Forecast for Central Texas

Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday
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61 °F / 52 °F 72 °F / 41 °F 62 °F / 40 °F 64 °F / 50 °F 67 °F / 52 °F
61 ° / 52 ° 72 ° / 41 ° 62 ° / 40 ° 64 ° / 50 ° 67 ° / 52 °
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50%Chance Rain/T-Storms 40%Chance AM Rain, then Sunny Sunny, Cooler Mostly Sunny 20%Chance Rain Showers
Updated February 22, 2019

Bob's Blog on Central Texas Weather

A Chance for Rain through Saturday Morning. Turning Sunny Saturday Afternoon.
Friday, February 22, 2019 2:53 PM
Cloudy, foggy and damp conditions are in place across Central Texas in advance of a vigorous trough of low pressure pushing east out of southern California.  Southerly winds in the lower atmosphere developing out ahead of the upper trough have caused the development of widespread overrunning clouds, fog and light rain showers.  While the fog is expected to become less dense this afternoon, the light rain shower activity is forecast to increase in areal coverage this afternoon, continuing overnight.  In addition, some isolated thunderstorms will also be possible as the atmosphere becomes increasing moist and slightly unstable.  Today's temperature is predicted to generally warm to the low and mid-60s.  However, areas near the middle Texas coast will see readings in the low 70s as a warm front pushes inland from the Gulf.  Low temperatures Saturday morning will be mostly in the low 50s, although mid-60s are predicted for areas near the coast.

The upper trough is forecast to reach the Texas Panhandle region Saturday morning, then lift northeast to southern Plains states Saturday afternoon.  The advancing trough will help push a Pacific cold front across Texas late Friday night into Saturday morning.  High-resolution forecasts call for the cold front to reach the western Hill Country a little before sunrise Saturday and the Austin area by about 9 am.  The front will continue moving southeast, pushing off the middle Texas coast around noon.  Forecasts indicate an area of rain showers and scattered thunderstorms will accompany the cold front when it moves across the region.  The rain should taper off fairly quickly behind the cold front as drier and more stable air spreads in from the west.  The rain should end across the Hill Country and the Austin area before noon and the coastal plains region before 2 pm.  Do note that while severe thunderstorms are not expected, some of the thunderstorms will have the potential to produce a little small hail, especially for areas located to the east of Interstate 35.  The probability for rain this afternoon through Saturday morning is predicted to be near 50-60 percent.

Rain amounts this afternoon through Saturday morning are forecast to be low.  Totals across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions are predicted to be around a quarter inch, or less.  Just slightly higher totals are forecast across the coastal plains region.

Windy conditions look to develop across the region behind the cold front late Saturday morning through late Saturday afternoon.  Expect strong westerly winds of 15-25 mph, with occasional gusts to around 30-35 mph.  Wind speeds should decrease to around 10-15 mph Saturday evening and to around 5-10 mph by about midnight.

The combination of very strong winds and low relative humidity levels are expected to create critical fire weather conditions across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions Saturday afternoon.  The greatest fire weather potential will be across the Hill Country where the National Weather Service anticipates they will be issuing a Red Flag Warning.   

Saturday's temperature will be quite mild, with high temperatures in the low 70s.  Low temperatures Sunday morning will range from the upper 30s across the Hill Country to the low 40s across Central Texas to the upper 40s near the coast.

Sunny and dry weather conditions are forecast Sunday into Monday as a weak ridge of high pressure spreads over Texas behind the departing low pressure trough.  High temperatures both days will generally be in the low and mid-60s.  Low temperatures Monday morning will range from the upper 30s west to the middle 40s towards the coast.

Forecasts call for an area of clouds to spread north from the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday into Wednesday, causing a partly to mostly cloudy sky.  However, conditions should remain dry.  High temperatures both days will be near 68-70 degrees.  A few light rain showers are forecast Wednesday night through Thursday when a weak trough of low pressure tracks east from the Desert Southwest.  Rain amounts should average well below a quarter inch.  Mostly sunny and dry weather is forecast next Friday, continuing into next week.  High temperatures will be in the 60s, with low temperatures in the 40s.

