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.
- 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.