WACO, Texas – Freezing temperatures are returning to Central Texas, but there’s some uncertainty surrounding how cold it will actually be.
Most of this uncertainty comes down to a huge difference in the models meteorologists use to forecast the weather.
Weather model uncertainty isn’t uncommon.
“It’s not totally unheard of, but it definitely makes for a difficult forecast. Which is what we are experiencing at the moment,” says Sarah Barnes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Sometimes the models are in such a huge disagreement, it can be difficult to pinpoint what the weather will do several days out.
For example, both the American Model, or the GFS, and the European model, also known as the Euro, are both predicting very different numbers in regard to the cold air that will sweep through Texas this week.
“The reason it’s been so uncertain is because the models are having a really hard time resolving how far this arctic air, especially the coldest part of the air, is going to get into the U.S. So how far south that really cold air makes it is going to be what determines our temperatures for the next few days,” says Barnes.
We don’t see this big of a difference between weather models often.
“Usually our models are a bit more in agreement than they are right now. So that’s why we’ve had such a hard time pinpointing our temperatures over the next few days, but it’s definitely a little bit different than what we normally see,” says Barnes.
Regardless of the difference between models, meteorologists are certain that freezing temperatures are on the way.
“Right now we’re not forecasting anything record-breaking, but it is definitely something to watch over the next few days. How far south that cold air makes it will determine how cold it will get, so definitely keep an eye on the forecast,” says Barnes.
It’s recommended we all take the necessary precautions to protect against freezing temperatures.
“It does look like we are going to see below-freezing temperatures, we are pretty certain of that. So start taking those precautions. And remember – people, pipes, plants, and pets – and just prepare those things like you normally would for cold temperatures,” says Barnes.