(KETK) - Tyler, Tx — Lots to talk about in this post: In a nutshell, we will go from a cold Wednesday, to a warming trend by Friday, and the potential for some strong storms by Sunday. The storm potential Sunday will be driven by another powerful arctic high pressure that will send another shot of cold air into East Texas.
Let’s talk about what to expect over the next few days.
Skies will clear tonight and temperatures will be dropping below freezing all across East Texas. A hard freeze and heavy frost is likely, and it will be a good idea to bring in sensitive plants and protect pipes. This will be the coldest we have seen in about 3 weeks. Here is the GFS and NAM forecast of low temperatures by 6AM Thursday morning.
Thursday begins a warm up across East Texas. After a very cold morning, we will see plenty of sunshine and this will allow us to reach the 50s area-wide. This is still a good 5-10 degrees below normal (Tyler’s average high: 63°).
By Noon, the models expect our area to be in the middle to upper 40s with our winds making a shift from the northeast in the morning hours to the southeast by late afternoon and evening.
As the sun sets Thursday night, we will be in for a very cool night. If you have evening plans, you might want to have a jacket or a coat as temperatures will fall to the 40s.
Overnight lows will hold up in the upper 30s and low 40s. We will have a light breeze out of the south and that will allow us to stay mainly above freezing, but an isolated light freeze is not out of the question.
We are in for a warmer Friday, but we will have a fair amount of cloud cover. This increase in clouds is due to a weak area of Low pressure that will be just to the north of us. One thing for sure, it will be breezy to near windy with south winds between 15-20 miles per hour.
Here is the GFS and NAM forecast for 12 Noon on Friday. The models are slightly disagreeing as far as precipitation is concerned, but it cannot be ruled out during the day on Friday (especially North of I-20, along the front). Afternoon highs will be in the middle to upper 60s.
MARCH-ING RIGHT INTO SPRING-LIKE WEATHER
This area of Low pressure will stall out over Texas but will do little change in our weather—in fact it will allow us to warm up on Saturday. Temperatures Saturday will be very warm with highs easily in the low to middle 70s. Below is the GFS and NAM for Saturday at Noon. We expect a mix of sun and clouds and if we can see more sunshine, we could see the upper 70s and even near 80 degrees. Either way, it will be warm, breezy, and humid with dew points in the upper 50s and low/middle 60s— indicative of a lot of moisture in the air.
I also want to show you what is headed toward us from the Northern Plains:
Yes, this is another shot of cold, arctic air that will be filtered down toward the Ohio Valley, Central Plains, and here to East Texas by early next week. But, this cold air is associated with a strong cold front. With this clash of very warm and cold air, storms are indeed possible.
SUNDAY—Possibility of Strong Storms?
I do want to give you a current thought on what the current models are indicating right now. This strong cold front will be placed along the Red River by sunrise Sunday. Ahead of the front (East Texas), we will be very warm and mild with our lows Sunday morning in the low to middle 60s. During the day Sunday, temperatures will likely warm up into the upper 60s and near 70. At the same time, the cold front will force showers and t-storms to develop. Some of these storms could be strong. We will have to watch this closely, but there is no doubt that we are expecting heavy showers and storms during the day Sunday, and this will provide us with very decent amounts of rainfall. We are still several days out from this event, but we will continue to monitor this closely.
The Weather Prediction Center of the NWS places outlooks on how much qualitative precipitation an area could receive at a given time. Their outlook from Saturday morning through Monday morning shows East Texas picking up between an inch of rain to nearly 2.5 inches of rainfall.
MONDAY—Cold Enough for Wintry Mix?
Well if you thought we could get all four seasons in a short period of time, the possibility is there. The Wednesday 6AM run of the GFS model shows the cold air really racing in behind the cold front Sunday. By Monday morning, the GFS thinks temperatures will fall throughout the day. With that, a wintry mix is possible as well with the main precipitation type being freezing rain.
Why is this possible? Because of the upper level short wave that will move right through the Northern part of Texas during the day Monday and will create upward forcing to trigger precipitation. This setup is similar to what we saw back on the afternoon and evening of Tuesday, February 11.
This is the first model run that we’ve noticed the colder air dropping down so quickly (previous runs have kept us above freezing until Monday night). We need to wait for more model run consistency to have a better handle on what will take place on Monday and early next week.
One thing is for certain, we know that colder/arctic weather is coming back to East Texas.
We will be keeping you informed with the latest forecast so you know how to plan your day. Stay up to date with us on television, online, and on your mobile device. Click here to get the latest weather forecast from the KETK Weather Team .