Christmas Eve is one week away, and it certainly feels like winter this morning across Texas. A strong cold front pushed through the state yesterday. In the front’s wake, northerly winds have continued to pump cold air into Texas overnight. Wind chill temperatures at 5 AM this morning were observed at 9 degrees in Amarillo, 23 degrees in Austin, 33 degrees in Houston, 39 degrees in Laredo, and a balmy 43 degrees in Brownsville. It could be far worse. The wind chill in Colorado Springs is 14 degrees below zero. We won’t be getting that cold.
Skies should clear across nearly all of Texas by the late afternoon. Even though the big ball of fire will be shining, bright temperatures will be on the cool side. High temperatures will range from the middle to the upper 40s across the northern half of Texas upward into the 50s in South Texas, the Coastal Plains, and into the Rio Grande Valley. Winds should become light by this evening, so at least we won’t have much of a wind chill.
Clear skies, light winds, and a very dry airmass will all combine to create excellent radiational cooling after sunset. Temperatures are going to fall quite quickly after sunset. By morning the freezing line will likely be on the Gulf Coast from Beaumont to Rockport. Houston’s heat island effect will probably spare the inner-loop from a freeze, but Bush Intercontinental will get down into the 20s. South Texas southward into the Rio Grande Valley should remain a few degrees above freezing tonight. I can’t rule out a brief freeze in low-lying and sheltered portions of South Texas. Everyone else across Texas will be below freezing tonight, with temperatures falling into the teens and twenties. We won’t have much wind, so we don’t anticipate any nasty wind chill temperatures.
Tomorrow will start cold, but we’ll begin a warming trend by the afternoon. Temperatures will top out in the upper 40s to lower 60s across Texas. Those are right around where we should be for mid-December in the temperature department.
Our next chance of precipitation will arrive in the eastern half of Texas on Friday and into Saturday. Severe thunderstorms are not expected with rain totals generally remaining light. Those in the Coastal Plains and south of Houston toward the coast could receive upwards of one-half inch of rainfall. After Saturday, we look to remain dry up to around or just after Christmas Day.
The warming trend will continue straight through the weekend and to Christmas next week. Above-average temperatures are quite likely with the 60s and 70s around/on Christmas. There will not be any snow this year in Texas. Above-average temperatures look probable for much of the United States this Christmas. We’ll talk more about the Christmas weather forecast for all of the United States when we get a bit closer – or when it isn’t 5 AM. You all have a great day, and God Bless!