Weather Blog UPDATE: Significant Storm System Brings Major Impacts Fri into Sat

Weather Talk

If you have travel plans this weekend, you'll need to watch the weather closely. Chief Meteorologist Dan Skoff breaks down how the weather will impact you.

We have been tracking a significant storm system for the past several days, which moves in Thursday, January 9. This storm system will bring it all, rain and storms Thursday, severe weather potential Friday and finally winter weather on Saturday. Here’s a complete breakdown of this ACTIVE weather pattern.

RAIN & STORM POTENTIAL THURSDAY

We are already starting to see rain showers develop across the region with the lift from this major system moving in. As the deeper moisture starts moving in overnight Thursday we could even see a few thunderstorms, but they should remain well below severe criteria.

SEVERE WEATHER POTENTIAL FRI. P.M. TO EARLY SAT.

The severe weather threat increases dramatically on Friday afternoon/evening, January 10, as the rich Gulf of Mexico moisture and the stronger lift starts to approach the region. Below is the current Day 2 severe weather risk from the Storm Prediction Center for Fri. night into early Sat. morning. Most of the entire area is under a Level 2 out of 5 with an enhanced risk (Level 3) starting to work its way into parts of the River Valley. A Level 3 out of 5 threat now exists for the Arklatex region. The severe storm timeline will be from Fri. night 6 p.m. until 2 a.m. early Sat. morning.

HRRR Valid 5pm

HRRR Valid 8pm

HRRR Valid 9pm

Notice above how the severe threat extends from SW Missouri to Central Texas. This is a LARGE storm system and severe weather potential will exist across the entire area. All types of severe threats will be possible with these storms, including damaging winds, isolated tornadoes, large hail, extremely heavy downpours, and dangerous intense cloud-to-ground lightning.

I’m particularly concerned with the threat of QLCS (quasi-linear convective system) tornadoes with a broken line of storms Fri. night, due to the impressive low-level wind shear.

FLASH FLOODING POTENTIAL FRI. P.M. TO EARLY SAT.

Heavy rain and localized flash flooding will also be a concern as seen below. The Weather Prediction Center has put most of our region under a Level 3 out of 4 for excessive rainfall for Day 2! ALL models show heavy precipitation Fri. night into Sat. I’ve included three screenshots below.

Day 2 WPC Excessive Rainfall Outlook
Euro Rainfall Totals Valid Fri PM-Sat AM
GFS Rainfall Totals Valid Fri PM-Sat AM
RPM Rainfall Totals Valid Fri PM-Sat AM

WINTER PRECIPITATION POTENTIAL SAT

Finally, if this storm system isn’t crazy enough, the icing on the cake will be the potential for significant winter precipitation accumulation Saturday. Cold air below freezing will be poised to move south from Northeast Oklahoma as the storm system moves overhead. This will lead to a transition of rain to freezing rain to sleet/snow by late Sat. morning into the afternoon. Below is a look at the precipitation type with green=rain, pink= wintry mix and blue=snow.

After the storm system passes overhead and interacts with the cold air that’s below freezing, wrap-around precipitation will likely develop leading to fast accumulation of sleet and snow.

The big question at this point is, “what will be the exact track of the surface low?” This will determine how much wrap-around precipitation we get clipped within our area. The farther north with the low track, the less winter weather … the farther south the track, the more winter weather. This is something we’ll keep you updated with the next few days. As you can see below, nearly all models to some extent have snow accumulation over the area.

Model Snowfall Accumulation Through Sat Evening

In summary, if you have travel plans Friday night into Saturday, you’ll need to remain “Weather-Ready” due to severe weather and winter weather impacts. We are still a few days out from this storm system, so the finer-scale details still have yet to be determined and changes to the forecast will likely occur. We’ll keep you updated on those changes, so keep it here with your Weather Authority for the latest weather information.

— Dan Skoff

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