It has been a wet week for the Hill Country and Central Texas regions, with some locations receiving more than 4 inches of rain. The middle Texas coastal region has seen the least amount of rain, with most totals averaging around a half inch, or less. But the wet pattern isn't over quite yet. There will be another chance for rain this weekend, with another chance for rain developing the middle of next week.
As of early Friday afternoon, weather conditions were fairly quiet across the region. The rain and thunderstorms which pushed across Central Texas early morning had moved well off to the northeast. The biggest weather problem at the current time is dense fog. Warmer air returning off the Gulf of Mexico is causing a widespread area of fog across Central Texas and the Hill Country. The most dense fog was being observed across Central Texas, in advance of a warm front. At 2 pm, the front stretched from Tyler to Huntsville, to Smithville, to near New Braunfels. Temperatures to the south of the front were in the mid-60s to upper 70s, while to the north of the front, readings were still in the 40s and 50s. The front should continue moving northwest this afternoon, moving past most of Central Texas by this evening, and pushing north of the Hill Country by about midnight. Behind the warm front, a mostly cloudy sky with no fog is expected through late afternoon. Today's temperature is forecast to warm to the low and middle 60s across Central Texas and to around 55-58 degrees across the Hill Country. Readings across the coastal plains should reach the mid and upper 70s.
There will be just a slight chance for rain showers and isolated thunderstorms across the region this afternoon and evening as we wait for the next trough of low pressure to move out of the Desert Southwest on Saturday. Low temperatures Saturday morning will be quite mild, ranging from the mid and upper 50s across the Hill Country, to the upper 60s towards the coast.
A large trough of low pressure currently located over the Desert Southwest is forecast to track east-northeast tonight and Saturday, moving across the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma Saturday into early Sunday. In advance of the trough, the atmosphere over Central Texas is forecast to become quite moist and slightly unstable. The will be a 30 percent chance for scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms after midnight tonight. The chance for rain showers and thunderstorms will increase across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions Saturday morning when a Pacific cold front associated with the upper trough pushes east out of West Texas. The front is forecast to move across the Hill Country starting around daybreak, reaching the Interstate 35 corridor about noon. A large area of rain showers and thunderstorms is forecast it develop ahead of and along the cold front. The front will continue moving southeast Saturday afternoon, clearing the middle Texas coast late Saturday evening. The rain looks to taper off from west to east across the Hill Country and Central Texas regions Saturday afternoon, with dry weather expected by Saturday evening. Towards the coast, rain showers and thunderstorms will be in place Saturday afternoon into Saturday evening, with more showers expected after midnight Saturday night.
Rain amounts Saturday are not shaping up to be all that heavy, with most totals expected to be between 0.25 and 0.5 inches. Isolated totals to near 1 inch will be possible. Saturday's temperature will be quite mild, reaching the low 70s. It will turn a bit cooler Saturday night. Lows Sunday morning will include the mid and upper 30s Hill Country, the low and mid-40s Central Texas and middle 50s towards the coast.
Sunday's weather is shaping up to be partly cloudy and mild across the Hill Country and the Interstate 35 corridor regions. But scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms are forecast to continue across the eastern counties of Central Texas and the middle Texas coast for much of the day on Sunday as the front stalls just off the coast. Weak disturbances moving northeast out of Mexico are forecast to cause periods of overrunning rain showers throughout the day. But the activity should taper off Sunday evening. Additional totals of 0.25-0.5 inches are forecast. Sunday's temperature should generally reach the mid-60s.
Mostly sunny, dry and mild weather is forecast across the entire region Monday. Expect a high temperature near 70 degrees.
Forecast solutions call for another large trough of low pressure to take shape over the southwestern US late Monday. The trough is forecast to track northeast, reaching the southern Plains states Wednesday. The approaching trough is expected to pull clouds and moisture north from the Gulf of Mexico beginning Monday night, with a scattered rain showers and isolated thunderstorms developing Tuesday. There will be a 40-50 percent chance for rain showers and scattered thunderstorms Tuesday through Wednesday, with the activity tapering off Wednesday evening. Friday's forecast data indicates rainfall over the 2-day period shouldn't be all that heavy. Amounts are forecast to generally average between 0.5 and 1 inch. High temperatures Tuesday will be in the upper 60s, warming to the low 70s Wednesday.
Mostly sunny, dry and mild weather is predicted next Thursday through Sunday as upper-level winds turn westerly. High temperatures are forecast to be around 68-70 degrees, with low temperatures mostly in the 50s.
Another slight chance to a chance for rain is forecast to develop next Sunday and Monday. Mild temperatures are forecast through the first week of March, with high temperatures generally in the 60s.THE EVENING STAR IS BACK:
If the sky clears this weekend, look for an old friend low in the western sky; the planet Venus. After an 11-month absence, the 2nd planet has returned to the evening sky. And this is just the beginning for Venus. The planet is emerging from the glare of the sun and should become easier to see every night. It will be an increasingly bright fixture of the evening sky for the next 8 months.
A date of special note is March 18, 2018. On that date, Venus, Mercury and the whisper-thin crescent Moon will gather in the sunset sky for a beautiful triple conjunction.
Have a good weekend.