It’ll be a rather cool January day across Texas, but it could be far worse given the record cold ongoing in the Midwest. Luckily for us, and to the envy of our northern neighbors, we’ll be turning up the thermostat in a big hurry as we enter the weekend. Forget it feeling like early February, temperatures will be more like late March to early April.
High temperatures this weekend will climb into the 60s and 70s across much of Texas. By Sunday into Monday, the warming trend will continue with the 80s entering the picture for some locations. Dormant surface fuels and those well above-average temperatures will promote an increased risk of grass fires.
A fast-moving upper level disturbance will bring the chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms to the eastern half of Texas on Friday through Saturday. The highest chance for showers and storms will be confined to Southeast Texas and far East Texas by Saturday afternoon.
The atmosphere is expected to become unstable enough Friday night to support the possibility of small hail with stronger thunderstorms. While most thunderstorms will remain below severe limits, a few may try to spit out hail up to the size of quarters. A severe storm is defined as one that is producing quarter size hail or larger (1″ in dimater), winds of 58 MPH or higher, and of-course a tornado. Damaging winds and tornadoes are not expected on Friday or Friday night with this system.
As stated initally we anticipate very warm conditions to continue through the weekend and into early next week. Southerly winds will increase on Monday as a strong surface low materalizes over Colorado and Kansas. A trailing cool front will move into Texas with temperatures not dropping all that much. However, we may see a some showers and thunderstorms across the eastern two-thirds of Texas Monday evening through Tuesday given a moist atmosphere in place. We’ll have to watch for the possibility of a few strong storms.
A much stronger cold front is possible around Wednesday, February 6. This one may bring a much colder airmass into the Southern Plains and a return to typical February weather. You don’t get 70s and 80s in January/February without there being some payback. Enjoy the warm weather while it lasts because I guarantee we’re not done with the unpleasant wind chills just yet.