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We are entering the time of the year when major winter storms become more likely. The biggest event so far this winter has been the “bomb cyclone” which moved up the East Coast. This event was an unusually fast-intensifying Nor’easter. Not to be outdone, arctic air-masses have been pushing into Oklahoma and Texas dropping temperatures far below-normal and bringing with it ice and snow to places that do not typically see much frozen precipitation.
The type of pattern that has dominated over the past month or so (i.e. thrust of cold stable Arctic air) are not conducive for Panhandle Hook development. Panhandle Hooks typically move within a component of the upper jet stream aligned from southwest to northeast. This type of pattern can pick up moisture from the Gulf of Mexico resulting in the potential for more rain and snow.
Clipper systems are associated with penetrating cold Arctic air, which we have had plenty of lately in Texas and Oklahoma. While the current unusually-cold pattern will likely have a seasonal impact on temperature, the pattern can change. In fact, there are signs of a possible change starting soon. This could result in a milder and wetter pattern for parts of the U.S. Note the west or southwest flow component the past half of the month (below).
Enhanced precipitation, aligned along a southwest/northeast axis, is possible within areas shaded in green (below) next week.
While the brutal cold pattern that has persisted since last month very well could return later this winter, it looks like a jet stream transition will result in milder and wetter weather for parts of the U.S., especially the South Central and Southeast, the latter part of the month.
Take a look at expected maximum temperature anomalies this weekend. A very welcome development!
That’s it for this week. If you have any questions about conditions around Texas and Oklahoma please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org