December has proven to be a colder than average month, for the Brazos Valley. We'll switch gears this week as we look for the thermometer to climb to the the "warmer than average" side for a stretch of days.
Cold, Frosty Night in Store -- but Warmer Than Last
Clear skies, calm winds, and a relatively dry air mass will allow temperatures to fall into the 30s by sunrise Tuesday.
While it will be a cold start to the day, we won't be quite as cold as Sunday or Monday morning. Most of the area wakes up to temperatures just above freezing, however, there will still be the chance of a light frost covering lawns and windshields as we kick the day off.
Cut Off From Arctic Air
A big player in this week's warm up will be the jet stream. With a "Northwest Flow" across the Northern United States, we'll look for cold, Canadian air to stay locked up around the Great Lakes & New England, for the first half of the work / school week.
That said, a weak cold front will reach the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma by the end of business Tuesday. That front won't make it to the Brazos Valley -- and we are not missing out anything big. Temperatures on the warm side of the front (where we'll be) top off in the upper 60s. Northerly winds on the cool side of the front only manage to drop afternoon highs to the low 60s. We'll watch that frontal boundary wash out to the north of the area.
Warming Through the Weekend
Last week, we couldn't buy a temperature close to 60°. This week -- we'll live on the opposite side of the thermometer.
Here's a look at actual high temperatures last week vs. our forecast highs through Saturday, December 21st:
Warmer Weather Comes at a Price?
We'll soak up the sunshine and -- even though it doesn't quite feel like the holidays -- get outside and enjoy the mild afternoons.
By the weekend, our next upper level system will swing across Texas -- eventually dragging in our next cold front / blast of winter.
We'll have to watch the fine details over the next few days, but as of Monday, it looks like Saturday will bring a good chance of showers and thunderstorms.
Why watch the fine details? As our upper low swings across Central Texas, it looks like it will take a "negative tilt" (tilts towards the west). Should that occur, a few strong to severe thunderstorms could try to pop up in the Brazos Valley.
For now, the better bet for thunderstorms will be to the north of the area. That said, things have plenty of time to change. We'll be monitoring the station closely -- especially with trips to Grandma's house and other holiday events taking place this weekend.
More on our extended outlook tomorrow. Until then, enjoy this beautiful weather!
--Chief Meteorologist Shel Winkley