You don't need me to tell you that 2019 has been a very dry year for west Texas already. The wind has been whipping around more often then not and we are used to seeing more sunshine than rainfall. In fact, drought conditions have returned to the region as of the last week. We did so well in October, through the end of 2018 with seeing abundant rainfall and eliminating the drought. There was over four inches of rain recorded in October, with more welcome rain in November, plus the .90" liquid equivalent from the 10" of snow on December 8. It seems as though once the calendar changed to 2019, the weather decided to just stop helping us out. Lubbock has had only .05" of measurable precipitation this year. That's all. We're hoping for things to change fast!
All the talk in the fall was about El Nino. This was suppose dot be an El Nino year. El Nino is the warming of water in the eastern Pacific. It has no set time table of occurring or how long it will last. That phenomena is the reason for the Autumn rain and snow. Since December it seems as though El Nino all but quit on us. Well, the picture above is the latest sea surface temperatures from March 4. I have circled the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico and South America. We are now looking at higher sea surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific. That would indicate that precipitation chances will increase for Texas. When El Nino occurs, historically it will bring in cooler and wetter weather in Texas and the southern United States. This could also help to bring in early spring thunderstorms.
Now, with that said, the precipitation outlook for March 12-18, shown below, is indicating a higher probability of precipitation across New Mexico and Texas. This would seem to correlate to the return of El Nino conditions. The mountains would obviously be looking at some snow across central and northern New Mexico, into southern Colorado. We're also set to see a probability of lower than average high temperatures during the period of March 12-18, which isn't good if you're sticking around west Texas for spring break week. An active weather pattern is definitely needed if we want to go into spring with little, or no drought in west Texas.