Weather Forecaster Senior Airman Miranda Zipp, of the 3rd Weather Squadron, watches the weather at the Robert Gray Army Airfield Operations Center at Fort Hood on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. The Fort Hood Installation Operations Center released a severe weather warning to phones on post Tuesday morning.

Tuesday’s bad weather should clear into sunny skies with a high temperature of 71 degrees in Killeen on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth.

Lows are expected to be around 50 degrees with the better weather staying through Thursday, said meteorologist Juan Hernandez. Thursday should see a high of 70 degrees and a low in the 60s.

A cold front coming in Thursday night will bring a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms through Friday, with a high of 56 degrees and a low of 37.

Temperatures will continue to drop through Christmas, with Saturday seeing a high around 50 degrees and low of 32, Sunday dropping down to 43 for a high and a low of 27.

Christmas Day will reach a high of 46 degrees with a low around 30.

Severe weather concerns kicked in Tuesday, when the Fort Hood Installation Operations Center released a warning to cellphones on post concerning the possibility of severe thunderstorms with high winds greater than 50 miles per hour and hail up to ½ inch in diameter.

Fort Hood’s Integrated Public Alert & Warning System was fielded in August to send out alerts when low water crossings or roads have been closed, along with other information to support public alerts and warnings, said post spokesman Tyler Broadway.

“The 3rd Weather Squadron (U.S. Air Force) continually monitors weather conditions and provides updates to the command when there is a threat from severe weather,” Broadway said. “Furthermore, we have a closed-loop reporting system where major subordinate units are required to respond (or) confirm that they received Installation Operations Center reports.”

The alerts are sent out based on a pre-designated radius on the installation, although there can be spillover of the message to people adjacent to Fort Hood, Broadway said. The messages are similar to the Amber Alert system and individuals must have alerts enabled on their phones to receive them.

The National Weather Service in Fort Worth confirmed the potential for bad weather, although the severe weather front is expected to leave the region overnight, Hernandez said.

Due to the recent rains, the Coryell County burn ban has been lifted until Dec. 27. No burning is permitted, however, if winds are predicted to be in excess of 23 mph.

In the Killeen area, no reports of flooding or rain-related accidents were reported on Tuesday, according to Hilary Shine, Killeen city spokeswoman, and Ofelia Miramontez, Killeen police spokeswoman.

Bell County continues to suffer from a moderate to severe drought, said Daniel Huckaby, meteorologist with NWS Fort Worth, and reports released this week will not factor in the near-inch of rain which fell in Killeen between Monday evening and Tuesday afternoon.

“This is definitely going to help with the drought, particularly since we’re expecting another round of rain on Friday,” Huckaby said.

As of Tuesday, Belton Lake was approximately 3 feet below its normal level, according to the U.S Army Corps of Engineers website. Stillhouse Hollow Lake measured just over 3 feet below normal level. | 254-501-7554

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