Daily Archives: December 7, 2012

Monday Morning Snow in North Texas?

I wanted to provide a brief late-evening update on the potential and associated timing of any light snow across North Texas for Monday Morning. Right now, weather model guidance continues to suggest that there could be some light snow generally from North and West of Fort Worth up towards Wichita Falls. That’s a fairly poor description but trying to describe exact potential areas is futile and useless at this point. We’re not going to have a good idea of the exact zones at risk of seeing light snow until Sunday. There are so many factors that go into producing winter weather that they often don’t become accurately predictable until we’re within 24 hours of the event. That said, we can give out some information about the potential event.

This graphic comes from a high-resolution version of the North American Model and shows it’s representation of the radar at 6 AM on Monday.

Keep in mind this is only predictable radar and thus you shouldn’t expect the radar to look like this simulation. In fact, this is one of the more aggressive solutions. Many of the other models are showing very light snow with no accumulations. This specific graphic shows somewhat heavier precipitation falling in the form of rain. Like I said, there is no accurate way to predict the exact scenario until we’re within 24 hours.

In summary, I do not expect a significant winter weather event. In all likelihood  there will be no snow accumulation as dry air will make it difficult to produce snow at all. Any snow that does reach the ground will be in the form of dry, small flakes and will melt quickly. Even if we did have some sort of heavier snow, the ground is well above freezing and there would be no travel impacts. There is a small probability that we could see a dusting in a localized location, but that is a small chance and wouldn’t be predictable until 12-18 hours before the event begins.

Alaska preparing to re-position over Texas; Arctic Air Incoming!

All of you have heard about our major arctic cold front poised to slam into Texas beginning late Saturday night and progressing across the entire state by Sunday. This will not be an event where North Texas is cold and South Texas remains warm. This cold front will bring cold, below average temperatures to ALL of Texas, even the Valley. Now that we’re within 48 hours of the cold front we can begin to be more precise with our timing. Here is the latest timing from one of our most reliable models, the North American Model. Keep in mind that timing could be off as much as six hours, but we’re generally beginning to get a good model consensus on the cold front’s timing.

In additon to the cold temperatures, strong north winds will make the air temperature feel 10 to 20 degrees colder than the actual air temperature. Right now, the coldest morning looks to be on Tuesday with low temperatures approaching dangerous territory in parts of Texas. We’ll have more on the light snow chances and any storm chances for Sunday in a blog post early Saturday morning.

Coldest Air of this Season Arriving Saturday Night and Sunday 12/7-8/2012

As we’ve been telling you for a while now, the coldest air of the season is on the way to West Texas.  Current thinking is the front will enter the northern Panhandle before midnight on Saturday, arrive in Lubbock probably just before dawn on Sunday, then on to the Midland/Odessa area by mid-morning and the I20 corridor by late evening Sunday.

It will be quite windy as the front pushes through the flat lands in Northwest Texas, with winds behind the front Sunday gusting as high as 35mph in some place, bringing about a cold and nasty day on Sunday with highs in the Panhandle only in the 30s and 40s on the South Plains. Further south, things will have a chance to warm up a bit before the front arrives, so you should at least see some 50s.  Blowing dust in the flatlands of the Panhandle and South Plains will be likely.

Sunday night things will feel bitterly cold,  as with the higher winds we’ll be having wind chill concerns, with some temps in the far northwest Panhandle reaching single digits and teens, while around the Lubbock area around 20. Even the Permian Basin will feel quite cold Sunday night with wind chill values in the teen.

Snow is still in the forecast, primarily for the North/Northwest Panhandle area, where the greatest chance of seeing any accumulations is possible.  Anything else across West Texas at this time looks to be only flurries, with little to no accumulations, especially considering the recent warm weather and ground temperatures.

Saturday is your last chance to make your cold weather preparations before it hits.

All in all, it’s going to be very unpleasant to be outside Sunday for most of West Texas, and this cold air is going to be slow to warm up through mid-week. I’ll update you again tomorrow with the latest on this cold weather and snow potential!


Snow Possibilities Sunday Night into Monday

Our west Texas staff member David Drummond posted an excellent discussion for snow possibilities on Sunday in West Texas and the Texas Panhandle. If you’re looking for information on those areas, please see his blog post here. This post will be covering North Texas and the Red River Valley. Let me stress that all information posted here will likely change as we get closer to Monday. Winter weather is very difficult to forecast in Texas because of how many factors need to come together to support it. These factors can and will change frequently and if one ingredient is missing, that will change the forecast. Right now, weather models are forecasting low moisture amounts. This means any snow that falls and reaches the ground will be light. Warm ground temperatures will prevent any accumulations or travel impacts.

Here is a graphic put together by the National Weather Service Fort Worth detailing the snow possibilities and the associated forecast concerns.

Weather models, even our best ones, are flip-flooping on the exact scenerio for Monday. Some weather models show nothing while others are beginning to become more optimistic on snow chances for West and North Texas. Prudence is key at this point and we’ll stick on the side of reason. While light snow is certainly possible on Monday, it would not be heavy enough to cause any problems. That is based on current weather model data. The worst case scenario  and the most unlikely, is that some areas receive half an inch of snow on grassy areas before it melts quickly. That has less than a ten percent chance of occurring. Here is one weather model, the Global Forecast System, showing light snow amounts for Monday morning. Keep in mind that warm ground temperatures will prevent any issues on roadways.

As we progress into the weekend our confidence in a particular solution should increase. Should being an optimistic word since winter weather scenerios in Texas are one of the most difficult to forecast.

In summary, this is not a storm where you need to go buy bread and milk. On the contrary  the cold weather will remain the main story. Snow flurries may just add a bit to the overall scheme of things. Monday will be cold across Texas with high temperatures struggling. Monday night is going to be plain cold

We’ll continue monitoring the latest data and will post updates as necessary here and on our social media accounts.

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