Surprised By Wintry Mix In Metro
This morning many North Texans were treated to early morning flurries along with a little sleet and a fleeting look at graupel. Graupel occurs when tiny water droplets adhere to snow flakes and partially melt the flakes into a snow pellets. Flurries and graupel were reported in much of North Texas including most of the Metroplex.
Upper Level Energy Wins Over Dry Air
As a large upper level low spins near Arizona, a smaller wave of upper level energy moved into North Texas this morning and was responsible for the wintry precipitation. But, it didn’t amount to much over the Metroplex because of very dry air in the lowest levels. The thinking was that the air would be too dry and the energy too weak to get anything to the surface and for all intents and purposes, not much panned out. All was gone before the busiest hours of the morning commute. But for southeastern areas like Corsicana, Athens and Palestine, light snow, sleet and light rain has accumulated on some roadways and threatens to ice up on elevated surfaces. This prompted a Winter Weather Advisory through 11 AM to for the southeastern counties.
The smaller wave of energy will continue to push east of the area, but will be a factor in creating as much as .10-.25 inches of ice in the Greenville, MS area this afternoon where an ice storm warning is posted for some accumulations of ice reaching .50 inches. As the energy shifts east, we’ll make way for partly cloudy skies for the afternoon.
Pattern Stays Cold
Temperatures the next three days will be well below normal, especially today and tomorrow as cold Canadian air is locked in place. Highs will hold in the 40s today and tomorrow and may do so again on Wednesday. And it is on Wednesday that our focus will shift to that upper level low as it moves our way. At this time it looks like the upper level low will track overhead by early Thursday morning. With the past few disturbances, the trend has been for the models to underestimate the strength and therefore the precipitation output. That is in our minds with this next system and its potential to bring a wintry mix of primarily snow and sleet to the area starting late Wednesday evening into the morning commute Thursday.