The Rio Grande Valley will experience its “first real” cold front of the fall season as cold weather pushes its way through the area late Friday afternoon.
The National Weather Service in Brownsville reports the front should reach the Valley roughly between 4 to 6 p.m. bringing winds of 20 to 25 mph with higher gusts of 40 mph.
Although it’s unknown just how far the temperatures will dip Friday night, Valley residents will wake up to temperatures in the 50s by sunrise Saturday, reports Joshua J. Schroeder, science and operations officer at the NWS.
“The cool, breezy, and somewhat dreary conditions are expected to persist through Saturday, especially in the mid-Lower RGV, as temperatures will struggle to recover to 70,” Schroeder writes in his forecast.
As the cold front makes its way through the Valley, it is expected to produce scattered showers and thunderstorms because early-day heating will destabilize the atmosphere.
The NWS reports residents should watch for the following impacts:
>>Temperatures: Sharp drops of 30 to 35 degrees from Friday afternoon to early Saturday morning. The gust north winds and wet conditions will add to the chilly feel.
>>Wind: Quickly shifting to north as the frost passes with speeds of 20-25 mph, gusts as high as 40 mph. Wind advisories may be needed if the winds remain over 30 mph and sustained at 40 mph for more than an hour.
>>Rain/thunderstorms: While severe thunderstorms are not expected at this time, a few storms along the front could be on the stronger side, producing wind gusts of up to 40 mph and locally heavy rainfall of up to an inch.
>>Friday night lights: Weather conditions are likely to be quickly changing in the RGV during local high school football games. Fans should be prepared for gusty winds and a chiller feel in the air, along with rain showers and possible lightning activity.
>>Beach/surf: Surf will become rough and confused by late Friday afternoon as the front reaches South Padre Island and Boca Chica State Park. Swimming will quickly become dangerous for those in the water as the chiller, wet conditions roll in. Conditions remain poor through Saturday.
>>Pelicans: Somewhat uncertain if many pelicans will be found this early in the season along the SPI Causeway and Gayman Bridge along State Highway 48, but drivers should be aware, just in case.
The NWS reports the cold front will be short lived. Temperatures should begin to recover on Sunday and reach back into the 80s and into the 90s on Monday.