For some areas on the Central and Southern Plains, Black Friday will need to be renamed Snow Friday as a strong storm system looks set to bring heavy snow. Right now, models are zero’ing in on the Texas Panhandle and Eastern New Mexico — but there is a fair bit of spread and forecasts will likely change dramatically.
Snow seems likely: It certainly looks like snow will occur starting sometime on Thanksgiving and last all the way into perhaps Saturday as a slow-moving storm system works its way through the region.
- As of right now, models are in agreement on the heaviest snowfall occurring somewhere in the Texas Panhandle into Eastern New Mexico.
- Some models do extend snow into SW Kansas and Western Oklahoma.
- Totals are on the moderate/heavy side. The NBM shows a local bullseye of 7” or so, which is probably more in line with reality vs. heavier totals seen on the GFS and Euro.
Yes, but: This storm system looks to be more on the closed-off variety. This will mean the exact track of the system will not be well known until much closer to the event.
- The heaviest snowfall totals will be on the north and west side of the system, where cold air is brought south.
- Systems like this one can shift 50-100 miles (or more) on models into the event. We expect no less for this one.
- Shifts into the event can go either way: A faster/more northerly track with less snowfall or a slower/more southerly track with heavier snowfall totals.
Timeline: Snow should begin across eastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle on Thanksgiving afternoon but the heart of the storm will be overnight into Friday, with the storm moving away by Saturday morning or afternoon.
Travel Impacts: Expect some travel impacts from this system. The bulk of the travel problems will occur from Friday into Saturday, with conditions improving thereafter.
Uncertainty reigns: I cannot caution enough that systems like this one can best weather models and forecasters as they tend to be more unpredictable at this range. This system resembles the one from last week as well, where there will likely be sharp cut-offs on where the heaviest snow occurs.
- This will mean forecast busts both ways are pretty likely — some areas expecting a lot as of today will get almost none and other areas expecting little may end up with a lot.
- Forecasts will likely be more reliable starting tonight as the system comes fully onshore.