If you ever needed confirmation for how large and geographically diverse Texas is, here’s a stat that it might be hard for your friends in Connecticut to wrap their heads around: At 6 p.m. on Sunday night, in the South Texas town of Zapata (between Rio Grande City and Laredo), it was 91 degrees outside. In Amarillo, 675 miles to the north, it was 30. You could start your day in Texas bundled up in a winter coat, drive for ten hours, and then strip down to a bathing suit and hop in the pool—all without ever leaving the state.
Throughout the state, the weather took a strange turn over the past 24 hours. In Austin on Sunday, during the final day of the Austin City Limits Festival, concertgoers spent their afternoon sweating in a humid, sunny stew that hit nearly 90 degrees. Those same people woke up this morning to a grey, wet—and most significantly, cold—45-degree day. In Dallas, it’s 43 degrees outside, while folks in McAllen are still in the midst of a never-ending summer at 87.
The Blue Norther—a weather pattern that involves a warm, sunny day suddenly turning precipitously cold—is heading south, too, though. It’s hot in McAllen right now, but by this evening, temperatures are expected to drop to the low sixties in the Valley, catching it up with the rest of the state’s crummy weather around nightfall.
The sudden onset of winter weather across the state, coming immediately on top of an interminable summer, is expected to break up over the next few days with the arrival of something resembling an actual autumn: In Austin, Dallas, and El Paso the current dip into the forties is supposed to climb back in the mid/upper-sixties by the weekend, and Amarillo’s frost should be supplanted by a trip back up to the low sixties at the same time. Weather in the Valley should be about ten degrees warmer than what’s coming to Austin. Houston, meanwhile, saw temperatures fall by a less extreme margin—only to the lower sixties—and is expected to see a rebound to the mid-seventies.
After a long summer, fall is coming to Texas, in other words—just after we get past this weird detour into winter.