Snow Causes More Headaches Today Across the Southern Plains and Deep South

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What a winter it has been so far and I’m sounding like a broken record when I say more snow is expected today across parts of the Southern Plains and Deep South. A strong Arctic cold front is diving southward and will interact with a developing low pressure system bringing locally heavy snow from the Southern Plains into the Lower Mississippi Valley. The heaviest snow will fall across eastern Oklahoma through Arkansas and into western Mississippi where an additional 3-6 inches is possible. Lighter snow is expected across much of MS, TN and AL during the afternoon and evening hours. The snow will taper off across Texas and Oklahoma this afternoon and across the Deep South by sunrise on Thursday.

Current radar as of 12:30pm CST. Image: ImpactWeather

  Heavy snow is expected today across eastern Oklahoma and over a good portion of Arkansas. Image: ImpactWeather StormWatch

Here’s a zoomed-in version on the potential snow accumulation today. Image: ImpactWeather StormWatch

Further to the south, a brief period of light freezing rain is possible from central Texas eastward across southeast Texas and far southwest Louisiana later this afternoon and evening. Light ice accumulation will be possible which could cause hazardous driving conditions. Be especially careful on bridges and overpasses.

 Snow is expected across the Deep South this afternoon and evening. The snow will taper off early Thursday. Image: ImpactWeather StormWatch

I think it’s pretty safe to assume that a lot of kids across the South are either out of school today or will be out tomorrow. Today, 2-4” of snow with isolated heavier amounts up to 6” will be likely from northeast TX and eastern OK eastward across AR and northern LA. Farther east, snow accumulations will average 1-2 inches over a large part of MS, central and northern AL, TN, southern KY, southern VA, and northern NC later this evening into Thursday. I personally know since my sister Mary is a school teacher in the Birmingham area that schools there have already used at least two “weather days” this year because of the snow and ice they’ve seen so far this winter. Currently, the Birmingham area is under a Winter Storm Warning from 6pm this evening until 6am Thursday. A mixture of rain and snow is likely this afternoon before it’s expected to transition to all snow this evening. If the forecast pans out like it should, my sister may be out of school tomorrow and the kids will have to use yet another “weather day”. Check out all the other areas across the Southern Plains and Deep South that are currently under a Winter Storm Warning (see below).

A Winter Storm Warning (pink) is currently in effect for areas shown above. A Winter Weather Advisory (purple) has been issued for other areas with a Hard Freeze Warning (blue) along the Texas coast into southwest Louisiana. Image: NWS

This strong Arctic front isn’t only bringing wintry weather, but a drastic change in temperatures. Cold Arctic air is surging southward today from the southern Great Lakes into northern Mexico with temperatures 20-25ºF below average. A good portion of Oklahoma and north Texas will see afternoon highs 30-40ºF below normal today. Check out the change in temperatures across Texas (see below). Behind the front in Dallas, temperatures have fallen into the teens and low 20’s, whereas in the Houston area temperatures are in the mid 40’s near Galveston, around 30F in Conroe and 25F near College Station (as I’m writing this at 12:30 pm CST). Also, notice the winds back behind the front out of the northwest. Temperatures will continue to fall throughout the day in the Houston area with a Hard Freeze Warning in effect tonight. Overnight lows are expected to drop into the mid 20’s.

Temperatures are falling drastically behind the front. Image: Weather Underground

A hard freeze will be possible not only around the Houston area, but from southern Texas into southern Louisiana as cold Arctic air dives southward. Temperatures will fall into the 20’s and 30’s across south and east Texas this morning and afternoon with colder air spreading into southern Louisiana this evening as temperatures dip into the low to mid 30’s across the southwestern part of the state. A hard freeze is possible not only overnight tonight but also on Friday morning with lows ranging from the mid to upper 20’s over inland areas from southern Texas to southern Alabama. A light freeze will also be possible along the immediate coast.

Get ready to bundle up the next couple of days across the South, but a warm-up is on the way as temperatures begin to modify across the area on Friday.

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