Our first strong cold front of the fall has blown into the Texas Panhandle this morning. Temperatures have quickly fallen into the 40s and 50s with strong northerly winds. The cold front will continue to push south through West Texas and Northwest Texas this afternoon. You’ll know the front has arrived when gusty north winds crank up and a noticeable drop in the temperature occurs.
We will have the opportunity for isolated to scattered thunderstorms later this afternoon and evening as the cold front moves into North Texas south/southwest into the eastern Concho Valley and northern sections of Central Texas. Any storm that does develop may produce localized wind gusts of 40 to 60 MPH along with hail up to the size of quarters. Some of our preferred high-resolution weather model guidance is not ambitious with convective development, but a low-end threat will exist for a few strong to marginally severe storms from about 4 PM through 10 PM. Whatever does end up developing won’t remain strong too long as it’ll be undercut by the cold front.
The cold front will be booking it south tonight. The easiest way to track the front’s progression, besides the wind shift line, is by using dewpoint temperature maps. The dewpoint is the primary way of measuring how much moisture is in place at the surface. Dewpoint values drop off from the 70s (very humid/sticky) into the 40s immediately behind the front. The graphics above show dewpoint temperatures overlaid on a map beginning at 4 PM this afternoon. Each frame progresses three hours forward until we arrive at 4 AM Tuesday morning. You can see the front seems to pick up some speed tonight as high pressure rises to the north continue to push the front. We’ll likely see gusty north/northwest winds of 25 to 35 MPH behind the front. The forward momentum of the cold front should allow it to move out into the Gulf of Mexico (clear the Texas Coastline) and into Mexico from South Texas sometime on Tuesday. A beautiful fall morning is expected on Wednesday across all of Texas. We’ll all warm back up fairly quickly after that before another storm system and cold front potentially impact us toward the weekend