Longer-range forecasts call for a chance for rain to develop around Monday, March 4th, when a strong cold front pushes south through the area.  Rain amounts look to be low.  There are indications the air behind this front will be quite chilly.

How to See 5 Bright Planets this Weekend

In late February 2019, you can see all five bright planets, two after sunset and three before sunrise.  By bright planets, we mean any solar system planet that's easily visible without optical aid.

Of the five planets, the biggest challenge by far is Mercury.  From most places worldwide, Mercury will follow the sun beneath the horizon before it gets good and dark. To maximize your chances of catching the solar system's innermost planet, find an unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunset. Then look for this world near the sunset point on the horizon as dusk gives way to darkness.  Mercury sets about 90 minutes after sunset.

Unlike Mercury, Mars makes a good appearance in the evening sky.  Although the red planet isn't as bright as Mercury in February 2019, Mars is bright enough to be easily visible in a dark sky.  Fortunately, Mars will be out until late evening.  Look for Mars in the western sky as darkness falls.

The morning planets are much easier to view.  All three morning planets – Jupiter, Saturn and Venus – will be up before dawn.  Both Venus and Jupiter should be dazzling bright, even at morning dawn.  Saturn, the dimmest of these three morning planets, might be hard to make out in the glow of dawn, but it'll be easy to spot in the predawn sky, or about 90 minutes before sunrise.  In late February, the line-up of morning planets showcases Jupiter at top, Venus at bottom, with Saturn in between the two.

Have a good weekend.

Bob

Previous Blog Entries

National Weather Service: Wetter than Normal Conditions Can be Expected this Spring.
Thursday, February 21, 2019 5:57 PM

The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center issued their monthly seasonal outlook update Thursday and the outlook calls for wetter than normal conditions to be in place this spring, but with no clear trend on the temperature.

CPC forecasters noted the El Nino now in place across the Pacific.  The most recent ENSO probability forecasts call for a weak El Nino to persist through spring or early summer, with the Pacific trending toward ENSO neutral this coming summer and fall.

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With a weak El Nino expected to be in place through late spring, CPC forecasters are calling for wetter than normal weather conditions across the eastern half of Texas during March and across most of Texas between April and June.  The forecasts show no significant trend for above or below normal rainfall beyond June.

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The updated outlook shows increased odds for below normal temperatures across the northern half of Texas during March, but no clear trend for temperatures between April and June.  The outlook does show increased odds for warmer than normal temperatures this summer and fall.

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Bob
  
Another Period of Clouds and Rain Expected Thursday through Early Saturday.
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 5:45 PM


The sun reappeared across Central Texas Wednesday as Tuesday's storm system exited to the northeast.  But this period of sunny, benign weather will be short-lived, as the next in a series of storm systems is already taking shape along the West Coast and headed our way.

A visible satellite image from late Wednesday afternoon showed a large area of clouds over California  associated with the next low pressure trough.  Ahead of the trough, middle and high-level clouds were spreading into Texas out of Mexico and the eastern Pacific:

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RAMMB-CIRA 02-20/20 3:50 pm

The trough of low pressure over central California is forecast to sink south-southeast and arrive over the Desert Southwest late Thursday.  Forecasts call for the trough to track east-northeast Friday, followed by a quick northeastward path across the Texas Panhandle Saturday morning.

Clouds look to increase in coverage across Central and South Texas late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning as considerable moisture spreads east from the Pacific.  Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico is predicted to increase Thursday into Thursday night.  This moisture will lead to a mostly cloudy to overcast sky Thursday through Friday.

With moisture levels increasing, a few spotty light rain showers will be possible across Central Texas and the coastal regions Thursday and Thursday night.  A somewhat better chance for scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms is forecast for the entire region Friday night through Saturday morning.

The strongest dynamics, or atmospheric lift associated with approaching trough are forecast to remain north of our region, so rain amounts from this system are expected to be low.  Totals through Saturday evening are forecast to average less than a quarter inch for areas along and west of Interstate 35.  Totals between 0.25 and 0.5 inches are forecast for areas to the east of Interstate 35.

