Spring in Texas often involves some interesting weather. The last ten days have certainly proved that. Tomorrow we’ll be dealing with something you might not expect in April, but it’s not unprecedented. Rain showers are expected to change over to snow in the northwestern portions of the Texas Panhandle early Tuesday afternoon. This change-over will occur due to very cold air aloft helping to cool the atmospheric column. This process, involving a upper level low, will be driven by that low’s position and not temperatures at the surface. These systems are always tricky since the process of changing rain over to snow is quite dynamic. Sometimes conditions only favor light snow, while other times we can see heavy snow bands with considerable snow accumulations. Tomorrow does not look like one of those ‘big time’ snow events.
The high resolution North American Model (3km NAM) shows tomorrow’s setup nicely. As the upper level storm system moves east, we’ll see light rain in the northwestern Texas Panhandle chance over to snow. Light snow accumulations will be possible along and northwest of Highway 54. Depending on small-scale fluctuations in tomorrow’s setup, that ‘accumulation line’ may have to be pulled north or south. A rain/snow mix is possible north of a Hereford-Borger-Perryton line, but little to no accumulations are expected that far south/east. Warm surface temperatures should prevent too many road issues, but we could see slick spots develop where heavier snows fall in the northwestern Panhandle. Strong to very strong winds may also cause blowing snow.
With a dynamic upper level storm system moving overhead, we do expect a very windy day across the Texas Panhandle and West Texas. The strongest winds should be north of a cold front that will be transecting the South Plains. Blowing dust and reduced visibilities are expected. On the warm side of this system, the threat of severe weather will exsist in Southeastern Kansas, southwestern Missouri, into eastern Oklahoma. Isolated thunderstorms are possible in Northeast Texas late tomorrow afternoon into the mid-evening hours. Should those storms develop, some may be strong with small hail and gusty winds.