A major arctic air intrusion is on the way with wind chills below zero expected for much of the Southern/Central Plains. This will be some of the coldest air we’ve seen in years. Some people will experience their first White Christmas in a decade, but the chances of a widespread event are low. It looks like most people will to have to say “maybe next year” to that bit.

A view of the cold front as it moves through the region. Position valid at about 4 a.m. on Thursday morning.

The initial depth of the arctic airmass will be somewhat shallow as the front moves through. You can learn about Skew-T charts like this one in Titan U.


However, if you look upstream, the airmass is much deeper/colder across portions of Wyoming and Nebraska.


That means the cold air deepens into Friday, which means it will take a few days to warm up/modify back to milder temps.


I know you probably didn’t come here for an analysis on the depth of the cold air though — so let’s talk about what you really want to know about: Will I get a White Christmas?

As we talked about on the Titans blog this past weekend, the best chances for snow would be further north and east in the region. That is definitely the case. This graphic represents a more realistic scenario of what will likely happen.


I searched through the models this morning and this is just about the most aggressive model I can find with snowfall. So if you are looking for a ‘best-case for a White Christmas’ model graphic this is probably it.

  • As of right now, snow totals appear quite meager for much of the region. The best chances for measurable snow that sticks around will be in Southern Nebraska/Iowa/Missouri.
  • Major travel impacts from snow are unlikely across much of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Though given the temperatures, even very light precipitation would have a tendency to ice up the roads.
  • The big story from this system will be the cold air, not the snow.

A Gentle Plea: Take Care of Your Pets

This cold air will be deadly for both humans and our furry family members alike. Please bring them inside or give them a warm/dry place to weather this cold snap.