Don’t put away the ice scrapers or the warm clothes just yet.
Snow, sleet and freezing rain are possible Thursday, a day where temperatures may not get above freezing, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Bishop.
“It looks like a mixed bag of everything is possible at this point in time. It does look like we get a really cold Arctic air mass that spreads south into the area,” Bishop said Saturday.
Wind chills Thursday could remain in the teens with actual temperatures staying in the upper 20s to low 30s.
Bishop said it looks like the air will get cold enough, quickly enough Wednesday afternoon and evening to create a band of mixed sleet, freezing rain and snow.
High temperatures for Wednesday are projected to get into the low 60s. When the cold front gets to the area, which Bishop said could be sometime in the middle of the day, there will be a 60% chance of rain.
“Probably a little after midnight I think is when you’ll fall below freezing, and that’s when the wintry mix will be possible, which will be late Wednesday night into Thursday morning,” Bishop said.
Bishop said Thursday is the day where there will likely be the most travel impact, depending on how much precipitation falls.
Though it is possible, Bishop said it is still early.
“It’s still kind of early, so a lot of this isn’t set in stone,” he said. “We’re trying to gather all the data as it comes in. We know that it’s going to get cold — that’s the main thing — and then we do know there’s going to be precipitation, it’s just how much still falls after we fall below freezing, so that’s where the question mark is right now.”
There is also a 60-70% chance of rain on Monday, but Bishop said with temperatures well above freezing, that should stay as rain.
He estimated that around a half-inch of rain could fall in the area, which could help stave off some of the drought conditions the area is currently experiencing.
According to the latest map from the U.S. Drought Monitor map, most of Coryell and Lampasas counties are in extreme drought conditions, with the remainder of them being in severe drought conditions.
Bell County has a mix of drought conditions with approximately a third of the county in abnormally dry conditions, a third of the county being in moderate drought conditions and a third of the county being in severe drought conditions.
Severe drought conditions come with severe wildfire dangers with the potential of wildfires moving into populated areas, according to the Drought Monitor website. Under extreme drought conditions, an increased risk of large wildfires is noted.
According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, Bell County is not under a burn ban, but all counties sharing a border with Bell County do. The forest service’s map was last updated Saturday morning.
“Every month we’ve gotten just a little bit dryer. We’ve got a moderate to severe drought across just about all the area, so I think with the drought in place, all the rain that we get will be helpful,” Bishop said.
Stillhouse Hollow Lake and Belton Lake are both below normal elevation levels, according to data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Typically at an elevation of 622 feet, as of Saturday, Stillhouse Hollow Lake was recorded to be at an elevation of 619.28 feet. Belton Lake was reported to be at an elevation of 591.16 feet, about 3 feet below its normal elevation of 594 feet.
The high and low temperatures for this week, according to the National Weather Service, are:
Today: High 68, Low 49
Monday: High 63, Low 51
Tuesday: High 68, Low 50
Wednesday: High 61, Low 25
Thursday: High 36, Low 20
Friday: High 38, Low 24