7:30 PM CST | January 16, 2019
Big changes are in store on Friday as a storm system arrives from the west. Moisture will be on the increase across parts of the state, but thankfully, it will not have enough time to really get established ahead of this dynamic system. Otherwise, we would see a greater risk of severe weather during the afternoon and evening hours.
It looks the 60*F dew points will likely push northward into the I-20 corridor (near/E of Dallas) by sunset or shortly after. The Pacific cold front, which will act as a dryline, will be located across western North Texas. Our Arctic air should be pushing through Northern Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle by this time. The Arctic cold front will overtake the effective dryline during the evening and overnight hours. Right now, Large Hail to the size of Quarters or possibly Half Dollars appears to be the main risk with the strongest storms. Since the moisture will not have had enough to really establish/modify, surface-based storms may be difficult to realize late Friday afternoon and evening. This means that the potential for Damaging Winds and Tornadoes appears low at this time. Trends will be monitored, nonetheless. I created a "heat map" showing where the greater severe risk, albeit still on the lower end of the spectrum, is located in yellow. I also illustrated the mean location of the dew points and surface fronts from a few recent weather models. Some adjustments can be expected over the next 48 hours.
Regarding the Winter Weather potential, the Texas Panhandle and far Northwest Texas are still the most likely areas to see some wintry precipitation. Amounts vary among the models, but most show amounts remaining below Winter Storm criteria. Farther to the south and southeast, models still show drying in the lower-levels of the atmosphere. This makes wintry precipitation less likely but not impossible for North Texas. A brief period of flurries is possible in North Texas, to the north of I-20, on Saturday with a wintry mix possible to the east. Regardless of the precipitation, much colder weather and a round of hard freezes is in store for many locations Saturday night-Sunday morning. Now is the time to prepare.