AUSTIN (KXAN) — A powerful upper level storm system brought an entire December’s rainfall in just the past four days. In some areas east of Austin, between 5-6 inches of rain fell–double the typical rainfall total for all of December. Austin recorded 2.51 inches at Camp Mabry and 3.02 inches at ABIA.
Milder, dry weather will follow Tuesday and Wednesday, but some of the coldest air in nearly two years will arrive by Thursday morning. High temperatures in the 30s and 40s are forecast across the KXAN viewing area Thursday and Friday, and a hard freeze is likely by Friday morning.
The forecast low temperature in Austin Friday morning is 28 degrees, which is colder than any temperature recorded in the winter of 2015-2016. It will be Austin’s first freeze of the season. In the Hill Country, the coldest valleys may see readings in the upper teens Friday morning.
Fortunately, no freezing precipitation is currently forecast with this cold front.
- Download our free KXAN Weather app for hour-by-hour forecasts
- Interactive radar
- Interactive rainfall totals
- Closed low water crossings
La Niña has formed
The Climate Prediction Center says a La Niña pattern has developed in the Pacific Ocean. As a result, their latest winter outlooks predict warmer and drier than normal conditions from December through February. During that time, the National Weather Service predicts that drought will return to this area, and wildfire concerns will increase by January-February. With a La Niña, risks for strong storms that produce severe hail or tornadoes will be minimized this winter.
Our research has found that we may be in store for some cold surprises this winter, though.