AUSTIN (KXAN) - There's nothing like nice spring weather in Central Texas.
Now, it's nothing like "nice spring weather in Central Texas."
A cold front so strong it is expected to set low temperature records blew into the region Thursday morning.
The front brought a few strong storms to the area late Wednesday night. Frequent lightning, small hail, gusty winds and heavy downpours reached the Austin metro area before 2 a.m. Thursday, though most of the activity moved across only Hays and parts of Travis counties.
Temperatures began falling early Thursday morning into the 60s, then are expected to remain in the 50s all day—as much as 30 degrees colder than average. Some locations in the Hill Country may see temperatures fall to the 40s during the day.
Very strong north winds 25-30 mph, with gusts to 40 mph will make it feel even colder. A Wind Advisory has been posted Central Texas for Thursday.
By early Friday and again Saturday morning, low temperatures are expected to fall into the 30s and 40s across the KXAN viewing area. Record breaking lows of 40-44 degrees are forecast for Austin, but low lying locations in the Austin metro will likely see early morning readings in the 30s.
In the Hill Country, morning low temperatures in the 30s are expected for most areas, with some of the coldest valleys even potentially recording a very rare early May freeze. A Freeze Watch is in effect Friday morning for San Saba and Mason counties, where lows could fall into the upper 20s.
The coldest temperature ever recorded during the month of May in Austin was 40 degrees, on May 1, 1925. That all-time monthly record may be in jeopardy. At Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the coldest May temperature on record occurred May 4, 2011, when the temperature dropped to 38 degrees.
That record may also be broken Friday or Saturday mornings.
While the early morning temperatures will be some of the coldest on record early Friday and Saturday, the afternoons should be beautiful through the weekend, with highs in the 70s.
A man convicted 21 years ago for engaging in ritual child abuse was released Thursday after the DA's office agreed the only physical evidence against him was faulty.
The pastor of the Austin church attended by the teacher who was killed Thursday in Benghazi remembered him as a spiritual friend dedicated to improving the lives of others.
Tom Pauken said on Thursday that he wouldn't file for the GOP primary for governor, explaining that the difficulties of running against the best-funded statewide candidate in the state would be too great.
Winter is invading Texas with a vengeance as snow, sleet and ice are unleashed on much of northern and western sections of the state.
Several organizations on Thursday called for an end to the use of stun guns in schools, saying the incident Cedar Creek High School last month shows the dangers of such devices.
The expected winter weather has delayed initial construction work on MoPac until the rain and cold temperatures pass through.