Thanksgiving Travel Issues

This week is obviously a busy one with many people heading into and out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday. Wednesday is the busiest travel day and we will see some sloppy weather in west Texas. Our first cold front is going to be moving in this evening, dropping temperatures into the upper 40s by 8:00 pm. The wind is going to stay at 10-15 mph for this afternoon and evening. By Wednesday, a storm system is headed east from the Pacific coast. This is going to drop high temperatures down into the low 40s for Wednesday. The biggest headache will come later in the day Wednesday. Moisture is going to be on the increase and we will first see that with increasing clouds through the day. However, showers will begin in the afternoon with temperatures well above freezing. As temperatures drop after sunset. precipitation will change to freezing rain north and northwest of Lubbock. Ice will form on elevated surfaces like tree branches, power lines, bridges and overpasses; things like that. There will not be a lot of accumulation. Roads not elevated will be wet, but will not have ice accumulations.

The takeaway from this forecast is that this system is not going to be a huge winter weather event. Lubbock will not see freezing rain, or snow. Snow accumulation will not be an issue anywhere. The photo above is the model that overdoes precipitation. That is exactly what is happening here. This model is also trying to bring in 4" of snow to Muleshoe. That WILL NOT happen with this storm. If snow flakes fly, they will be mixed with rain and will not accumulate. I will obviously update this page should things change for Thanksgiving.

I am showing this snow accumulation graphic to reiterate the fact that snow is NOT in the forecast for our area. Accumulating snow will stay in New Mexico and the higher terrain of the Texas Panhandle. This forecast is showing a small amount of accumulation in Parmer County, but I would not bet on that. The main precipitation type will be rain. That rain will freeze on elevated surfaces in Parmer, Castro, Swisher, Bailey and potentially Lamb Counties. Roads that are not elevated will not see accumulating ice. Just watch for slick spots early Thanksgiving morning. Wet spots may freeze when temperatures drop below freezing north and northwest of Lubbock. Thanksgiving afternoon will just be cloudy and cool, with dry air taking over.

All this talk about cold air and winter weather may make you wish for more warmth. Well, the temperature outlook for November 30-December 4 is not going to show significant changes for west Texas. Part of Scurry County has a 30% chance of above average highs during this time. The rest of us will see high temperatures staying near average. That means we can expect a temperature range in the upper 50s and low 60s. That is really not too bad for this time of year, as we all know it could be worse; like it will be on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.