Weather models are showing a compact shortwave trough moving across the Southern Plains from Sunday Night into Monday, which could lead to our first bout of wintry precipitation. However, I remain somewhat skeptical of model output of snow right now because temps ahead of the shortwave will actually be pretty warm. Let’s break it down.

The GFS and Euro both do something similar in bringing rain over the Southern Plains and that rain quickly cools the atmosphere down to create snow across portions of the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma.

The atmosphere will not support snow either way to start on Monday as the shortwave approaches. It is likely that temps will warm into the lower 40s ahead of the system which would mean colder air would have to be generated one way or another.

You can see the very subtle change over 3 hours, as the GFS cools the surface temp by 7 degrees in that time frame. That really is the key to whether you get a quick burst of heavy snow or not with this type of a system.

Reality Check: The simple fact is, details this fine and this marginal are way too difficult to pin down at this range. In my experience, systems typically trend down with time on snowfall amounts/precipitation intensity from this point into the event.

  • Regardless one notable thing that is not showing up is a warm nose aloft. Due to the nature of this system it is highly likely you will have either rain or snow, freezing rain and sleet will not be a problem most likely.

While with such a compact wave the strength and timing is always in question, but they are producing a narrow but notable swath of snowfall across the Southern Plains.

The bottom line: Expect *some* precipitation somewhere on the Southern Plains on Monday. This does not mean snow, and the exact track with such a small system will likely be in flux all the way to Sunday morning.

  • Still, there are enough signs to warrant us keeping a close eye on this just in case the more aggressive model solutions of today somehow pan out.
  • I wouldn’t be rushing out to buy bread and milk (why do people do this?) — but I would certainly pay attention over the weekend for any changes in official forecasts.