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Weather Talk: Jet stream changes, warmer weather and rain

Weather Talk: Jet stream changes, warmer weather and rain
MGN Online
Weather Talk
Saturday, February 15, 2014 - 7:32pm

We’ve been in an arctic and cold weather pattern for the last few months.

The jet stream this winter has been a meridional flow—meaning a north to south pattern. This has allowed lots of cold air to filtrate into the United States, and even here in East Texas.

While astronomical winter does not end until March 19, the upper level wind pattern will return to more of a zonal flow—meaning west to east pattern. With this flow, we will see a significant warming trend and by the latter part of next week, we will be dealing with thunderstorms and rain showers.

Let’s talk the forecast over the next week and how the change in the upper levels will influence our weather.


Winds at 18,000 feet (500 millibars) will be out of the west and northwest. This flow usually provides East Texas with dry weather. Note that there is ridging taking place in the Plains. The surface will respond by warming up into the upper 60s and lower 70s for Sunday.

Expect to see partly cloudy skies on Sunday with breezy conditions due to a tight pressure gradient.


A cold front will move through Monday morning through afternoon. As this happens, there could be a few light showers or sprinkles with this system. Overall, expect temperatures to make the lower to middle 70s in many areas on Monday.

Temperatures continue to warm up on Tuesday with highs in the upper 70s. Dew points will also return from the 40s to the 50s.


The upper air pattern at 18,000 feet on Wednesday places our winds at a westerly component and this begins our transition to more moisture entering our region. At about 5,000 feet (850 millibars), the winds are from the southwest and very warm, aiding in the moisture transport to East Texas.

With more moisture setup to move into our region, a chance of rain is possible on Wednesday. Otherwise, temperatures will be in the 70s and it will turn muggy.


By Thursday, a southwest flow at 500 millibars will stream in more moisture—eventually saturating our atmosphere. Once saturation takes place, showers and storms can develop.

Surface winds will be out of the southwest also, and temperatures by 12 Noon will be in the low 70s. Dew points will be in upper 50s and lower 60s. Combining these two, this creates an environment for some showers and storms to develop. The higher the dew point number, the muggier it will feel.

By Thursday evening into Friday, another cold front will move through East Texas. Showers and storms will be likely on Friday.

One more cold front will enter our area by next Saturday night. This front will be strong and will send down much cooler air back into East Texas. Depending on the strength of the cold front and the upper level dynamics, there is a chance that some of our storms we receive next Saturday could be on the strong side. We will watch that system closely.

We’ll keep you updated throughout the week about the rain chances. You can get the full weather forecast for East Texas anytime at the KETK Weather Page.

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