There are some difficulties with the weekend forecast, in that it will be difficult to time the motion and strength of disturbances migrating out of the northern Pacific Ocean. After looking at the various computer models, I have concluded that a) moisture forecasts are somewhat underdone and b) chances for thunderstorms are greater than what is shown on the numerical models. This is largely because the air aloft will be getting colder at a time when temperatures in the lowest 5000 feet of the atmosphere will, from time to time, warm quickly. The mechanisms will be in place for convection, some of which may fall into the strong category.
A lingering frontal structure near the Gulf Coast may allow for shower (and possibly thunderstorm) development for a time on Friday before the best upper level dynamics move away. Friday night and Saturday should be fine, although on the cool side (take a jacket along going out for dinner). Sunday into Monday, a deepening storm and cold front may again provide the risk of scattered precipitation.
The cold air that follows the early week system may have a little more bite to it, but I think the strongest push of coldest values will wait until the passage of a low pressure center on Wednesday. It remains to be seen if this impulse is the one which the ensemble packages have been proclaiming to be a major winter-type storm. There are only vague signals from the operational ECMWF and GGEM equations that this feature could give someone up north a ton of snowfall. But it seems pretty certain that, after its passage through Houston on Wednesday, we will settle into a chilly four day period in southeastern Texas that may enable some frost potential in nearby areas to the north of the Bayou City.
But the worst of the cold is destined to target the Midwest, Mid-South, Appalachia and (in time) the Eastern Seaboard.
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Friday: Mostly cloudy and cooler with showers likely into early afternoon. Highs 61 Chappell Hill to 65 Baytown
Friday Night: Partly cloudy and cool. Lows 45 Hempstead to 49 Liberty
Saturday: Mostly sunny and mild. Highs 63 Waller to 67 Channelview
Saturday Night: Mostly fair with late night fog. Lows 52 Hockley to 56 Deer Park
Sunday: Increasing cloudiness, breezy with showers possible late day. Milder. High 71 Galena Park to 75 Klein
Monday: A morning shower or thunderstorm is possible. Partly cloudy, windy and colder in the afternoon. High 61, Low 44
Tuesday: Mostly sunny and milder after a cold start. High 68, Low 39
Wednesday: Mostly cloudy, mild. Risk of a shower or thunderstorm in the afternoon. High 74, Low 52