NWS Rainfall Forecast for the Period 6 pm Wednesday through 6 pm Saturday:
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High temperatures are predicted to be in the upper 50s Thursday, the low 60s Friday and be around 70 degrees Saturday.  The trough of low pressure will drag a Pacific cold front across our region Saturday morning, with dry and stable air following Saturday afternoon through Sunday.  Sunday's temperature should warm to the low and middle 60s.

There will be another chance for rain developing Monday afternoon through Tuesday, but rain amounts are again forecast to be quite low.

Bob

  

Preiods of Light Rain Expected throughout the Week.
Monday, February 18, 2019 2:57 PM


Cool temperatures are in place across the region this afternoon in the wake of Sunday's cold front.  Satellite images show considerable high-level clouds spreading across the area associated with the Polar jet stream.  The jet is currently flowing south around a large trough of low pressure situated along the West Coast, bending east-northeast to the Desert Southwest and the southern Plains states.  The position of the jet stream is forecast to remain about the same through late week.  However, a couple of smaller troughs embedded within the jet are forecast to eject northeast out of the Desert Southwest this week, with both systems bringing periods of widespread light rain to Central and South Texas.

For this afternoon, expect filtered sunshine as considerable high-level clouds spread over the region.  High temperatures will range from low and mid-50s across the Hill Country, to the lower 60s at the coast.  Low temperatures Tuesday morning will include the mid and upper 30s across the Hill Country, the low 40s across Central Texas and the mid to upper 40s towards the coast.

A large area of light rain showers is forecast to develop across the coastal plains shortly after midnight tonight in advance of a trough of low pressure pushing east out of the Desert Southwest.  The area of light rain along the coast is forecast to expand north across Central Texas and the Hill Country in the hours before daybreak Tuesday.  Widespread light rain will continue across the entire area Tuesday and Tuesday night as the trough tracks northeast across Northwest Texas.  The rain is forecast to taper off across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions late Tuesday night and across the coastal plains region Wednesday morning.  Rain amounts through Wednesday morning are expected to be low, with most totals averaging just under a quarter inch.  Parts of the coastal plains region could see totals close to a half inch.

Chilly temperatures are forecast Tuesday and Tuesday night due to the widespread clouds and rain.  High temperatures will include the upper 30s across the Hill Country, the low and mid-40s across Central Texas and the lower 50s across the coastal plains.  Despite the chilly temperatures, no wintery precipitation is expected.  Low temperatures Wednesday morning will range from the mid-30s across the Hill Country to the mid-40s towards the coast.

A small break from the clouds and rain is forecast to develop across the region Wednesday as the upper trough exits to the northeast.  Expect a mostly sunny to partly cloudy sky Wednesday afternoon.  High temperatures look to be in the low 60s.  Lows Thursday morning will range from the upper 30s west to the upper 40s near the coast.

Widespread clouds and periods of light rain are forecast to return to the region beginning Wednesday night and continue through Saturday as the second trough of low pressure sinks south into northern Mexico, creating overrunning conditions across much of Texas.  The sky is forecast to be mostly cloudy Thursday through Saturday.  There will be periods of mainly light rain and drizzle, although some isolated thunderstorms will be possible late Friday night and Saturday.  Rain amounts through the period are forecast to total around a quarter inch or less.  The rain should end from west to east Saturday afternoon as drier air spreads in behind a Pacific cold front.

High temperatures will be in the upper 50s Thursday, warming to the middle 60s Friday.  Readings should reach the lower 70s Saturday.  Low temperatures will be in the low 40s Thursday morning, in the upper 40s Friday morning and in the low 50s Saturday morning.

Mostly sunny and dry weather is expected Sunday, with temperatures reaching the mid-60s.  But another period of light rain is forecast next Monday when a weak trough of low pressure lifts northeast out of Mexico.  Rain amounts are forecast to only average around a tenth of an inch.  Monday's temperature should reach the mid-60s.

