The weather highlights this evening will be the strong cold front galloping across the northern half of the state overnight and the chance for additional rain and a few strong storms tomorrow into early Saturday. As I type this, latest observations show that the front is currently located in a line from about Lubbock up into the Wichita Falls area. You’ll know when it arrives as winds behind the front will be quite gusty…between 25 and 35mph…and the temps will drop off a good 15 to 20 degrees. The front is expected to arrive across the northern half of the DFW metroplex after midnight and will be plowing through the central Texas counties around daybreak. The front will continue to advance south at a fairly rapid pace tomorrow and is expected to clear the central and upper coast by late evening tomorrow and the lower coast by very early Saturday morning at the latest.
Rain chances will increase overnight beginning ahead of the front across the Permian Basin region, southwest Texas and west central Texas, then spread east into central, north central and east Texas by early tomorrow morning. Additional rainfall will continue tomorrow with a Marginal Risk (Level 1) of strong to severe storms ahead of the cold front across portions of central Texas during the late morning/early afternoon time frame…and across southeast Texas tomorrow afternoon and into the early evening hours. Widespread severe weather is not expected, but we could see a few storms reach severe limits with mainly a damaging wind, small hail and frequent lightning threat. The tornado threat is low, but is non-zero with the greatest threat being along and ahead of the frontal boundary within the Marginal Risk area where the atmosphere will be quite warm and juicy. Once the cold front arrives, rain with embedded thunderstorms will continue, but the threat for tornadoes will come to an end.
Here’s a look at the current forecast for rain accumulation over the next 24 hours…and just to be clear…most folks will not see any wintry weather from this system. Best chances for seeing any wintry mix will be across the southern panhandle/rolling plains which could see a few flurries Friday afternoon, and across portions of northwest Texas along the Red River which might see a small amount of freezing precipitation and a few flurries, but no major winter weather impacts are expected. Local forecasters will be carefully monitoring the latest data overnight and we’ll be sure to bring you the latest by early tomorrow morning if the forecast, or lack thereof, for much wintry weather changes. As for the rainfall….Flash Flood Watches will go into effect at Midnight tonight across northeast Texas and will continue into early Saturday morning with that area expected to pick up another 1/4 to 1.5 inches of rain before this system moves out by Saturday afternoon.
Temps behind the front Friday and through the weekend will be drastically cooler. A secondary push of cold air will arrive Saturday which will just reinforce the cold forecast through Christmas day. Here’s a look at tomorrow’s high temperature forecast and the lows expected Friday night! Just in time for the first full day of astronomical Winter!