First major cold front of season to push through this week 

HARLINGEN — Have a cold one, and put it on fall’s tab.

The first significant cold front to come through the Rio Grande Valley this season is marshalling its forces for an invasion later this week, signaling the beginning of the end of our long, hot summer.

Highs on Thursday will only rise to the mid-70s, forecasters say.

“For the start of the week, it’s going to be near-average temperatures, with a little bit less rainfall than we’ve seen this weekend, but still isolated and scattered showers can’t be ruled out,” Matthew Brady, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Brownsville, said Sunday.

“As we go into mid-week, we’re all excited at the potential for an early-season cold front to move into the region; I think it will probably come through early Thursday morning,” he added. “Ahead of this front we’re expecting numerous showers and thunderstorms to be possible, and then behind the front much cooler temperatures are expected, falling into the mid to upper 70s for daytime highs on Thursday.”

As welcome as that relief sounds, the erratic atmosphere this week also will bring more rain that perhaps isn’t needed, with good chances of precipitation each day.

September of course is the wettest month here in the Rio Grande Valley, a month where Harlingen for example averages 5.26 inches, which is roughly one-fifth of the city’s average annual precipitation of 27.49 inches.

Between 10 a.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Sunday, western Brownsville led Cameron County in rainfall, recording 4.54 inches.

Western Harlingen was next at 4.01 inches, San Benito recorded 2.72 inches, Rancho Viejo saw 2.10 inches and Los Fresnos recorded 1.43 inches of rain.

Farther up the Valley in Hidalgo County, Edinburg was wettest with 2.43 inches, Mission had 2.22 inches, northeast McAllen recorded 2.16 inches and Mercedes saw 1.56 inches.

In Willacy County, a rain gauge just northeast of Port Mansfield recorded 1.27 inches of precipitation. Starr County’s wettest spot was Falcon Lake, which recorded 1.17 inches of rainfall.