Up the temperature roller coaster we go and peak before we start the descent once again. High temperatures this afternoon will peak in the 70s to 80s across all of Texas. In fact, part of the Rio Grande Valley will likely get precariously close to 90 degrees. 80s are expected in the Permian Basin, Big Country, West-Central Texas, the Concho Valley, into South Texas, and the Middle Coast into Southeast Texas. It is interesting to point out that these temperatures are roughly 60 to 70 degrees warmer than our low temperatures on Saturday morning.
We have several cities in danger of breaking their record highs this afternoon. Amarillo, Lubbock, Midland, Childress, Wichita Falls, Abilene, San Angelo, Corpus Christi, Galveston, and Beaumont are all forecast to tie or break their record highs for January 11. It’ll be very warm across the remainder of Texas, make no mistake about it.
Along with the warm temperatures forecast today we also have strong southerly to southwesterly winds. Wind gusts up to 40 MPH will be possible through the morning and afternoon hours across the eastern half of Texas. It will feel like a spring day in January, but no storms are expected this afternoon.
A concern across the western half of Texas will be elevated fire weather conditions. Very warm temperatures in the 70s and 80s combined with gusty westerly winds and low relative humidity will promote near-critical fire weather conditions this afternoon. Any fires that do develop will spread rapidly and require substantial resources to contain. While we did have some snow this past week, the amount of liquid equivalent was less than half an inch of rain. The warm temperatures and strong winds since Sunday have quickly dried out surface fuels. The fact we’re in winter and vegetation is dormant allows grass fire danger to rapidly ramp back up as well.
Lows tonight will not get below the 60s along and east of Interstate 35 with gusty south winds continuing into Thursday. Patchy fog will be possible tonight as the temperature and dewpoint spread close. Humid conditions similiar to a April or May morning are expected and it certainly will not feel like January. Meanwhile, the western half of Texas will get down into the 30s and 40s with a much drier airmass in place, although it’ll still be windy in spots.
A cool front will start to make progress into the Texas Panhandle on Thursday where high temperatures will be about 20 degrees cooler. Otherwise, the remainder of Texas will see high temperatures in the upper 60s to lower 80s on Thursday. More upper 80s are expected in Deep South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley. While temperatures will be cooler this weekend with increased cloudiness, we’ll see warm conditions continue ahead of our storm system.