Conditions this weekend will be quite a contrast to earlier this week.  The western half of the state will experience highs today well above normal and very windy conditions head of an approaching upper level low.  The eastern half of the state will be cooler due to cloud cover and increasing moisture, but still also above average for mid January.  Rain chances today will be spotty and confined mainly to southeast and eastern Texas both today and tomorrow.  High Wind Watches will be in place across the western half of the state through Sunday evening.  High fire danger conditions will also exist across western north Texas into west central Texas today and tomorrow due to the high winds and very low humidity values.  Please be extra careful today with anything that could spark a fire.

Tomorrow, a pacific cold front will advance west to east across the state behind a dryline which is forecast to push as far east as the I-35 corridor.  This will provide lift for the development of thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon and evening, mainly for areas along and east of the I-45 corridor.  A Marginal Risk (Level 1) for strong to severe storms has been issued for this region of the state and includes Paris, Longview, Lufkin, Crockett, Palestine, Athens, Canton, Greenville and surrounding towns. Most of the storms should remain under severe limits due to limited instability expected across the region, but a few could become severe with damaging winds and frequent lightning as the main threats.  The cold front will not be very strong, but will drop our temps back down to more seasonal averages, especially across the western half of the state heading into next week. Looking ahead…next week looks to be quiet with temps remaining about what we’d expect for this time of the year.  Unfortunately, rain chances next week look scarce until we get into next weekend.