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Secure those outdoor holiday decorations, because things are about to get windy, according to the National Weather Service Brownsville-RGV station meteorologists.
Southerly wind velocities are expected to spike across the Rio Grande Valley — especially the Lower Valley— before noon Friday, though it was not connected to the coming weather event. Still, it’s going to get windier, and it’ll be a north wind, according to the NWS, whose meteorologists were forecasting a strong cold front set to push through the Northern Ranchlands during the early evening Saturday.
The front is expected to sweep quickly through the Valley and lower coastal waters by midnight Saturday, creating stout north winds up to 30 to 35 knots (35 to 40 mph), gusting up to 40 to 45 knots (46 to 52 mph), behind the front and persisting through Sunday morning. A low around 44 degrees was forecast for Brownsville, and 42 for McAllen, by the early morning hours of Monday before temperature begin to rebound.
A high of 64 is expected for McAllen and 63 for Brownsville on Sunday. NWS advised boaters and fishermen to take heed of the coming weather change.
“Seas will build to as high as 11 to 16 feet by Sunday morning, with bays becoming very rough,” meteorologists said.
The NWS was forecasting northerly winds between 25 and 35 mph, gusting up to 40 mph, possible across Cameron, Willacy and Kenedy counties from Saturday evening through Sunday morning, likely necessitating a NWS Wind Advisory, said the agency. A Gale Watch is in effect for 9 p.m. Saturday through noon Sunday, said meteorologists, who were highly confident of the accuracy of the forecast.
Gale-force or stronger winds and seas of 10 feet or higher over the weekend will make it highly to extremely difficult to navigate the waters in small craft and “could cause damage to poorly fastened masts and loose items above deck,” the NWS warned.
“Rough waves may overspread the deck, causing additional problems,” meteorologists said. “Small craft operators are urged to postpone plans and remain in port until conditions improve by Sunday evening. Larger vessels and ships should prepare for some difficulty.”
NWS Meteorologist Jeremy Katz said residents should secure any items that could be knocked over or carried off by the wind — including inflatables and other holiday decorations common this time of year. He advised residents to keep an eye on the Brownsville/RGV station’s Facebook page and/or web page for the latest information.