Long-range forecasts call for mostly sunny and dry weather Tuesday, followed by a slight chance for rain next Wednesday when a strong Canadian cold front races south through the region.  Dry weather is forecast behind the front next Thursday and Friday.  High temperatures next Tuesday are forecast to be in the mid-60s, warming to the low 70s Wednesday.  High temperatures next Thursday and Friday are forecast to be in the 50s, with low temperatures mostly in the 30s.

The Year's Biggest Supermoon Happens Tuesday Night

February's full moon will be the biggest full moon supermoon of 2019.  From around the world, the moon will look plenty full to the eye on both February 18 and February 19 as it parades across the nighttime sky.  However, the moon will reach the crest of its full phase on February 19th.  What's a supermoon?  It's a popularized term for when the full moon occurs near perigee, or the moon's closest approach to Earth for the month.  The  February moon reaches its exact full phase closer to the time of perigee than any other full moon this year.  Hence the year's closest supermoon.  There are other factors that make a supermoon special.  For example, if you look outside tonight – assuming your sky is clear – you might be able to discern with your eye that the landscape is more brightly lit than usual by moonlight.  Supermoons are substantially brighter than ordinary full moons.

By the way, that bright star accompanying the February supermoon is none other than Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion.  (Earthsky.org)

Bob

Temperatures Trending Cooler Early Next Week Along with a Chance for Showers.
Friday, February 15, 2019 2:07 PM

The warmest temperatures since last November are forecast across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions this afternoon as west and southwesterly breezes develop across Central and South Texas.  Breezes out of the west and southwest are typically down sloping, warm winds for our region, as the air descends from the high elevations of the Mexican plateau.  This warm air, combined with scattered sunshine, is expected to push today's temperature up to the middle and upper 80s!   The coastal plains regions should see high temperatures around 78-80 degrees.  Expect west and southwesterly breezes in the range of 10-20 mph through late afternoon.  Today's taste of very spring-like weather will likely be short-lived, however, as slightly cooler air spreads into the area beginning tonight.

Friday's weather maps showed upper-level winds were traveling from west to east across the southern US.  These high-level winds were pushing considerable middle and high-level clouds eastward from the Pacific Ocean, creating a partly cloudy to mostly sunny sky across our region.  Similar conditions are predicted for Saturday and Sunday.  These clouds contain little moisture, so dry weather conditions are forecast from this afternoon through Sunday afternoon.

As of late Friday morning, a Canadian cold front was located across North Texas, just to the south of the Red River.  Temperatures behind the front were mostly in the 20s and 30s.  The front is forecast to remain nearly stationary through late afternoon, then begin sagging to the south this evening and overnight.  The front is forecast to reach the northern Hill Country late this evening and the Austin area shortly after midnight.  The cold front is forecast to stall somewhere near Interstate 10 on Saturday.  For locations to the north of the boundary, cooler temperatures are forecast for Friday night and Saturday.  Low temperatures Saturday morning will be in the mid and upper 40s, while high temperatures Saturday will generally be around 68-70 degrees.  For locations south of the front, low temperatures Saturday morning will be in the low and middle 50s.  High temperatures Saturday will be in the low 70s.  Low temperatures Sunday morning will range from the upper 40s across the Hill Country, to the low and mid-50s across Central Texas to the low 60s across the coastal plains.  Sunday's temperature should generally warm to the upper 60s.

A reinforcing shot of cooler air is predicted to push south across the region Sunday night into Monday morning, bringing even cooler temperatures to the area for the first half of next week.  This next front should clear the entire region and move into the Gulf of Mexico.  Forecasts call for the large trough of low pressure located off the West Coast to push inland early next week, with small waves of low pressure ejecting east from the upper low next week.   Several small waves of low pressure moving into Texas out of the West are forecast to cause the development of an overrunning pattern of clouds and light rain beginning Monday.  The outlook calls for a mostly cloudy sky with occasional periods of light rain.  The best chance for rain looks to occur Tuesday into early Wednesday and also Thursday into early Friday.  Rain amounts next week are expected to be low, with most totals averaging less than a quarter inch.

