Record highs challenged today and tomorrow, seasonably cool weather returns this weekend

Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 5:01 AM CST
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Some of the warmest temperatures Central Texas has ever seen in December are on the way today and tomorrow thanks to a combination of warm and humid air arriving from the south and hotter and drier air moving in from the west. The weather setup bringing us the heat Thursday and Friday would normally spell severe storm chances if this were Spring, but thankfully rain chances are very low and severe weather is unlikely. Be on the lookout for fog this morning settling in near and shortly after sunrise. The fog will stick around through mid-morning as will the mostly cloudy morning skies, but sunshine returning will boost temperatures into the upper 70s and low 80s late today. Slightly cooler temperatures are expected east of I-35 where we’ll see partly cloudy skies but a late-day push of drier air west of I-35 could send temperatures as high as about 84°. The forecast high of 82° at the Waco Airport would tie the record of 82° set in 2019. Winds will be a bit gusty out of the south today near 25 MPH but may be westerly west of I-35 as dry air moves in.

Humidity surges back in this evening and we’re likely only going to see temperatures fall into the low-to-mid 60s overnight with temperatures potentially climbing into the upper 60s and low 70s by daybreak. Just like with today’s forecast, the morning clouds and patchy fog should give way to at least partly cloudy skies with nearly full sunshine in the afternoon west of I-35 as drier air moves in. Highs Friday should reach the low-to-mid 80s, likely shattering the record of 80°. Our forecast of 84° would be the 8th hottest December temperature of all time! The approaching dryline has a very low chance of kicking up a late-day shower or thunderstorm. We’re expecting the cap, a layer of warm air aloft that prevents storm development, should hold. There is a small chance a stray shower or strong storm bubbles up east of I-35 between about 2 PM and 8 PM. If a strong storm forms east of I-35, it could contain gusty winds, hail, or even a brief spin up tornado. By and large, the best severe weather chances will be well out of our area.

The record temperatures Thursday and Friday will be replaced by seasonable conditions this weekend as a strong cold front passes through early Saturday. Saturday’s morning cold front could spark a few isolated showers, mainly east of I-35, but rain chances stay capped at 20% through about 8 AM. Sunshine will gradually return but late-day temperatures should only reach the mid-to-upper 50s. Saturday’s strong morning wind gusts close to 30 MPH should subside at night and we’ll kick off the morning Sunday cold near freezing across the board! Even though Sunday’s highs will be only close to average in the low 60s, that’ll be the last time we sniff close to average highs for a while. Highs each day next week should be in the 70s with near-80° temperatures potentially returning mid-week. You may be able to store the jackets for a bit too since morning lows will be in the upper 50s and 60s Tuesday morning through Friday morning! Partly cloudy skies are expected each day with maybe some more clouds Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. Rain chances may return late next week but chances are pretty low.

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