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Winter Storm Warning: Eyes on Sunday’s storm system

Fine-tuning the forecast still necessary, wintry mix continues to look likely
Published: Jan. 9, 2021 at 8:25 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 9, 2021 at 9:15 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Rain, snow, and a wintry mix are looking more likely across the state of Texas, and a few of us in the Brazos Valley could have a “winter wonderland” on their hands before the weekend is over. A question still remains of how much wintry weather will fall from the sky and how far south will we see it fall.

SATURDAY EVENING UPDATE

A WINTER STORM WARNING will go into effect for the northern two-thirds of the Brazos Valley Sunday, lasting through Monday morning. More details on that can be found here.

Saturday evening’s data continues to support that Sunday’s activity will feature a switchover to rain/snow as well as some pockets of full snow as the afternoon goes on. Sunday starts off with a cold rain for everyone, but a changeover could occur as early as midmorning - midday for our northern counties, dragging farther south throughout the afternoon.

As temperatures fall throughout the day, the chance for snow mixing in increases. As of Saturday evening, the heaviest wet snow potential looks to fall in the 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. time frame, where we’ll have to monitor for a few travel impacts if too much falls too quickly.

When we can expect what falling from the sky throughout the back half of the weekend.
When we can expect what falling from the sky throughout the back half of the weekend.(KBTX)

Regardless, keep your KBTX PinPoint Weather App handy throughout the day as we monitor wintry conditions across the Brazos Valley.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE

A majority of the Brazos Valley has been upgraded to a WINTER STORM WARNING Sunday.

The latest details from the National Weather Service and how much snow could fall Sunday can be found here.

SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE -- SOME CONSISTENCY

While we have consistently seen model data dropping snow across especially the northern half of the Brazos Valley, accumulation totals will be hard to PinPoint, even fore most of the day today. However, it looks increasingly likely that Sunday will feature a switchover to rain and snow, or a wintry mix of sleet/snow, and even a full-blown batch of all snow in some spots before we turn the page to Monday.

As we have said all along, the moisture in the atmosphere will not be lacking. The biggest uncertainty lies in temperatures in the first few thousand feet of the atmosphere through the time where precipitation is most likely. Right now, it looks like it will be cold enough for some areas, especially north and west, to manage a switchover to all snow by Sunday evening.

The biggest question, other than precipitation type, is where will the heaviest bands (of rain, sleet, or snow) occur? We hope to get a clearer picture throughout the day, but plan for minor to moderate travel impacts Sunday evening into early Monday morning for now.

FRIDAY EVENING UPDATE -- WINTER STORM WATCH ISSUED

A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for the northern two-thirds of the Brazos Valley that goes into effect Sunday afternoon and lasts through Monday morning. As higher resolution model data continues to trickle in, guidance suggests that snowfall totals of 1″ - 4″+ north of OSR and 1″ - 3″+ for the central portions of the Brazos Valley are not off the table by the time all is said and done.

A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for the northern two-thirds of the Brazos Valley as a...
A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for the northern two-thirds of the Brazos Valley as a wintry mix looks more likely to fall Sunday.(KBTX)

LET’S TALK TEMPERATURES

What’s changed? Essentially, not much. After a chilly start, peeks of sun will get us to the low/mid 50s Saturday. Temperatures start Sunday in the low 40s, at the warmest. The thing of it all -- we will not warm much from there. A cold front passes by, steadily dropping temperatures to the low and mid-30s by the end of the day. Factor in a brisk wind and it will feel more like the mid-to-upper 20s by sunset.

A representation of what the atmosphere may look like above our heads in Bryan-College Station...
A representation of what the atmosphere may look like above our heads in Bryan-College Station Sunday.(KBTX)

Thermometers here at the ground are expected to remain just above freezing. Temperatures in the upper-levels of the atmosphere will be below freezing, at least to a certain point. Depending on how low the freezing level can get, snowflakes may be able to survive the fall before completely melting. If the activity is heavy enough, that could even help it switch over to all snow. IF the snow gets heavy enough, accumulation becomes more likely, and temperatures may drop as a result. This is a possibility late Sunday, especially north.

SNOW LOVERS, READ BELOW:

As of Friday evening, higher resolution model data continues to filter in, depicting what the radar may look like throughout the day Sunday. We still need to work on fine-tuning the details on how much accumulation we could see, but enough to cover lawns, roofs, wind shields, etc. looks like a reasonable possibility north, and travel issues will need to be monitored Sunday night into Monday morning.

WHO HAS THE BEST CHANCE FOR WINTRY WEATHER?

As of Friday evening, the highest chance of a wintry mix / accumulating snow will be north of OSR, though odds have increased slightly in the Central Brazos Valley.

The latest look at what we could see fall across the area by Sunday into Sunday evening. We...
The latest look at what we could see fall across the area by Sunday into Sunday evening. We will continue to fine tune this forecast as we get closer.(KBTX)

A snow or rain / snow mix is not ruled out for most north of 290. Inversely, the further south you are, the higher the chance is for just a flat out, no-fun, cold rain.

HOW MUCH SNOW IS POSSIBLE?

This is where the forecast is tricky. There has not been much consistency run-to-run from computer forecast data. Why? This weather maker just moved over land today. We’ll continue to get higher quality data throughout the next 24 hours and be able to hash out some of the final details.

That said, should snow manage to accumulate, it would likely happen on grassy and elevated surfaces. The soil temperature Sunday and Monday is forecast in the low-to-mid 50s. Any wintry weather that falls, initially would melt. Now, if the flakes can keep up long enough or come down heavy enough, given enough time that could change as well.

The northern half of the Brazos Valley will have the chance of snow or a wintry mix before the...
The northern half of the Brazos Valley will have the chance of snow or a wintry mix before the end of Sunday, but accumulation is still uncertain.(KBTX)
Saturday is chilly (but nice!) ahead of the potential for a bit of wintry weather to mix in...
Saturday is chilly (but nice!) ahead of the potential for a bit of wintry weather to mix in with the rain Sunday, especially farther north.(KBTX)

BY MONDAY

Sunday into very early Monday, we expect colder, drier air to filter into the area, and precip does not look likely at the moment. That said, some flurries will be a possibility on the morning drive, and if we are to see any significant snow or sleet accumulations, travel impacts may be possible for a portion of the Monday drive before rising back will above freezing later in the day. Widespread travel issues do not look likely at this time.

The northern half of the Brazos Valley will have the chance of snow or a wintry mix before the...
The northern half of the Brazos Valley will have the chance of snow or a wintry mix before the end of Sunday, but accumulation is still uncertain.(KBTX)

CHECK THE FORECAST OVER THE WEEKEND

Fresh data is rolling in as we head into the weekend, which will lead to more consistency, and a better idea of if and WHERE any bands of wintry precip will set up across the area. However, it may be into Saturday before we have a solid idea of what sort of amounts of accumulation we may see AND where it will be. For this, stay tuned on air and keep us in your pocket using the KBTX PinPoint Weather App.

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