Severe storms to a hard freeze possible this Thanksgiving

By KLTV 7 Meteorologist Grant Dade

Weather could play a role in your holiday travels starting today as a massive storm system moves across the country bringing snow and freezing rain to the upper Midwest to severe weather across the Southern Plains.  Most of East Texas should not have to worry about weather conditions slowing down their travel plans today but, if you are traveling to parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas strong to severe thunderstorms will develop this afternoon with the threat of hail, high winds, and isolated tornadoes.  A strong area of low pressure will move across the Southern Plains today causing showers and storms to develop across the eastern half of Oklahoma.  These storms will continue to develop south along a cold front into northern Texas later this evening.

Big changes will effect East Texas tomorrow as a strong arctic front moves through the area.  By 7AM tomorrow morning the front should be located just to our northwest from Paris to Dallas.  Along and ahead of this front we will see a few scattered showers and thunderstorms.  A few of these storms could briefly become severe with gusty winds being the main threat.  By Noon the front should be near a Mt. Pleasant to Athens line.  Temperatures out ahead of this front will reach the lower to middle 70s across our southeastern counties while our northwestern counties see temperatures drop into the 40s.  By 4PM there could be a 40 degree temperature difference across East Texas from upper 70s south of Lufkin to upper 30s near Sulphur Springs.  At the same time the cold air is moving into East Texas at the surface, warm air will be forced over the cooler air above the surface causing light rain to break out.  By 7PM the front should be exiting the area with cold air filtering in across the entire region with light rain lingering.  There is a slight chance across our extreme northern counties some of this rain could turn to a light freezing rain freezing drizzle mixture.  If this happens we are not expecting any travel trouble due to the road surface temperatures being well above freezing.

The coldest temperatures from this system look to occur Saturday morning as dry air, clear skies, and light winds will allow for perfect evaporational cooling conditions.  In our normally cooler locations we could see lows bottoming out in the lower to middle 20s.  So after a long stretch of warm weather a major shock is heading our way.  Try to stay warm.

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