Why do people often hate meteorologists? Because invariably there comes a time when the weather gets in the way of a favored event or holiday. Tell people bad news (like heavy rain and thunderstorms on New Year’s Eve), and irritation with anger sets in. And, if by some chance the forecast is wrong, you could be declared inept or a liar.
I am fairly certain that readers of this outlook will get over the chances for rain and thunder on the start of the weekend, largely because Friday night should be dry (albeit windy and cold). But there is something sacred about ringing in the new year (2013), where mild and dry conditions are supposed to be expected. As if nature acknowledges the right of humans to party in style, unencumbered by rain and lightning. Well it does not work that way, as you will likely find out.
After a rather chilly but fair run of weather on Saturday into Sunday morning, a disturbance digging southeastward from California and the Pacific shoreline will initiate frontogenesis over the western Gulf of Mexico. Clouds moving into southeastern Texas late Sunday will be accompanied by somewhat milder temperatures, a fresh southerly breeze and later some locally dense fog close to the Gulf Coast.
Then, just as the party planning culminates and festivities begin, downpours of rain and locally heavy thunderstorms will enter the picture. There is an outside chance that the southern portion of the metro area could see some intense convection on Monday afternoon and night, and some of the computer models suggest the potential for flooding rains. I am not sure this system will move out quickly, either; there are loud suggestions from the ensemble packages and the operational European model of a prolonged, ultimately intense disturbance that pulls in cold air and allows for the rain to stay in SE TX until late Wednesday night, when it may end as sleet in some locales. The low pressure area may ultimately impact much of the eastern third of the nation before exiting the scene by January 4.
So 2013 looks to start on the cold side, replete with a biting north wind that gives way to night frost and freeze potential later next week. Even in Houston, January can surprise with displays of cold and precipitation. Happy New Year!
NCEP MODEL ANALYSES AND GUIDANCE
Plymouth State Weather Center
Current NWS MOS Forecast Products
Holiday Weekend Forecast
Friday: Cloudy with periods of rain and thunderstorms, locally heavy, ending by mid-afternoon. Warmer. Highs 60 Livingston to 64 Bay City
Friday Night: Gradual clearing, windy and colder. Lows 30 Onalaska to 34 Freeport
Saturday: Sunny and chilly. Highs 55 Trinity to 59 Clute
Saturday Night: Clear and cold with widespread frost or freeze conditions. Lows 28 Pumpkin to 32 Lake Jackson
Sunday: Morning sunshine giving way to increasing cloudiness in the afternoon. Breezy and a bit milder. Highs 60 Cleveland to 64 Angleton
Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy with dense fog forming along the Gulf Coast late. Lows 50 Splendora to 54 Rosharon
Monday, New Year’s Eve: Cloudy with heavy rain and thunderstorms. A few thunderstorms may approach severe limits. Highs 62 Roman Forest to 66 Juliff
Monday Night, New Year’s Eve Night: Heavy rain and thunderstorms with localized flooding possible. Lows 57 Patton Village to 61 Iowa Colony
Tuesday, New Year’s Day: Cloudy with periods of rain. Thunderstorms are possible along and just north of the Gulf Coast. Cooler. Highs 58 Fostoria to 62 Arcola
Wednesday: Cloudy, breezy and chilly. A few showers or areas of drizzle possible below Interstate 10. High 52, Low 31
Thursday: Gradual clearing, breezy and cold after possible rain and sleet in the morning. High 47, Low 32
Friday: Sunny and continued cold. High 50, Low 28