We'll start by back tracking this morning -- it'll give you a better appreciation or a longing for the past depending on your flavor of weather.
Wednesday morning we woke up to the record high for December 19th being 79° set back in 1957. By 2:18pm, when the temperature had peaked at 82° at Easterwood Airport, we had a new record to solidify 2012 in the climate book -- at least for the next year. Shorts and t-shirts were the common wardrobe choice yesterday, but that all changed overnight...
Oh..hey....Cold, December Wind..
Our highly advertised cold front came screaming into the Brazos Valley overnight Wednesday into Thursday. That front brought a) a muddy rain -- thanks to the dust storms in the Panhandle and West Texas Wednesday -- and b) howling north to northwest winds that will keep a bite in the air today.
A WIND ADVISORY has been issued by the National Weather Service until noon for Milam, Robertson and Leon Counties, until 3pm for Lee County and until 6pm for the rest of the Brazos Valley. We'll continue to find winds sustained between 15mph and 25mph, alongside wind gusts upwards of 30mph to 40mph, through the afternoon. It is best to stay off of area lakes today and use extreme caution if driving west to east, or vice-versa, in high profile vehicles.
A RED FLAG WARNING is in effect for most of the Brazos Valley until 7pm. (I say most because even those that are not technically under that warning should exercise the same amount of caution). What is a Red Flag Warning? Essentially, it means that the fire danger and wildfire threat is about as high as you can get. Dew points (the measure of moisture in the atmosphere) will drop all the way down into the bone dry single digits, relative humidity will fall below 20% by afternoon, drought conditions have created dry vegetation across the area and these brutal winds from the north all create that explosive potential. It will be easy for a flame to spark today and, should that happen, it will spread rapidly because of the quick wind speeds. Leave outdoor burning out of your plans today, forget about open flames and be extra diligent on how you are discarding your cigarettes as well.
Now that we've discussed the dangers of this wind -- let's talk about the biggest way it'll get you today....WIND CHILLS.
Highs will struggle to make the mid-to-upper 50s by 3pm to 4pm -- factor in a wind occasionally gusting towards 40mph and at most it'll feel like the 30s and 40s through much of this Thursday. Bundle up, friends...even with full sunshine, it'll be a bone chilling day.
Freeze to Kick Off Winter
Time to make sure the pipes, pets and plants are taken care of before bed, once again. As winds calm overnight, high pressure moves closer, skies remain clear and this cold and dry air mass sits overhead, lows are expected to fall into the upper 20s to low 30s for all tonight. Here's a look at the anticipated lows across the Brazos Valley and the State of Texas tonight: