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Monday, March 1st, 2021 6:55am CST

The severe cold spell that we had a couple of weeks ago had temperature anomalies so great that it made February the fifth coldest on record at DFW. In addition, prior to that, the 2020-2021 winter season was averaging 1.7°F above normal, and the cold spell turned an above normal winter below normal. Now the winter average is 1.8°F below normal.

The mean average temperature for February 2021 at DFW was 41.1°F a whopping 8.9°F below normal. The top five coldest Februarys in DFW history are as follows:

  1. February 1905
  2. February 1978
  3. February 1899
  4. February 1929
  5. February 2021


Saturday, February 13th, 2021 7:45am CST

Key Messages:

  • Winter Storm Warning in effect until Monday for the entire forecast area
  • Snow accumulations 3 to 7 inches with possible higher snow drifts
  • Temps plunging to near all-time record cold temps on Tuesday with lows near 0°F
  • Windchill values 10 to 20 below zero
  • Hypothermia and frostbite can set in quickly in this type of dangerous/severe cold
  • This will be the coldest in 30 plus years!
  • This will be a prolonged cold snap
  • Temps will not get above freezing until next Saturday
  • Blowing and drifting snow
  • Near Blizzard conditions at times Sunday night
  • Whiteout conditions possible Sunday night
  • Travel becoming treacherous to impossible for all of the coming week
  • Major damage to infrastructure and agriculture from the cold
  • Another major winter storm expected Tuesday night into Thursday
  • Governor Abbott has declared all of Texas as a disaster area

Folks—we cannot stress this enough—you are about to witness a historic winter weather event. It cannot possibly get any more severe than this. This will rival the great cold air outbreaks of December 1989, December 1983, January 1930, and yes the king of them all February 1899. This will be a protracted cold snap. DFW Airport has already spent the last 72 hours below freezing and counting. We are not expected to rise above freezing until next Saturday afternoon at the earliest. This will make for the longest stretch of subfreezing conditions at DFW since December 1983. Major agricultural and infrastructure damage will result from such cold. Governor Abbott has issued a disaster declaration for all of the state of Texas. You have narrow window today to do final preparations before things deteriorate rapidly.

Areas of freezing drizzle this morning are coating surfaces, including roadways with a thin glaze of ice. Motorists are urged to exercise extreme caution this morning if traveling. The freezing drizzle should end this afternoon, with a lull before the next precipitation starts this evening as the main shortwave trough approaches Texas. Areas of freezing drizzle and sleet will begin tonight and ramp up significantly after sunrise on Sunday. The ground surface is frozen after 72 hours and going on 96 hours of subfreezing temperatures at DFW Airport. This means precipitation will stick instantly as it falls to the ground causing roads to deteriorate rapidly on onset. Snow will become widespread and heavy Sunday night. Because of the powdery nature of the snow, much like you would find at a ski resort, it will easily be blown around. Winds are expected to be near 30 mph at times causing blowing and drifting of snow and near blizzard conditions at times. Visibilities will be reduced to near 0 at times causing whiteout conditions. It is strongly recommended that no one travel during this time. Snow ratios may be 15:1 to 20:1 as opposed to our typical 10:1 because of the extreme cold. Total accumulations expected are 3 to 7 inches. Snow drifts could easily exceed 7 inches. It must be stressed that not everyone will see 7 inches and some places could exceed 7 inches, and some places could be a little less than 3 inches. However, everyone should see at least 2 inches of snow.

On top of all of this a frigid Arctic airmass will continue to be advected south. We are dealing with, as stated above, the coldest weather DFW has seen in 30+ years. Temperatures will be close to 0°F by Tuesday morning. Breaking the daily low temperature record and getting near the all-time low temperature record for DFW of -8°F set on February 12, 1899, though that should be safe. We have already gone 72 hours at DFW Airport below freezing. We are not expected to rise above freezing until next Saturday afternoon at the earliest. This will be the second longest stretch of subfreezing conditions ever recorded. The record is December 1983 with 12 days of subfreezing conditions. This is life-threatening cold we are talking about. Frostbite and hypothermia can set in quickly in this type of cold. Hard Freeze Warnings and Wind Chill Warnings will likely be necessary.

Precautions should be completed today to protect people, pets, livestock, and exposed pipes. This type of prolonged cold will cause extensive damage to infrastructure and agriculture locally and across the state. Pipes can freeze and burst in such extreme cold.


Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 7:56am CST

UPDATE: The Winter Weather Advisory has been expanded to include all of the forecast area. The expectation is the precipitation will be a bit heavier tonight in the form of actual freezing rain and sleet. Ice accretion in the advisory area is expected to be up to 1/4 of an inch with isolated amounts slightly higher. Since amounts reaching 1/4 of an inch will be more isolated, they have foregone a Winter Storm Warning at this time. Regardless, this will be enough ice to cause problems on not only bridges and overpasses but secondary roadways as well. Thursday morning commutes could be very problematic. Temperatures are expected to be in the 24-28°F degree range in the advisory area. DFW Airport forecasted low is 25°F.

