The upcoming thirty-six hours will feature precipitation chances across a majority of Texas as a storm system moves east. Big-time snows are expected in the Northern Plains of the United States while we in Texas stay on the ‘warm side’ of this system. At least, we’ll be comparatively warm – it is almost New Year after all. I wouldn’t mind a good snowstorm, but Mother Nature won’t cooperate. Looking on the positive side, we do need the rain, and we’re not expecting a big-time or widespread severe weather threat. You can keep tabs on the rain tonight and tomorrow with our free interactive weather radar right here on our website or in our free mobile app.

Tonight

A level one risk of severe weather is in place this evening across the southwestern Texas Panhandle and West Texas. Widespread severe weather is not anticipated, but several strong thunderstorms could produce gusty winds later on today and into tonight. I can’t rule out a brief tornado as there is quite a bit of low-level wind shear in place. However, instability values aren’t impressive. Those limited instability values should prevent a more widespread threat for severe storms. That’ll be the same story tomorrow farther east where another marginal severe weather threat may develop.

HRRR simulated weather model radar this evening into early Saturday.

HRRR simulated weather model radar this evening into early Saturday.

 

What are we expecting a lot of? Well, tonight that is going to be fog. Some of you all are still dealing with dense fog this afternoon. Fog will expand in coverage, not long after sunset. The worst fog this evening will likely be in the Texas Panhandle, West Texas, south into the Permian Basin, and Trans-Pecos.

Visibility will improve for those folks late tonight as a cold front pushes drier air in from the west. Fog, low-level overcast, and periods of mist are also all good bets across the eastern two-thirds of Texas overnight into the morning hours Saturday. Some fog may become locally dense, but otherwise, it’ll be ‘grungy’ out there.

Tomorrow

A cold front will progress eastward overnight and on Saturday. Ahead (east) of that front will be plenty of moisture and warmer temperatures. We expect plenty of showers and even a few thunderstorms on Saturday. Just like this evening, we’re not expecting much instability to develop ahead of the front tomorrow.

However, we will have plenty of wind shear. While limited instability should keep the severe weather threat in check, there is a level one (marginal) risk for severe thunderstorms in eastern North Texas, Northeast Texas, and East Texas Saturday afternoon into the early evening hours.

HRRR simulated weather radar on Saturday. Times on top-right part of graphic.

HRRR simulated weather radar on Saturday. Times on top-right part of the graphic.

Conditions aren’t favorable for big hail, but we could see an isolated tornado and localized damaging wind gusts if we manage to get everything to line up in one spot. These cool-season events generally have too much wind shear and too little instability. It’s only when those ingredients line up together that we start having problems in the spinny department. Otherwise, the stronger showers/storms may transport some gusty winds down to the surface.

Chance of Rain

Rain chances will be confined east of Interstate 35 after dinner Saturday and east of Interstate 45 tomorrow night. Far East Texas, along with those near the coast, will be the only ones left dealing with rain chances by sunrise on Sunday. We should see rain chances move of Texas completely by lunch-time Sunday.

The rain ends, and it won’t be 100 degrees or 10 degrees

Temperatures will remain near seasonal averages through mid-week with high temperatures in the 40s and 50s for those in the north with 60s and 70s in the south. In other words – it won’t be annoyingly hot for late December, nor will we be dealing with an arctic outbreak. Our next storm system with precipitation chances should arrive around Thursday.