Today’s cold front has made it all the way down to the middle and upper coast, and is slowly pushing into deep south Texas. Not much of a temperature difference behind it, but it is pulling in some slightly drier air with its northerly winds which will make for another very pleasant late fall evening. Lows will drop down into the 40s and 50s across the panhandle and west Texas…with 50s and 60s further east and along the coast. Deep south Texas will be the warmest overnight with lows in the 70s ahead of the cold front. Tomorrow, we’ll see highs generally in the 70s with 80s further south. We’ll also see a rapid return of southerly winds and gulf moisture beginning Thursday night which will help set us up for our next big rain event!
An upper level disturbance is on track to drop south along the west coast and develop into somewhat of a cutoff low across the desert southwest by late tomorrow. The low is expected to then eject east across the region Friday through Saturday afternoon bringing widespread rain and some severe storm chances along with it. Here’s a current look at how the rain chances will shape up beginning late Thursday night and through Saturday.
Rainfall amounts are not expected to be nearly as prolific as what we experienced this past weekend as this system will not be impacted by a dying hurricane, plus it will be moving at a quicker pace. Still, we do expect some areas to pick up anywhere from 1 to 3 inches with some locally higher amounts depending on where storms end up training over the same areas. Localized flash flooding will also be an issue since many areas will still be quite saturated from last weekend’s rain.
Last, but not least, we want to mention the threat for severe weather. Right now, the short and mid-range models are only showing fairly low to moderate levels of instability Friday into early Saturday from west central down into southwest Texas . What is concerning is the amount of wind shear (winds turning with height) that will be present with this system. These types of cool season setups where you don’t have a lot of instability in place, but you do have a lot of wind shear present, can be a cause for concern with respect to the possibility of tornadoes. Since the forecast models we use aren’t showing a whole lot of consensus on instability levels right now, we’ll likely have to wait until better data comes in tomorrow before we know if we should start getting concerned about a greater threat for tornadoes, or if we’ll just see a bunch of rain and some thunder and lightning. Local forecasters are thinking the severe threat will be low as the heavy rain throughout the day will limit the instability so much that the shear will be a non-issue. We’ll keep an eye on it and update again tomorrow as the latest data rolls in tonight!