National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce


A fast moving cutoff low pressure system moved across the Panhandles on the night of January 27th into afternoon hours of the 28th. The center of the low cut through the southern Panhandles. Warm moist air from the gulf lead to some late evening thunderstorms to the east, while much colder air moved in from the northwest.  Given the increased moisture to the Panhandles and the convective nature of the rain/snow showers, moderate to heavy precipitation was favored across the east and northern Panhandles.  The southwest was influenced by wrap around moisture, but it was very limited, as the drier air would move in from the northwest and south to diminish the precipitation chances.  This is why most of the southwest and south central Texas Panhandle only saw a few flurries and some freezing drizzle at best. Areas just west and north of Amarillo still managed to receive that wrap around precipitation and picked up some decent snow amounts. The slower progression of the low as it was exiting the Panhandles allowed for colder air to collide with the increased gulf moisture over the east and moderate to heavy snow impacted areas that were originally expected to see little to no snow accumulations.  One of the big challenges with this system was the temperatures.  So many areas were very close to that freezing mark, which posed a challenge to keep a consistent forecast for snow amounts. It's been seen in the past that it can snow above freezing, and when high snowfall rates occur, even with warm surface temperatures; it's just too much to overcome, and snow will accumulate. Strong winds also lead to snow drifts in the 1 to 2 foot range for several areas. 

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