Daily Archives: December 9, 2012

11 PM Update on North Texas Snow

A high-resolution model, known as the High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) has gotten snow fans talking this evening. It is showing a widespread area of snow moving over much of North Texas by early Monday morning. Since a news station in D/FW has shared this information without sharing any off the details, I wanted to briefly provide an evening update. Right now, light to moderate snow has dumped between a quarter and three-quarters of an inch of snow on grassy areas in the Texas Panhandle. Roadways remain east of Amarillo, although I-40 west of town is having some issues. As we continue into early Monday, the storm system responsible for the snow will begin weakening. That combined with low moisture values over North Texas screams that any snow that occurs will not accumulate or become problematic for drivers.

The majority of model guidance continues to show that light snow will be possible along and north of Highway 380 in North Texas with flurries as far south as Interstate 20. I cannot rule out a dusting of snow in some areas, but it will melt within minutes of the snow falling. We’ll be here all night providing updates and will let you know if anything changes.

For what its worth, here is the model graphic I’m referring to in this blog post.

12/09/2012 Texas Panhandle Winter Weather Late Evening Update




Previous Winter Weather Advisory extended to include Deaf Smith and Oldham Counties along the NM state line.  TXDOT reporting low visibilities due to blowing snow in Parmer County, and bridges starting to freeze along I40 west of Amarillo, and that only gets worse as you travel west into NM.  Snow band is narrow and currently extending from about Palo Duro Canyon, southwest toward Muleshoe and then broadens out as you get toward Rosewell, NM. This activity is moving to the east and the tail end of it may clip the Lubbock area.

Also seeing what appears to be some snow showers popping up near Hobbs, NM  and those look more convective in nature. That activity is moving to the northeast and looks to join with the previously mentioned snow band around the Lubbock area. We’ll have to carefully watch what happens with that. Convective snows can give some heavy snow bursts.

**UPDATE** This part near Hobbs extends down to north of Pecos and is looking more like traditional snow bands than convective.

Winds are also getting pretty frosty across West Texas. gusting around 30 mph. I can tell from being outside for a few minutes, it’s quite nippy!  All activity should continue to move east as previously forecast, through the early morning hours.

Very Cold Temperatures and Hard Freeze across Texas on Tuesday Morning

Even though we’ll be quite chilly tonight into Monday, we’re most concerned about the very cold temperatures that will exist across all of Texas by Tuesday morning. As the very cold air settles into Texas and skies clear out, conditions will become ripe for radiation cooling on Tuesday morning. That means skies will be clear and winds will be light. Those two things allow surface heat to radiate upwards and thus cool the surface quickly. Freezing temperatures are likely south to the Interstate 10 corridor and parts of Deep South Texas. Below average low temperatures and the long duration nature of the cold temperatures will create problems for exposed exterior piping, especially in the northern half of Texas where temperatures could fall below 25 degrees. Here is one of our weather model depictions of Tuesday morning‘s low temperatures.

12/09/2012 Evening update on Winter Weather in Northwest Texas

**UPDATE** Winter Weather Advisory in Effect for Parmer, Castro, Baily and Lamb Counties through 3 a.m. CST. Slippery roadways, freezing on bridges and overpasses, and 1-2″ inches of snow expected.  Advisory also now for Deaf Smith and Oldham Counties.

Current radar from eastern New Mexico depicts a couple snow bands, one from northwest of Roswell northeastward to near Vega, west of Amarillo. Another snow band along the same orientation behind that. This activity is moving east/southeast and we should start seeing the first snowflakes in the Clovis/Portales area soon, as well as along the US Hwy 60 corridor to Amarillo.

No official snowfall reports just yet, but traffic cams at Tucumcari, NM shown below show the snowfall headed Texas way. In fact, they are reporting difficult driving conditions along I40 from Tucumcari, westward. TXDOT is not reporting anything on this activity yet. I’ll be monitoring this and will keep you updated.  Remember you can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter where I may post shorter quick updates as needed.


Northwest Texas Winter Weather Update for 12/09/2012

Much anticipated cold front has made it’s way a bit faster than expected through most of West Texas by mid-afternoon, and is currently draped from just north of Pecos, TX southeast to just north of Sonora and then curving back through central Texas and southeast of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.  The contrast is depicted quite well on the above graphic which shows the current observed temps across Texas, with freezing temps in far northwest Texas with near 80s at the coast. Gotta love Texas weather!

So far, winds behind the front have not been quite as gusty as previously forecast, however gusty winds a bit higher over the surface are seen in the higher terrain around Guadalupe Pass where a High Wind Warning is in effect where I am currently seeing gusts to near 50 mph!  This front will continue to dive through Texas today, generating Severe Weather in the Southeast (we are currently monitoring that situation for you as well) and ushering in more cold air in the west.

So what about snow chances for West Texas?

Disturbance in a large scale upper air trough currently centered over New Mexico will rotate around the base of this trough and across northwest Texas late tonight and into the wee hours of Monday. Being that this is rather quickly moving, this will restrict snowfall opportunities at any given area to a narrow timeframe, thus keeping snowfall accumulations to a minimum.  Short fuse models currently indictating best chance for measurable snowfall in the southern Rockies to our west in New Mexico (good news for our ski destinations!), and eastward through the Clovis/Portales, NM area to around the Amarillo area around the midnight hour (depicted here at 11pm).

This area will quickly move east/southeast, and any snowfall accumulations are expected to be less than 1″ at this time, although 2′ isn’t out of the question if you find yourself in one of the heavier snow bands.  Recent warm temps have kept the ground warm, and that will aid in quick melting at first and keep snowfall accumulations down as well.  There is some concern for some light slick road conditions on highways, especially any bridges or overpasses, that always freeze up first.  Here we see this area already on the move a couple hours later.


As this area of snow moves to the east, it should decrease in intensity as it approaches North Texas.

Attention then turns to very cold overnight temps in West Texas, the coldest this season yet. In fact,  Southwest Texas has Freeze Warnings posted for Pecos and Terrell Counties and the Presidio County Valley since this is the first widespread hard freeze for that area this season. Additionally, gusty winds will make for dangerously cold wind chill factors, so it’s going to feel pretty brutal by Texas standards.  Here are our expected overnight lows across West Texas.  Monday will remain quit chilly, with most areas in the west not getting out of the 40s!  Bundle up folks, and I’ll be keeping an eye on this and keeping you updated of any changes as this progresses.

Overnight Lows:

  • Northwest Texas Panhandle: -10 to 0 F
  • Central Panhandle (Amarillo/I40): 0-15F
  • Southern Panhandle/South Plains on the Caprock Flatlands: 15-20F
  • Permian Basin: 20sF
  • Southwest Texas: mid 20s – mid-30sF
  • Rolling Plains east of the Caprock: mid-20sF
  • West Central Texas (San Angleo area) mid-20sF

Early Tuesday looks to be even colder, so check back with us.  I’ll leave you for now with this graphic from the National Weather Service in San Angelo, TX with your Winter Weather Safety Reminders.




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