The arctic cold front has now pushed through all of Texas except the Borderland and the Rio Grande Valley. It’s a balmy 72 degrees in El Paso early this afternoon with the lower 60s in Brownsville and McAllen. Temperatures are less pleasant the farther north you go – with teens in the Big Country and points north. A secondary surge of bitterly cold air will continue advecting south into the evening hours – resulting in temperatures dropping across most of the state tonight.
The secondary surge of arctic air is accompanied by a very dry airmass. That dry airmass is what will shut off the freezing drizzle and light snow in the coming hours across West Texas east through Texoma, the Big Country, and North Texas. This airmass was supposed to arrive by late morning but elected to slow down by a few hours. Road conditions are not likely to improve much this evening as temperatures remain well below freezing in the D/FW Metroplex west through the Big Country. Some sublimation may occur as the drier airmass arrives, but bridges are likely to stay slick into Monday morning. Very light freezing drizzle is possible in Central Texas this afternoon, but should also end by the evening as drier air moves in from the north. Compared to the farther north the duration of freezing drizzle should be lower, thus we’re anticipating a few slick bridges versus a more widespread problem.
Southwest Texas will actually see freezing drizzle increase tonight, especially from Pecos west/south to Alpine and Sanderson. Expect travel conditions to go downhill this evening and tonight – including the Interstate 10/20 split. We may also see some light freezing drizzle in South-Central Texas late tonight, but warmer ground temperatures should prevent too many travel issues (always mind those bridges).
Bitterly cold wind chills are expected this evening across the northern half of Texas – and those planning on being outdoors for festivities should have plenty of layers.
Temperatures by Monday morning will be below freezing except in Deep South Texas, parts of the Coastal Bend/Middle Coast, and the Rio Grande Valley. Everyone else will experience a freeze tonight, with sub-zero temperatures possible in parts of the Texas Panhandle and even West Texas.
High temperatures on the first day of 2018 will not get above freezing from the Trans-Pecos east/north of a Del Rio to San Antonio to Fairfield to Longview line. With the exception of the Borderland who would see temperatures in the upper 40s, the remainder of Southeast Texas, East Texas, the Coastal Plains, South Texas, and Deep South Texas will remain in the 30s with wind chills in the 20s. Wind chills will not get out of the single digits and teens across the northern half of Texas tomorrow.