3:30 PM CST | December 29, 2017
Get ready! FRIGID air is on the way! It is making its way through Kansas right now, and it will be on Texas' doorstep early this evening. Look at the 3:00 PM temperatures in the Central Plains. In Nebraska, Omaha is 17*F, and Lincoln is 19*F. These temperatures are actually a few degrees cooler than this morning's model guidance had predicted. This means that temperatures will likely drop a bit faster in Texas this weekend.
Courtesy of the Iowa State/IEM website, here is how the 3:00 PM temperature in Lincoln, NE compares to last night's (06z) and this morning's (12z) models. It may not seem significant, but if the weather models are a few degrees too warm with the cold air upstream, then they are likely too warm with the temperatures behind the front here as well. The afternoon models seem to be getting a better handle on the trends.
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Freezing Drizzle and Flurries are expected behind the cold front late Saturday and Sunday. The Wintry Precip will begin in Northwest Texas on Saturday and spread into western North Texas Saturday evening. Given the warm bias with the model guidance, I believe that northern and western portions of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex could start dipping to freezing around midnight. The freezing line will gradually progress southward through New Year's Eve. How quickly temperatures drop to freezing will have an impact on how much travel issues there are in Northern Texas. Some travel impacts are anticipated along/NW of a Paris, to Fort Worth, to Stephenville line, as the latest graphic from the National Weather Service in Fort Worth shows. Impacts are possible farther south as well. Precipitation will come to an end from north to south Sunday afternoon and evening as drier air works its way into the state.
Drivers should exercise caution on the roadways this weekend. While most areas will probably only see a few hundredths of an inch of precipitation, it does not take much ice to cause issues on roadways. Bridges and overpasses will be the first to freeze, but roadways also have the potential to ice, particularly near and northwest of Dallas-Fort Worth. The other story will be the dangerous wind chills. If you have to be out New Year's Eve and Day, make sure to bundle up. This will be the coldest air the state has seen in some time. You can get the latest from Texas Storm Watch on the blog and Facebook page.
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