Austin should prepare for another round of stormy weather starting Tuesday afternoon as a cold front sweeps across Central Texas, the National Weather Service warned Monday.
Forecasters said a moist and unstable mass of air over the region would make strong to severe storms possible from the eastern portions of the Hill Country to areas along and east of the Interstate 35 corridor.
Possible hazards to watch for include damaging straight-line winds with gusts up to 60 mph and hail anywhere from the size of quarters to as large as golf balls, the weather service said.
Austin temperatures could climb as high as 81 degrees before the worst of the storms roll in after 2 p.m., according to the latest outlook.
Although forecasters expected Austin to get up to a quarter-inch of rain, the weather service warned that heavier thunderstorms could drop as much as 1.5 inches of rain in some spots.
It’s a significant amount of rain in the forecast, but far less than the mini-deluge Central Texas saw last week. Last Wednesday was the rainiest day in March since such record keeping began in Austin in the 1890s. Austin’s main weather station at Camp Mabry measured 3.28 inches of rain, breaking the daily record of 3.26 inches set in 2006. The total rainfall at Mabry in March was 3.74 inches — nearly an inch more than the monthly normal amount — making last month Austin’s 20th-wettest March ever.
Meanwhile, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s 5.99 inches Wednesday obliterated the March 28 record of 1.86 inches also set in 2006. This year, the airport experienced its second-rainiest March on record, measuring 6.21 inches of rain, which is 3.43 inches more than normal.
By late Tuesday — mainly after 11 p.m. — the skies should begin to clear, allowing overnight temperatures to sink about 30 degrees to around 49.
The passage of the cold front will reset the weather, as sticky, overcast conditions will be replaced by much cooler temperatures, drier air and sunshine.
Wednesday, albeit sunny, will see temperatures reach only 70 degrees as brisk north-northeast winds of 10 to 15 mph could include gusts as strong as 25 mph, the weather service said. Temperatures will slip to 49 under clear skies at night.
But temperatures are expected to rebound Thursday to a high near 77 as warmer south winds return to Central Texas, forecasters said. The winds also will bring moisture and increased cloudiness at night, which should help keep evening temperatures above 65 degrees.
Austin could see rain one more time at the end of the week on Friday, the weather service said. The forecast includes a 20 percent chance of rain throughout the day and evening as temperatures peak around 82 amid south winds at 10 to 15 mph.