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Cold Start To 2011 For North Texas

By Jeff Jamison, CBS 11 News
A thermometer shows the cold temperature. (credit: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)

A thermometer shows the cold temperature. (credit: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jeff Jamison
Jeff is a meteorologist for CBS 11 News. You can watch his fore...
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A Pacific cold front moved across North Texas early Friday morning, touching off a line of showers and thunderstorms that quickly zipped off to the east. In its wake, strong west winds ranging between 20 and 30 mph.

Dry air behind the cold front, blowing in on a west wind, is also increasing our grass fire danger. Many counties in North Texas are already under burn bans, and outdoor burning and/or fireworks would be dangerous. Keep that in mind as you head out to New Year’s Eve parties.

A potent, arctic cold front will slip through North Texas on Friday night, helping temperatures plunge into the 40s and then 30s heading into Saturday morning. Temperatures should be in the lower 40s and falling at midnight, as you count down to 2011. Then, by Saturday morning’s sunrise, North Texans will be waking up to (or coming home to) temperatures in the lower 30s.

Expect some clouds overnight and into Saturday morning, and possibly a sprinkle or two, but nothing significant. In our northwestern counties, we could even see a flurry of snow or two, but again, nothing to worry about.

Sunshine will develop on Saturday, but with high temperatures only in the mid-40s. Then, look for a frigid night on Saturday into Sunday morning. With relatively clear skies and calmer winds, the temperatures should plunge into the mid-20s within the DFW Metro area and the upper teens in many rural North Texas areas.

Something we are watching is the strength of this cold air that is moving in. Our computer guidance will often underestimate the depth and speed of arctic outbreaks, meaning that we could even be several degrees colder during the weekend. Currently, the temperatures are widespread — in the single digits across the Central Plains and in the teens in the Texas Panhandle. We will keep watching that.

In the meantime, Happy New Year and all the best for 2011!