High temperatures Monday will generally be in the mid-50s but look to cool to the upper 40s Tuesday before returning to the low and mid-50s Wednesday.  High temperatures Thursday and Friday should be in the upper 50s to low 60s.

Low temperatures Tuesday morning will range from the mid and upper 30s across the Hill Country, to the upper 40s across Central Texas to the upper 40s near the coast.  Tuesday night into Wednesday morning is shaping up to be the coldest night next week.  Lows Wednesday morning will include the low and mid-30s across the Hill Country, the mid and upper 30s across Central Texas and the middle 40s across the coastal plains.  Lows Thursday and Friday mornings will generally be in the low and middle 40s.

Long-range forecasts call for temperatures to remain somewhat cool next weekend into the following week, with high temperatures in the 60s and low temperatures in the 40s.  There is some indication we may see some colder temperatures arriving around the 27th and the 28th.  Rain amounts through the end of the month are predicted to remain low.

A Weak El Niño has Officially Developed

National Weather Service forecasters announced Thursday the large tongue of warmer than normal sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific has finally couple with the atmosphere to the point it has reached the criteria to be declared a weak El Niño.  Atmospheric and oceanic conditions appear favorable for the El Nino to persist through spring and possibly even into early summer.  According to NWS forecasters, due to the expected weak strength of the El Niño, widespread or significant global impacts are not anticipated.  However, the El Niño is expected to cause an active subtropical jet stream across the southern US through spring, which will have the potential to being numerous storms to Texas. This active jet stream will also have the potential to enhance the upcoming spring severe weather season.  Stay tuned for further updates.

Mercury Returns to the Evening Sky

If you've never seen the planet Mercury before – or even if you have – take advantage of your golden opportunity to see Mercury after sunset over the next few weeks.  February 2019 showcases Mercury's best appearance in the evening sky for the year for northerly latitudes.  Here's how to find Mercury.  Make sure you have an unobstructed view of the horizon in the direction of sunset, and, if possible, perch yourself on top of a hill or balcony. Then as dusk deepens into darkness, look for Mercury to pop out low in the sky, and close to the sunset point on the horizon.  You may see Mercury with the eye alone an hour or so after sunset. With binoculars, you can spot Mercury even earlier. But don't dally, for locations across the southern US, Mercury will follow the sun and sink below the horizon about and an hour to an hour and 20 minutes after sundown.

Mercury is often hard to see in our sky. That's because Mercury, the innermost planet, orbits the sun inside of Earth's orbit and is often lost in the glare of the sun.  But, at opportune times, we can see Mercury for a brief while in the evening sky after sunset, or, at other times, briefly in the morning sky before sunrise.  The next few weeks will be one of those great opportune times to see Mercury.  Don't miss it!  (Earthsky.org)

Have a good weekend.

Bob

Spring-Like Temperatures Expected Thursday through Saturday.
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 6:18 PM

Unusually warm temperatures are forecast to develop across Central and South Texas Thursday through Saturday.  Readings more typical of mid-April rather than mid-February are expected.  These spring-like temperatures are forecast to take place as a large area of low pressure develops across southern Colorado and western Kansas.  A clockwise flow around the low pressure system is expected to produce a westerly to southwesterly breeze across our region.  Westerly winds are typically a "down-sloping" wind for Central Texas, where winds descend from the higher elevations of Mexico.  As the air descends in elevation, it tends to warm.

West and southwesterly breezes, with speeds of 10-20 mph and occasional higher gusts are forecast Thursday into Saturday.  These warm breezes along with a mostly sunny sky are expected to lead to unusually mild temperatures all 3 days.

Temperatures Thursday are forecast to reach the upper 70s, warming to the low and mid-80s Friday and to around 80 degrees Saturday.  These readings will be close to the all-time record high temperatures for mid-February.

Forecast Maximum Temperatures for Friday:


DJF.pngForecast Maximum Temperatures for Saturday:

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The temperature will trend cooler beginning Sunday when a Canadian cold front moves through the area.  High temperatures in the mid-60s Sunday look to fall to the lower 50s Monday through Wednesday.  Low temperatures will be in the upper 30s to lower 40s.

