AUSTIN (KXAN) — On the last day of 2022, the Climate Prediction Center updated its forecast for January 2023, bringing some good news.

Back in mid-December the outlook for January had fairly high odds on a drier than normal month ahead for the entire state of Texas (see below).

January precipitation outlook (CPC)
MID-DECEMBER RELEASE: January precipitation outlook (CPC)

Fast forward to the final version of the January forecast, released December 31, and the “drier than normal” odds have been pulled way back (see below). Now, “near normal” or even odds of normal precipitation is expected for most of the state including most of Central Texas. The odds of a drier than normal month are still in place, but have lowered, for the Hill Country.

Unfortunately the odds of a drier than normal January are still intact for the southwestern third of Texas.

UPDATED January Rainfall Forecast (CPC)
UPDATED January Rainfall Forecast (CPC)

What’s normal in January?

January is typically our coldest month, with average highs in the low 60s and average lows in the low 40s. That brings an average temperature in the low 50s when factoring in nights and days. Normally January is one of our drier months of the year, but not our driest. The coldest it’s ever been in January was on Jan. 31, 1949, when low temperatures in Austin dropped to -2º. We’ve had cold highs in the 20s in January as well, several of which make for record-breaking low maximum temperatures during the month.

  • Average high Jan. 1: 62º
  • Average high Jan. 31: 64º
  • Average low Jan. 1: 42º
  • Average low Jan. 31: 43º
  • Coldest month of the year
  • Average rainfall: 2.64″ (4th driest)

Drought to get worse?

We’ve had some improvements in drought recently thanks to several soaking rains in November and early December. Some parts of Travis, Williamson, Milam, Lee and Bastrop counties have pulled out of the drought and are not even considered dry anymore. Extreme or exceptional Drought still continues for areas just southwest of Austin, especially Blanco, southeastern Gillespie and southwestern Hays counties.

Late December Drought Monitor Update
Late December Drought Monitor Update

The seasonal drought forecast from the Climate Prediction Center expects drought to continue or worsen for much of the area except our eastern counties during the next few months.

Drought seasonal outlook (CPC)
Drought seasonal outlook (CPC)

Stay with the First Warning Weather Team as we watch for any beneficial rainfall that comes to the area.