DECEMBER 29th, 2017 -- Friday Evening Update
Forecast is still on track for our big push of cold, winter air to reach the Brazos Valley this weekend. Patchy areas of fog & drizzle will be possible after midnight into the very early hours of Saturday morning. The day brings another overcast sky & eventually a return to a northeast wind -- that means afternoon highs are likely in the mid-to-upper 50s for much of the Brazos Valley.
Cold air spills into the area Sunday on a brisk north wind. Temperatures start the day in the upper 40s but end the afternoon in the upper 30s to low 40s. Factor in that wind and wind chill values are expected around freezing or colder. A bit of drizzle may fall in the wake of this cold front -- should that continue into the evening and overnight hours, a freezing drizzle cannot be ruled out. That said, drier air looks to take over by the time temperatures start falling below 32° -- we'll leave the potential at 20%. Should this come to pass, little-to-no ice accumulation is expected, with bridges and overpasses the areas of main concern.
Brace yourself, winter air really is coming. Wind chill values are expected in the teens Monday morning, and (at best) in the 20s Monday afternoon. Another morning that feels like the teens is expected by Tuesday morning. Highs only reach the mid / upper 30s Monday & Tuesday afternoon.
We're still aiming to break that 50° mark later this afternoon, with patchy blue sky here and there. Model data has been consistent with our current forecast, which means confidence is increasing that we'll see little to no impacts from possible freezing rain / drizzle (still at 20% chance). We will still be monitoring the radar and the mercury for holiday travel plans, especially New Years Eve evening.
The biggest weather impact still looks to be wind chills in the teens by the first morning of 2018 and a series of hard freezes for at least the next couple mornings after that. Forecast temperatures may be trending a degree or two warmer, but we're still expecting bitter cold to begin the year and for a solid portion of next week. Not a bad idea to grab the faucet covers and bring in the pets and plants, per usual for hard freeze precautions. As always, we'll continue to keep you updated.
Temperatures have been colder-than-average across the Brazos Valley since the Christmas weekend. Even colder air is expected to seep south, bringing uncharacteristic winter air to ring in the New Year.
After falling below 50° Christmas night, the official thermometer for Bryan / College Station at Easterwood Airport has not managed to make it back to that point over a three day period. That is a trend that will try to be broken Friday with the return of a south breeze and (hopefully) a few patches of blue sky.
60s return Saturday to thermometers across the Brazos Valley. Do not get comfortable -- a strong push of winter air is shoved in between midnight and sunrise Sunday.
Brisk / blustery north winds are expected to kick up after noon on New Year's Eve (Sunday). That will drop temperatures to the upper 30s / low 40s by sunset, with wind chill values between 30° and 32° for most.
As that colder air sinks into the Brazos Valley, moist air will continue to run over it in the upper levels of the atmosphere. That leads us to a 30% chance of light mist & drizzle (perhaps a few showers) as the temperature drops. Should that drizzle manage to continue into the evening hours, a light freezing drizzle could be possible (20%). At this time, the chance is low and little-to-no ice accumulations are expected. Regardless, something to keep an eye on -- especially with New Year's Eve celebrations happening.
Brisk & blustery winds continue to howl through during the day Monday. Temperatures fall to the mid-to-upper 20s by New Year's morning. Factor in the wind and "feels like" conditions are expected between 18° and 22°. By the afternoon, highs are closer to 40° but wind chill values are closer to freezing.
Tuesday morning may actually feature lows in the teens for outlying areas of the Brazos Valley. Wind chill values are only expected to peak in the low / mid 20s by afternoon.
Plan for a hard freeze -- not just for one night, but potentially each night from Sunday through Friday. Forecast lows are in the 20s through late next week.
As for any other wintry weather, at this time it is not expected. A secondary front arriving Tuesday into Wednesday could try to generate a bit of activity -- however with an extremely dry air mass,, precipitation chances are expected to end before sunrise Monday.
There are still some fine details to tweak over the next few days. Regardless, get ready for some extreme cold (by Brazos Valley standards).