1:30 PM CDT | October 12, 2018
Let the title of this discussions sink in for a moment... Here we are in mid-October, and we are talking about Winter Weather in Texas! This is such a fascinating weather pattern we are watching unfold before our eyes. I continue to see similarities to the winter of 2009-10. There are was an article published in August that outlined winters that featured an El Nino following a La Nina. There have been a total of four winters over the last few decades that met this criteria. One of these was the winter of 2009-10. In a later article that month, I stated the following: "In 2009, the heat finally broke in Texas during September. Temperatures were normal across South Central Texas, and they were anywhere from 1*F to 3*F below normal elsewhere. The state also saw normal to above-normal rainfall as well. Will history repeat itself next month?"
Not only was September cooler than normal across the heart of the state, but it was a record wet month for many. Now that we are in October, let's compare the temperature anomalies in 2009 to what we have seen so far this month. Look how cold it was in the Central United States during October back in 2009.
Notice the cold temperature anomalies to our north? Texas has been above normal so far this month, but this will come to an end soon. We have a significant cold front on the way that will push through the state Sunday-Sunday night. Temperatures will be WELL below normal with a chance for accumulating snow in the Texas Panhandle. Yes, that is correct. Light snow accumulations are possible, particularly from the Amarillo area and points north and northwest. Freezing Drizzle is also a potential concern. Places like Dallas may struggle to reach 50*F on Monday! This is incredible for October, and it will put a dent in the warm temperature anomalies. Temperatures will be slow to moderate next week and will continue to be below normal for many areas.
Starting tonight, the risk for flooding and even severe weather will increase. Lift will increase ahead of the remnants of Tropical Storm Sergio this evening. We will see showers and storms develop in the west. A few Severe Storms will be possible into early Saturday across western portions of the state. Large Hail is the primary hazard, followed by wind and isolated tornadoes. The Tornado Risk will increase tomorrow as a surface low develops in western North Texas. There is some uncertainty in regards to the location of the warm front during the afternoon. Most of the weather models show this front lifting into the I-20 corridor by late afternoon. Others keep it to the south of I-20. The evolution of tonight and tomorrow morning's activity will have an impact on how far north the warm front is able to retreat. The current thinking is that the surface low will develop near Abilene by early afternoon and track eastward into the Dallas-Fort Worth area by sunset. The latest outlook from the Storm Prediction Center shows the greatest risk near and to the south and west of DFW Airport tomorrow. I believe this is reasonable, but I do expect some adjustments over the next 24 hours.
What hazards could we see? Supercells will be possible, especially near and to the southeast of the surface low and in the vicinity of the warm front. If we see pockets of moderate instability develop near/south of the warm front, Half Dollar to Ping Pong Ball-size Hail, Damaging Winds to 65 MPH, and isolated Tornadoes are a possibility with the most intense storms. Not everyone will see Severe Weather tomorrow, but the possibility exists for those in the risk areas.
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