A very strong upper air disturbance is swinging through the Desert Southwest this morning and promises to bring big changes to the area this weekend.
Out ahead of this upper air disturbance a strong surface low pressure will develop late this afternoon across West Texas. This low will travel northeast overnight bringing a cold front to the area by Saturday morning. It looks as though this front will have enough forcing to produce a line of thunderstorms, some of which could be strong. The best chances for seeing severe weather at this time appear to be well off to our south and east however; a few of these storms could produce strong gusty winds and small hail.
The big story is what will occur behind the front. The front looks to move through East Texas around noon tomorrow, close to the Vernal Equinox marking the start of Spring at 12:32 PM tomorrow. As the front moves to our east, another, stronger area of low pressure will develop along the front producing very gusty winds and bringing much colder air into the area. This low will not be in a hurry by any means. This will keep the chance of rain and thunderstorms in the area throughout a good bit of the day. Temperatures by 6 PM tomorrow will be approaching the upper 30s north of I-20 with wind chill values in the upper 20s! It is at this time that the upper level disturbance associated with very cold temperatures aloft, will move across the Red River Valley. As this occurs, any rain left in the area along and north of I-20 could mix or change to snow. That’s right snow! Right now it does not look as though we would see any accumulation but areas to our north could see a very significant snowfall.
Parts of Oklahoma could get as much as 15 inches of snow if this low moves as slow as some computer forecast models are showing. If the upper air disturbance moves farther south, then areas north of I-20 could see some accumulation so we will have to watch this very closely. This is a very similar set up to the Easter snow of 2007. Again, the overall chance of snow in East Texas is small, but it is there. One thing is for sure. Temperatures will be much colder than normal through the beginning of the next work week. Many areas in East Texas will see freezing Temperatures both Sunday and Monday morning. This blast of Old Man Winter will not last long as by Tuesday we will once again see highs reaching the 70s.