The first blast of real Arctic air is already making its way into west Texas as of Sunday evening. The stronger cold front moved entirely through the region on Sunday and we will get wind from the north of the next several days. That north wind is going to really shift things from Autumn, to winter. There is a winter weather advisory in effect for most of the area from midnight-7:00 pm Monday. That is the picture to the left above this paragraph. The picture on the right shows a winter storm watch for the entire area from 7:00 pm Monday-7:00 am Wednesday. This means winter weather will affect roadways and travel through midday Wednesday.
I'll first go into detail about temperatures, because that is the first major component to this tricky forecast. We're going to see readings dropping down into the low 30s by 7:00 am Monday. The forecast low Monday for Lubbock is 32°. The forecast high is also looking to reach 32-33° in Lubbock. So temperatures across our region will not be moving a whole lot during the day Monday. The above photos are showing forecast high temperatures on Monday (left) and Tuesday (right). It appears now that readings will be moving more during the day Tuesday. We'll be dropping down into the mid 20s for most locations in the central and south counties, with teens to the north and northwest. The forecast low for Lubbock Tuesday morning will be 25°, with a high of only 32°. So be ready to get the heaters running, get your winter clothes out and remember to drive safe on area roads.
Now to the fun part of this forecast...precipitation. The photos above are two different forecasts for the precipitation and timing. The first, on the left, is Monday morning. We're going to start to see some freezing drizzle move into the Lubbock area after midnight. This will impact the morning commute. As of Monday morning, most of the winter weather will stay north of us, mainly in the panhandle. This means that any accumulating snow will stay well out of our area. There will be a bit of a freezing drizzle/light snow mix for the northern and northwestern counties Monday morning. Road conditions will be worse in the northwest. However, freezing drizzle will create a layer of ice on bridges and overpasses for the central and northern counties, including Lubbock. I-27, Marsha Sharp and the loop will have icy spots and there will be wrecks in the morning. Be smart and either drive very slow, or do not take this highways. They will be very slick!
Now on to Tuesday. Winter precipitation is looking to linger through the day Tuesday, beginning after midnight. The photo above on the right is the forecast through Tuesday night at 7:00 CT. Tuesday is the better day to see wintry weather cause more issues in west Texas. We're going to see mainly snow, mixed with some sleet early Tuesday, to the northwest. Parmer, Castro, Swisher, Bailey and Lamb Counties could see 1-3" of snow by Tuesday night. Our central counties, including Lubbock, will see more of a rain/drizzle, freezing rain, sleet, light snow mix during the day Tuesday. Accumulations of ice will be less than .10". Even with that said, bridges and overpasses, as well as other roads in the area will have ice on them. Once you get off the Caprock, you're looking at some ice issues. Accumulations of ice in those counties are looking to get up to .20". This will cause major road problems and several wrecks.
I can not stress this enough: please drive with caution on area roads through Wednesday night. We can even see some leftover wintry mix/light snow through midday Wednesday. DO NOT drive on the loop, Marsha Sharp, or I-27 unless you're driving VERY slow, or you absolutely have to. Travel on Tuesday, into midday Wednesday, is strongly discouraged. You don't want to have to spend thousands of dollars to fix your vehicle, or buy a new one!
I mentioned it in the paragraphs above, the photo here is to give you visual reference as to where the highest ice accumulations will be through midday Wednesday. The highest amounts of ice accumulation will be in the Big Country and Concho Valley primarily. However, counties just off the Caprock will see enough ice to cause major driving issues on roads, especially county and country roads. Post, Snyder, Guthrie, Jayton and Gail are just some of the towns that will really have ice issues Tuesday and Wednesday. Lubbock will see slick spots, with accumulating ice, on Tuesday morning and evening. So the morning and evening commutes will see many wrecks if you're not driving safe, or avoiding the loop, Marsha Sharp and I-27. I know your drive time will be longer, but it's best to stay safe and drive defensive.
I will obviously be updating this forecast and information throughout the day Monday and Tuesday.