Multi-inch rainfall totals on the way this week for some of us

Oh yeah, and there’s potentially record heat today too...
Published: Apr. 3, 2023 at 5:47 AM CDT
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Welcome to April, y’all. In case this is your first April in Central Texas, this week’s weather from yesterday’s severe storms to today’s near-record heat and to the late-week deluge is pretty much all par for the course. Yesterday’s thunderstorms did NOT usher in any drier or cooler air. Today’s main weather story will be the potential for record heat across the western half of our area, but we’ll again need to be on the look out for a stray afternoon severe storm. The dry line is the main driver of today’s hot and potentially stormy weather. The dry line, which separates hot and dry air from warm and humid air can be a spark for storms and, is the main driver of today’s weather. Morning temperatures in the mid-to-upper 60s near and east of I-35 will warm into the mid-to-upper 80s late this afternoon. Along I-35, high temperatures could max out in the low 90s but that’s dependent on how quickly sunshine returns and where the dry line actually is. For cities and towns west of I-35, an afternoon push of dry air will likely boost temperatures into the low-to-mid 90s, especially from around Killeen to Meridian westward. Today’s record high, set at the Waco Airport in 1989, is 93°. As far as today’s storm risk goes, well it’s low, but IF a storm forms, it’ll likely quickly strengthen to include large hail and strong wind gusts. We don’t have quite the same setup for tornadoes today as we did yesterday, but a quick spin-up can’t be ruled out. We’re not talking widespread storms either as we may only see one or two storms in total. The most likely location for a strong late-day storm, after 6 PM through around 10 PM, will be near and west of I-35.

Another major severe weather outbreak is on the way toward the Ozarks and also up into the Midwest late Tuesday and into Wednesday. Similar to the last severe weather outbreak in the same area Friday, the seeds for some of the storms moving into Arkansas and Missouri may start close to home. Temperatures Tuesday morning in the upper 60s should warm close to 90° yet again in the afternoon, but Tuesday will feature mostly cloudy to overcast skies and a boat load of humidity too. An approaching cold front will stay far away to keep us rain and storm free during the day Tuesday, but storm chances will go up Tuesday night into Wednesday morning as the front moves in. Storms could be severe with primarily a strong wind gust threat but some hail is possible too. Tornadoes are unlikely. Tuesday night’s storm chances go up after midnight and will stay elevated through sunrise Wednesday. The morning frontal passage will quickly put an end to the rain likely by sunrise with cooler air moving in for the rest of the day and with clearing skies too. Highs Wednesday may only reach around 70°.

Wednesday’s cold front completely clears the area, but the front should stall out just to our south and that’ll be the focus point for waves of showers and storms on Thursday, Friday, and maybe even into the weekend too. Most of Thursday should be dry with generally cloudy skies and cool temperatures in the mid-60s. Rain chances start to creep in from the south late in the afternoon and especially at night. Once the rain starts, it really won’t ease up too much until the weekend but it will NOT be raining continuously. Friday will be the rainiest day and the day with the most widespread rain. Rain keeps high temperatures in the low 60s and rainfall totals just from Friday’s rain likely exceeds an inch for the majority of the area and could exceed two inches in the Brazos Valley closer to where the front is. Another wave of widespread and locally heavy rain could add on another inch to Friday’s rainfall totals before the storm system departs on Sunday. All in all, rainfall totals from Monday through Sunday will be between 0.75″ and 2″ area wide but areas of 2″ to 3″ rainfall totals are expected on a localized basis. Although we’re expecting the rain to end Easter Sunday, forecast model data is hinting at continuing rain chances through Monday with a much drier week coming next week. A few stronger thunderstorms with hail are possible from Thursday through Sunday, but widespread severe weather is not expected and this looks to be, thankfully, just a good April soaker.

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