A strong cold front has pushed through most of the Texas panhandle region and is currently encroaching upon the rolling plains of northwest Texas. Temps will continue to plummet today resulting in most of the panhandle region seeing temps dropping at or below freezing by early afternoon. The front will continue to push south today with north Texas feeling its effects by late afternoon/early evening, central Texas during the overnight hours and the coastal plains during the morning hours on Monday. Periods of light snow and freezing drizzle will be likely across parts of the panhandle region later this evening and during the overnight hours. Accumulating snow will be most likely across the northwestern panhandle up into the Oklahoma panhandle where 1-2 inches is possible. Further south, periods of freezing drizzle and light snow will be the predominant mode of precipitation. Just keep in mind that any amount of icy precipitation is bound to cause issues on area roadways, so be sure to check local media before heading out tomorrow morning. In addition to the wintry precip, gusty post-frontal winds will mean the panhandle will also be dealing with wind chills in the teens and low 20s by tomorrow morning, so be sure you dig out the hats and gloves today along with the coats and boots.
Ahead of the front today, we’ll be seeing the development of a line of storms beginning in northwest Texas within the next couple of hours which will work its way south/southeast during the afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center has placed a portion of north central, north east and southwest Texas under a Slight Risk (Level 2) for severe storm development later this afternoon, evening and continuing into the overnight hours along the front as it pushes south. The development of surface-based supercell thunderstorms with a damaging wind and marginal hail threat will be possible just ahead of the front this afternoon as the environment ahead of the front is expected to become moderately unstable. This will be especially true for locations south of the I-20 corridor in north central Texas where temps are expected to reach the upper 70s/low 80s today, and we still have plenty of moisture in place to fuel storms ahead of the front. However, the window for isolated supercell storms along the front will be quite narrow as the front will have a tendency to quickly undercut these storms shortly after they develop. As it looks right now, the best potential for seeing longer-lived severe storms with the threat of damaging winds and large hail will be across southwest Texas around Del Rio later this evening and overnight.
Behind the front, widespread rainfall will develop and continue though Tuesday with a return of flooding concerns, especially for locations in north central Texas which are expected to receive the bulk of rainfall. Unlike our recent tropically-induced rainfall, this rain will come at a more reasonable and steady rate over several days which may help to limit the flash flooding potential. But because our soils across north central Texas are already saturated, any amount of rainfall will run off quickly into area lakes, creeks and rivers which will continue a concern for flooding issues in low lying areas and those prone to flooding under any conditions. Needless to say, cold air, gusty post-frontal winds and continuous rain will make for a miserable winter-like forecast Monday and Tuesday. Thankfully, all precipitation is expected to remain all liquid as temps across north central Texas are expected to remain above freezing. We’ll continue to keep an eye on today’s storm chances and keep you updates as stormy activity kicks into gear later this afternoon.