Friday, December 11, 2020 10:46 PM

Weekend Southern Snow

Christopher Nunley

A wintry blast will visit the Southern Plains this weekend, causing significant travel impacts. The storm system will dump a heavy swath of snow across parts of the Southern Plains late-Saturday into Sunday. This comes just days after a heavy snow event in northwestern Oklahoma where over one foot of snow fell. Significant accumulations are possible for Oklahoma City, Amarillo, and Tulsa. 

A shortwave trough will “swing” into the Southern Plains late-Saturday. This will set the stage for precipitation development. With cold air wrapping into the system, snow is the predominant precipitation type. Initially, precipitation may fall as light rain, but wet bulbing and colder air wrapping into the system will allow a quick transition to snow across the Texas Panhandle, southern Kansas, and northern & central Oklahoma. Snow may eventually fall in southern Oklahoma and possibly the Red River Counties of northern Texas on Sunday. Snow will also sneak east into northern Arkansas on Sunday.

Widespread snow accumulations of 3-6″ are likely for the Texas Panhandle, southern Kansas, and northern & central Oklahoma. There may be “banding” of snow, which may lead to heavier accumulations. The science is too inexact to predict where these bands may setup this far in advance, but this banding could lead to areas of 8-10″ snow accumulations. Lighter snow accumulations are expected farther south for southern Oklahoma and possibly the Red River Counties of northern Texas. 

Snow accumulations forecast

Due to the heavy snow accumulations expected, winter weather alerts have been hoisted for the region. Winter Weather Advisories are in place for the Texas Panhandle, southern Kansas, and parts of central & northern Oklahoma. A Winter Storm Watch is in place for northwestern Oklahoma where a Winter Storm Warning will likely be needed. It is possible these winter weather alerts will get extended east into northeastern Oklahoma and northwestern Arkansas on Saturday.

Current winter weather alerts