4:00 PM CST | December 17, 2018
On December 9th, I discussed the recurring cycle and what could be in store around Christmas. I stated that, "Looking ahead, the weather around Christmas could be active for Texas. The coldest conditions, however, may not be until the very end of December/early January." I still hold to this idea, and the weather models are beginning to pick up on it as well. Over the last few runs, the European model has been advertising a western trough approaching by the 26th of December. This morning's American model shows a similar scenario, and the Canadian, while farther north than its competitors, also shows a western trough moving into the Central US just after Christmas.
The weather pattern will not be especially favorable for cold air to dive into Texas during this period, so my gut feeling is that the main impacts will be rain and thunderstorms, potentially on the strong side. Conditions will gradually become more favorable for cold air to push southward into the state by early January. This part of the weather pattern brought colder-than-normal weather to Texas in the first cycle, and it *should* have a tendency to do the same in this second cycle.
In terms of temperatures, most of the state has been near or below normal this month. Notice the pocket of really cold anomalies in West Texas, near Lubbock? This is courtesy of the snow they received with the winter storm earlier this month. We have some mild days ahead, but it will not be too long-lived. I am expecting us to switch gears again by the end of December or (more likely) early January.