Cold front may bring rain to Valley

HARLINGEN — A week of radar watching as strong storms slipped by just north of the Rio Grande Valley, carrying away some much-needed rain, may be about to change.

The forecast for Cameron, Willacy, Hidalgo and Starr counties Friday and Saturday indicates a strong front pushing south out of the Plains, bringing possible thunderstorms and a 50-percent chance of rain both days.

Laura Farris, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Brownsville, said the question is how deep into the Valley the northern front will push.

“It looks like we have a cold front coming in and the timing of it and the extent of how far is something we’re waiting to see what the models do with it,” she said yesterday. “Friday looks like for most of the Valley it will push through about the U.S. 281 boundary by Friday evening. And then on Saturday, we have a reinforcement of that and it pushes through to the coast.”

The anticipated cold front on Friday coming down from the north is in contrast to this week’s storm systems which roared up from Mexico on a northeasterly path. These storms zipped past the Valley for the most part, but heavy rains from thunderstorms did create flooding problems in the Corpus Christi area.

A flood warning was issued for the Guadalupe River near Victoria yesterday.

“It’s not going to be like a torrential downpour,” Farris added of the Valley forecast. “Friday we could see maybe up to four–tenths of an inch in the northern ranchlands, and that would be our heaviest area. And on Saturday maybe three-tenths of an inch as well.”

Forecasters say the current forecast models indicate most of that rain will fall to the north of the Valley, but behind the surface front there is the possibility of measurable rainfall for the next few days.

The cold front is remarkably broad for this time of year, and by the time it reaches Deep South Texas, forecast maps show it stretching from California all the way north to Montreal, Canada.

As is often the case, the cold front arriving Friday and Saturday will blunt the early hot weather in the Valley. Highs Friday will range from 73 to 84 degrees and from 80 to 84 degrees on Saturday.

The chance of rain today is 30 percent, and on Sunday and Monday, the Valley will see a 20-percent chance of some precipitation.

5-Day Forecast

Rain chance Highs

Today 30 percent 89-96

Friday 50 percent 73-84

Saturday 50 percent 80-84

Sunday 20 percent 82-87

Monday 20 percent 85-91

Source: National Weather Service/Brownsville