A trough of low pressure pushing northeast out of Mexico has brought a large area of light to moderate rain to Deep South Texas, along with the middle and upper Texas coast. The rain extended inland as far as Gonzales, La Grange, and Brenham, but was heaviest close to coast. Totals as of noon Friday generally averaged less than a half inch for areas located to the south of Interstate 10. However, a couple of LCRA Hydromet gauges located in central and western Wharton County have recorded close to an inch of rain. Forecasts call for the rain over the coastal plains to taper off by mid-afternoon Friday as the trough of low pressure exits to the east.  No rain has fallen across the Hill Country or the Interstate 35 corridor.

The next weather feature of interest is a strong cold front that is currently pushing south out of North Texas. As of midday, the front stretched from the DFW metroplex, to Abilene and Midland. Forecasts call for the front to move across the northern Hill Country early to mid-afternoon, and the Austin/Central Texas area in the late afternoon to early evening. The cold front is predicted to push off the middle Texas coast sometime before midnight Friday night.

In advance of Friday’s cold front, weather conditions are forecast to be partly to mostly cloudy and warm. The temperature is forecast to reach the low and mid-70s across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions, but hold in the mid and upper 60s across the coastal plains. A narrow band of rain showers is predicted to develop along the cold front as it moves across Central Texas Friday afternoon and the middle Texas coast Friday evening. The chance for rain will end once the cold fonts moves through the area. Rain amounts, if any, are forecast to average around a tenth of an inch or less.

Breezy and colder weather will develop behind the cold front Friday evening and Friday night. Expect northerly winds with speeds of 10-20 mph and gusts to 30 mph Friday evening and Friday night. The strong winds look to continue Saturday, with some gusts to 35 mph possible. Wind speeds should decrease to 10-15 mph Saturday evening. Expect a mostly cloudy sky Friday night through Saturday morning. The sky is predicted to become sunny Saturday afternoon. Sunny and dry weather will continue Sunday.

Friday’s cold front will bring a brief return to winter-like temperatures. In fact a light freeze is forecast across the Hill Country and parts of Central Texas Sunday morning!

  • Lows Saturday morning are forecast to be in the mid-30s across the Hill Country, be around 40 degrees across Central Texas, and the mid-40s across the coastal plains.
  • High temperatures Saturday are predicted to be close to 50 degrees.
  • Low temperatures Sunday morning are forecast to be in the upper 20s across the Hill Country, in the low and mid-30s across Central Texas, and the mid-30s across the coastal plains.
  • High temperatures Sunday are predicted to be in the mid and upper 50s.
  • Lows Monday morning will generally be in the upper 30s.

Sunny, dry, and spring-like weather is forecast across the region all of next week as a stable ridge of high pressure spreads across Texas out of Mexico. Cold air from the weekend looks to move out quickly on Monday as southerly breezes return to the area.

  • High temperatures Monday are forecast to be in the low 70s.
  • High temperatures Tuesday through Thursday are predicted to be near 80-83 degrees.
  • High temperatures Friday are forecast to be near 70 degrees.
  • Low temperatures Tuesday are forecast to be in the mid and upper 40s.
  • Lows Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings are forecast to be in the mid and upper 50s.

A dry, Pacific cold front is predicted to push across the area next Friday, bringing slightly cooler air for Friday and next weekend. However, milder air is forecast to return for the week of February 26th as high temperatures return to the upper 70s to 80 degrees.

Is winter over after this weekend’s cold blast? It seems this may very well be the case as very mild temperatures are predicted to remain in place trough the end of the month, continuing into early March. Historically, the average date of last freeze for most of our area is generally between February 20th and 25th. Mother Nature could still throw us a curve ball or two in March, but the long-range computer-forecast data is not calling for any additional arctic air masses at least trough the first week of March.

Only Two Planets Currently Visible

If you’re hoping to do some star and planet gazing this weekend, note that only two planets are currently visible. In the evening sky, Jupiter is the bright white dot high in the southwest at dusk; lower in the west-southwest later. It sets in the west by about 11 pm. In a telescope, Jupiter has shrunk to only 36 arcseconds wide. The bright planet Venus can be spotted in the southeastern sky as dawn gets under way. It’s still hanging low there when dawn grows too bright.

Mercury, Jupiter, and Mars are all lost right now in the either sunrise or sunset.

Have a good weekend.