A buffet of weather conditions can be expected across the state Saturday and Sunday. A cold front begins to move in late tonight and into Saturday with an additional push of arctic air on Sunday. There’s chances for a few strong storms across east Texas Saturday afternoon ahead of the cold front. And then there’s the winter weather threat arriving on Sunday into Monday. David will get more into that with a blog coming out later this evening. For now, I just want to focus on tonight, tomorrow the front and the rain chances for those not expected to receive winter weather Sunday or Monday.
The forecast models continue to speed up the front. It’s actually moving through Dalhart as I type this with winds gusting just over 53 knots which is close to 60mph. The front will arrive in Amarillo probably within the hour, Lubbock within about 2 hours, Wichita Falls by around 1am, and the DFW area just before daybreak. Brief gusty winds are expected to accompany the front’s passage tonight, so I’d recommend tying down anything that could blow away. The front will lose a bit of steam as it continues its journey south tomorrow, but is expected to be stretched across south central Texas by 6pm tomorrow evening.
We have a slight chance of seeing a few marginally strong thunderstorms develop tomorrow afternoon across northeast and eastern Texas along the leading edge of the front. Gusty winds and lightning appear to be the main threats at this time, so be mindful of that if you have outdoor plans, especially on any area lakes. Precipitation amounts are expected to be relatively low and less than 1/4 inch unless you get under one of the heavier downpours.
Lows tonight across the panhandle and northwest Texas will be highly impacted by the cold front as it pushes south overnight. Temps will drop down to near freezing in Amarillo, and into the upper 30s for Lubbock. Lows for the remainder of the state don’t look that bad with 50’s expected for the DFW area and mid 60’s for Houston, Corpus and Brownsville. Highs tomorrow ahead of the front will be quite pleasant with mid 70s expected for Houston, upper 70s expected for Austin down to Corpus…and we have some low to mid 80’s showing up from around San Antonio and down into the Rio Grande Valley area. As you get further north, the daytime highs will be reached early on in the day as the temperatures will begin a steady decline once the front has passed.
Just to recap from earlier this afternoon…Winter Storm Watches are in effect for Sunday evening through Monday evening for the Concho Valley, West-Central Texas, and portions of North Central Texas. A few cities included in the Watch are San Angelo, Sweetwater, Abilene, Coleman, Brownwood, Eastland, Breckenridge, Graham, Bowie, Mineral Wells, Stephenville, Cleburne, Weatherford, Decatur, Gainesville, Denton, Fort Worth, Dallas, McKinney, Sherman, and Bonham. A Winter Storm Watch means significant accumulations of sleet and freezing rain (ice) are possible. Travel disruptions are also possible beginning Sunday Night and continuing into Monday…and maybe into Tuesday as temperatures will remain below freezing as areas of light precipitation continue. Localized power outages will also be possible if sufficient amounts of ice build up on power lines and tree limbs. As always, please keep in mind that forecasting any type of winter weather across north central Texas is challenging, and a shift north or south of the freezing line Sunday and Monday could have a significant impact on who gets impacted by sleet/freezing rain and who just gets a cold rain. David will have an updated Winter Weather discussion out shortly, so stay tuned!!!