The low pressure system that brought all that rain to the region over the last few days has moved on. Behind it, cooler air is flowing down into west Texas here today. That's the reason we're seeing temperatures in the the 30s for some spots. The average first freeze date for Lubbock is on October 31. We may see the 32° reading before Halloween this year. We're seeing El Nino beginning to strengthen which brings in cooler air and more precipitation to west Texas. That will help us to see more cold air here in October, as well as into November and December.
The above pictures are the 8-14 day temperature and precipitation outlook valid October 17-22. This is forecasting more below average temperatures for all of Texas, with the best shot at cooler air in central Texas. We have a 50% chance of below average highs during this time, which is looking pretty good that that will happen. Now, the only bad news is that we are looking at average, or just below average for the precipitation. Lubbock is right between the 33% probability of above average rain and 33% probability of below average. So, it's a toss up. At least we will be feeling more like we should for this time of year.
Early outlooks for November and December are calling for more below average temperatures for nearly all of Texas with wetter conditions. Now, something to note, when the outlook for October was made, it gave us a 40% probability of above average temperatures. Of course we'll have to see what happens the rest of the month, but if the 8-14 day outlook holds on, expect more 60s and low 70s for high temperatures in west Texas.
One thing we can count on is that the forecast for El Nino is still looking good. When you look at historical El Nino winters, we always see the cold and more precipitation for the southern United States. So, as we get closer to December and the end of the year, expect it to be cold. I would expect for the ski resorts in New Mexico and Colorado to see plenty of snow this winter as well. So, get the skis ready for a wonderful and prolonged ski season!