This will be a short update mainly consisting of the latest accumulation forecasts and winter weather warnings. I plan on typing up a detailed forecast explanation and discussion later this evening after the 0Z weather model data begins arriving. Overall the accumulation forecasts have continued to increase today with a significant winter storm expected to bring several inches of snow to the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and parts of the Permian Basin. The heaviest snow amounts will be across the western Texas Panhandle and northwest South Plains but snow accumulations are still expected across the remainder of the Panhandle, South PLains, and south into parts of the Permian Basin.
The primary timeframe will be from 6 AM Wednesday through late Thursday evening. This storm system will have plenty of moisture to work with so we do anticipate that the western Texas Panhandle, especially near the New Mexico line, could see localized snow accumulations in the 10-12 inch range with lesser amounts the further east you go. Take a look at the latest accumulation forecast graphics below for more specific information. The forecast still isn’t written in stone and a couple questions remain that we will continue to refine tonight and tomorrow.
Where temperatures will be warmer there will still be a good rain in store for a large chunk of Texas. We’ll have to watch temperatures just in case we end up being a tad cooler than expected. This storm system has a lot of cold air in the upper levels of the atmosphere to work with so that may play havoc on Thursday across parts of Northwest and western North Texas where some snow may mix with rain. The good news is temperatures at the ground should remain above freezing so even if we end up with some snow mixing in it will only accumulate on grassy surfaces and not roads. The same can’t be said for the Panhandle and South Plains where significant travel disruptions are expected.