A reinforcing shot of arctic air has pushed into the Texas Panhandle this morning. The temperature in Amarillo was a balmy 9 degrees with a wind chill below zero. Just think, that’s before we have any snow cover on the ground! The low temperature by Saturday morning will probably be near or just below zero there. Temperatures are cold in West Texas, Northwest Texas, into the Big Country, and western North Texas. Our second arctic cold front will continue to make southward progress through the day. You’ll generally experience gusty north winds and cloudy skies in its wake. Temperatures will have difficulty climbing behind the front today decent cold air advection (north winds, cloudy skies).
By the late afternoon/early evening hours the cold front will likely be near Interstate 10 from Pecos to San Antonio to Houston. Temperatures in the Permian Basin, Concho Valley, Hill Country, into the Brazos Valley and East Texas will be falling into the 30s and 40s. South of that front it’ll still be warm with 60s and 70s. The Texas Panhandle will remain in the teens today with wind chills in the single digits and the Big Country, Northwest Texas, Texoma, into Northeast Texas won’t get out of the 30s this afternoon. Not the nicest weather for sure.
Snow could begin falling as soon as 6 to 7 PM in the western Texas Panhandle. That snow will increase in coverage and intensity fairly rapidly this evening and spread east through all of the Texas Panhandle. Most snow will be light to moderate in intensity, but there are indications of a narrow west to east band of heavy snow developing somewhere in the Panhandle tonight. Where that heavier band develops we may see some significant snowfall in a short period of time. Hazardous travel conditions are expected to be common-place by late evening in the Texas Panhandle as any snow that falls will accumulate on roads.
The snow that falls in the Texas Panhandle tonight will move east into Central and Southern Oklahoma during the morning hours on Friday. Most snow should fall north of the Red River in Northwest Texas east through Texoma, but the southern fringe of the light snow may fall on the Texas Red River counties. A dusting to perhaps half an inch of snow could fall. Only snow flurries are expected between Highway 380 and Interstate 20 with no accumulation or impacts. Of-course we’ll have to keep an eye on any last minute adjustements that cause some forecast changes. At this time no winter weather impacts are forecast in the D/FW Metroplex.
Any snow should be moving out of the picture by the early afternoon Friday. The weather story after that point will continue to be the very cold weather as we head into the weekend. Clear skies, relatively light winds, and potential snow cover could bring temperatures near zero in the Texas Panhandle by Saturday morning. Temperatures will fall into the upper 20s to lower 30s as far south as South Texas east/northeast into the Houston Metro. Teens can be expected in the Permian Basin, Concho Valley, into North Texas, and Northeast Texas. It’ll be another case where cold weather precautions will be needed. Temperatures will start to moderate on Sunday, but we note that any snow cover in the Texas Panhandle will likely help keep temperatures colder until the snow melts off.