WEATHER WASH-OUT: Austin’s Trail of Lights canceled after Friday rains

3:30 p.m. update: Rainy weather has once again prompted Austin officials to cancel the Trail of Lights for Friday night.

Organizers issued a statement citing the oversaturated park grounds.

“After several inches of rain this week and throughout the afternoon, the saturated park land is no longer absorbing water. Areas critical to the Trailgoer’s experience are under water,” the statement said.

The Austin Parks and Recreation Department was also closing Zilker Park on Friday “to preserve parkland and protect the safety and comfort of the Austin community.”

Rain prompted cancellations last weekend and on Tuesday.

2:10 p.m. update: The first of two weekend cold fronts has pushed across the Austin metro area, sinking temperatures by more than 20 degrees since Friday morning.

According to the National Weather Service, it was 48 degrees and dropping at Austin’s main weather station at Camp Mabry.

Forecasters anticipated more light showers throughout the day in Central Texas as cool north winds blow into the region.

Rain gauges monitored by the Lower Colorado River Authority reported widespread rainfall amounts of about a tenth of an inch across the metro area, including Travis, Hays, Burnet and Blanco counties.

The weather service is calling for a 30 percent chance of showers before clearing overnight. Temperatures at night could drop as low as 41 degrees.

Sunshine will return Saturday and help warm temperatures to a high near 60. The dry, cool air will allow clear skies at night but a chillier low of 39 degrees. 
Friday forecast for Austin: An approaching cold front will bring a line of storms and chillier air to the Austin area on Friday, as travelers hit the road for the Christmas weekend. 

Temperatures will reach their high mark early Friday, topping out in the upper 60s or low 70s across the area. By Friday night, temperatures are expected to dive into the low 40s, the National Weather Service says.

On the leading edge of that cold air is a line of storms draped across West and Central Texas. It will make its way to Austin later in the day. Some of the storms could be strong and bring hail, weather service meteorologists warn. 

However, the front is expected to move across the area quickly, clearing out by Friday night, leaving clear and cold skies behind. 

The rest of the three-day weekend — including Christmas on Monday — will be clear and cool, with sunny conditions and high temperatures hovering in the upper 50s to 60 degrees. 

TRAFFIC UPDATES: Use our interactive map to track delays 

The dramatic cooling comes after an unusually warm Thursday, when temperatures at Camp Mabry hit 79 degrees, just two shy of the record set in 1970. With 2017 almost over, Austin’s average high temperature has been 83.8 degrees, nearly four degrees above the 80.3 degree average. 

The extended forecast:

  • Friday: Rain and storms, high temperature of 71 degrees and a low of 41.
  • Saturday: Clear and cool, high of 60 degrees and a low of 39.
  • Sunday: Continued clear with high of 57 degrees and a low of 34. 
  • Monday: A few clouds with a high of 57 and a low of 44. 
  • Tuesday: Next shot at rain with a 20 percent chance of storms and a high of 61 degrees. 

Christmas weekend travel resources:

Stay up to date by bookmarking and downloading the Statesman’s weather app 

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