Snow For Parts of Texas and Oklahoma?

A quick shot for a light rain/snow mix late tonight into Tuesday morning for the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma Panhandle, northwestern Oklahoma, and Kansas looks possible. After a brief warmup, an upper-level trough centered in northeastern parts of the United States has allowed for a second shot at cool air advection for Oklahoma and northern Texas today. Viewing the forecast soundings, this cool airmass will be just cold enough for a rain/snow mixture, and there should be just enough moisture in the dendritic growth zone (where snowflakes evolve) once precipitation develops overnight.

The lifting mechanism to generate precipitation is an upper-level low that is racing towards the Southern Plains. The low is in the process of opening up, so it is weakening.

Upper-level low weakening as it moves towards Texas/Oklahoma

This weakening, coupled with a dry sub-cloud layer (very dry air from the cloud base to the surface) should keep the precipitation light; however, it is possible a few areas in the Panhandle could see 1″ of snow. (Higher snowfall totals, of 1-2″, are possible in Kansas.)

Dry surface may lead to increased evaporation (some virga possible)

NAM snowfall totals

Kansas, the northern Texas Panhandle, and the Oklahoma Panhandle have the best chance to see snow; with northwestern Oklahoma and the southern Texas Panhandle having the potential to see a mixture too. The snow should not create any travel issues and the snow chances will decrease by late Tuesday morning from west to east.

Areas most likely to see wintry precipitation

Southern Plains Severe Storms

It has cooled off across the Southern Plains over the past week; however, as a reminder: Fall is the second peak in severe weather for this area. The first Fall severe thunderstorm will likely occur on Saturday from southern Kansas, through Oklahoma, and into northern Texas.

The cooler airmass across the Southern Plains will begin to moderate by tomorrow and especially by Friday. Warmer and moister air will advect northward as an upper-level trough moves towards the West Coast.

Saturday Afternoon Temperatures (NAM)

Saturday Afternoon Dewpoints (NAM)

As the upper-level trough advances eastward, this will send a cold front into Kansas and Oklahoma on Saturday–followed by Texas late Saturday.

Trough Position Saturday Night (NAM)

The approaching upper-level trough, cold front, and warm/moist airmass will allow for thunderstorms to develop by Saturday afternoon across southern Kansas and northwestern Oklahoma. These storms will move southeastward as the isolated storms converge into a line of thunderstorms.

Thunderstorms have a high chance to become severe due to strong instability and favorable shear. The most likely severe modes are damaging wind, large hail, heavy rainfall, and frequent lighting. However, low-level shear is conducive for isolated tornadoes.

Saturday’s Thunderstorm Outlook (SPC)

Once the front moves through the area, Fall-like weather will return to the Southern Plains. High temperatures will dip back into the 60s for parts of Kansas and Oklahoma, with highs in Texas in the 70s. Lows will fall into the 40s and 50s.

Big Cool Down For Southeast

It has felt like summer across the Southeast, but a big cool down is about to arrive. A potent upper-trough is moving through the middle of the U.S., which has sent a cold front into western Tennessee and Mississippi. Temperatures immediately behind the cold front are dropping by 10-20 degrees as the coolest airmass of the season (for the Southeast) advances southward.

This front will continue to advance south and eastward overnight and into tomorrow. All of the Southeast will see much cooler temperatures for through Wednesday (outside of southern Florida). Temperatures through Wednesday will fall to below average before rebounding to near average by late week (which will still feel cool compared to the previous week).

High temperatures will be in the upper 60s and 70s. Southern Florida will remain in the low 80s and the higher terrain of Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina may struggle to reach 60. Lows will dip into the 30s and 40s–areas closer to the Gulf and Florida will remain in the 50s, but the higher terrain areas (GA,TN,NC) may see temperatures dip below freezing.

Temperature Anomalies For The Upcoming Week (GEFS)

The higher terrain areas of Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina need to prepare for a light freeze or frost by Tuesday morning. Please take the proper precautions to protect your sensitive plants.

Gulf States Need To Prepare For Hurricane Nate

Gulf residents from the Louisiana coast to Georgia need to take actions now to protect property and life. Hurricane Nate continues to strengthen as it races towards the NNW at 26 mph. The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) indicates Nate has maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.

While Nate has been rather lopsided thus far (most of the adverse weather being located on the eastern side of the system), Nate’s satellite appearance is beginning to improve and further strengthening is likely before landfall. The official forecast from the NHC indicates Nate will strengthen into a strong category 2 hurricane before its landfall near the mouth of the Mississippi River late tonight. Once Nate makes landfall, it should begin a more N followed by NE track due to a trough moving in from the west.

Official Cone From NHC

The coastal areas, near land-falling Nate, can expect a severe storm surge. This would be from far eastern Louisiana towards the Florida Panhandle. It appears the storm surge will be around 6-10 feet above normally dry ground (the 10 feet values are expected along the Mississippi coast). As Nate moves inland, the storm surge threat will diminish, and inland areas will see heavy rainfall, strong winds, and isolated tornadoes. The coastal areas will see the strongest winds–likely in excess of 105 mph with isolated gusts near 140 mph. The fast movement of Nate will push high winds (tropical storm force) well into eastern Mississippi, all of Alabama, and northern and western Georgia. It is possible power outages will occur well inland due to sustained winds of 40-60 mph and higher gusts of 70-80 mph (it should be noted, high wins will likely occur in Tennessee, too, especially in the higher terrain).

Tropical Storm Force Winds Forecast

With all tropical systems, rainfall is a major hazard. Luckily, Nate will move quickly, which will prevent prolonged heavy rainfall. With that said, 2-7 inches are likely near and just east of the center of Nate.

Rainfall Forecast

Please take Nate seriously if you live along the Gulf Coast!

Tropical Depression 16 expected to strengthen

Tropical Depression 16 formed earlier today down in the Central American region of the Caribbean.   Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for portions of Nicaragua and Honduras at this time with the expectation that 16 will strengthen into the next named storm, which would be Nate.

Current environmental conditions are good for development.  16 is sitting in an area of low shear and the sea surface temperatures in the region are very warm.

With the lone exception of colder waters along the coastlines, water temperatures are a warm 29 degrees Celsius over much of the Gulf of Mexico.  The one inhibiting factor in all of this, will be the land interactions that 16 will make.   Landfall is expected along Nicaragua and Honduras, and even if 16 does not make another landfall, he will still pass close to the Yucatan Peninsula and Western Cuba before entering the gulf.  These interactions could prevent major intensification before the gulf.

Hurricane Hunter aircraft did perform a recon mission earlier today, showing a closed and well defined center of circulation.  While there isn’t much deep convection near the center, tropical banding is strong with this system.

Once in the gulf, 16 is forecast to become a hurricane.  The current forecast brings what would be Hurricane Nate towards the Florida Panhandle, as shown below, but anywhere from Louisiana to Northern Florida should be watching this system.  Current model tracks have a wide area due to the impact of a tropical low that moves past Florida.  This low is given a small chance to develop into a tropical system itself, but the strength of this feature will play a role in the future track of 16.


Early preparations should  begin soon for those along the gulf coast.  Having a few extra batteries or a bottle of water around is never a bad thing and it’s much better for everyone if they are purchased in advance.  Stores will place larger orders for products if people are buying them.


Robert Millette