What you need to know about the weather for Austin City Limits Fest: Rain chances persist all weekend
Overnight rain has left Zilker Park a bit soggy, dumping about an inch of rain Friday morning there before gates opened for the first weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival.
As of 9 a.m., Doppler radar showed most of the rain-producing clouds heading west toward East Texas and the Coastal Plains.
Rain gauges monitored by the Lower Colorado River Authority recorded as much as 4 inches of rainfall throughout Travis County early Friday, including:
• 4.16 inches at Williamson Creek in Southwest Austin
• 3.4 inches at Slaughter Creek and RM 1826 in Southwest Austin
• 2.76 inches near Barton Creek Golf Course in West Austin
• 2.51 inches along Lake Austin at Cortana Shores in West Austin
Only a handful of low water crossings remain closed in the Austin area Friday morning, mostly along Spicewood Springs Road in Northwest Austin, according to ATXFloods.com.
Although much of the day should be mostly sunny in Austin with a comfortable high temperature of 85, the weather outlook for the rest of Friday still calls for a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms at night, the National Weather Service said Friday morning. Those storms could produce up to a quarter-inch more of rain.
Unfortunately, ACL Fest rules say no umbrellas are allowed.
More wet weather is in the forecast for Austin on Saturday, which has a 70% chance of rain. Amounts between a half-inch and three-quarters of an inch of rainfall are possible.
Rain chances diminish by Saturday night and Sunday only has a 20% chance on an otherwise mostly sunny day with a seasonable high temperature of 88. Dry air and clear skies Sunday night will help temperatures slip to as low as 66.
The festival has seen its fair share of weird weather:
• In 2005, weather conditions were so dry at Zilker Park, with temperatures reaching 107, that attendees had to wear bandanas over their faces to protect themselves from the dust and sun.
• In 2009, heavy rainfall turned Zilker Park into a giant mud pit, with many fans making the best of it and playing in the mud between concerts — and that was after only 0.68 inch of rain fell over two days.
• In 2013, ACL Fest organizers canceled the last day of the festival's second weekend after flooding caused by overnight storms that dumped 4.22 inches of rain.
• In 2019, the festival's first weekend left many glazed in sweat after record-setting daily highs in the upper 90s. But the second weekend was the chilliest so far, with temperatures only reaching 65 degrees on Oct. 12.
• Although the weather was rain-free with temperatures mostly in the upper 80s to lower 90s, the coronavirus pandemic last year forced organizers to take the festival online.
ACL Fest organizers have said the event was moved to October, starting in 2012, for many reasons, one being to avoid extreme weather conditions.