Southern Plains Cool Down Sunday; Worst Yet to Come
By By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist
February 01, 2011, 4:57:30 AM EST
While this weekend will end on a noticeably cooler note across Oklahoma and Texas, an invasion of even colder air looms.
Sunday's cool down will cause temperatures to be held 15 to 35 degrees below today's unseasonably warm highs across Oklahoma and northern Texas.
Oklahoma City may experience the greatest high temperature difference this weekend. After warming into the mid-70s this afternoon, a high of only 42 degrees is expected on Sunday.
As substantial as Sunday's cool down will be, it will pale in comparison to the arctic blast set to grip the southern Plains starting Tuesday.
The bitter cold shot that is beginning to invade the northern Plains will hold Tuesday's high temperatures to the teens and 20s across the Texas Panhandle, as well as western and central Oklahoma. This includes Oklahoma City, Okla., and Amarillo, Texas.
Since the arctic air will be in the process of overspreading the southern Plains, Tuesday's high should get recorded early in the day. Temperatures will then either hold steady or fall through the midday and afternoon hours.
Most residents, such as those in Dallas, will have a milder commute to work Tuesday morning than on the way home later in the day.
Only South Texas, such as Corpus Christi, will experience a typical warming trend on Tuesday with highs set to reach the lower 80s in the afternoon. Wednesday is when the noticeable cool down will occur.
It is not just the bitterly cold temperatures that Oklahoma and northern Texas will have to endure on Tuesday. The onslaught of subfreezing temperatures will lead to a rapid freeze-up on roads and bridges.
Even worse, a substantial snow or ice event will unfold. Oklahoma City will likely lie in the heart of this snowstorm that will eventually take aim on the Midwest and Northeast late Tuesday into Wednesday.
There is also concern that the arctic invasion will help ignite severe thunderstorms from eastern Texas to the Southeast.
AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Meghan Evans specifically mentioned Houston as one of the cities these violent thunderstorms could target.
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