Temperatures dropped to the middle to upper 20s, a couple of degrees colder than most models, this morning across the Winter Weather Advisory area which was expanded to include Dallas and Tarrant Counties. Widespread freezing drizzle has been occurring. Motorists should exercise caution when commuting this morning for possible icy bridges and overpasses and black ice patches. The advisory now runs through noon on Thursday as another disturbance pivots across the area bringing more in the way of light freezing rain and sleet tonight into tomorrow. Temperatures should have no trouble getting into the mid 20s again tomorrow morning. Areas that fall below 28°F may have more widespread issues with all roadways.

We will continue to see one Arctic surge after another through the coming 7 days. The coldest of which will occur on Saturday night through Wednesday. There is confidence that we, at some point at DFW Airport, will get to 12°F or colder, which will make for the coldest temps since 1996. If the mercury reaches 7°F, it will be the coldest since December 1989. Regardless of how cold it actually gets, it does look like temps will reach severe cold category with dangerously cold wind chills approaching 10 below zero at times. Hard Freeze Warnings and Wind Chill Warnings will likely be needed at some point.

There will be a quick shot of sleet and snow with the Arctic front on Saturday. However, it will get shut off rapidly by the deepening cold air. Models are now coming into better agreement on a more significant winter storm (likely all snow) Sunday night into Monday. If we get a snowpack, it will only exacerbate the bitterly cold temperatures. This is still several days out and the forecast will likely undergo many changes. More on this potential as more data becomes available.


Wednesday, April 17th, 2019 3:00pm CDT

A potentially significant severe weather episode is unfolding for the forecast area later this afternoon well into this evening. The Storm Prediction Center has placed the entire forecast area in the Enhanced Risk category for severe weather. Please see the map below. The Enhanced Risk area is in orange, the Slight Risk area is in yellow, the Marginal Risk area is in dark green, the lighter green area means non-severe convection is possible.

Setup: A powerful upper level trough will be digging into the western portions of the state. A dryline will setup ahead of this system and begin surging eastward. Copious moisture advection from the Gulf will be pulled northward, indicative of dewpoints surging into the upper 60s/70s. CAPE (convective available potential energy) values in this moisture laden, warm atmosphere will climb to around 3000 to 3500 J/Kg with shear in excess of 50 knots.

What to Expect: Discrete cells should begin firing along and ahead of the dryline and possibly as far east as the I-35 corridor late this afternoon. These will rapidly become severe producing gigantic sized hail in the Enhanced Risk area. It will be possible for hail to reach baseball, or even softball, size in this type of environment. Over time these cells should grow into a QLCS (quasi-linear convective system) and push eastward with an attendant damaging straight-line wind threat. With the discrete supercells, especially ahead of the dryline, a few tornadoes cannot be ruled out. The tornado threat should wane as the storms form into QLCS. Another line of storms may approach the area later tonight along the actual cold front.

When: Wednesday, April 17, 2019 between 5:00pm and Midnight.

Please stay alert to changing weather conditions and heed any possible warnings that may be issued for your location.

Storm Prediction Center severe weather outlook for Wednesday, April 17, 2019. Damaging winds, giant hail, and a few tornadoes are possible in the Enhanced Risk area which covers the entire forecast area.


Tuesday, November 7th, 2017 12:35pm CST

A cold front has moved through the entire forecast area. Moist flow running atop the cooler air at the surface has led to cloudy skies today. A disturbance will be approaching the region tonight from out west spreading lift across the area. PWATs (precipitable water) values are expected to climb to 1 to 1.5 inches across the area. This will lead to numerous showers to develop tonight into tomorrow night. This is not expected to be a widespread heavy rain event as all precipitation is expected to be light to moderate. Rainfall amounts will vary from as little as .10″ to just over an inch in the immediate DFW Metroplex. Heaviest totals will be to the south and east of the Metroplex. Precipitation is expected to end from west to east Wednesday night. Cold air advection, clouds, and rain will keep temperatures in the 40s all day tomorrow. Lows will drop into the upper 30s and lower 40s for Thursday morning. Another cold front with more shots at rain is expected this weekend.

