Possible Winter Weather Alert in Effect for Northern Texas Area

Bryan Dijkhuizen

Temperatures had climbed into the mid to upper 50s over the Panhandles as of 2 pm, with southerly winds and a belt of heavier high-level cirrus moving eastward across the area, according to the National Weather Service.

This morning's cold frontal passage across the eastern Oklahoma Panhandle has moved northward a little, but it is still lurking nearby, quite close to the Kansas/Oklahoma border.

Above the clouds, a storm system is moving southward over the Rockies, with an upper-level jet streak forming across the southern high Plains later today.

As the cold front continues to move southward, there may be enough couple lift to produce a few light showers or drizzle/freezing drizzle throughout the Oklahoma Panhandle, but deep moisture looks to be missing in order to produce any significant accumulations of precipitation.

During the nighttime hours and into the early morning hours of Thursday, strong northerly winds will develop behind the front, and low stratus is predicted to develop southward as well.

As a consequence, Thursday will be a colder and blusterer day, with gloomy skies and highs only reaching approximately 30 degrees in the north and mid-40s in the south on Thursday.

Low stratus may thin and break up to some amount Thursday afternoon, but mid-level cloud cover should keep skies generally gloomy for the remainder of Thursday.

Precipitation chances will rise from the northwest to the southeast as the upper-level storm system moves closer late Thursday and upper-level ascent spreads throughout the region.

Despite the possibility of a brief period of mixed-phase precipitation in the early evening, the column should descend below freezing fairly rapidly, and it seems that this will be mostly a snow event in the evening.

The guidance has been quite constant in showing a band of snow forming from the southeast Colorado/northeast New Mexico region over the northwest Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles, with the band gradually traveling southward during the early morning hours.

From what we can tell at this point, snowfall totals will be in the range of 2-4 inches over the western Oklahoma and northwest Texas Panhandles, 1-3 inches across most of the central Panhandles, and just 1-2 inches across the southern and southeast Panhandles.

In the meanwhile, there is still the possibility of some mesoscale banding forming and producing some locally larger quantities; we'll keep an eye out for signs of this as we get closer to the event, and a winter weather alert may be issued for parts of the region.

Aside from the snow, it's going to be quite chilly. In the western Panhandles, the lows will be mostly in the teens, with wind chills in the single digits for much of the state and even a few degrees below zero in some places on Thursday. While there may be some partial clearing late in the day Friday, temperatures will remain cold, with highs mostly in the 30s for the rest of the day.

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