1:15 AM CST | January 26, 2018
The state will see some unsettled weather over the next couple of days with rain chances peaking Friday night and Saturday. No Severe Weather is expected, and rainfall amounts appear to be generally light except in the south and east where localized amounts up to .50" or so will be possible. With that in mind, my attention is focused on what is just around the corner. As discussed on Tuesday, the trend as we get into the month of February will be colder weather. All indications point toward a building Arctic airmass to our north that will become more and more likely to push southward. Other media outlets are catching onto this now.
Another disturbance should push into the South Central US within the first few days of February, based on the recurring cycle theory. For those who are not yet familiar with this theory, you can visit the link for more information. It really is a fascinating tool, and it has helped this site predict active weather many days and weeks before others. For instance, Texas Storm Watch first mentioned on January 16th that we would be watching "the weather pattern around the January 25-27th time-frame for some more unsettled weather." This year's weather pattern, which first developed in early October, continues to cycle about every 7 weeks, give or take a couple days. This same part of the weather pattern we are approaching is what brought early frosts and freezes to the state at the end of October in the first cycle and what brought prolonged cold in December during the second cycle. We are in the third cycle now, and we are already seeing the pieces beginning to fall into place.
Right now, there is some consensus with the model guidance for a disturbance to push through the Central Plains February 1st-2nd. This is the first disturbance that they are picking up on, but it is obviously too early to be able to get into specifics. This would help force cooler weather into the state next Thursday-Friday, as most of your local forecasts suggest. We will then be watching for the possibility of another disturbance a few days later. Again, we will know much more as we get closer, but the takeaway now should be that winter is not over. Will the whole month feature cold weather? No. Climatology and more daylight means we will try to start warming up, BUT there will be other factors working against it. The net result will likely be a wild month for the US with some big temperature swings. Nonetheless, I do expect multiple opportunities for Arctic Air in the month of February with the potential for more Wintry Precipitation. The Texas Panhandle has been extremely dry. Other than a trace, Amarillo has not seen measurable rain or snow in over 100 days. Hopefully, they can get some moisture in that part of the state soon. As always, you can get the latest from us on the blog and Facebook page!