June weather has been so brutally hot and dry, it’s not even funny — except maybe when Austin’s Twitter quipster @EvilMopacATX observed: “The sun going behind a cloud for 3 minutes is the new rain for Austin.”
Seriously, though, we could use a break from the 100-degree temperatures and maybe get enough rain to remind us what that looks like. According to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service on Monday, we might get just those things this week. Here are five things to know:
1. Hot streak of 100-degree days might end Tuesday.
With a maximum temperature reading of 102, Austin on Monday logged its 21st day of 100-degree weather in June, breaking the record set in 2008 for the most 100-degree days in June.
After 12 straight days of triple-digit temperatures, Tuesday could be the first day since June 15 that Austin temperatures at Camp Mabry, site of the city’s main weather station, stayed below 100 degrees.
That’s 22 days of triple-digit temperatures this year, when you count the first day of 100-degree weather on May 21 and the nine-day streak of such days earlier this month, according to weather service data.
Here’s some food for thought about the rest of summer: In 2011, the year Austin logged a record 90 days of triple-digit temperatures, Austin had only 17 days of 100-degree weather as of June 27. At the same point on the calendar in 2022, Austin’s total is 22.
2. ‘Cold front” is a relative term.
Austin’s respite this week from extreme heat comes courtesy of a cold front slowly sweeping across Texas from the north, forecasters said Monday. But “cold” in this case is not wrap-your-pipes cold or even long-sleeve cold — it’s more like 10-degrees-cooler cold. So instead of maximum temperatures of 103 or 104, it’s highs around 93 or 94.
Tuesday in Austin should be mostly sunny with a high near 94, the weather service said. In the evening, more clouds will roll in, which will help overnight temperatures stay above 74 degrees.
Rain chances in the afternoon, albeit slim, return to Austin’s forecast on Wednesday. Otherwise, expect mostly sunny skies with a high near 96.
Thursday also has a 20% chance of showers after 1 p.m. as humid air is brought in by tropical winds that could kick up to 10 mph with 20 mph gusts.
3. We could get rain, but not enough to help.
The weather service expects no more than a quarter-inch of rain during the course of the next few days, if that. Austin is running about 2.8 inches below normal in total rainfall for June and about 7.8 inches below normal in cumulative rainfall for the year so far.
Any more precipitation will depend on how the cold front interacts with a system of low atmospheric pressure in the Gulf of Mexico.
“A weak low currently off the coast of southeast Louisiana will move west through mid-week, and as it encounters the frontal boundary, some development is possible,” forecasters said in a bulletin Monday.
The weak tropical low is trending eastward, the weather service said, adding that “this would mean that the best chances of rain will be across the east (of Interstate 35) with a sharp gradient of rainfall probably likely.”
Forecasters said they “will continue to watch trends regarding this low, but somewhere in Texas is likely going to get some beneficial rain, just depends where.”
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4. Tropical storm activity could our best hope for rain.
Meteorologists at AccuWeather also are watching a more organized storm system heading west into the Caribbean Sea.
“This tropical system has a greater chance of gaining the next name on this year’s hurricane list, Bonnie,” senior meteorologist Courtney Travis wrote on AccuWeather’s website Monday.
A National Hurricane Center bulletin on Monday said “a tropical depression or a tropical storm is likely to form during the next day or so before the system reaches the Windward Islands Tuesday night or possibly while moving westward across the southern Caribbean Sea Wednesday through Friday.”
5. Heading out for July 4th weekend? Beware!
The forecast for the first day of July calls for a 20% chance of showers in Austin after 1 p.m. under partly sunny skies with a high near 92. Cloud cover Friday could keep overnight temperatures above a balmy 76 degrees.
Saturday also has a 20% chance of showers but temperatures are expected to be higher, peaking at 96 degrees. Sunday, similarly, should be mostly sunny with a high around 97 degrees.
Independence Day weather next week includes plenty of sunshine and sizzling heat with a high near 99, the weather service said.