Rain a certainty Tuesday but fog might be bigger headache for drivers


Highlights

The National Weather Service forecast calls for rainfall amounts of up to 2 inches in some spots.

The heaviest rainfall will probably fall on Travis County and counties to the east of it, forecasters say.

Grab your galoshes and pack your umbrellas — we’re going to get soaked Tuesday in Central Texas.

The National Weather Service is all but certain that water will fall from the sky Tuesday, with rainfall amounts of up to 2 inches possible in some spots.

Before last weekend, the Austin area had gone more than a week without rain. But Saturday, rain gauges at Camp Mabry — Austin’s main weather station — recorded 1.32 inches of rain. So with the ground still moist, will the next round of December storms cause flash flooding?

Weather service meteorologist Aaron Treadway says not so much. The real headaches will start during the morning commute, with patchy fog possibly plaguing Austin-area drivers.

“Conditions are going to be soupy with the fog that’s stuck around these past few days,” he said.

The likelihood of rain rises to 80 percent starting in the wee hours Tuesday, Treadway said, “and the chances for rain really start ramping up, basically, by rush hour, when we start calling for a 100 percent chance of rain.”

The heaviest rainfall will probably fall on Travis County and counties to the east of it, he said.

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“That area could see, max, maybe an inch to an inch and a half total” on Tuesday, he said. “Not everyone is going to see those rainfall totals. A half-inch to a quarter-inch is, on average, what most people will see.”

He said people in the Austin metro area should expect to see continuous light to moderate rain throughout most of the day Tuesday — but no flash flooding.

“Because the rainfall rates aren’t expected to be overly heavy,” he said, “we’re not expecting any type of significant flooding.”

Severe weather, which could include damaging winds or hail, isn’t a worry, either. But Treadway expects thunder and lightning.

After Tuesday, however, rain chances diminish significantly, and storms will taper off by Wednesday morning, the weather service said.

“The middle of the week — Wednesday and Thursday — should be dry and actually fairly mild,” Treadway said. “We’re calling for highs both days in the mid-70s,” which would be more than 10 degrees warmer than normal.

“Looking ahead, we’re expecting a pair of cold fronts — one coming through during the day on Friday and another one coming through basically as we get into Christmas Eve,” Treadway said.

The first front could bring some light showers, he said, and is expected to knock temperatures down into the 40s and low 50s — about 10 degrees cooler than normal. The Christmas front should be dry, but it will bring unseasonably chilly air.

“A lot can change, but we’re calling for highs in the 40s on Christmas Eve and Christmas,” he said.



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