A winter storm will impact part of the Southern Plains on Tuesday. A deep trough is moving east this afternoon across the western United States. As the trough continues to advance eastward, moisture will rapidly lift northward into the Plains. An approaching jet streak will allow precipitation to develop across Texas early Tuesday morning, lifting northward into parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri. Surface temperatures are cold, plus with evaporational cooling, it will set the stage for a wintry mixture for the aforementioned areas throughout the day on Tuesday.
Modeled soundings suggest north Texas (near the Red River), southern and central Oklahoma, central Arkansas and southern Missouri will see a period of freezing rain. North Texas and central Oklahoma will likely transition from freezing rain to rain by the afternoon hours on Tuesday (which will limit ice accumulations). Farther north, the freezing rain should transition to snow as evaporational cooling takes care of the small warm-nose aloft.
Snow (see Fig. 1) and ice (see Fig. 2) accumulations are likely for much of the Southern Plains. This is why local National Weather Service offices have issued Winter Weather Advisories for this region (see Fig. 3). It is likely that travel will be impacted by this winter storm.
Wintry precipitation is also possible Tuesday evening into Wednesday for parts of the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic. A potent low will move towards this region by mid-week allowing an area of widespread wintry precipitation to develop. It appears the higher terrain of North Carolina northward into the Virginias could see an extended period of freezing rain. Ice accumulations around 1/4th of an inch are likely with some higher totals. The freezing rain in North Carolina may transition to rain, while locations farther north may see a transition to a sleet/snow mixture by Wednesday. Significant snow (see Fig. 4) and ice (see Fig. 5) are possible for this region, which is why the local National Weather Service offices have issued Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories for this region (see Fig. 6).
Christopher Nunley is Meteorologist on Firsthand Weather, Lecturer in the Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University (MSU), and a PhD Candidate (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences) at MSU. He earned his M.S. in Applied Meteorology at MSU, was an Assistant Cross Country Coach and taught at the University of North Texas, and was a Broadcast Meteorologist at KTEN-TV (just north of Dallas, Texas). Christopher’s main focus lies within teaching and inspiring prospective meteorology students, atmospheric research to further our understanding of atmospheric processes, and forecasting and analyzing extreme weather events to help save lives!