Arctic front brings winter storm to Texas, cooler weather for Jacksonville

By Blake Mathews - Meteorologist
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The winter season has gotten off to an early start as arctic front after arctic front continue to dive out of Canada bringing extremely cold temperatures to much of the US, including the deep south. Not unusual -- if it were January. 

The weather here in Jacksonville will be well above normal through Saturday as warm, gulf air streams in ahead of a powerful cold front. Afternoon highs for Friday and Saturday may very well approach the upper 70s to even 80 degrees by Saturday. Then the bottom falls out Sunday.

As cool/cold as it will get here, it pales in comparison to what is taking place across Texas and Oklahoma. 

An incredibly strong arctic high (1050+mb for the weather savvy) drove the front through the heart of the Lone Star State bringing with it an ice and sleet storm to not only Amarillo and Lubbock but for the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex where Winter Storm Watches were issued early Friday. A slew of Winter Weather Advisories and Freezing Rain Advisories are up for areas even in places not accustom to winter weather. Freezing rain may fall as far south as College Station by Monday (90 miles north of Houston).

While sleet and snow are not expected to get anywhere near Jacksonville, we are looking for a significant cool down by Sunday.

High temperatures behind the front will struggle to reach 60 degrees Sunday and Monday with overnight lows once again dropping back down into the mid and upper 30s. 

We'll be in for a brief warm up by Tuesday before a reinforcing shot of cold air makes it here in time for Thanksgiving. Right now, high temperatures look to be in the mid 60s and overnight lows in the 40s for all of us here in our viewing area. 

For those traveling to the northeastern US including Washington, DC, Philadelphia, New York or Boston, you may want to pack the patience. The storm that is bringing winter weather to the deep south will be moving up the east coast on Wednesday. Severe impacts at the airports may well be anticipated.

Thanksgiving Day in those cities will be very cold but clear. The picture to the left is Wednesday afternoon. Looks like the only hiccup will be in the northeast and the Seattle region.

Next week, I will prepare a national forecast for select cities and airports throughout the country and try and keep them updated daily to ensure your timely arrival. 

While it is very early to be calling the shots for the entire Winter but the models continue to indicate even colder air diving down the first week of December and throughout much of the rest of the month heading into Christmas. I think back to the Farmer's Almanac (seen at right) that used adjectives such as: "biting cold, bitterly cold, piercing cold" for much of the country. It's looking like they might have been on to something after all.

It hasn't officially snowed in Jacksonville in 24 years. Perhaps finally...maybe...perhaps...hopefully...God willing, it may finally snow in Jacksonville this year? We'll see.

If I was a bettin' man, I'd say it's a no go. But I've been wrong before.

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