High-impact winter storm expected to dump heavy wintry precipitation across parts of the Southern Plains Tuesday into early Thursday. The stage is being set for this event as a strong Arctic cold front is oozing south through Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. This modified Arctic airmass will continue to advance south on Tuesday. At the same time, a potent upper-level system will approach the Southern Plains from this west. This will aid in strong lift, leading to widespread precipitation across parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana & Arkansas.
Northern & central Texas will see a mixture of sleet & freezing rain late-Tuesday into early Wednesday, while locations farther north will see snow. As the cold air deepens, the sleet/freezing rain will transition to light snow through Wednesday.
Locations even farther south will see a wintry mixture Wednesday evening into early Thursday morning as a secondary area of lift moves over Texas. This lift will try to squeeze any remaining moisture out of the atmosphere. At this point, temperatures will be significantly colder throughout the entire column of the atmosphere, leading to a sleet/snow mixture for areas as far south as Austin & College Station, Texas. It is possible this wintry mixture will spread into southwestern Arkansas & northwestern Louisiana early Thursday morning.
Accumulations are likely for parts of the Southern Plains that will lead to travel issues. A Winter Storm Watch is in place for a large part of the region. This Watch will likely be upgraded to Warning on Tuesday.
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!