Lots of snow, bitter cold expected over the weekend

Winter will really be making its presence known with dangerously cold temperatures/wind chills and significant snowfall expected Sunday into Monday. Any preparations for the upcoming winter weather should be done either today or Saturday.

“Dangerous wind chills are expected Friday through early next week. A winter storm is possible Sunday into Monday.” That is how the National Weather Service sums up the coming weekend into early next week.

Total snow accumulations of 5 to 10 inches with locally higher amounts possible, the NWS warns. Dangerous wind chills are also expected Sunday and Monday. The snow is expected to fall from late Saturday night through Monday afternoon. A gusty northerly wind will result in blowing and drifting of snow as well as very poor visibility. One big difference in this expected snow event compared to typical winter events involves the snow to liquid ratios. In this event, the snow to liquid ratios are forecast to gradually increase from 15 inches of snow to 1 inch of precipitation at the start to 20:1 near the end of the event as the temperature profile becomes colder. This is higher than the typical “wet” snow we get here (i.e., ratios from 8:1 to 12:1), so it won`t take as much moisture to produce significant snowfall. The NWS states that usually 0.30″ vs. 0.60″  of moisture isn’t a significant consequence. For this event; however, this could make a difference between 6″ vs. 12″ of snowfall. The Wichita Falls area is forecast to receive .51″ of moisture, meaning 7.5 to 10 inches of snow is forecast from it. Slightly more snow is expected to the west of Wichita Falls.

Accumulating snowfall is also possible Tuesday night into Wednesday. Significant snowfall may occur with this system as well, but details remain to be seen. Travel could be very difficult to impossible. Strong winds may lead to blowing and drifting snow and reduced visibility. The cold wind chills as low as 25 below zero could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.Record cold weather is expected this weekend into early next week. North to northeast winds will drive the wind chills to dangerous levels at times. Wind chills below will bottom out along the Red River around -5 to -15 on Monday and Tuesday.

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