Winter Storm Today 1/3/13
Thursday Morning Weather Update
Greg Morgan – Chief Meteorologist
A winter storm is bearing down on the area today. Snow has already started falling west of the Pecos River this morning. As of this writing, snow accumulations have been reported in the Davis Mountains and CBS 7 EyeCams from Fort Stockton show snow falling. Radar returns show more significant precipitation just south of El Paso, moving east into the region. Temperatures will struggle to warm at all today. Look for highs in the lower to mid 30’s across West Texas and SE New Mexico. Cloudy skies will be in place through Friday morning. Expect a bulk of the snowfall to occur west of the Pecos River through the day.
Later tonight, as an upper level disturbance moves into the region, snow will spread east of the river into the Permian Basin. Snow totals will be quite tricky to forecast. One reason is snow banding (areas of heavy snowfall that tend to occur in narrow bands). These bands have the potential to unload 1-2” of snow per hour and are expected across the Trans Pecos and parts of the Permian Basin later today. Another fly in the ointment is the progress of the storm itself. Initially, all of the available data suggested that this storm would pass over the region today and tonight and exit the area Friday morning. However, the latest round of data and satellite trends suggest that this storm could linger a bit longer and possibly wobble over the Permian Basin another 6-8 hours on Friday. This would produce higher precipitation totals. But if this occurs, the mode of precipitation could change to rain or freezing rain between 8 and 11am on Friday morning. Needless to say, the forecasting of an event like this presents significant challenges and residents in West Texas are urged to stay tuned to this rapidly changing event.
A WINTER STORM WARNING is in effect for locations West of the Pecos River today and tonight. A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY is in effect for locations east of the Pecos River through tonight. As mentioned above, rapidly changing conditions may force some changes to the ongoing warnings and advisories. Stay tuned!
Regardless, the storm system responsible for our wintry mess will exit the area sometime on Friday. Sunny skies will return on Saturday and Sunday and temperatures will rebound into the 50’s through next week.
Another storm system sitting off the west coast of the United States will move east into the region on Tuesday. This has led me to introduce rain chances into the forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.