This is my first blog of the new year! Things got a little hectic there at the end of 2018 with snow, then vacation. But, here we are. Our first real shot at seeing some measurable rain in the new year is in the latest forecast. A low pressure system is going to be moving in from the west and northwest by tonight. Ahead of the low, clouds will be on the increase in west Texas through the day today. Even with the cloud cover, high temperatures will be in the upper 50s today, which is higher than what we saw on Wednesday. Wind is going to increase as well. That is something we are very used to here in west Texas. Sustained wind is going to be at 10-15 mph from the south-southwest this afternoon. That wind direction will also help to bring in warmer air.
The above pictures are two different forecast models showing the shot for rain in the region late tonight, through tomorrow morning. The model on the left is the Rapid Refresh (RAP) forecast, which means it updates every hour. The model on the right is the American Model, the GFS. Both of these are showing the low pressure over eastern New Mexico by tomorrow. The GFS is forecasting more rain, which is typical with that particular model .The RAP is still showing rain, but more of the scattered variety. So now you know what we have to deal with when we forecast, especially in west Texas!
The forecast is looking to show rain beginning to the west of Lubbock late tonight, near 10:00 pm. That area of rain will continue to move east after midnight. As it does, rain showers will increase and make it to Lubbock for the morning rush. So make sure to have umbrellas and rain gear Friday morning. Drive safe out there, as there will be pockets of heavier rain. That low is going to move quickly, so rain showers will come to an end by lunch time. The rain will linger in the eastern counties through about 2:00 pm. After that, a cold front is going to move in Friday afternoon which will drop high temperatures by Saturday and Sunday. We'll see clouds sticking around this weekend as well.