Bitterly Cold Air Invades The Intermountain West, Snow Likely In Desert Southwest and Texas
Bitterly cold air has entrenched itself across much if the northern Intermountain West and along the Front Range in Colorado. Air temperatures, Tuesday night into early Wednesday mooring dipped to near 20 below in the Denver Metropolitan Area. Many other areas had temperatures well-below zero as well. Wednesday afternoon saw a decent amount of warming.
This isn’t the only concern, cold air – combined with moisture and a lifting mechanism – could aid in the development of snow from the Mojave Desert of Southern California to parts of central Texas.
Here’s the latest:
A strong upper-level system is diving from the Pacific Northwest and is expected to become a powerful cutoff low was it approaches Southern California. The low is is helping to plunge bitter Arctic air across much of the northern and western tiers of the country.
As mentioned before, temperatures from northern Wyoming to northern Colorado are in the single digits and are expected to be below zero through the overnight hours This means roads that are snow-packed are likely to become slick and hazardous. The dangerously cold temperatures will also lessen the effect treatments put on the roads as well.
Wind chill advisories and wind chill warnings are in effect from much of the Upper Midwest to the northern Texas Panhandle. Wind chill values for parts of the North Dakota to northern Minnesota could dip to near 40 below. Frostbite can occur in as little as five to ten minutes in conditions like this. If you have to outdoors, take proper precautions and layer-up.
The Intermountain West won’t be the only place dealing with the cold weather and the threat for wintry weather. Parts of Southern California, northern Arizona and even Las Vegas could be getting a wintry surprise for the New Year.
Winter storm warnings are in effect for a large chunk of the Desert Southwest; including places like Southern California, northern Arizona, southern Utah and southwestern parts of Colorado.
Even Las Vegas is under a rare winter weather advisory. Winter storm watches are in effect for much of eastern and central New Mexico.
This potent piece of energy could also spell trouble for a large swath of the Lone Star state as well. Many parts of western and central Texas are under winter storm warnings, winter weather advisories, windstorm watches and freezing rain advisories.
At this point, none of the major Texas metropolitan areas are under any kind of watches of warnings, but some wintry effects are possible in places like Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. Stay weather aware.
I-10, I-20 and I-40 will be a mess west of the I-35 corridor. If you’re traveling through West Texas through the first of the year use extreme caution.
This is a developing weather story and WeatherNation meteorologists will bring you updates on air and online.
Meteorologist Alan Raymond