This update is for the winter storm side of the upcoming system in the Texas Panhandle, West Texas, and Permian Basin. For the remainder of Texas and y’all rain chances please see the excellent forecast Jenny published at 9 PM.
Here are the latest winter storm warnings/watches as of 9:30 PM. I do anticipate most of the Winter Storm Watch to be upgraded to a Winter Storm Warning late tonight. A winter weather/travel advisory will likely be issued for the remainder of the Texas Panhandle and portions of the Rolling Plains and Northwest Texas late tonight as well.
A Winter Storm Warning is in effect for the northwestern Texas Panhandle including Dalhart and Dimmitt beginning at 6 AM Wednesday Morning through Thursday Evening. Precipitation in the form of snow will begin tomorrow morning and continue through Thursday afternoon before moving out of the area. Significant snow accumulations of 7 to 10 inches with locally higher amounts to 12 inches are expected. Travel will become difficult due to snow-packed and slick roadways on Wednesday and Thursday.
A Winter Storm Watch is in effect for the western half of the Texas Panhandle, South Plains, and much of the Permian Basin into the Davis Mountains from Wednesday Afternoon through Thursday Night. Amarillo, Hereford, Dimmitt, Plainview, Littlefield, Morton, Lubbock, Seminole, Big Spring, Snyder, Midland, Odessa, Pecos, Van Horn, Fort Davis, Alpine, and Fort Stockton. Snow accumulations are expected which will likely cause travel disruptions. Snow accumulations will vary depending on the location but some locations will likely receive 3 to 7 inches of snow. For more specific accumulation forecasts please see the images below.
Here are the latest accumulation forecasts from local National Weather Service offices across the impacted regions. Please note that numbers and ‘snow lines’ will likely change as forecast refinements occur tonight and Wednesday morning.
Here are the probabilities of receiving a certain amount of snow accumulation (4″, 8″, and 12″ in graphical order). As you can see we have high confidence in significant snow accumulations occuring across the Texas Panhandle and the South Plains.
The first weather model data from the 0Z run this evening has started to trickle in. So far we do note that models seem to be running a little more wet and colder which could result in the snow/accumulation line having to be dragged east compared to the current forecast. We do note that as a strong upper level low pressure moves east during the afternoon and evening on Thursday there could be a changeover to a wet snow across parts of North Texas. Temperatures at the ground will be above freezing so no travel impacts are expected but we may end up having some snow accumulate on grassy surfaces. That’s something we’ll be able to talk more about on Wednesday as we get a better handle on the storm system.