight ends.
Saturn is currently out of sight, in the glare of the Sun.
Have a good weekend.