Forecast highs for the work week ahead are expected to remain at or above normal with Wed and Thursday being the warmest days before the bottom drops out and a strong arctic cold front arrives. Morning lows will still be chilly and typical for mid-December in Texas, so we’ll continue to need jackets each morning when we head out the door. On and off rain chances will continue for coastal areas as well, extending into central and up into north central and eastern Texas by Monday and especially on Tuesday as an upper level disturbance traverses the state early this week. The greatest amount of rainfall is expected to arrive on Tuesday with what looks to be very nice rainfall totals in the range of 2+ inches across parts of central and northeastern portions of the state. Definitely nice to see with widespread moderate to severe drought conditions present across these areas.
In addition to the above mentioned rainfall, thunderstorms and the threat for severe weather returns to the forecast for Tuesday with a Marginal Risk (Level 1) already in place for parts of southeast Texas. A few storms on Tuesday within and near the Marginal Risk area could reach severe limits with a small hail, damaging winds and frequent lightning as the main threats. The tornado threat on Tuesday across the area will be rather low…but non-zero given the instability and wind shear expected to be in place by early Tuesday afternoon. Folks in this area will need to pay close attention to the weather on Tuesday and have a way to receive Warnings if any are issued for your particular location.
Now jumping ahead to the weekend before Christmas…which is what everyone here came to read about anyway! The forecast remains solid that we’ll see a strong arctic front arrive late Thursday into Friday. As for winter weather, that remains a little more unclear. Most of the long-range forecast model runs last night trended drier, pretty much removing the threat for snow and ice out of the forecast. Not good news for those wanting a white Christmas, but great news for anyone who has to travel. Still, it’s too early to be certain of anything. We could very well see this trend switch back to one bringing snow and ice as the forecast models continue to refine over the next couple of days…or we could see them continue to trend with a dry, but very cold, forecast. The important message we and those at the National Weather Service want to send is to be prepared. Have a Plan B for travel if it begins to look again like we’ll be dealing with winter weather. Monitor the forecast for not only your local area, but also your destination. And most of all, use reliable weather information such as that provided by the National Weather Service offices around the country.