Turning Cooler and Much Drier
as We Reach February
After temperatures soared into the lower 90s locations such as Falfurrias (Brooks County), Hebbronville (Jim Hogg County), and Edinburg (Hidalgo County) on the afternoon of the 29th, it seems hard to believe that these same areas may see a light freeze by daybreak on Friday, February 1st. However, a front will sweep across all of Deep South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley on Thursday, allowing high pressure to rapidly build southeast across the entire state of Texas by Thursday night and Friday. As the high settles in, winds will become calm to light. Under starry skies, temperatures will plummet overnight, likely falling to between 35 and 40 area wide, with normally colder locations from Jim Hogg to Kenedy County falling to or just below 32 for a few hours early Friday morning. Residents of these areas may want to consider taking precautions to protect any sensitive plants sometime on Thursday.
After the front passes on Thursday, winds will rapidly increase from the northwest to 25 to 30 mph with higher gusts. Some of the driest air of this winter, with a source region in northwest Canada, will bring afternoon relative humidity values down to perhaps 10 percent or less across much of the Valley north and west of a McAllen through Raymondville line. Unlike recent weather fronts, which were accompanied by raw chill, low clouds, and light rain or drizzle, skies will become crystal clear behind this one. In all areas, the low humidity combined with strong gusty winds will create a high threat for explosive wild fire growth. Most counties remain in a burn ban (below). Needless to say, all residents of the Rio Grande Valley should remain vigilant on January 31st.
The latest Texas drought monitor shows that the recent rainfall since January 15th put a slight dent into the moderate drought area, particularly along and near the coast, including Brownsville and Harlingen. However, the upcoming windy, dry conditions may erase some of the positive impacts from the rain, especially if longer range forecasts for the next two weeks verify. Stay tuned.