Tonight on Fox7 Scott Fisher finally made a mention of this cold front. He echoed earlier statements that the highs would be in the upper 20s with lows in the teens, but he said the system is 10 to 12 days away. One model shows it heading a bit farther east and missing Texas, while another one shows Texas as a bullseye in the path of the system.
Go here to see a graphic showing two computer models:
Here's another article about it from the paper tomorrow.
From the Austin American-Statesman
Bitter weather might be headed Austin's way
Forecasters debating just how cold it will be.
By Patrick George
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Some of the coldest weather Austin has seen in a decade might be blowing through just in time for Super Bowl Sunday — or will it?
Local meteorologists disagree about whether an expected cold front next weekend will bring lows in the teens or just slightly lower than normal temperatures.
Starting this weekend, weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere could change, creating a series of arctic cold fronts that might make things much colder in Austin, KVUE chief meteorologist Mark Murray said.
"We could spend one night in the teens around Super Bowl Sunday," Murray said. "If so, that would be the coldest it's been since 1996."
Such low temperatures would be in marked contrast to this weekend's highs in the 50s and 60s.
Murray said the fronts will affect a large portion of the United States, and clear skies mean that conditions won't be favorable for ice and snow despite the drop in temperature. Computer models predicted the front unusually far in advance, Murray said, making him confident of the forecast.
Forecaster Pat McDonald at the National Weather Service disagrees with the prediction, however, saying that temperatures in Canada and Alaska aren't cold enough to produce those types of arctic fronts.
"We need to see strong high pressure currents from Canada and snow across the country for it to get that cold, and I am not seeing those," McDonald said.
Instead, McDonald predicts temperatures to be just slightly lower than usual next weekend, with highs in the lower 40s and lows in the upper 20s.
Bob Rose, a meteorologist with the Lower Colorado River Authority, agrees with Murray's opinion, saying that warm weather in Alaska often pulls cold air from Siberia into the Western Hemisphere.
Rose said the highs for the coming week will be in the 50s and then drop into the 40s about Thursday, followed by highs in the 30s on Super Bowl Sunday with lows that night in the teens.
"We won't see much precipitation past Thursday, so it won't be as bad as last time," Rose said, referring to the icy spell Austin experienced last week.
John W. Nielsen-Gammon, a professor at Texas A&M's Department of Atmospheric Sciences, said forecasters often disagree on weather reports — despite using the same computer-generated models — for several reasons.
"Models can come with errors, and meteorologists may be skeptical if one forecast contrasts with historically what happened," Nielsen-Gammon said.
Feb. 4, 1996, was the last time temperatures dropped into the teens, Rose said.
Despite the conflicting forecasts, city officials are warning property owners to start preparing for freezing temperatures next week.
The city has advised residents to wrap pipes and put away garden hoses.