Fort Worth

Brrr! Some parts of North Texas could see a freeze this weekend

Chilly weather returns this weekend, meaning North Texas residents will likely need their coats.
Chilly weather returns this weekend, meaning North Texas residents will likely need their coats. dkent@star-telegram.com

After weeks of seemingly never-ending 80 degree temperatures, fall will return this weekend.

A cold front will blow through the Dallas-Fort Worth area Friday morning, accompanied by plunging temperatures and gusty north winds. There will be a brief chance of rain as the front blows through DFW around sunrise Friday, but no one should expect heavy rain.

“There’s a better chance in southeast Dallas County than northwest Tarrant County,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Dennis Cain. “It will be very spotty and it won’t last very long.”

Temperatures will plunge into the upper 30s by Saturday morning and the mid-30s Sunday morning.

“Some areas from Denton County northwestward may actually see a bit of a freeze,” Cain said. “It will be the coldest morning of our fall season.”

The blast of cold air is right on schedule. The average first freeze for Dallas/Fort Worth Airport is Nov. 22.

But it won’t stick around for long. Highs should return to the 70s next week and be in the 60s on Thanksgiving.

Despite the brief chill, there’s no sign of Arctic weather plunging toward Texas.

“Our 16 day models show cold weather comes further south but holding up in Kansas,” Cain said.

The latest three-month outlook released on Thursday from the Climate Prediction Center continues to show above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation through February.

Forecasters continue to say a weak La Niña will run through winter. That’s the weather condition in the equatorial Pacific Ocean where cooler water temperatures tend to bring warmer, drier weather to Texas. There could still be several strong Arctic outbreaks in an otherwise mild winter.

But if La Niña sticks around, drought could return this winter.

The latest drought monitor shows about 35 percent of the state in some form of drought, mostly in East Texas. Currently, there are no drought conditions in North Texas.

North Texas lakes remain in good shape from recent rains. The Tarrant Regional Water District lakes, which supplies raw water to almost all of Tarrant County, currently sits at 96 percent of capacity.

David Marshall, director of engineering and operations support, said the agency’s own long-range forecast expect to see below normal rainfall this winter.

“But we still expect to get 70 percent of our normal rainfall this spring,” Marshall said. “If that happens, we’ll be in good shape.”

Bill Hanna: 817-390-7698, @fwhanna

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