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Freezing rain and ice possible for some this week

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — While we’ve escaped this winter without any wintry precipitation so far, our luck might be about to change.

As an upper-level low works its way toward Central Texas from the southwestern United States, we’ll see periods of rain over the coming days.

With a strong cold front blowing through Central Texas Sunday afternoon, enough cold air could be in place to give way to some freezing rain and icing potential for parts of the area.

Sunday’s cold front drops high temperatures from the upper 60s and low 70s down into the 40s for several days in a row.

High temperatures next few days
High temperatures next few days

Now, while 40s is cold, it’s still warm enough for mainly rain during the daylight hours across Central Texas.

However, low temperatures in the Austin Metro will drop into the mid 30s Monday night into Tuesday morning and again Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Low temperatures next few days
Low temperatures next few days

While we expect Austin and most of the metro and eastern counties to remain above freezing all week, parts of the Hill Country may not be quite as lucky.

Some of our higher resolution computer models have picked up on the potential for some light freezing rain Monday night into Tuesday morning, and possibly again Tuesday night into Wednesday.

GRAF computer model output for Tuesday morning
GRAF computer model output for Tuesday morning (pink indicates freezing rain)

Potential ice accumulation amounts look generally light (as seen by two models below), most likely under a tenth of an inch, but it doesn’t take much ice to make things slippery.

GRAF computer model ice accumulation forecast through Tuesday morning
GRAF computer model ice accumulation forecast through Tuesday morning
NAM (12km) computer model ice accumulation output through Tuesday morning
NAM (12km) computer model ice accumulation output through Tuesday morning

What we have going for us, is that the ground temperature will take a while to drop to freezing, which could significantly delay or remove any concerns about ice accumulating on surface roads. Bridges, however, get colder more quickly and could see some icy spots.

There are still a lot of details to be worked out, especially regarding the amount of cold that Sunday’s cold front provides which will be key to precipitation type for the week ahead.

Stay with the First Warning Weather Team as we continue to forecast.

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