Rain, snow on the way

Published 4:04 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The sunny skies of the past few days will soon be long gone.

While Austin residents have gotten used to the weekly snow storm, the front moving through this evening could bring another form of precipitation: rain.

The National Weather Service forecast is calling for freezing drizzle, starting tonight. That rain is expected to continue through the evening and into Thursday, when it will be accompanied by thick fog and moderate winds, which will create low visibility.

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While there is only a rainfall total of a quarter of an inch expected, NWS Meteorologist Jeff Boyne said Thursday is going to be plenty wet.

That rainfall is likely to turn over to snow on Friday, though Boyne said it may be too soon to predict potential snowfall totals for the Austin area.

“It’s going to change over, but the thing is there’s still some uncertainties as to how fast this is going to change over,” Boyne said.

Boyne said heavy snow is expected west of and along Interstate 35. That leaves Austin with a predicted two inches of snowfall. But if the winds shift, it could be more in the range of 3 to 6 inches.

Either way, New Year’s Eve isn’t expected to be a pleasant travel evening.

“New Year’s Eve could be interesting,” Boyne said.

Temperatures are likely going to be around 34 degrees on Friday morning, but are expected to drop to 21 degrees in the evening. High temperatures during the day could freeze areas of rain from earlier in the week.

“There’s going to be a quick drop in temperatures, and if there is any moisture laying around, it could quickly freeze,” Boyne said.