Wide­spread rain and pos­si­ble light­ning pre­dicted for to­day

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Marty Toohey mtoohey@states­man.com Weather

Fri­day could give Cen­tral Texas a taste of the down­side of spring.

Storms con­ceived by a front com­ing from the west and mois­ture from the Gulf of Mex­ico should roll over the re­gion in the morn­ing, bring­ing wide­spread rain and pos­si­ble light­ning be­fore clear­ing out in the af­ter­noon, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice.

Thurs­day’s gust­ing winds were an early symp­tom of the front, which pre­ceded a dis­tur­bance in the up­per at­mos­phere, said Troy Kim­mel, a Univer­sity of Texas me­te­o­rol­o­gist.

The places ex­pected to be hard­est hit by Fri­day’s storms are north and east of Austin, Kim­mel said. Although a tenth to a quar­ter of an inch of rain should fall in most spots, iso­lated down­pours are pos­si­ble.

“It could de­velop right on top of us, or to the east of us,” Kim­mel said. “But it re­ally shouldn’t get go­ing un­til gets east of (In­ter­state) 35.”

Hail and straight-line wind dam­age are pos­si­ble. The worst time will prob­a­bly be be­tween 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., Kim­mel said.

Af­ter that, ex­pect a warm af­ter­noon with tem­per­a­tures reach­ing the lower 80s. Satur­day and Sun­day should be hot and dry as well, with a high in the lower to mid80s. Iso­lated show­ers might make an ap­pear­ance Sun­day night.

Pre­dic­tions can be dif­fi­cult, but his­tory sug­gests that Cen­tral Texas is in for more of these types of thun­der­storms, which are a com­mon spring phe­nom­e­non. They shouldn’t be un­der­es­ti­mated: Most do rel­a­tively lit­tle dam­age, but the at­mo­spheric churn that cre­ates such storms can quickly spin them into se­ri­ous, po­ten­tially flood-caus­ing down­pours that are dif­fi­cult to fore­cast.

That ten­dency is what earned Cen­tral Texas the nick­name Flash Flood Al­ley.

Fri­day’s weather will in­ter­rupt what has been, for the most

DEB­O­RAH CAN­NON / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Zach Parks takes ad­van­tage of the sunny and warm weather as he reads a book and works on his tan at Zilker Park on Thurs­day. Fri­day might not be as pleas­ant.

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