Arctic front, first freeze possible next week
Two recent cold fronts have already put Central Texas under an early winter chill, but a third cold front arriving Monday will bring the coldest air of the season through the state.
THE SET UP
A strong area of low pressure currently in Northwest Canada will move south through the U.S this weekend. This will dislodge a cold batch of Arctic air and send it southward behind a strong cold front, slated to arrived in the Austin area by early/midday Monday. The first impact from this front will be a rain chance with scattered light/moderate showers possible across most of Central Texas. This rain won't be particularly heavy, so the threat for any flooding will be very low with only 1/4" to 1/2" expected at the most.
As the rain picks up, so will the winds. Through most of Monday, winds will be sustained between 15 and 25 MPH with some momentary gusts possibly topping 40 MPH. That may be enough to give some loose, light patio furniture a run for its money. Otherwise, this wind will just make the cold air feel that much colder. With that in mind, let's talk temperatures.
High temperatures on Sunday (and maybe Monday depending on how quickly the front arrives) will top 50 degrees fairly easily. Behind the front, temperatures will fall rapidly... By the end of the day Monday, temperatures will already be in the 40s, and by sunrise Tuesday morning, temperatures will be at least in the mid 30s area wide with a light freeze (30 - 32 degrees) possible in the Hill Country. When you factor in the gusty winds, one computer model is showing wind chill values in the teens and twenties for the Tuesday morning commute. Bundle up!
Winds will settle down and skies will clear through Wednesday morning which will likely mean another round of freezing temperatures. 30 to 32 degrees will be possible area-wide with some notorious low-lying areas in the Hill Country dipping into the 20s around sunrise. Sunshine through the rest of the week will take freezing temperatures out of the equation for a number of days.
Bottom line- Anyone with Fall gardens or other sensitive outdoor plants should plan on covering those plants or moving them inside on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. This air will NOT be cold enough to burst any water pipes. Otherwise, fish out the heavy winter coat, bring the pets indoors, and plan for a couple of very cold mornings.
WILL IT SNOW?