We’re climbing up the temperature roller coaster this weekend before we plummet down into the blistery goodness that accompanies potent arctic cold fronts. Our anticipated strong cold front will barrel south into the Texas Panhandle Monday morning. That front will reach the Gulf of Mexico and Rio Grande Valley within 18 hours after that. Temperatures behind the front will quickly fall into the 40s and 30s. Wind chill readings will be ten to twenty degrees lower than the actual air temperature thanks to strong northerly winds gusting over 35-45 MPH. The front’s arrival at any given location in Texas will bring an immediate and drastic drop in temperatures along with the blustery north winds.
The North American Model (NAM) typically handles the timing and airmass strength of our stronger cold fronts well in the southern United States. That model has the cold front plunging south across all of Texas on Monday. It should make its presence known in the Texas Panhandle and much of Oklahoma early Monday morning. Don’t be surprised if the front arrives a few hours earlier or later than this model shows. Timing on the above graphic is in eastern time (top-right part of the graphic). Regardless – the front should be through all of Texas shortly after midnight Tuesday. It’ll be quite chilly and windy for all of Texas at that time.
By Midnight on Tuesday, an unpleasant north wind will result in sub-freezing wind chill readings across much of Texas. Single-digit wind chill temperatures are possible by Tuesday morning across the northern third of Texas. It will not be the most delightful morning to be outdoors.
We note that wind chills will be cold across southern Texas, too, on Tuesday. Sure, they won’t fall into the single digits or teens, but it will still be cold for the lower latitudes. Remember: Texas is a big state with several microclimates. What may not be overly cold to those in the Panhandle can be dangerous to those in the Rio Grande Valley who aren’t acclimated or prepared for such cold. The same goes when there are heat emergencies in the Mid-Atlantic for triple-digit heat, and we’re huffing it off like its no big deal.
Regardless of where you are in Texas – it’ll be cold at some point on Monday and Tuesday.
Little to no accumulating precipitation is expected in the Texas Panhandle, West Texas, Permian Basin, or Big Country. There may be some brief sprinkles or sleet pellets on Monday. Showers and isolated thunderstorms are possible near and behind the cold front across the eastern third of Texas, along with the southern half of Texas. No severe storms are expected, given the fast movement of the cold front and limited instability values.
Precipitation should conclude at any given location before temperatures become cold enough for winter precipitation. A few snowflakes or sleet pellets could occur right as precipitation ends in the northern half of Texas. No accumulations are expected as drier air quickly filters in from the north along with sublimation from the strong north winds.
We note that high temperatures on Monday at any given location will depend on when the cold front arrives. High temperatures will occur right before the front arrives if its in the morning or afternoon hours. Those across South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley will probably enjoy one final day (Monday) of warmer weather. Much colder temperatures will arrive Monday evening along with the gusty north winds. Several locations South-Central Texas, the Coastal Plains, and Southeast Texas, will likely be in danger of receiving their first freeze of the season – several weeks ahead of past averages.
Tuesday will be chilly with a cold start to the day. A slow warmup will begin on Wednesday, with temperatures remaining below average through the remainder of the workweek.