Watch top Texas weather expert explain fall and winter forecast

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South and Central Texas are probably headed for a relatively warm and dry season ahead thanks to La Niña, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecaster Larry Hopper lays out the details in a webinar posted Oct. 13. The weather service put a 70 percent chance of a weak La Niña lasting through the fall, with a 55 percent chance of one in the winter.

Hopper’s 18-minute presentation has the kind of detail that weather geeks should appreciate, but he lays things out clearly enough for a weather layperson to follow. A La Niña is a weather pattern heavily influenced by surface temperatures in the Pacific. It is basically the bizarro twin of El Niño, the pattern largely responsible for the heavy rainfall last year and earlier this year.

Unlike the unusually strong El Niño – dubbed the Godzilla El Niño – this La Niña appears to be a weak one. Hopper’s presentation is nuanced and like, all long-term forecasts, includes necessary caveats. (He’s offering a forecast, not pretending he’s been sent back in time by your future self to advise you on stock purchases.) But generally speaking, Hopper said, people should probably expect a mild fall and possibly winter, rather than one significantly hotter than usual. Flash floods remain a risk, as they usually are this time of year, and wildfires are also possible, though the ground is wet enough to mitigate the worst risks.

It’s also worth watching because Hopper explains some of the climatological phenomena at work beyond La Niña and provides a window into how forecasters weave them together into the overall forecast.

Scattered showers expected throughout the day in Austin

Thursday forecast for Austin: Forecasters are expecting scattered showers to drop up to an half of an inch of rain in Austin and surrounding areas throughout the day on Thursday.

According to the National Weather Service, Camp Mabry will see around a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms both in the morning and in the afternoon.

Weather Service meteorologist Constantine Pashos said the best chance for showers will come between 7 a.m. and noon, then another round is possible late in the afternoon and into the evening.

The region should dry out again overnight, priming the area for more clear skies through the weekend.

Pashos said any showers that hit the area will be spotty.

“Some areas could get nothing while other could get half of an inch,” he said.

Temperatures on Thursday are expected to reach highs around 84 degrees, falling slightly lower than they did on Wednesday, which hit 91 degrees at Camp Mabry.

Temperatures are expected to increase again over the next few days to highs in the upper 80s on Friday, then into the 90s on Saturday through at least Tuesday.

After chances for showers end on Thursday, no rain is in the forecast through at least next Wednesday, according to the weather service.

Here’s a look at the forecast through the weekend:

  • Friday: Cloudy in the morning, then becoming mostly sunny. Highs will be around 88 degrees.
  • Saturday: Mostly sunny with a high near 91 degrees.
  • Sunday: Mostly sunny with a high near 91.
  • Monday: Sunny with a high near 92.
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National Weather Service