Temperatures have trended a little cooler in the wake of a Pacific cold front which moved across the region Thursday night. There was no rain along the front when it moved across the Hill Country and Interstate 35 corridor. However, showers and thunderstorms did develop over the eastern half of Central Texas, the middle Texas coast, and Southeast Texas. Parts of Lee and Fayette Counties recorded totals of more than 1.5 inches. But the highest totals occurred over the western half of Austin County, to the northwest of Bellville, where totals of 3-4.5 inches were recorded. All of the rain pushed east into Louisiana late Thursday night.

While the Pacific cold front has moved east of our area, a trough of low pressure associated with the front was still located over West Texas and northeastern Mexico as of Friday morning. The trough was brining widespread clouds to much of the state along with a few sprinkles of light rain. Forecasts call for our sky to remain mostly cloudy Friday afternoon through Friday evening. The sky is then expected to clear from west to east after midnight Friday night.

Mostly sunny, dry, and warm weather will be in place on the last day of 2022 and the first day of 2023. Expect breezy southwesterly winds at 10-15 mph, with gusts to 25 mph Saturday through Sunday. The southerly breezes will pull warmer and more humid air into the region Saturday night through Sunday.

  • High temperatures Friday are forecast to be in the low 60s across the Hill Country, in the mid and upper 60s across Central Texas, and the low 70s across the coastal plains.
  • Lows Saturday morning will range from the low 40s across the Hill Country, to the low 50s near the coast.
  • High temperatures Saturday are predicted to be in the low and mid-70s.
  • Lows temperatures Sunday morning will range from the low 50s across the Hill Country, to the upper 50s near the coast.
  • High temperatures New Year’s Day are forecast to be in the upper 70s.
  • Lows Monday morning are forecast to be between 65 and 70 degrees.

A Pacific trough of low pressure currently sliding southeast along the West Coast is forecast to reach the Desert Southwest over the weekend, then track east-northeast toward the Plains states on Monday. A Pacific cold front associated with the trough is predicted to move across the state Monday into Monday evening. But similar to the weather setup from Thursday, forecasts call for the greatest moisture return in advance of the trough to occur across Southeast Texas, extending west to around Interstate 35.

With that in mind, expect just a slight chance for rain showers and isolated thunderstorms along the cold front when it moves across the Hill Country Monday morning. Rain amounts, if any, should total less than a tenth of an inch. For the Interstate 35 corridor and most of Central Texas, there will be a 50 percent chance for showers and isolated thunderstorms along the cold front Monday morning into early Monday afternoon. Rain amounts are forecast to average less than a quarter inch. Across the coastal plains region, expect a 60-70 percent chance for rain showers and thunderstorms Monday morning through Monday evening. Here, rain amounts are forecast to average between a quarter and a half inch.

The sky will clear from west to east behind the cold front Monday afternoon through Monday evening.

Mostly sunny and dry weather is predicted for our region Tuesday through Friday as the Pacific storm track temporarily shifts north of our region. Warm temperatures are forecast Monday and Tuesday, with highs in the 70s and lows in the upper 40s to low 50s.

A weak cold front is forecast to move through the area Wednesday, bringing slightly cooler temperatures for the second half of next week and next weekend. Expect daily high temperatures to be in the low and mid-60s. Next Thursday and Friday mornings will be a little chilly, with lows in the mid and upper 30s. Lows next Friday and next weekend will be in the 40s.

Long-range forecasts call for dry weather conditions next weekend. The next chance for rain looks to occur sometime around January 9th or 10th, when a Pacific storm system moves across the southern Plains states.

Mild temperatures are forecast for the second week of January, with highs staying in the 60s and lows in the 40s.

Why Does the New Year Begin on January 1?

Our celebration of New Year’s Day on January 1 is a human-made creation. It’s not precisely fixed by any natural or seasonal marker. It’s a civil event, not one defined by nature. Yet, for folks in the Northern Hemisphere – where daylight recently ebbed to its lowest point and the days are starting to get longer again – there’s a feeling of rebirth in the air.

The New Year’s Day concept stems from an ancient Roman custom, the feast of the Roman god Janus. He was the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, frames, and endings. This is also where the name for the month of January comes from, since Janus was depicted as having two opposite faces. One face looked back into the past, and the other peered forward to the future. On January 1, many of us look back at the year that just ended and forward to the new year ahead. To celebrate the new year, the Romans also made promises to Janus. The tradition of New Year’s resolutions stems from this ancient custom. On January 1, as the year began, it was customary to exchange cheerful words of good wishes. (courtesy Earthsky.org)

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy New Year!