Bob

Clouds Have Finally Cleared Across the State
Tuesday, February 12, 2019 3:33 PM

​For the first time in nearly two weeks, the sun made an appearance across Texas Tuesday.   Our state was the sunny spot, as Tuesday's satellite image showed clouds in all directions of Texas.

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 RAMMB-CIRA 02/12/19 2:45 pm CDT

Sunshine Finally Returns Tuesday. Dry Weather Expected Tuesday through Friday.
Monday, February 11, 2019 4:00 PM


Clouds, occasional light rain and fog continue across the region as we start off this new week.  This soupy weather is the result of a overrunning pattern caused by passing disturbances in the middle and upper atmosphere.  Forecast solutions indicate one last disturbance will cross the area this afternoon and evening, causing the development of more scattered rain showers.  Any remaining fog and drizzle should dissipate by mid-afternoon.  Expect a cloud sky throughout the day along with a 30-40 percent chance for occasional light rain showers.  Rain amounts should generally total less than a quarter inch.  Today's temperature will be noticeably warmer, with readings generally reaching the mid-60s.  The coastal plains region will be even warmer, with readings warming to the low and middle 70s.

There will be a slight chance for additional rain this evening and overnight in advance of a Pacific cold front pushing east out of West Texas.  The front is forecast to reach the Austin area around midnight, moving off the middle Texas coast before sunrise Tuesday.  The chance for rain will end quickly behind the cold front as drier air spreads into the region.  Northwesterly winds will increase to around 10-15 mph behind the front.  Low temperatures Tuesday morning will be around 38-40 degrees across the Hill Country, in the low and middle 40s across Central Texas and be in the lower 50s towards the coast.

Tuesday's weather is shaping up to be mostly sunny and breezy as a large dome of Pacific high pressure builds east out of the Desert Southwest.  Expect a north wind at 10-15 mph, with occasional gusts to 25 mph through late afternoon.  Wind speeds should diminish by Tuesday evening.  Tuesday's temperature is forecast to generally warm to the low 60s.

The sky will be clear Tuesday night, allowing temperatures to turn rather chilly.  A light freeze is forecast across the Hill Country.  Low temperatures Wednesday morning will include the low 30s across the Hill Country, the low to mid-30s across Central Texas and the upper 30s across the coastal plains.

Weather conditions are shaping up to be partly cloudy and dry Wednesday through Friday as the storm track shifts up to the north and a weak ridge of high pressure sets up over the southern US.  However, breezy conditions are forecast all three days in response to a trough of low pressure pushing east out of the central Rockies.  This trough is forecast to drive a "dry" cold front through the area late Thursday night.  For Wednesday and Wednesday night, expect southwesterly winds to be in the range of 10-20 mph.  Wind speeds are forecast to increase to around 15-25 mph on Thursday.  Northerly winds with speeds of 10-15 are forecast Friday.

The temperature looks to be quite mild Wednesday through Friday.  High temperatures Wednesday are predicted to be in the mid-60s.  Even warmer readings are expect Thursday, as temperatures warm to the mid and upper 70s.  High temperatures Friday are forecast to be in the mid-60s.  Low temperatures Thursday and Friday mornings will be in the low and mid-50s.

The weather is forecast to be mostly sunny, dry and slightly cooler this coming weekend in the wake of a Canadian cold front.  High temperatures both days are predicted to be in the low 60s.  Low temperatures Sunday and Monday mornings will generally be in the low and mid-40s.

The outlook for next week calls for an increasing chance for rain showers Monday and Monday night when a trough of low pressure pushes east out of northern Mexico.  Rain amounts are forecast to average around a quarter inch.  The weather looks to be sunny and dry Tuesday through Thursday, followed by another chance for rain next Friday and Saturday.  Temperatures next week are predicted to be fairly cool for the first half of the week, with highs in the low 50s and lows in the 30s.  Milder temperatures are expected for the second half of the week.

