3:45 p.m. update: Doppler radar is showing small storm cells moving into Caldwell County on Thursday afternoon, on a course toward southeastern Hays County.
The National Weather Service has said this could mean rain for the Austin metro area, but chances are still low, at 20 percent. Weather service meteorologist Eric Platt said some of the storms could last long enough to make their way into the Interstate 35 corridor but nothing severe is expected.
“The biggest concern would be pop up showers, if they get strong enough they can produce some locally gusty winds up to 50 mph which can cause some tree damage,” Platt said Thursday afternoon. “I think most of the strong activity should stay further south of Austin.”
More significant weather, including possible hail, had been forecast for areas southeast of Austin, including Karnes and Wilson counties on Thursday afternoon.
Platt said Austin will see a similar forecast on Friday, with rain chances at 30 percent and showers most likely in the eastern part of Travis County through the afternoon and evening.
A low pressure system from the Gulf of Mexico will bring heavier rainfall to south Central Texas beginning on Sunday, with up to 3 inches expected to fall through Tuesday, according to the weather service.
Earlier: It may be time to pull those rain boots and umbrellas out of the back of your closet — the weather outlook includes an increasing chance of showers and thunderstorms starting on Thursday and throughout the weekend, the National Weather Service said.
Austin faces a 20 percent chance for rainy weather after 7 a.m. on Thursday, forecasters said. Expect partly sunny skies with a high near 98 degrees before nighttime temperatures slip to a balmy 74 degrees amid cloudier skies.
The chance for showers and thunderstorms will diminish to 10 percent before 8 p.m., forecasters said.
Rain chances return to 20 percent on Friday and 30 percent on Saturday before jumping to 70 percent on Sunday.
While the rain might ruin your outdoor plans this weekend, it could be a welcome reprieve for Austin, which has seen only 1.32 inches of rain so far this month — and nearly all of it on a single day, when 1.27 fell on June 4 — according to weather service data.
Since Jan. 1, Austin has received a total of 12.09 inches of rain, but that’s about 3.59 inches below normal, the data show. Even for June, one of Austin’s rainiest months of the year, the rainfall total is about 0.83 inch less than normal at this point in the month.
The weather service’s extended forecast, luckily, suggests it could be rainy for most of the weekend:
Friday: The outlook includes a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, but it will still be partly sunny with a high near 96 and southeast winds at 5 to 15 mph. The heat index could reach 101. At night, it will be partly cloudy with a low around 75 and south-southeast winds around 5 to 15 mph.
Saturday: A 30 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms will likely continue all day, with a high near 95 and southeast winds at 5 to 15 mph and a low around 75. It will be partly sunny during the day, and mostly cloudy at night.
Father’s Day: Uh-oh, it looks like dad’s special day will face a 70 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms, with mostly cloudy skies a high near 91. At night, the chance for showers and thunderstorms dips to 50 percent, with mostly cloudy skies and a low around 75.
Monday: A 60 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms will last through the evening; mostly cloudy with a high near 89. At night, it will be mostly cloudy with a low around 75 and a 40 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms.
Tuesday: A 60 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high near 91. At night, there will be a 30 percent chance for showers and thunderstorms with mostly cloudy skies and a low around 75.
Wednesday: There is a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms with partly sunny skies a high near 92.