I can't stress enough how the recent dry weather is causing major fire concerns in west Texas this week. We have not had good rain, aside from just after Christmas, since Thanksgiving. We are sitting at -.15" for precipitation in 2020. We ended 2019 with a surplus in Lubbock. So it's not a great start to the new year in terms of much needed precipitation. Today is shaping up to be another warm and dry day. In fact, it will be the warmest day so far in the new year. Highs for most of us will reach the upper 60s, with low 70s in the eastern counties. Wind will thankfully be lower than on Wednesday, which is great. It will still be sustained at 10-15 mph, which is really average for us here in west Texas. There will be more clouds in the sky today, but they will not block the sunshine too much through the evening hours.
I was looking at the long term forecast this morning and it's not really showing much change for our area. Aside from the cold front which will move in tomorrow, most of the low pressure systems we need for rain will miss us to the north. There will be a pretty sharp upper-level low moving in tomorrow evening. That is going to help to drop a cold front through, as well as increase severe weather in east Texas and into the deep south. There is just nothing in the long term pattern that suggests any changes to the warm, dry and breezy pattern we have been in this year. Let's hope that will change.
A closer look at the forecast for Friday is showing some welcome change. First, most of the day will see mostly sunny skies, with clouds moving through from west, to east. The wind is going to be out of the south for most of the day, which is going to keep high temperatures above average. However, a cold front will move through during the afternoon and evening hours. That will shift the wind to the north and drop temperatures into the 30s for Lubbock by 10:00 pm. Behind the front, there will be enough moisture for a few rain showers to move in, especially north of Lubbock. Coverage is only 10%, but some will get some light rain; others will see more drizzle with cloudy skies.
As temperatures drop, that light rain will change to some light snow flurries mainly in Parmer County. There will not be accumulation, or really anything to get too excited about. However, there may be a dusting on grassy surfaces. This will only last until midnight, before more dry air returns. The cold front will drop lows into the low 20s to the northwest and mid 20s elsewhere. We will see our coolest day of the year and first below average high temperature day on Saturday. The wind is going to be at 10-15 mph, so it will feel like the mid 40s, even though highs will be in the low and mid 50s.