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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
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
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!