- By Burton Fitzsimmons
- 12/05/2013 07:18 AM
Arctic Front Brings Long Stretch of Cold Weather, Potential Ice
A cold blast of chilly north wind arrived within the first few hours of this calendar day, and temps are tumbling once again! The front clears away what had been a thick overnight fog and brings our temps closer to a range of 34-40 by lunch. A north wind at 10-20+ with momentary gusts close to 30 mph at times will make it feel even colder.
Temps right now:
(Click for wind chills & yesterday's highs.)
Futurecast shows very little precipitation during the day (a 20% chance) yet we think a batch of light showers might develop and move in from the west, and the chance gets much better tonight (60% odds). Warmer, more bouyant Pacific air from the west is riding up and over the cold air now at the surface...inducing what we call a light "overrunning" precipitation. It should become more widespread tonight while, at the same time, temps are falling to or below freezing. The result? Potential for chilly drizzle/rain to turn into freezing drizzle/rain or even sleet, especially west and north of Austin.
Here's how the forecast breaks down by impact:
Holding in the mid to upper 30s this afternoon, then a drop after midnight to near 29-32 for most areas. Near or at freezing to start Friday, then rising to mid 30s tomorrow afternoon. At the coldest this event, we expect mostly 20s early Saturday...potentially a hard freeze for several hours, and many theremometers may not rise above 32 Sat afternoon. For most areas, Saturday highs 30-35. Then we fall below freezing in almost all areas again Saturday night through Sunday AM. We expect a rise back to near 40 midday Sunday.
Small rain chance today then odds increase Thu night with chilly rain changing to sleet/freezing rain north and west of the CapCity during the night. Light ice accumulations are possible early Friday (60% precip chance overall) then the activity tapers during the day. It's a 40% chance for an icy mix Friday night through Saturday morning at the worst. It's going to be a close call: temps are expected to remain below freezing during the day Saturday, cold enough for a wintry mix. Precip should exit east by early Sunday at the latest. Any ice accumulations are expected to be light.
Sustained north winds at 10-20 mph from through Saturday with gusts over 20 mph. Winds subside a bit Sunday then another, weaker cold front arrives by early Monday with stronger breezes.
Check out the extended forecast for more details.
Light ice accumulations will most likely take hold first on elevated surfaces like bridges and overpasses, and could make roadways and general travel very dangerous in Texas all weekend long. There is a slim but noted possibility for light icing up to I-35. For more about winter travel in general, take a look at NOAA's Texas Winter Weather Guide.
Overall, this looks like a light precip event:
NOAA's latest 7 day rain outlook calls for a range of 1/2" to 3/4" potential accumulations here at home.
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