Texas Norther

A Texas Norther, also known as a blue norther, is a cold front in the U.S. state of Texas, marked by a sudden drop in temperature (sometimes up to 25 degrees F within one hour), heavy precipitation, and dark blue skies moving across the state. The phrase originated within Texas, where the land is very flat, perhaps making the approaching front seem darker and more threatening. The cold front usually originates far north of the state, hence the "norther," causing cool temperatures and precipitation.

Because Texas lies to the west of a major body of water and to the east of the Rocky Mountains in the zone of the westerlies during the winter, temperatures closely follow the sun, and temperatures that precede a Texas norther can, but very rarely, reach 85 °F in January and 90 °F under bright sunlight in nearly-calm conditions even as far north as Dallas before the cold front passes through. Winds turn sharply to a northerly direction and become very strong. Windchill due to a combination of cold temperatures and strong winds is dangerous to anyone who is caught unaware and unprepared for it. It exists only from November to early March in Texas.

This phenomenon can occur in areas surrounding Texas, including Oklahoma, Kansas, eastern New Mexico,and southeastern Colorado, although these places almost never get as warm in winter as does Texas. [1] The drop in temperature can be as severe as in northern or central Texas, although from a cooler 'warm spell' as might happen in the eastern two-thirds of Texas.

A typical norther can occur with temperatures reaching 60° F in the mid-morning, then dropping dramatically to the near-freezing temperatures with rain possibly changing to snow. In 2004, when many parts of North Texas observed a White Christmas, the midnight previous to the snow event witnessed a temperature was falling, and several inches accumulated across the region. The snow stayed on the ground for a few days before melting the day after Christmas. Of course, it depended on which location you were at to observe the White Christmas.

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