Made a few changes to the going forecast, but they are largely cosmetic as there is currently no compelling reason to make any significant changes. There are several issues to deal with and we will take those in chronological order.
The first issue is temperatures for Monday and that will be determined by how widespread any low level stratus clouds will be. The various computer models suggest a layer of those low level stratus clouds will be hanging around Monday, through that night, and well into the day Tuesday. Typically, we would already be seeing those stratus clouds developing in SE Texas, but that is not currently the case. It appears that the moisture may be more limited than is projected, and if so we will have more sunshine and even warmer temperatures than I currently have forecast. On the other hand, if those clouds do persist throughout the day, then my forecast highs are too warm. In either event, it will be much warmer than normal for this time of year.
Gusty southerly winds will continue through the night tonight and for Monday keeping temperatures quite mild regardless of what the clouds do. The warmer temperatures and the gusty winds will create an enhanced fire danger situation as well.
A weak cool front will arrive during the overnight hours of Monday and Tuesday marks the official beginning of Winter. Despite northerly winds throughout the day, the start of Winter is expected to be warmer than normal and this looks to be a dry frontal system.
Gusty southerly winds will return on Thursday and since the trends on the next cold front that is coming our way has been to delay it somewhat, then it will have more moisture to work with. That is why I have been trending the rain chances upward for Thursday into early Friday. In fact, it now looks likely that most of us will at least receive some light rain by early Friday morning. It will also be turning much colder for Christmas Eve with gusty northerly winds and temperatures quite likely falling throughout the day. But, the moisture will be moving out as the cold air moves in so any possible snow flakes are expected to be no closer than Missouri on Friday.
That leaves Christmas Day which should be sunny and cold. In fact, I have been trending temperatures down for both Saturday and Sunday as it looks like a chilly weekend. But, at least with the sunshine it will be dry with no travel problems for us.
As always, stay tuned and check back for updates.