First Quarter Moon Tuesday

First quarter moon arrives on February 12, at  4:26 pm CDT.  The moon has a day side and a night side, just as Earth does. Due to the angle between the sun, Earth and moon, we will be seeing about equal portions of its day side and night side Tuesday night. Because the moon is now waxing, we're bound to see more of its day side each evening until the night of the full moon next Tuesday.

The part of the moon that isn't in sunlight is often called the moon's dark side.  Just realize that – because of the moon's motion around Earth – the portion of the dark side that we see from Earth constantly changes.  There is a permanent far side of the moon. But there is no permanent dark side of the moon, because any given lunar location experiences night for about two weeks, followed by about two weeks of daylight.  The moon does rotate on its axis.  But billions of years of Earth's strong gravitational pull have slowed it down such that today the moon takes as long to rotate as it does to orbit once around Earth (about 29 days).  For that reason, one side of the moon always faces Earth, but it is not always dark – as you can see just by looking at the sky this week.  (Earthsky.org)

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Bob

Occasional Sleet Showers Will be Possible through Early Saturday Morning.
Friday, February 8, 2019 2:31 PM
​There have been numerous reports of sleet falling around the Austin area, parts of the Hill Country and even around Central Texas this afternoon.  Sleet has even been reported as far east as Bastrop and La  Grange.  However, temperatures at the surface have been above freezing at all locations except for the Hill Country.  At 2 pm, readings were below freezing generally west of a line stretching from Florence to Lago Vista to Johnson City.  East of this line, the temperature was generally in the mid and upper 30s, with lower 40s being reported to the south of Interstate 10.  Little movement in the temperature is expected this afternoon.

An overrunning pattern has set up in the wake of Thursday's arctic cold front, that is causing the development of light precipitation across much of the region.  With temperatures in the middle and lower atmosphere at or below freezing, some of the precipitation is falling as sleet and graupel.  Sleet is essentially a frozen raindrop that has an icy appearance.  Graupel, on the other hand, appears as tiny balls of rime ice or very tiny hail stones. They form when supercooled water droplets collects and freeze on falling snowflakes.

Occasional periods of sleet/graupel, light rain and even a few snow flurries are forecast across the region this afternoon, continuing overnight.  Little change in temperature is forecast this afternoon and tonight.  For the Austin/Central Texas and Hill Country areas, only very light accumulations of sleet are expected through early Saturday morning.  However, a few isolated locations have the potential to see some relatively heavy bursts of precipitation that could result in slightly higher accumulations on bridges, overpasses and other elevated surfaces.     

The National Weather Service has just posted a Winter Weather Advisory for Llano, Burnet Williamson, Kerr, Gillespie, Kendall, Blanco and Travis Counties, including the Austin metro area, until 6 pm this evening.  A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of sleet may cause travel difficulties across the listed counties.

There will be a slight chance for additional spotty sleet showers early Saturday morning, but the threat for wintery precipitation is expected to end mid to late Saturday morning as temperatures in the lower and middle atmosphere warm above freezing.  There will be a 30 percent chance for occasional light rain Saturday and a 50 percent chance for occasional rain Sunday.   High temperatures Saturday look to be around 40-42 degrees, warming to the low and mid-50s Sunday.

People traveling around the Austin/Central Texas area and the Hill Country should expect slippery roads this afternoon and evening.  Use caution and maintain a slower speed than normal speed when driving.  

Bob

Spring-Like Temperatures through Wednesday. Turning Colder Thursday.
Monday, February 4, 2019 3:16 PM

An unseasonably mild and humid weather pattern set up across Central and South Texas over the weekend when a moderate wind flow developed off the Gulf of Mexico.  Temperatures on Sunday warmed into the 70s at most locations and low temperatures this morning were mostly in the mid and upper 60s.  This range of temperatures is more typical of late March and April weather rather than that of early February.  Monday's weather maps showed a broad trough of low pressure in the upper atmosphere located across the western US, with a broad ridge of high pressure stretching from western Texas to the Middle Atlantic States.  This particular jet stream configuration is keeping the coldest air confined to the northern and central Plains states, with mild readings blanketing the South and the Southeast.    

