A continued warming trend is expected to continue through Wednesday Night into parts of Thursday. This warming trend will result in high temperatures peaking in the 60s, 70s, and even 80s on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons. Low temperatures will also be climbing as higher moisture values advert inland from the Gulf of Mexico. By Thursday morning low temperatures will not get below the 60s along and east of Interstate 35. Morning fog will become a daily occurrence as these higher moisture values move inland. Dense fog is possible in spots each morning too, but it’ll burn off by the late morning hours. Most precipitation chances will hold off until Thursday.
Ah, Thursday… the end of the week is going to be a pretty interesting time in parts of Texas. We’re going to tell you what we do know at this point and not tell you what we don’t know. For simplicity sake I’ll go ahead and list the main talking points out. This forecast as a whole will change as new data arrives through the week. Please check back and understand this broad scale information should not be taken as something written in stone.
There is high confidence that a anomalously high amount of moisture will be in place by the end of the work week across Texas. Precipitable water values, a way to measure the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, will be 200 to 400 percent above normal for January. In essence, we’ll have the moisture we usually would see in late May or June.
There is high confidence that a dynamic storm system will bring widespread precipitation to parts of Texas beginning Thursday night and continuing through Monday or Tuesday of next week. A frontal boundary will slowly move south and eventually stall out. Heavier precipitation totals will likely be associated in the proximity of that stalled front.
There is moderate confidence that some locations in proximity of the stalled cold front will receive several inches of precipitation. 3 to 7 inches of rain are possible with locally higher amounts. Exactly where? I cannot tell you yet but for now the favored region seems to be North Texas, Texoma, into Northeast Texas. Even though we do have drought conditions there would be the potential for localized flooding.
There is moderate to high confidence that a significant winter storm will occur where surface temperatures are below freezing, but low confidence on where the freezing line will set up. Atmospheric temperature profiles will be much warmer than this past week, thus any snow would likely only occur in the northern Texas Panhandle and points north. From the central Texas Panhandle and points south/east to where the 32 degrees isotherm sets up would receive mixed precipitation in the form of sleet or freezing rain. There is the potential for a winter storm in portions of the Texas Panhandle and West Texas, but confidence is low at this point if that potential winter storm will extend south of those locations. Those in the Texas Panhandle and West Texas should start planning ahead with the mindset that impacts from ice are possible starting late Thursday night and continuing into the weekend.
Confidence on the potential for severe thunderstorms is low at this time. Features needed for severe storms are not able to be accurately forecast this far in advance when dealing with a cool-season event. It is not out of the question that a few stronger storms with hail may occur this weekend close to the Gulf Coast, but how far inland any instability may develop remains unclear.
As a whole we’ll likely be dealing with several weather-related impacts by the end of the work week into the weekend. I encourage you to find a reputable source for weather information and stick with them. The National Weather Service social media accounts are a good place to start, followed up by a good broadcast meteorologist in your market. Ignore those pages that ask you to ‘like or share’ something or that post raw, eye-popping weather model graphics. We have enough mis-information going around from boneheaded kids without it going viral.