The cloud cover across the area on Wednesday is a sign of the moisture starting to flow into west Texas. The dry air at the surface will eventually become saturated as well. That will lead to rain showers spreading through west Texas on Thursday. The latest computer forecast has backed off just a bit on the starting time, but still has showers south of Lubbock before noon Thursday. These showers will spread to the north and will encompass our region through the afternoon. Coverage is going to be 60% on Thursday and Thursday night. Decent rainfall totals are certainly possible, as we will get several rounds of rain moving through. It's not looking like it will be a steady rain event for a full 24 hours, but we desperately need rain and we will be getting that rain Thursday. It will be a chilly day tomorrow, as wind will be out of the northeast. That will hold highs only in the low 40s. So you will need to bundle up and have that rain gear handy as you get out and about.
Coverage in showers will begin to drop off as we get closer to 5:00 am Friday. The 60% will drop down to 30% at that point as the rain will move off to the east. By noon Friday, the showers will be in our eastern counties bidding us farewell. You will need to watch out for slick roads on the evening commute Thursday and morning commute Friday. Not from ice, but from the rain. Temperatures will remain above the freezing mark during this event, so widespread ice is not going to be a problem. The ground has also been very warm lately as we have seen highs in the 70s. The only areas that may get very light ice would be trees, power lines and perhaps a few bridges and overpasses. Temperatures in some spots will get to 33° Friday morning, which is close enough to freezing for elevated areas to see very light ice. This ice will not form on regular roads and parking lots. Those will just be wet from the rain.
It is always great to talk about getting rain in west Texas. We were blessed with a surplus of precipitation to end 2019. 2020 has been very dry. In, fact, we have seen dry conditions overall since Thanksgiving in 2019. The latest precipitation outlook for January 20-24 does give our entire area a 50% chance to see above average precipitation. That is something to really look forward to. This does not mean we'll see rain every day, but during that time period, showers will be moving through. The pattern is also going to change by the weekend. Colder air will move in by Saturday. High temperatures will be dropping into the upper 40s and low 50s for several days. So we could likely see some chilly days with rain as well. It seems as though winter 2020 will finally get back to the cooler air. At least for the short term.