NWS: Warm-up won’t last

Published 10:14 am Friday, March 28, 2014

Austin off to coldest start to the year

Temperatures are about to warm up for a few days, but then it’s right back below average — a trend that might be the norm in coming months.

With Austin experiencing its coldest start to a year on record, many local residents were thrilled to see the National Weather Service in La Crosse, Wis., predicting temperatures above 60 degrees on Sunday and above 50 degrees on Monday.

But meteorologists are warning residents not to get used to it.

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High temperatures will drop back to the mid- to upper 30s next week, and April models aren’t looking too positive.

“It looks like temperatures will remain below normal,” said NWS forecaster Jeff Boyne.

Boyne said NWS models predict April will be below the average 45.6 degrees by 2-3 degrees over the course of the month.

Below average temperatures are nothing new this year. Austin’s average 2014 temperature through Thursday was 10.9 degrees, besting the previous record of 11.7 degrees in the same span in 1978, according to Boyne. The average temperature for the same range is 20.1 degrees.

The trend could continue into summer. Meteorologists are watching an El Nino pattern that Boyne said could cause temperatures to be 2-3 degrees below average this summer.

The cool trend dates back to last year. From Dec. 1 through Feb. 28, Austin had a record 54 days at or below zero, topping the previous record of 48 in 1955-56. The average temperature for that winter span was 8.8 degrees, second only to the 7.9 degrees recorded in the winter of 1978-79.