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Quiet end to the week, eyes on potential winter weather Sunday

Sleet or snow is possible, but not overly likely at the moment
Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 11:02 AM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - As one storm system passes the state, high pressure will take over for a brief couple days as we await the next weather maker!

This one looks to bring less severe weather and more of a potential for a wintry mix, or even snow across portions of the state of Texas before the end of the weekend. For the Brazos Valley, that means the potential for snow is still alive, especially Sunday afternoon into the evening.

How likely is it? Simply and disappointingly put, at this point, we just aren’t sure.

What we do know: Sunday will be wet and cold ahead of a chilly and drier stretch of days next week.

Speaking of, chilly and dry is how we’ll finish the last few days of this week as well. Clouds will slip back into the picture today, but we should manage many peeks of sun from now until Saturday afternoon, allowing us to warm into the low/mid 50s each day.

Wintry weather is possible across the state, including the Brazos Valley, on Sunday afternoon...
Wintry weather is possible across the state, including the Brazos Valley, on Sunday afternoon into the evening.(KBTX)

Sunday

As this storm system approaches Texas, Sunday starts quiet, then rain builds across the area from west to east, leading to a wet end to the weekend. A surface low will begin to form to our south and east, aiding in lift and eventual rain as the system moves through the state.

In order for snow to form, you need a large portion of the lower levels of the atmosphere to be below freezing, in addition to the lift and moisture needed to form any sort of precipitation. The last two look to be in good supply (shown by the upper level energy, wind, and moisture in squares 1,2, and 4 below).

As of right now, the expectation is for a cold rain across the Brazos Valley. Essentially,...
As of right now, the expectation is for a cold rain across the Brazos Valley. Essentially, slightly colder air could allow for a brief window for sleet and snow.(KBTX)

The problem for snow lovers is what we expect for lower level temperatures. Note the bottom left corner above. The blue line indicates areas that have at or below freezing temperatures a few thousand feet above the surface. If you are able to sustain that temperature all the way, or at least close to the surface, you can get snow or sleet to fall to the ground. Otherwise, you are likely receiving rain. Said blue line, in this one, particular model rain, is essentially right over, or just to the north, of the Brazos Valley.

In short, we expect the deeper, colder air to be just to our north while the rain is falling Sunday.

The track of this low is where the uncertainty lies. A track farther to the north will mean more sleet and snow toward North Central Texas (and thus, the expected cold rain here). A track farther to the south (shown below) would bring the possibility of sleet and snow to our area, especially farther north.

Wintry weather is possible across the state, including the Brazos Valley, on Sunday afternoon...
Wintry weather is possible across the state, including the Brazos Valley, on Sunday afternoon into the evening.(KBTX)

Surface temperatures will need to be closely monitored if the track is farther south. Minor accumulation of either ice or snow would be possible, but currently does not look very likely, even if we are able to find wintry precip in our area.

It will be a cold and wet finish to the weekend, it is exactly how cold (here at the surface and a few thousand feet up) that will play into whether we see rain, sleet, or snow.

For now, plan for rain, but we will keep an eye on it for you as more reliable data rolls in closer to Sunday.

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