NWS UPDATE: Strong Winds, Storms and Winter Weather Potential

From: National Weather Service, Fort Worth
Date: Thursday, 13 December 2018 10:05 CDT

Bottom Line

Very windy. Strong to severe thunderstorms will be possible this afternoon East of I-45. Rain will mix with or change to wet snow late this afternoon and evening west of I-35/I-35W. The wintry precipitation may continue into Friday morning and reach areas along the I-35 corridor. While computer models are in good agreement on the forecast presented below, this is a dynamic system which means adjustments to the forecast may occur quickly during the day through Friday morning.

Overview

An intense storm system will impact the region today through Friday with strong, gusty winds and precipitation chances.

  • Strong winds: A cold front will surge through the region today, bringing some of the strongest (non-thunderstorm) winds to the region in years. Wind speeds will increase from west to east beginning late this morning with the strongest winds from late this afternoon through midday Friday. Sustained wind speeds will exceed 30 mph at times, with gusts near 50 mph, creating difficult driving conditions, especially for high-profile vehicles on east-west roadways. The strong winds could lead to downed tree branches and power outages.
  • Severe storms: A few strong or severe storms will be possible this afternoon, mainly east of a line from Sherman to Terrell to Palestine. Hail and gusty winds may accompany the strongest storms.
  • Winter weather: Late this afternoon through Friday morning, a rain/snow mix is possible generally west of I-35 with a chance for accumulating snow along and west of a Jacksboro, Stephenville to Lampasas line where a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from 3 PM today until 9 AM Friday. Snow accumulation up to 3 inches are possible in the advisory area. The higher elevations above 1300 feet (particularly Eastland and Comanche counties) may see higher amounts of up to 6 inches. Since temperatures will remain above freezing, snow accumulations should stay on grassy areas and elevated surfaces, but some road surfaces could become slushy. In addition, strong winds will decrease visibility at times, creating an additional driving hazard. No snow accumulations are expected outside of the advisory area.

Areas of Concern

High Winds This afternoon through Friday
Concern: High Winds This afternoon through Friday

Concern: Arrival of Strongest Winds

Severe storm threat this afternoon
Concern: Severe storm threat this afternoon

Winter Weather Advisory
Concern: Winter Weather Advisory

Threats/Hazardous Weather Types

Threats

General Timing

Timing

Forecaster Confidence

Rain and Very Windy Conditions
Confidence: Rain and Very Windy Conditions

Winter Weather
Confidence: Winter Weather

What We Are Certain Of:

  • The strong winds will likely dislodge lawn furniture and holiday decorations. Driving will be challenging, particularly with high-profile vehicles.
  • Colder temperatures and rainfall will accompany the strong winds behind the front.
  • Temperatures should stay above freezing except in areas of persistent heavy snow bands.

What We Are Watching (or Are Less Certain Of):

  • The potential for strong or severe thunderstorms in eastern areas.
  • The areal extent of the snowfall, the resulting accumulations, and the impacts to travel.
    • The snow potential along the I-35 corridor. We are still uncertain as to whether it will stay all rain or there will be localized bursts of heavy snow.
    • How much accumulation can occur on the warm ground with surface temperatures above freezing. Right now we believe areas would need to see more than 2 inches before roads collect snow. We believe the snow will be slushy and wet, not icy which may limit impacts to travel.

FAQ

Is snow guaranteed? No. Although confidence in snowfall in the winter weather advisory area is high, there are still uncertainties regarding the storm track and extent of the wintry precipitation.

Will there be accumulating snow? With temperatures likely remaining above freezing, accumulating snowfall would be primarily on grassy surfaces. If snow accumulates on roads, it should remain wet and slushy, reducing the impacts to travel.

When will the next email update be sent? This will be the last email for this event.

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Additional Resources

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