That big 'ol Arctic cold front has brought down some of the coldest air of the season to not only the Brazos Valley but across the Lone Star State and a good chunk of the country. As I sit huddled around my coffee for warmth, the statement I see popping up on Twitter the most is "If it is going to be this cold, it might as well snow!" Well...ask and you may just receive...
Wednesday morning, calls and emails came flooding into the weather center with folks stating that they saw snow flurries as they headed out for their day. While it is exciting to see, they are for sure not out of character for a weather event like this. Although there is not much moisture to work with, mix in this bitter, cold air mass with mostly cloudy skies and that breezy to gusty north wind will provide enough lift (or "ummph") to get a few light flakes flying.
That is all good and well...but let's talk about the real deal...
Our long range computer models are staying pretty consistent when it comes to bringing in a batch of the white stuff to South Texas. In fact, they are even bringing the snow as far south as the Valley, Hill Country and Upper Texas Coast. Temperatures in the upper elevations of the atmosphere are below freezing all the way from the top down...so anything thatwould fall from the sky looks pretty solid to come in the form of snow. Should the forecast pan out (and for now we are running with a 50% chance), the latest data projects the chance for about half an inch to two or 3 inches in some locations. Due to this The National Weather Service has issued a WINTER STORM WATCH across most of the area.
Here's the catch. (And there always are a few, right?) Take into consideration two things:
1) Back when I was learning about this weather game, a common phrase always came up: "9 out of 10 times you forecast snow, you have a good chance of being wrong. Therefore, is it better to never forecast it and be wrong once or 9 times?" Snow forecasts are fickle and tricky animals...but in this case, the odds looks pretty good.
2) It is no secret that it's cold out there. With us being in the deep freeze over night and only recovering to just about 32 degrees over the next couple of afternoons, ground temperatures across the Brazos Valley are dropping quickly. That being said, snow falling could lead to slick roadways -- especially on bridges and overpasses that blustery north winds have been whipping under constantly these past few days -- which would create some commuting issues.
Here is a look at our very own Pinpoint Forecast computer model as of noon on Wednesday:
Interesting stuff, Friends. This weather has kept us busy and believe we are not stopping anytime soon. Check back as we fine tune the details and accumulation estimations over the next 24 to 48 hours.