Wednesday forecast for Austin: Anybody get any sleep last night? We didn’t either. So here’s what we know so far . . .
An areal flood advisory is in effect until 8 a.m. in Central Texas, and a flash flood warning is also in effect until 5:45 a.m., the National Weather Service said. The flash flood warning means flooding is occurring or imminent. The “areal” advisory is not a misspelling: An areal flood advisory basically means there is potential for flooding over a large area. The weather service uses the word “areal” as an adjective (although I’m sure it’s been pointed out to the NWS many times before that the term can be rather confusing, if not awkward).
Doppler radar images continue to indicate patchy light rain across the Interstate 35 corridor, the weather service says. Additional rainfall of up to a quarter-inch is expected over the Austin metro area, including parts of Travis, Williamson, Hays and Bastrop counties. Minor flooding of small streams and pooling of water in low-lying areas will continue throughout Wednesday morning, the service says.
In the past 12 hours, Jollyville has received the most rain at 2.63 inches, though many areas throughout the Austin metro area have received between a half-inch to 2 inches of rain, according to rain gauges monitored by the Lower Colorado River Authority.
Several low-water crossings remain closed this morning. Shortly before 3 a.m., police asked that drivers be careful of water on the ramp from southbound Interstate 35 to westbound Ben White Boulevard because one crash had occurred already. Around the same time, Austin police also reported pooling water on North Lamar Boulevard near Third Street. Meanwhile in San Marcos as of 5 a.m., a semi crash had closed the northbound lanes of Interstate 35, but it was unclear if the incident was weather-related.
The weather service outlook for the rest of Wednesday calls for showers and thunderstorms, mainly before noon and a high near 74. A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms remains at night under cloudy skies and a low around 60.
As visitors to Austin start arriving at their hotels for South by Southwest, showers and thunderstorms are likely all day and all night on Thursday, with rain chances as high as 70 percent.
On the first day of the festival, and with President Obama flying into Austin on Air Force One, showers and thunderstorms are likely again. Rain chances ease up during the evening, before a weekend of sunshine.