Temperatures continue to run below normal today after our Christmas cold front with the mercury dipping into the upper teens and low 20s. The remnant snow from Christmas in the northeastern part of North Texas is helping to keep temperatures very cold at the surface while the air above is warmer. This is known as a thermal inversion. The consequence of the inversion is low clouds and fog. I’ve plotted below with our 10 AM temperatures along with the satellite imagery of the high clouds plus a contour plot of the visibility to outline the fog.
The lingering clouds from Dallas northward and eastward will keep temperatures cooler than the rest of North Texas. Below is our forecast high of 47 for this afternoon for DFW. Dallas will likely trend several degrees below while Fort Worth should hit it.
The light southeast winds that are transporting the warmer air is also bringing in more moist air. And as the winds continue from the southeast overnight, the clouds will thicken and more fog is expected across just about all of North Texas as detailed in the graphic below. Additionally, spotty showers, drizzle and mist will occur after midnight and through tomorrow morning’s commute from the Metroplex eastward. Temps should remain steady around the 40 degree mark, so freezing is not expected.
Another weak cold front will arrive during the mid-morning hours Friday. After its passage, the rain chances shut down and clouds will begin to clear for the afternoon. The front will reinforce our chilly trend through the weekend. Rain chances will not return until late Sunday night after midnight. But, best estimates on the timing of rain will be on New Year’s Eve during the day.
This brings up our forecast focus for next week. Our storm team will be closely watching the track and timing of the next system coming in from our west Monday and Tuesday. Right now, it is looking like the system will track enough north to keep freezing temperatures out of the equation. That is our forecast and it agrees with the general model consensus. If the track shifts farther south, we’ll have to worry about mixed precipitation New Year’s Day. As far as the timing, we are forecasting the system to linger and extend our rain chances out into Wednesday. This is NOT the general model consensus which moves the system in on New Year’s Eve and out on New Year’s Day.