Rain showers and thunderstorms are currently developing across the northern and western Hill Country. This activity is forecast to expand in areal coverage and spread across the entire region this afternoon and continue into Saturday afternoon as a series of low pressure troughs spread over Texas out of Mexico. In addition, a Canadian cold front sinking south out of North Texas will enhance the chance for rain and bring noticeably cooler temperatures for tonight and Saturday.
As of midday, the cold front stretched from just north of Waco, to Lampasas, near Junction, to north of Del Rio. Temperatures behind the front ranged from the mid and upper 30s around Abilene to the mid to upper 40s near San Saba. The cold front will continue moving south this afternoon and should reach the Austin area in the mid to late afternoon. The front is expected to reach the coastal plains region sometime late this evening. Much cooler temperatures can be expected this afternoon and tonight as the colder air spreads in behind the front. Lows Saturday morning will include the low and mid-40s across the Hill Country, the upper 40s across Central Texas and the mid-50s across the coastal plains. Expect northerly winds to increase to 10-15 mph with gusts to 25 mph this afternoon and tonight.
Thunderstorms and rain showers are forecast to develop near the frontal boundary over the Hill Country early this afternoon, with the activity increasing in areal coverage this afternoon, continuing through this evening. Today's atmosphere out ahead of and just behind the cold front is forecast to become unstable enough to support the development of strong to severe thunderstorms. The Strom Prediction Center has placed most all of Central Texas and the southern half of the Hill Country under a Slight Risk for severe thunderstorms through tonight.
The primary severe weather threats will be large hail and damaging downburst winds. However, a brief isolated tornado or two cannot be completely ruled out. The potential for severe thunderstorms is expected to decrease by late this evening as the cold front pushes south to the coast and moves offshore.
In addition to the threat for severe storms, widespread moderate to occasionally heavy rain is forecast to develop across the entire region this afternoon, with additional rains continuing overnight and into early Saturday morning. Rain amounts through midday Saturday are forecast to generally average between 1 and 2 inches, with isolated totals to near 3 inches possible.
Periods of mostly light to moderate rain showers and isolated thunderstorms are forecast to continue Saturday afternoon through Sunday as additional waves of low pressure move over our region. The threat for severe storms during this period will be very low. Rain amounts between midday Saturday and Monday morning are forecast to average between 0.5 and 1 inch. The probability for rain will be near 60-70 percent.
Temperatures will be quite cool Saturday, with high temperatures mostly in the mid and upper 50s,. Lows Sunday morning will be mostly in the mid-50s. Temperatures will trend warmer Sunday, with highs in the low 70s.
Forecasts call for the wet, unsettled pattern to continue into early next week as additional waves of low pressure move over the region. However, the rains are predicted to become much less widespread. The probability for rain will be near 50 percent Monday, decreasing to 30 percent on Tuesday. Rain amounts both days should average around a quarter inch. High temperatures Monday will be around 80 degrees, warming to the mid-80s Tuesday.
Total rainfall through next Tuesday is forecast to generally average between 1 and 3 inches.NWS Rainfall Forecast for the Period 7 am Friday through 7 am Wednesday:
Partly cloudy, dry and warm weather is forecast next Wednesday as a weak area of high pressure spreads over the region. High temperatures are forecast to be in the upper 80s. A few spots may reach 90 degrees.
Forecasts call for a chance for rain showers to return to the forecast next Thursday and Friday when waves of low pressure return to our region. However, the best chance for rain and thunderstorms is expected to occur next Saturday when a large trough of low pressure moves across Texas out of the Desert Southwest.