Low-level stratus has held tough this afternoon across the Big Country, North Texas, and Northeast Texas. That pesky overcast has kept temperatures in the 30s this afternoon with wind chills in the 20s. Elsewhere, where cloud cover has cleared, temperatures have warmed into the 50s. Those across South Texas have made it up into the 60s this afternoon, which certainly seems nice compared to the nasty wind chills up north.

Temperatures will moderate by mid-week and rise well above average by the end of the work week. It’s looking like temperatures will soar into the upper 60s to upper 70s on Friday as moisture levels increase ahead of a storm system this upcoming weekend.

Daily low-level temperature anomalies beginning Thursday through Sunday.

For our system this upcoming weekend one must look upstream into the Northwest Territories, Alaska, and up toward the North Pole. Those regions have had an arctic airmass bottled up since around Christmas. During the winter months, meteorologists and weather weenies alike realize that when you see that much cold air bottled up north it is only a matter of time until it dislodges and invades the continental United States. That invasion begins later this week as temperatures well below zero infiltrate the Great Plains and Midwest.

Of-course that brutally cold arctic airmass will moderate before reaching us in Texas, but it will likely still pack a punch when it arrives next weekend. Plan on having your winter coats ready to go (again) next weekend. Some precipitation is likely on Friday as an upper-level storm system moves across the region, but temperatures should be too warm to support winter precipitation across a majority of the state. At this point, it also looks like precipitation will end before temperatures become cold enough to support a winter weather event. Who knows – we’re a week away and this winter has made it abundantly clear that weather models have little skill in the precipitation-type department so many days out.

Enjoy the warmer weather later this week because this is January, and we’re going to have to pay for that warmer, nicer weather.