Get ready for warmth, wetness in Austin this MLK holiday weekend


Highlights

Thursday saw record high temperatures at Camp Mabry and at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Meteorologists announced an end to La Niña in February, which would mean a return to normal weather patterns.

Austin will cap a streak of springlike days with a batch of showers during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend that could produce more than 2 inches of rain by Monday night.

The past seven days have seen Austin temperatures climb more than 60 degrees from a low of 19 at Camp Mabry on Saturday to a high of 80 on Wednesday, the warmest day of 2017 so far.

The warming trend continued Thursday, when the temperature hit 79 at Camp Mabry in Central Austin around 3 p.m., surpassing the previous record of 78 set for the date in 2000, according to the National Weather Service.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport also set a new heat record, recording 81 degrees Thursday afternoon. The previous record of 80 degrees was also set in 2000.

To put that in perspective, though, weather service meteorologist Brett Williams said Thursday’s records are unusually low, as January temperature benchmarks go.

The unusually warm weather is partly because of the La Niña weather pattern in the equatorial Pacific. The cooler-than-normal surface temperatures of a La Niña tend to push storms north of Texas. But on Thursday, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center announced that it expects the La Niña pattern to dissipate in February — which would mean that one of the major influences on Central Texas weather will diminish, and the weather will start returning to normal patterns.

The weekend highs will continue to be at least 10 degrees above normal. Peak daytime temperatures should be in the mid-70s on Saturday, in the lower to mid-70s on Sunday and likely still top 70 on Monday, thanks in part to southeasterly winds that continue to bring warm air from the Gulf of Mexico.

Even in that warmth, umbrellas might be advisable. Forecast models show a low pressure system likely to move over Northeast Texas and Oklahoma this weekend, coupled with a stalled front now stretching across North Texas.

Scattered showers might drop a few tenths of an inch of rain on a few spots Saturday, but, by Sunday night, widespread showers will probably drop 1 to 2 inches of rain over the region, according to the weather service. The chances of a particular spot getting wet Sunday night is 60 percent, according to the weather service, which is forecasting similar chances on Monday.

A few spots could see even heavier rainfall. Lightning is also possible Sunday night and the early hours of Monday, Williams said.

This weekend’s rain, although looking far from catastrophic, would nearly match the normal total January rainfall amount of 2.2 inches. So far, Austin has seen less than a half-inch of rain this month at each of its main weather stations at Mabry and the airport.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

TV film crew arrested for allegedly trying to bring fake explosive to airport
TV film crew arrested for allegedly trying to bring fake explosive to airport

Television film crew members were arrested at Newark Liberty International Airport on Thursday for allegedly trying to pass a piece of luggage containing “all the makings of an improvised explosive device,” ABC News reported. The film crew members, who claimed to be working the CNBC show “Staten Island Hustle,” were detained...
These big cities didn't make Amazon's HQ cut
These big cities didn't make Amazon's HQ cut

Plenty of big cities aren’t on Amazon’s long short list of 20 places it’s still considering for a second headquarters and 50,000 high-paying jobs. While the Seattle-based giant kept Atlanta in the running, here are some of the notable cities that aren’t: Phoenix San Diego Charlotte Detroit Cincinnati San Francisco...
Autopsy report: Roy Halladay had drugs in system when plane crashed
Autopsy report: Roy Halladay had drugs in system when plane crashed

An autopsy on former major-leaguer Roy Halladay showed that he had amphetamines, morphine and a sleep aid in his system when he died in a plane crash off the west coast of Florida, The Tampa Bay Times reported Friday. Halladay, 40, died Nov. 7 from blunt force trauma with drowning as a contributing factor, according to the Pinellas-Pasco Medical...
Massachusetts couple accidentally donates savings hidden in a soup can
Massachusetts couple accidentally donates savings hidden in a soup can

Amanda Mattuchio said her parents use a fake can of Campbell's Tomato Soup to hide their cash. Unfortunately, they stored it alongside real soup cans in their kitchen. “The bottom would unscrew and it had $2,500 in it and it was a combination of $100 and $50 bills,” she said. “The neighbor upstairs asked them if they had any canned...
US government shuts down; Dems, GOP blame each other
US government shuts down; Dems, GOP blame each other

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunction. Last-minute negotiations crumbled as Senate Democrats blocked a four-week stopgap...
More Stories