Daily Archives: December 17, 2012

Snow or Rain…we don’t care, we’ll take it!

While we all hold our breath for the next 7 days waiting to see if we will actually get some snow across northern parts of Texas,  let’s talk about the rain chances!  Early next week, a strong low pressure trough is expected to travel down from the Colorado Rockies bringing much colder air along with it.   While the models may still be grappling with the snow probabilities for northern Texas, the two things they both agree on is the cold air and the chances for precipitation.

Ahead of, and behind this next front, precipitation chances are looking very likely for quite a few areas across the state.  As of right now, forecast models are showing the greatest amount of precipitation affecting areas along and east of the I-35  corridor beginning as early as next Monday ahead of the cold front and hanging around for a few days.  Precipitation also looks likely to develop behind the front by next Wednesday, across the northern sections including the panhandle, in response to a surface low that looks to form over deep south Texas during that time.   This is where the potential for snowfall comes from as moist air from the Gulf is swept up into Texas by the low’s counter-clockwise spinning motion which then interacts with the cold frontal air.

Below is one of the forecast graphics I looked at tonight which outlines surface precipitation for next week.  This particular forecast graphic from the American (GFS) for next Wednesday at 1pm.   Keep in mind this is just one graphic from a whole time series, but I wanted to show you just how much of our state this particular forecast model thinks will receive some form of precipitation at that time.   It’s been awhile since we’ve seen that much green over nearly the entire state!

Projected precipitation amounts at 1pm 12/26/12

GFS 1pm Wed 12-26



Now, just for grins and giggles, here’s where this same forecast model (the GFS) thinks the snowfall will accumulate during that time period.  This graphic shows potential snowfall depths (or, expected accumulations) between Midnight and 6am on Thursday the 27th.

Potential SNOW Accumulation – Midnight to 6am 12/27/12

Snow 12-27 Midnight


Keep in mind this is just model forecasting for now, and there’s still many changes that can and probably will happen between now and then.  Regardless, I think everyone will agree that whether we get snow or not, the rainfall that is expected to fall next week over quite a bit of the state will be much appreciated!

Wind Machine Cranking Up Again for Western Texas 12/17/2012



Areas of lighter blue indicate forecast higher wind speeds.


After a dusty windy day today, I know you folks in West Texas would like some relief! You can have a small break on Tuesday across most of western Texas, except for the higher mountain terrain of far southwest Texas which will see winds in the 25-35 mph range tomorrow. Otherwise, across the remainder of the western half of Texas, it should be a rather nice, if breezy, day with temps generally in the 60s in the north to mid-70s in the south.

Things go downhill rather quickly as Wednesday comes on-board with the next in a train of upper level storm systems coming out into the plains to our north. Heading outside Wednesday afternoon will greet you with a faceful of foaming weasels as high winds fill the skies with dust once again!

In the Panhandle, a mix of weather throughout the day should hold true to that Texas saying: “If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes!”.  As this upper level trough ejects out into the high plains, West Texas will be on the southern end of things (aka the windy side!) with Amarillo area winds 30-40 mph gusting to 50 mph. This system will also drop a cold front south, and in the two most northern row of counties in the Panhandle, they have a chance of seeing some slight rain and/or snow during the afternoon and evening. Any precipitation amounts should be light however and no accumulation expected at this time.

Further south across the Texas South Plains and Lubbock area, HIGH WIND WATCHES have already been posted where winds 30-40 mph gusting to 60 mph are expected. Precipitation this far south in any amount is not expected.  There is some concern in model variations that high clouds could come in to play, and would have some affect on our expected wind speeds.

In the Permian Basin and far Southwest Texas, while it will still be quite windy, not so much as further north, closer in proximity to the upper level system.  Winds across most of this area should be 30-40 mph with gusts 45-60 mph. The exception being the typical higher terrain around Guadalupe Pass and the Davis Mountains where we could see some gusts  in the 70-80 mph range! HIGH WIND WATCHES have been posted for that area as well.

Winds for all areas should begin to taper off around sunset

It’s important to note that the track of this storm system varying by 100 miles could considerably change where the highest wind speeds will end up being, we’ll keep you updated on the latest as it approaches.

Beyond Wednesday, cool and dry will be the catch phrase through the weekend. Long range models are depicting a strong winter system that may be affecting Texas and finally bringing some precipitation to at least the Northern parts of Texas. We’ll update you more on that later!


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