Mother Nature is still trolling us for the warm weather back in January and some of February. Either that or she is amused at keeping weather folks up at all hours of the night for over a week. Regardless of the reasoning we’re looking ahead to yet another potential winter weather event in Texas. As always there are many more questions than answers at this juncture but we’ll tell you what we know so far. Before we have to deal with any sort of winter mischief mama nature will be nice enough to grace us with a spring preview. Temperatures will really start warming up on Monday with most folks jumping back up into the 50s, 60s, and 70s for Tuesday. The North American Model has Southeast Texas in the mid 70s Tuesday afternoon with upper 60s across the Concho Valley north into the Caprock and Northwest Texas. An unsuspecting Texan might think we’re done with the miserable cold of winter. This is the point where you insert a funny meme or joke because not so fast!
Fast forward 24 hours into the late morning hours on Wednesday. Folks across the southern half of Texas are enjoying another beautiful spring-like day with temperatures in the 60s and 70s with south winds. Meanwhile the Texas Panhandle has temperatures in the low 20s with wind chill values just a few degrees above zero. Wednesday will be one of those days where we get to point out ridiculous temperature contrasts across Texas. Another strong cold front will be surging south into the Texas Panhandle late Tuesday Night and by Wednesday morning it should be approaching Interstate 20 from the Permian Basin up into North Texas. Temperatures behind the front will quickly drop into the 30s and 40s with the 20s not far behind. A quick reminder that what I’m showing you here is from a weather model and that these weather models typically are too slow with these strong cold fronts. Don’t be surprised to see us adjust the timing up (or faster) as we get into the work week. The cold front’s timing will play one role in any potential winter weather issues on Wednesday.
The North American Model has the cold front pushing into Deep South Texas by 9 PM Wednesday. Temperatures in San Antonio and Houston would be in the 30s to 40s with blustery north winds. All of the Concho Valley, Big Country, North, and Northeast Texas are well below freezing. This is where things could get interesting in the precipitation department.
Variability exists but some weather models are bringing an upper level storm system in Wednesday night. Should that occur we could see an area of freezing rain, sleet, and snow develop from West Texas east into the Concho Valley, North, and even parts of Central Texas. There is no point in talking about specific precipitation types or accumulation forecasts this far out because we have no skill in accurately forecasting those outside of about 48-72 hours. What I can tell you is we are monitoring the potential for another winter storm on Wednesday into Wednesday Night. There is the potential for accumulating winter precipitation that could cause travel impacts. Temperatures on Thursday would remain at or below freezing causing another episode of prolonged impacts should roads ice over. Regardless of any winter weather potential we will see another round of arctic cold temperatures return to Texas beginning Wednesday and continuing into Thursday. After that it looks like we’ll be heading into a dry, warm pattern with temperatures climbing back to their usual averages for early March. Next weekend is looking quite nice – you just have to get through whatever Mama Nature throws at us this week.
I’ll leave you with several graphics produced by local National Weather Service offices across Texas. As you’ll note we’re not talking specific accumulation numbers at this time because we’re too far out. However I do believe this will help answer some of your questions about who may see winter precipitation, when, and what areas. Forecast changes will occur and you should check back several times this week for updated information.