Some snow may be possible Sunday with our next storm system

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 5:43 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2021 at 7:32 AM CST
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We’ve been keeping an eye on the potential for some wintry weather across Central Texas for a few days. Earlier this week, the potential for snow across Central Texas Sunday looked low but forecast model data is now coming into agreement that some snow may fall in Central Texas. Sunday’s forecast is a bit tricky and we’ll get into the particulars but first we need to get through the rest of the work week. Some clouds will linger near and east of I-35 through the day today on the back side of yesterday’s storm system. It may not be completely clouded over all day long (except for near I-45), but those clouds will have an impact on our highs today. Near and east of I-35, clouds will only allow highs to reach the low-to-mid 50s. West of I-35, Bell County included, late-day temperatures will reach the mid-to-upper 50s. Partly cloudy skies remain in the forecast Friday and Saturday with highs reaching the low-to-mid 50s. Morning temperatures will be in the low-to-mid 30s too.

The type of weather Central Texas sees on Sunday is entirely dependent on where an area of low pressure moves during the day. The storm system will be arriving from the Panhandle and instead of moving mostly easterly (as is generally the norm for storm systems in winter), this system will dive southeasterly and the core of the low should move close to our area. If the low traverses the Hill Country through Austin and Houston, the potential for snow will cover most of the area. If the low moves directly overhead, only parts of Central Texas will see a rain/snow mixture. Finally, if the low moves more toward North Texas, which is the least likely right now, we’ll only see a cold rain. We’re expecting morning temperatures Sunday to start in the upper 30s and low 40s with rain overtaking the area during the morning. As the low moves eastward, we’ll get on the cold side of it and temperatures are expected to fall close to freezing through the afternoon. When temperatures start to fall, we’ll likely see some wet snow mix in with the rain before snow may potentially take over entirely! Exactly how long precipitation lasts is a bit uncertain, but we’re expecting precipitation to continue into the early evening.

Unlike most of the winter storms that threaten our area, nearly the entire column of the atmosphere will be near or below freezing so sleet or freezing rain is unlikely. Since near-surface temperatures should be close to freezing, snow may accumulate on more than elevated surfaces and a few inches of snow may fall in the afternoon and evening. We should see the storm system exit the area before sunrise Monday (and likely before midnight) but temperatures should be below freezing by Monday morning so roads may be slick regardless of what type of precipitation falls.

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