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A clash between the arctic and the tropics is underway over much of the contiguous US this week. This is a fairly typical battle in autumn, especially in the northern US. Notable about this particular event, however, is that Texas is caught smack in the middle of the action. Typical fall weather for the Great Lakes or Northern New England has somehow managed to spill its way into Texas, quite literally overnight. For Texas, this week’s weather is more typical of January than of October. Long-standing climatological records are being shattered as a result. To say that it is cold in Texas would be an understatement. Temperatures in the mid-levels of the atmosphere were outside the range of NOAA’s Climate Forecasting System 1979 – 2009 Reanalysis period Monday afternoon in northwestern Texas. In northeastern Texas, temperatures near the surface were also outside the reanalysis range, but only for the afternoon.…