4:30 PM CST | January 11, 2019
The first 10 days of this new year have been somewhat mild across Texas. There have been a few pockets of cooler than normal temperatures, but for the most part, the majority of Texas has been mild. This is especially the case across East Texas where temperature anomalies of >3°F have been observed. Cooler temperatures have returned today, and cooler weather will continue through the weekend and even on Monday for some areas. This means these warmer anomalies will come down in the upcoming days. Thereafter, we will see a warming trend beginning Tuesday.
If you have been following the website and Facebook page, you know I have my eyes on a weather system between January 18th and 21st. This period is now within the range of most of the model guidance. They do indeed show a system impacting the South Central United States during this time. We knew that this would likely be the case because of the recurring cycle theory. In the first cycle (October 9-10th), the system moved from the Four Corners, through Colorado, and into South Dakota. In the second cycle (November 30th-December 1st), it tracked from the Four Corners, through the Southern High Plains, to near the Kansas/Nebraska state line. As you can see, the system took a track farther south in the second cycle. This is typical as the jet stream is stronger, farther south by that time of year. What does this mean for us?
Cold air did not arrive ahead of this system in the previous cycles. We saw rain and thunderstorms in both cases with some severe weather. Colder air arrived behind system as it departed. In early December, light snow fell across parts of the Texas Panhandle in the wake of the main system as some weaker upper-level energy rippled through the region. You can view a previous article regarding this here.
I expect increasing rain chances with the system that should impact us in the January 18th-21st period. The question is, will this system be able to pull colder air southward - BEFORE the moisture shuts down? One thing it would need to do is track farther south, which is a possibility given the stronger jet stream than late November/early December. There are a couple signs suggesting it could; but, in the previous cycles, it was unable to do so. It is something to watch once we get closer. Once the current rain-maker departs, we will dry out for several days, but this will come to an end late next week/weekend.