Temperatures have done a good job at warming up this morning across Texas as clear skies and south winds prevail across the state. We do have areas of clouds across South-Central Texas down into the Rio Grande Valley where increasing moisture has pushed in today. Another interesting tidbit on the visible satellite is the snow cover across the southwest Texas Panhandle into eastern New Mexico. On crystal clear days like today snow cover can easily be seen from space. Temperatures will continue to warm this afternoon and we’re in for a lovely winter’s day. For folks in the Texas Panhandle and Red River Valley today will be the warmest day for the next week most likely.
It is not hard to find the cold front as our neighbors to the north across Kansas have fallen into the teens to lower twenties. The cold front isn’t moving much right now but a building high pressure across the Plains will cause it to start moving south again tonight. As usual the front will push into the Panhandle first and you’ll know when it arrives. Winds will become strong out of the north sustained at 20-30 MPH with gusts upwards of 40 MPH. Temperatures will quickly drop well below freezing and wind chill values will dip below zero in the Panhandle.
This graphic from the National Weather Service in Norman illustrates how the front will pick up speed as it pushes south tonight. Most folks won’t see the front arrive in their location until sometime on Wednesday with the exception of the Panhandle and Northwest Texas. This will be a dry front with no precipitation expected, but the north winds are going to make wind chills brutal tomorrow. These arctic cold fronts have a tendency to move faster than weather models predict so we’ll keep an eye on it to see if the arrival times will need to be pushed up.
Did I mention wind chills on Wednesday are going to be brutal? Well if you didn’t believe me here is your proof. This is what the wind chill temperatures will be at NOON on Wednesday. Yeah, that’s the middle of the day, not at night. It goes without saying tomorrow will be one of those days you’re not going to want to be outdoors very long.
Peaking at some of the morning weather model guidance we still note they are progging our next storm system to arrive on Friday. With the cold air in place we will likely be dealing with winter precipitation in portions of Northwest and North Texas on Friday. Like our last event we are going to have some warm air advection causing increasing moisture, but also the chance we may have temperatures rise. The difference between last week’s event and this week’s is the arctic airmass this time around is being reinforced by a strong high pressure system. In fact some parts of Texas may actually see their barometric pressure rise near 31.00 inches! That type of pressure loves to keep arctic air in place during the winter time and it looks like we’ll be dealing with below-average temperatures through Mid-January. Be sure to check back for forecast updates on the Friday storm system since we’ll be posting plenty of updates as refinements to the forecast continue to be made. At this time we do not anticipate a high-impact winter weather event as precipitation totals on Friday will be light regardless.