Winds have become light to calm across Texas this evening. Skies are also crystal clear with clouds hard to find. Light winds and clear skies present a good opportunity for radiational cooling. While the sun radiates heat onto the surface during the day, the earth radiates heat into space at night. With no clouds and light winds, heat is able to leave the surface more quickly. That is why temperatures have fallen so quickly this evening. That trend will continue overnight and we can expect cold temperatures by morning. Check out how cold it will get by Friday morning!
Remember that snowfall accumulations graphic I posted this past Tuesday that had everyone freaking out? Below is a new one for the same time frame…6pm on January 1st. See the difference? This time, the math thinks most of the snow will be north of Texas and in the central plains. Again, the object of following model guidance, especially that far out, is to just pick up on trends and patterns. And the trend is still for winter weather to affect a large portion of the southern and central plains during Christmas week. The National Weather Service office in Norman, OK issued a Special Weather Statement early this morning indicating a relatively decent possibility of significant travel hazards up there for Christmas. If you are planning to travel north next week for the holidays, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared and remain flexible with your travel schedule.
Potential Snow Accumulation as of 6pm January 1st
But don’t think that snow is completely out of the forecast for northern Texas just yet! The models have been doing a lot of flip-flopping over the past few days which is quite normal and to be expected. The low pressure trough that is forecasted to move south out of the Rockies over Christmas is still out over the Pacific ocean. We really won’t have good data on it until it moves over land this weekend. At that point, weather balloon data will feed into the model algorithms and the forecast output will become much more accurate. As it stands right now, our American (GFS) model has the upper low centered north of Texas on Christmas day with rain chances out of the state before the air is cold enough for snow. The European (EURO) has it centered further south and lagging behind the cold air bringing chances of wintery precip to northern Texas. For those wanting a white Christmas, keep praying. For those that don’t want that messy white stuff for Christmas week, you may be in luck. It will be a few more days before anyone can be certain about the snow chances.
I’m sure you’re thinking “Well, if we’re not getting snow, what about rain?” Well, I have that for you too! The Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (HPC) has a new product out which provides a 7 day forecast for precipitation totals. Below is their latest thoughts for the next 7 days …the 20th thru the 27th. While it doesn’t amount to much for Texas, there is a little rain expected to fall and that’s always good news for us!
Quantitative Precipitation Forecast for 20th through the 27th
So, for now…we’re just in a wait and see mode until we begin to get better data over the weekend. At that time, we’ll be putting more detailed information out here for everyone!