Ahhhh….the end of daylight savings time. From a meteorological perspective, I certainly prefer standard time. The reason is that our primary data analysis and prognostic times revolve around 00Z and 12Z which corresponds to 7PM and 7AM during daylight savings time and 6AM and 6PM during standard time. It is at those times that the weather balloons are launched and that data provides the initialization for the subsequent runs of the various computer models. During standard time, we have access to the initialization data and the prognostic data an hour earlier and there are times that can be very important in the decision making process regarding a particular weather event.
For now though, we have a very stable pattern for at least the next few days. A high fire danger remains the primary concern due to gusty southerly winds and low humidity levels during the afternoon hours in particular. For example, the relative humidity dropped to a low of 20% at 2PM this afternoon and our winds were gusting over 30 mph. Monday and Tuesday will also have gusty southerly winds up to 30 mph or more, but the humidity levels will be slowly creeping upward. It will take awhile though as dew points are still in the 40s all the way down to the Texas coast. However, any increase in moisture will help mitigate the fire danger situation at least somewhat.
Those southerly winds will diminish during the overnight hours, but will remain strong enough to produce warmer temperatures with lows generally in the 40s tonight and the 50s for the next few nights. Daytime highs will be generally in the 70s through mid-week under mostly sunny skies.
What we really need is a good soaking rain, and the latter part of the week just may do that for us. The longer range guidance has come into better agreement on a vigorous cold front and associated upper level disturbance moving over the state on Friday. A few isolated showers or thunder may occur on Wednesday, about a 30% chance for Thursday, but Friday could be interesting. We will have a good chance of showers/storms during the day and perhaps into the evening/overnight hours of Friday as there remain some timing differences that are not yet resolved. Bottom line though is that there is general agreement on this being a rather wet system with the main difference whether the rain occurs during the day or that night. With that in mind, a few showers may even linger into the day Saturday.
These timing and intensity issues will eventually get resolved as we get closer to the event. Unfortunately, the trend for the last 6-8 weeks has been for potential rainmakers to promise a good shot of rain days ahead of the event, then they do not deliver till the system is on east of us. Right now, that does not appear to be the case so this may be our best shot at some decent rainfall in weeks.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.