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Subzero wind chills, snow heading toward Panhandle this weekend

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Valentine’s Weekend may be better to be spent indoors this weekend as an arctic blast is barreling toward the Texas/Oklahoma Panhandles this weekend.

“We are focusing on two things as we head into the weekend,” National Weather Service meteorologist Luigi Meccariello said on Friday morning. “The first is the cold air. It is very cold and will get even colder as we head into the second half of the weekend and into next week as the arctic air mass moves from Canada and across the Southern Plains. 

“With the cold air in place, we are watching a system move in from the California coast-line and move east. As it does so we will get a chance of precipitation Saturday night, throughout Sunday and into Monday morning.”

Current projects as of Friday morning are six to nine inches, but depending on the track of the system, the numbers could fluctuate more or less.

A Winter Storm Watch was already in place Friday morning and Meccariello said as more data came in on Friday, the totals would be more fine-tuned.

“We are waiting for data to come trickling in,” Meccariello said. “We get them from different sources. Some update every hour, some every 12 hours. It’s in that range that we try to come to a consensus on a forecast.”

Regardless of how much snow, any precipitation along with the extremely cold conditions will make for hazardous travel conditions.

“The cold air is the coldest we have seen across the Panhandles in many years,” Meccariello said. “Factor that with the precipitation of snow and winds at 15 to 20 mph, you will have snow across the roadways. Especially throughout the day on Sunday, when we expect it peak conditions to occur. 

“We expect hazardous driving conditions, with the snow and the very cold air is a major impact we are expecting. Worst case scenario, someone gets stuck on the side of the road in the very cold temperatures, it could be a very dangerous situation.”

Depending on the snow accumulations, the Texas Panhandle may not get above freezing until Thursday of next week.

More information and the latest information can be found on the National Weather Service’s Facebook page. The latest forecast can be found at www.weather.gov.

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