A Winter Storm swept across all of North Texas Friday night Feb 13 into Saturday afternoon Feb 14 as warm and moist air moved over a deep, cold, Arctic air mass at the surface.
Special Weather Statements were issued on the potential for wintry weather as early as Wednesday afternoon, as National Weather Service forecasters were becoming increasingly concerned about the potential for wintry precipitation Friday night into Saturday.
Cold Arctic air was already in place across North Texas and the latest satellite information suggested a slow - moving upper level low pressure area would affect parts of Texas by early in the weekend.
The exact track of this low kept quite a bit of uncertainty in the forecast until early Friday morning. By this time, trends in animated satellite imagery suggested a high probability that the upper low would track across North Texas. Thus, a Winter Storm Watch was issued for Friday night and Saturday. Up to 4 inches of snow looked possible with the system, but the exact track of the low would make all the difference in the location and amount of snow.
As forecasters assessed new atmospheric data and satellite imagery, it became apparent that the upper low would indeed track over North Texas and 3 - 4 inches of snow, with locally heavier amounts, seemed likely. Thus, a Winter Storm Warning was issued for Friday night and Saturday for roughly the northwest half of North Texas. Winter Weather Advisories were also issued for the rest of North Texas surrounding the Winter Storm Warning area.
As the low moved closer to North Texas Friday night, moisture was lifted into the atmosphere and snow, with a little sleet, began across much of the region. The slow moving low and surface temperatures at or just below freezing set the stage for some of the heaviest snowfall totals seen in North Texas for over a decade! Some of the heaviest snow fell late Saturday morning across the Red River counties, as the slow moving system had moved far enough east to draw up even more moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.
The snow all but ended, even in the northeast, by late Saturday afternoon.
Delays were reported at many airports and there were several traffic accidents, but much of the snow melted on many of the roadways. Icy bridges and overpasses seemed to be the major traffic problem areas with this snowfall event. In fact, as temperatures on Saturday rose into the mid and upper 30s, most of the snow had melted by Saturday evening. But not before many had enjoyed some of the most beautiful and heavy snowfall they had ever seen in North Texas. The snow seemed just perfect for building snowmen (without all the grass and dirt that usually makes them "Texas Snowmen") and snowballs.
Feburary 14, 2004 will be a Valentine's Day that many in North Texas will remember for many years.