Monday, December 10, 2012
Photos: Bitter cold on its way Monday night after snow-flurried morning
It's "the coldest we'll be for awhile," said a meteorologist.
DALLAS You had to get up early this morning to see the snow, but it was hard to miss when it was around; between the high winds and big flakes, it looked like Green Bay in January to those headed into work ’round dark-thirty. But it’s pushing east now — “and moving at a pretty good clip too,” says Jason Dunn, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Fort Worth. Skies are already beginning to clear out near Mineral Wells, and Dallas-Fort Worth should see clear skies and highs close to 44 by afternoon.
Dunn says the snow started showing up on the radar around 1 a.m. Monday near Wichita Falls; by 3 a.m. it was just northwest of Fort Worth. By 5:30 a.m., some of the grassy areas in Dallas were covered in a holiday shade of white.
Last week, forecasters hinted at some snow, but they didn’t expect it to move this far south and east. And at around midnight, it didn’t seem too likely: Skies were clear, and humidity was at 40 percent — at the surface.
But, says Dunn, “This wasn’t uncommon. This wasn’t a surprise. What happened was, when the front came through we got real dry at the surface, but the moisture from all of this was well off the ground — 5,000 or 6,000 feet. The potent part of the disturbance is moving though right now. It snowed most of the night, but most of it never hit the ground till it saturated the atmosphere, and it saturated from the top down. Our typical moisture comes from the Gulf, where we saturate from the bottom up. This was different. So the snow eventually makes it all the way down to ground.”
Next up: a brutally cold night. Dunn says it should drop to around 24 — which would make tonight the coldest since it hit 25 on February 12. “And we could see teens outside of the urban areas,” he says. After that, the slow warm-up. By week’s end, we’re in the mid-60s.
Dunn says there are a couple of disturbances headed toward us later in the week, and that “we may actually see some decent rain chances late Friday into Saturday. But this will be the coldest we’ll be for a while.”
Photos by Town Square Buzz, Irwin Thompson, and Jim Mahoney.