As we round out this week, we will also finally be ending summer of 2018! The Autumnal Equinox is Saturday at 8:54 pm CT. The sun is going to be perfectly aligned with the equator at that time, on its way to 23.5° south latitude (the Tropic of Capricorn). As the sun moves toward the Tropic of Capricorn, our days are going to start to get shorter and shorter, leading to the shortest day of the year on December 21 (the Winter Solstice). Now, I am talking about the transition of seasons, I am also talking about the transition of dry air, to moist air by the end of the week; or Thursday evening, really. A few things will be working to give us some much needed rain this week. So far, the deficit in Lubbock for 2018 is sitting at 7.64" as of September 19.
A storm system is currently over Baja California to our west-southwest, bringing heavy rain and wind to that region. We're also going to watch a cold front come down from the Rockies on Friday. Those two factors are going to help bring ample moisture to west Texas. The above picture is the American forecast model from 7:00 pm Thursday-1:00 am Friday morning. It is forecasting rain to be falling during those six hours for most of us. We'll certainly be affected by the Pacific moisture at that point, with the cold front still to our north. As the Pacific system moves east, the cold front will drop down from the north. The cold front has lift, so more rain is expected through the evening Friday. The target for the heaviest rain will be off the Caprock and east of Lubbock where flooding is a concern.
Now, the two pictures below are the 8-14 temperature and precipitation outlook for September 26-October 2. This current outlook is showing two good things for west Texas. The first being cooler, more seasonal air. High temperatures will be near, or just below average during that time period. That would equate to highs ranging from the upper 70s, to low 80s. It is also showing at least a 33% probability of above average precipitation. I do believe that more rain is something we are going to see as we get deeper into October and November. We are beginning to transition to an El Nino pattern. That pattern means we get cooler air, lower highs and wetter days for Autumn and winter. The only bad news would be more freezing rain, ice and snow this winter. Definitely something worth keeping an eye out for.