Updated 845am CDT Tuesday / 16 April 2013
Partly to Mostly Cloudy Conditions Continue ….
A Cold Front with Thunderstorms Possible for Late Wednesday into Thursday ….
Much Cooler Temperatures Return Briefly Late Week ….
On this Tuesday morning…. a cold front extends from southeastern Missouri into northwestern Arkansas and southwestward into a surface low over the Red River country of northwest Texas and southwestern Oklahoma. The front continues northwestward across northwest Texas into northeastern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Given this surface pressure pattern, surface winds are southerly across our area of Texas.
In the upper levels of the atmosphere…. a broad area of upper level low pressure extends from Hudson Bay southwestward into the intermountain west with a broad trough.. or line of upper air low pressure.. extending southwestward into the southwestern USA. Given this upper air pattern, winds over south central Texas and the Austin metro area about 18,000 feet above the ground are southwesterly 35 to 45 mph.
Southerly surface winds continue to bring moisture northward from the western Gulf of Mexico. This basic weather pattern will continue through tomorrow with late night and early morning low clouds being the main weather feature over the coming few days. Clouds will break by late morning today with afternoon sunshine getting afternoon high temperatures in the 80s to near 90 degrees.. especially west and southwest of Austin.
By tomorrow night into Thursday.. a strong cold front will move southeastward through Texas with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms likely just ahead of the front as it moves through the area. At this point, I think the cold front will pass over the Austin area in the mid and late morning hours on Thursday with the best instability and atmospheric lift remaining to our distant north and, as a result, the highest rain chances and the threat of severe weather will generally remain to our north. Locally, I think we could see between 1/4 and 1/2 inch of rain with this systems passage.
Drier and cooler air will move down into our area by Thursday afternoon into Friday. Surface high pressure will move east of the area by the weekend with a southerly wind.. warmer temperatures and an increase in cloud cover and humidity by next weekend.
Have a good Tuesday night and Wednesday…
Meteorologist Troy Kimmel