Snow to Blanket Parts of Mexico, West Texas



Before Some U.S. Midwest, Northeast Cities See Season's First Snow


Snow will blanket parts of northern Mexico through Friday, giving areas south of the border the first snow of the season before some cities in the U.S. Midwest and Northeast.
Cold air has already plunged down the Plains, crossing the Rio Grande River into northern Mexico. A reinforcing blast of cold air is expected to make that same journey by later Wednesday into Thursday.
As that happens, a potent jet stream disturbance will plunge southward from the Rockies and combine with another disturbance coming from the Desert Southwest to provide moisture and lift in the atmosphere for precipitation in northern Mexico and West Texas.
The result will be snow developing later Wednesday in the Big Bend of Texas, spreading south into northern Mexico's states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, northern Zacatecas and Nuevo León Thursday before tapering off Friday.
The heaviest snow accumulations, possibly up to a foot, are expected to be in the highest elevations of the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains in Coahuila state, with some accumulations over 6 inches also expected in the higher peaks of Chihuahua and Nuevo León, as well as the mountains in the Big Bend of Texas.
(CURRENT MAPS: Temperatures | Wind Chills | Fronts)
Rain and Snow Forecast
Rain and Snow Forecast
    Some light accumulations are also possible in the city of Chihuahua – at an elevation of roughly 4,600 feet – though recent warmth makes it uncertain how much will be able to accumulate on paved surfaces.
    A few wet flakes of snow also can't be ruled out in the city of Monterrey, even at a much lower elevation of around 1,700 feet. The mountains surrounding the city of over 1 million will likely see heavier snow totals.
    This snow may also occur before some northern U.S. cities have seen their first snow of the season.
    As of Dec. 4, Detroit, Omaha and Pittsburgh had yet to record measurable snow this season. All typically do so by mid-November in an average year.

    How Strange is This?

    At first glance, the words "Mexico" and "snow" don't appear to go together, but in fact, it's more common than you think.
    Temporary road closure on Durango-Villa Union highway in the village of Llano Grande and Palmito, Wednesday, March 9, 2016, Durango, Mexico.(Federal Police of Mexico)
    In March 2016, an unusually deep plunge of the jet stream wrung out snow as far south as Guadalajara, Mexico, the first time it had been witnessed there since December 1997.
    Chihuahua, one of Mexico's coldest cities, typically sees measurable snow a couple of times each winter, according to Weather Underground weather historian Christopher Burt.
    This happened just a few days after New Year's Day 2013, Burt wrote, and also occurred during the bizarre South Texas Christmas 2004 snow event.
    Snow is even rarer still in Monterrey, Mexico, about 3,000 feet lower in elevation than Chihuahua, and roughly the same latitude as Miami.
    However, an early-January 1967 storm produced an incredible 20 inches of snow in the city in just eight hours, with some drifts exceeding 3 feet.
    In most winters, it's not uncommon to see the surrounding mountains of Mexico City covered in a thin blanket of snow at times.
    However, there have been two instances of snow in Mexico City itself: during the aforementioned January 1967 storm, and also on March 5, 1940.

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