11:15 AM CST | December 29, 2018
The part of the weather pattern that is coming the first week of January is what we saw November 12-14th. We had a trough move into the Rockies. The southern part of this energy cut-off over the Red River Valley. We had cold air in place with temperature departures of -18 to -23*F at DFW and -17 to -23*F at Waco during this period. Why do I bring this up?
We have another reinforcing shot of cold air arriving by New Years Day. The models show more energy just to the west of the region to start the new year. They differ in how they handle the energy, however. Some of the model guidance shows it remaining progressive and weakening as it tracks into the Plains. Others, like the European model (ECMWF) and several of the American Ensembles (GEFS), show this energy cutting off over Texas or Oklahoma. This latter scenario does have support from the recurring cycle theory as illustrated in the video.
If the energy remains farther west and becomes cut off from the main flow, it would have the potential to pull gulf moisture over the cold air mass. The favored winter precipitation types would probably be freezing rain/sleet rather than snow. If it remains more progressive and farther north, then the potential for winter weather would be much less. The period I am really watching is January 2nd and 3rd. Again, it is too early to say either way; but, it deserves monitoring over the next several days. We should have a better idea of what will unfold by Monday. -Stay Tuned!