The latest 8-14 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center came out on Sunday. There is some good news and of course bad news. The bad news is the picture on the left. That's the precipitation outlook for March 5-11. We're still going to see dry air taking over west Texas. As of today, we're sitting at 1.11" in a deficit in terms of precipitation this year. So, it's not looking good for our March precipitation probability. In terms of temperatures, it's looking like we'll be hovering around average for that time, March 5-11. During that time period, the average in Lubbock ranges from 64°-65°. So, expect highs to be anywhere between 60°-68°.
The National Weather Service has said that La Nina, which is causing the dry air this winter, is looking to begin breaking down in April and May. As that breaks down, storm system will be moving farther south than what they're doing now. They are staying north of Lubbock and west Texas, hence the dry air. Once La Nina begins to weaken, the water in the eastern Pacific will begin to warm up. That will help to bring in more moisture to the southern United States. Now, the bad news from that is that it will happen during our severe weather season. The potential is for a quick dart into severe thunderstorms for most of west Texas. We will obviously have to wait and see what comes to fruition.
This weekend is going to be the first weekend of March and we're talking about high temperatures in the low and mid 70s. So, there is potential for the warmth as we progress through the new month. With that warm air, if we get more moisture from the Pacific, that would help to initiate the ingredients we need for thunderstorms. Once those storm systems move south, we'll have the lift needed for convective development. The other part needed for storms is atmospheric instability. That comes when the storm system enters an environment with warm, unstable air and convective available potential energy, or CAPE. Those all start to come together, usually, in mid-to-late March and early April.
The potential is there for us to begin seeing regular thunderstorms in March, but in all likelihood, we will have to wait until the La Nina breakdown in April, or May. Be on the look out for a busy severe weather season in west Texas from April to mid-June.