Forecast rainfall totals for Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Friday, September 1st, 2017 12:41pm CDT

Hurricane Irma, still days away from making landfall on the continental United States, is not a threat to the Texas coast, despite the garbage being disseminated on social media. In fact, there is not a computer model forecast that takes Irma into the Texas coast. Irma will likely be our next major hurricane in the Atlantic basin possibly reaching Category 5 strength, but as stated, she is days away from reaching the United States. There is another area of disturbed weather coming off Mexico that may be a potential tropical threat for the Gulf in about 6 to 10 days. This may bear watching; however, we have a pretty stout cold front coming down the Plains next week that is expected to make it out into the Gulf. This front will effectively act as a barrier wall for Texas against the tropics. This front may bring a quick shot at rain as it barrels through North Texas Tuesday evening. Winds will turn out of the north around 20 mph or so and be quite breezy behind this front. Temperatures will feel more autumn like by Wednesday and Thursday of next week. Much of North Texas is expected to fall into the 50s by Thursday morning as much drier and cooler air is advected into the region.


Friday, February 24th, 2017 9:19am CST

DFW high temperature yesterday, officially at DFW Airport, was 88°F. This breaks the old record of 86°F set in 1933.

This also adds to the record number of 80+ degree days set in any winter. 2016-2017 is the winter with the most 80+ degree days currently at 12. The old record was 10 set in the 2005-2006 and 1908-1909 winter seasons.

*February, with only 4 days left in the month, is on target to be the hottest February in DFW history with an average mean temperature so far of 60.7°F. This shatters the old record of 58.4°F set in 1976.

*The winter of 2016-2017 is also set to be the hottest winter on record for DFW (as measured December 1st through February 28th) with a mean average temperature of 53.9°F. This breaks the old record of 53.1°F set in the 1999-2000 winter.

* Given the forecast through the end of February, these statistics will likely hold, but the final averages may change slightly.


Wednesday, January 11th, 2017 8:30am CST

The record of 79°F set in 1995 was tied yesterday, January 10, 2017, at DFW Airport. The high temperature reached 79°F yesterday afternoon, despite a weak cold front moving through the area. That front will retreat north today putting us back in the warm sector again today. High temperatures today will be flirting in record territory. The record for January 11th is 83°F set in 1911, and the forecasted high is 81°F.


Monday, January 9th, 2017 10:08am CST

This past weekend’s Arctic air outbreak left us the coldest DFW has been since 2011. The low temperature of 14°F on Saturday, January 7, 2017 was the coldest since February 2, 2011 when the mercury hit 13°F. The high temperature of 27°F on Friday, January 6, 2017 was a record low maximum temperature for that date which broke the old record low maximum temperature of 29°F set in 1970. The cold air over the weekend was the coldest outbreak of cold air for the nation as a whole since 1996. There was 0.10 of an inch of snowfall officially recorded at DFW Airport on Friday, January 6, 2017, nearly all of which remained on the ground on Saturday, January 7, 2017.


Thursday, December 15th, 2016 9:42am CST

While it feels cold outside this morning with temperatures in the 30s, wind, and patchy areas of drizzle, it will be nothing compared to what is coming this weekend. Today will struggle to warm under mostly cloudy skies with temperatures topping out in the mid 40s. A rapid warm-up will commence tonight as an intense warm air advection pattern unfolds out ahead of the next trough. Temperatures will actually start out colder and warm steadily through the night. Actual lows for tomorrow will probably occur closer to midnight than sunrise.

Warming will continue to take place through tomorrow as temperatures soar into the 70s. This will be short lived as powerful Arctic air mass is dislodged and plunges deep into Texas on Saturday. Timing of the front is somewhat hard to ascertain as these Arctic air masses always move faster than guidance. The current thinking is that the front will arrive sometime around midday Saturday. Temperatures should be able to warm into the 60s ahead of the boundary, possibly warmer if the front’s timing is later. Then there should be a drastic temperature drop behind the front. Guidance continues to trend colder with this air mass, and DFW Weather now is forecasting lows in the teens both Sunday and Monday mornings. Highs will struggle to get out of the 20s on Sunday, if at all, even under full insolation. It will also be windy with gusts to 35 mph possible. This will be put wind chill values in the single digits Sunday morning with wind chill values close to zero or below near the Red River. Wind chill values will remain in the single digits and teens throughout all of Sunday.

On Monday, temps will struggle to reach freezing, if at all, again making for another very cold day. Another cold night can be expected on Tuesday with morning temps bottoming out in the lower 20s once again.

Regarding the potential for wintry precipitation, it is looking much too dry at the surface and in the dendritic growth zone for snow crystal production. However, with these cold air masses, we cannot entirely rule out some patchy freezing drizzle or a flurry or two, but nothing significant. This is mostly likely to occur Saturday night early Sunday morning before the moisture is really scoured out, though most will see nothing.

Residents of the DFW area should prepare now for a prolonged period of subfreezing temperatures by winterizing their homes (wrapping pipes) and taking necessary precautions for outdoor animals and sensitive plants.