As expected, the forecast continues to change for the impending wintry weather. This is very typical with these winter storms, especially when it affects west Texas. The low pressure is still working its way onshore in southern California. The moisture will continue to flow into the region this morning and through the afternoon. We did see some light rain in Lubbock, but road conditions are just fine. Roads are wet, but just from liquid precipitation and not ice. This afternoon, by quitting time, we're expecting the same. Just some light liquid rain this afternoon. We'll still see that light rain change to some freezing rain late tonight, but that window is very small. It's looking like between 8:00 pm-11:00 pm for that freezing rain.
Now, onto the snow forecast. The forecast in the picture above has been updated slightly. I am trending lower for snow totals for Lubbock and areas around Lubbock. Here's why. It's not looking like the air will be as cold as things looked yesterday. That would mean that any precipitation that changes to snow would not be fluffy. Fluffy snow is what accumulates and can really pile up. It's what we're really used to seeing when people make snowmen and things like that. We'll see more wet snow. Since ground temperatures at two inches are still in the upper 30s and low 40s, most of the snow that's going to fall will melt when it hits the ground. So for Lubbock, expect to see closer to one inch of snow in this scenario.
Now, we will see some wind from the northeast closer to 10 mph by midnight. That would give us a reinforcement of colder air. That is the main reason for slightly higher snow totals just north of Lubbock. This system continues to change and it not looking like we'll get too cold, even with the surge of cold air. The forecast low for Saturday in Lubbock is 28°. With the ground still being relatively warm for this time of year, I am not seeing any indications for higher snow amounts here in Lubbock. One outlier model, the NAM, is calling for more than a foot of snow for Lubbock and 14" north of us. That is NOT going to happen. This model is far off on a regular basis. I look at it just to see what it's calling for, but I don't count on this model for a reliable forecast.
The picture below is an ice forecast with expected freezing rain tonight. The higher end ice accumulations are off the Caprock and focused northeast of Lubbock. The rest of the area could see between .01" and .10"of ice. I am also thinking the lower end of ice accumulations would be valid tonight. The only exception would be in Briscoe, Hall and Motley Counties. There will be some slick spots in those locations very late tonight and just after midnight.
So to recap the forecast; look for the lower end of snow totals for Lubbock and areas south. Wet snow is going to be the reason for this. Wet snow does not pile up as much as the fluffy snow. This will be due to the air temperatures not as low and ground temperatures near 40° at two inches. We'll see localized amounts up to three inches possible, but I would not count on that for Lubbock. When you wake up in the morning, you'll likely see snow falling, but it will not pile up as much as we thought on Thursday. Obviously, if anything changes, I will update the blog.