Strong Cold Front Arrives By Thursday

10:15 PM CST | January 8, 2018

The next in a series of systems will arrive late Wednesday. On Wednesday, most Texans will enjoy some very nice temperatures for this time of year, but there will also be a fire danger as well. The first piece of energy will come into the Plains with a negative tilt, meaning that the trough axis stretches from northwest to southeast. A negative tilt is the strongest tilt a system can have (see graphic). In the spring, they often result in Severe Weather Outbreaks as cold air in the mid and upper-levels overspreads warm, moist surface air. This increases the thermodynamic instability. This combined with strong shear can produce some potent storms. Thankfully, it is January, and more importantly, the recent system pushed the deep moisture well into the gulf. With that in mind, deep moisture will not be in place for storms, much less severe ones, when it ejects into the Plains late Wednesday. Why I mention this is because it will be something to watch when this part of the weather pattern cycles again at the end of February/first of March and mid-April. Now, let's talk about Thursday's weather.

A second piece of energy will round the base of the first and move into the Southern High Plains Wednesday night into Thursday. This will help force a strong cold front south and east. Latest data suggests that this front should be moving through Northwest/West Texas by daybreak Thursday. It will continue to push southeast as the system digs into the region. By this time, better moisture will be moving into East Texas, so I expect showers and a few thunderstorms to develop across that part of the state during the day. Behind the front, the National Weather Service believes that there may be enough moisture for some flurries or light snow for parts of Northwest Texas. Confidence in this is low, and it would not be anything widespread or significant. The better chance for wintry weather will be in the Mississippi, Tennessee, and Ohio Valleys late Thursday-Friday.

Looking further ahead, several models suggest a weak disturbance could approach the area around January 16th. This is a possibility, and based on the recurring cycle theory, we should see a stronger system around January 21st or so. We will take a closer look at both once we get closer. Well, that is your Monday evening weather update! You can get the latest on the blog and Facebook page!