Expect the pattern of morning clouds giving way to sunshine to continue into next week.  The warming trend will continue through Christmas Day with record highs possible.  The chance of rain returns by the middle of next week and lingers through New Year’s weekend.

High temperatures so far today

The warming trend continued across the ArkLaTex Thursday.  Temperatures began in the 40s at most locations and have warmed into the lower 70s this afternoon.  Moisture will continue to increase thanks to a breezy south wind.  This will result in much warmer nights until a cold front moves through New Year’s Day.  Look for lows Friday morning to bottom out in the upper 50s to lower 60s.  We will see daytime highs Friday afternoon in the upper 70s to lower 80s.  Friday is also looking rather windy as we will see a southwesterly wind of 15 to 20 mph.  

Futurecast shows that the low clouds that developed last night will likely redevelop Thursday night.  Look for those clouds to gradually give way to sunshine Friday.  The low clouds will return Friday night.  Christmas Day will begin with a cloudy sky and will likely end with some sunshine. It will stay rather breezy Saturday with a SW wind of around 15 mph.  This will combine with the sunshine to warm temperatures into the low to middle 80s.

36-hour Futurecast forecast (updated every hour)

The reason for the warmth is a large upper-level ridge of high pressure that will be closest to us on Christmas Day.  As it slides east, we will see temperatures slowly moderate.  Highs will likely stay in the upper 70s to low 80s through Tuesday.  Lows will likely settle into the 60s.  By Wednesday the upper-level winds will become more southwesterly.  The first in a series of disturbances will bring a chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms.  We could see rain each day from Wednesday through next Sunday.  Severe weather cannot be ruled out, but any threat is looking isolated at this time.  Models indicate that most of the area could receive more than an inch of rain during this time

The latest Drought Monitor that came out today shows that we have seen some improvement in the drought conditions given our recent rainfall.  The area of severe drought has decreased but most of the area is still experiencing moderate drought.  Hopefully, the improvement will continue with the rain expected next week. 

-Todd Warren