Very Cold Arctic Air to Spread into Central Texas Beginning Thursday - LCRA Very Cold Arctic Air to Spread into Central Texas Beginning Thursday - LCRA


Here is an update on the outbreak of arctic air forecast for late this week, this weekend and early next week. Recent forecasts have trended much colder.  In addition to the very cold temperatures, confidence is increasing our region will see the development of some wintery precipitation late Sunday through Monday.

A cold front sank south through the Hill Country and Central Texas regions much earlier than expected overnight and this morning. As of late morning, the front stretched from Lufkin, to just south of Brenham, to Rocksprings and Fort Stockton. The front is forecast to spread southeast this afternoon and eventually pull up stationary around the Highway 59/I-69 corridor. Because of the front’s early arrival, temperature will be much cooler than previously forecast this afternoon through Wednesday.

  • High temperatures will range from the mid-40s across the northern Hill Country to the low 50s across Central Texas. Across the coastal plains, temperatures will warm into the 70s but cool into 60s behind the front.
  • Lows Wednesday morning will include the upper 30s across the Hill Country, the low to mid-40s across Central Texas and the mid-50s towards the coast.
  • High temperatures Wednesday will be in the mid and upper 40s, with mid-50s towards the coast.
  • Lows Thursday morning are forecast to be in the mid to upper 30s across the Hill Country, the lower 40s across Central Texas and the low to mid-50s near the coast.

Tuesday’s weather maps showed a large area of arctic air stretching from central Canada to the southern Plains states. Late morning temperatures ranged from around -20 degrees across southern Canada to the teens across northern Oklahoma. Forecasts call for this mass of arctic air to spread south across Central Texas beginning Thursday afternoon, with very cold temperatures setting up across our region Friday through Monday. By all accounts, this is shaping up to be a significant cold air outbreak!

Based on Tuesday morning’s forecast guidance, here what I am seeing for temperatures:

Thursday:  High temperatures in the upper 30s to low 40s across the Hill Country, the mid and upper 40s across Central Texas and the low 60s across the coastal region.  Lows Friday morning mid and upper 20s Hill Country, near 30-32 Central Texas and low to mid-40s coastal region.

Friday:  High temperatures around 40 degrees Hill Country and Central Texas regions and around 48-50 coastal area. Lows Saturday morning low and mid-20s Hill Country, 28-30 degrees Central Texas and mid-30s coastal region.

Saturday:  High temperatures upper 30s to low 40s Hill Country and Central Texas regions and mid-40s towards the coast. Lows Sunday morning 10-15 degrees Hill Country, 18-22 degrees Central Texas and mid to upper 20s coastal plains.

Sunday:  High temperatures mid and upper 20s Hill Country, near 30-32 degrees Central Texas and mid to upper 30s coastal area. Lows Monday morning 10-15 degrees Hill Country, 18-22 degrees Central Texas and mid to upper 20s coastal plains.

Monday:  High temperatures near 30-32 degrees Hill Country and Central Texas regions and mid-30s coastal region. Lows Tuesday morning 8-12 degrees Hill Country, 17-20 degrees Central Texas and low to mid-20s coastal region.

Tuesday: High temperatures in the upper 30s to mid-40s.

There will be a potential for wintery precipitation to develop late Sunday afternoon through Monday afternoon when a trough of low pressure tracks east out of northern Mexico. As of now, this system is predicted to cause snow across the Hill Country and much of Central Texas. Across the coastal plains region, it shaping up to mainly be a mixture of freezing rain and sleet. It is too early to speculate on accumulations being this part of the event is still nearly a week away.

Preparations

Everyone needs to be prepare for this prolonged period of very cold, freezing weather. Preparations for the extreme cold should be completed today and Wednesday. This will include plants, pets/livestock, pipes, and people. Do note this will likely be an event that affects water pipes, especially any outside exposed pipes.

Rainfall Wednesday and Thursday

Scattered light rain showers are forecast to develop Wednesday afternoon, with heavier and more widespread showers expected Wednesday night through Thursday afternoon.  Rain amounts are forecast to generally total between 0.25 and 0.75 inches across the Hill Country and close to an inch across Central Texas and the middle Texas coast.  The rain is forecast to end before the freezing temperatures arrive Thursday night.

NWS Rainfall Forecast for the Period 6 am Tuesday through 6 am Friday:

Bob