A plume of very humid air has been spreading north from the Gulf of Mexico since Saturday, leading to the development of widespread clouds and areas of fog.  This humid flow is forecast to continue through the middle of the week and is expected to keep our sky mostly cloudy to overcast.  Expect a mostly cloudy sky to hold across the entire region tonight through Wednesday night.  Some drizzle or spotty light rain will be possible from time to time between Tuesday afternoon and late Wednesday night, but rain amounts look to be very low. 

Today's temperature is forecast to generally warm to the mid and upper 70s.  Parts of the Hill Country could see readings reach 80 degrees.  Lows Tuesday morning will be in the upper 50s to low 60s.

High temperatures both Tuesday and Wednesday are predicted to be in the mid-70s.  Low temperatures Wednesday and Thursday mornings will be in the low and mid-60s.

Our spell of unusually mild weather will be coming to an abrupt end Thursday when an arctic cold front sinks into Texas and spreads south across our region.  Forecasts call for the cold front to reach the northern Hill Country around midday, with the front sinking southeast to the Austin area in the mid to late afternoon and the coastal plains region Thursday evening.  Forecast solutions indicate atmospheric conditions will become favorable for the development of scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms beginning late Wednesday night, continuing through Thursday afternoon and Thursday night in advance of and along the cold front.  The probability for rain will be near 50-60 percent.  Despite the high probability for rain, totals through Thursday night are forecast to be low; averaging between a quarter and a third of an inch.  The rain is forecast to taper off from west to east Thursday night.

In advance of the cold front, the temperature on Thursday is forecast to warm into the upper 60s to 70 degrees.  Behind the front, the temperature is expected to lower through the 50s.  Much colder readings are predicted for Thursday night.  In fact, much of the Hill Country and even parts of Central Texas may see a light freeze Friday morning.  Low temperatures Friday morning will include the upper 20s to low 30s across the Hill Country, the low and mid-30s across Central Texas and be around 40 degrees across the coastal plains.  High temperatures Friday are forecast to be mostly in the mid and upper 40s.  Low temperatures Saturday morning will range from the low 30s across the Hill Country to around 40 degrees near the coast. 

Forecasts call for an overrunning weather pattern to set up behind the cold front Friday and continue through the upcoming weekend as a trough of low pressure stalls over the southwestern US.  Widespread overrunning clouds are forecast across the region Friday through Sunday.  Occasional light rain is forecast to develop beginning Friday night and continue through the weekend.  The probability for rain both days will be near 30-40 percent.  Rain amounts over the weekend are forecast to average less than a quarter inch.

High temperatures Saturday look to be in the upper 40s to low 50s.  Readings should warm to upper 50s to low 60s Sunday.  Low temperatures Sunday morning will be in the mid-40s.

Looking ahead to next week, a mostly cloudy sky with occasional light rain is forecast to continue on Monday.  Monday's temperature should reach the low 60s.  Another cold front is forecast to sweep south through the region Monday night into Tuesday morning, bringing cooler air for the balance of the week.  High temperatures next week are forecast to be in the 50s, with low temperatures in the 40s.  There are indications widespread clouds and periods of light rain will continue through much of the week.

Don't Miss the Second Brightest Star in the Sky: Canopus!

Tonight, think about – or look for – a star that northern stargazers cannot see.  It's Canopus, and it's the second-brightest star in the entire sky. That means this star is easily visible, even on a moonlit night.  But it's easily visible only if you live far enough south on Earth's globe.  Canopus never rises above the horizon for locations north of about 37 degrees north latitude.  Austin and Central Texas are located well south of 37 degrees latitude and Canopus can be easily seen here.

For those of us in the southern US, you can always find Canopus in the month of February by first locating Sirius, the sky's brightest star in the sky.  Just face southward at around 8 to 9 p.m. this evening.  You can't miss Sirius because it is so bright.  Sirius makes a wide arc across the southern sky at this time of year.  However, Canopus makes a smaller arc as seen from southern latitudes and – to us – Canopus will appear very bright but below Sirius in the southern sky.

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Try to catch elusive Canopus this month as it will fade from view beginning in March. (Earthsky.org)

Bob

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