Little has changed with the details of today's winter storm. A winter weather advisory has been issued for the eastern counties from noon today until 6:00 am Friday. The photo on the left above is the computer forecast for the time frame of noon-6:00 pm today. There is a wintry mix ongoing from Scurry County east and southeast, with snow in the Permian Basin already. As the low pressure system moves north, our precipitation should begin by 4:00 pm or so in Lubbock. It will start earlier in Dawson, Borden and Scurry Counties, where snow is going to be the primary type of precipitation.
The photo on the right is the forecast from midnight-6:00 am New Year's Day. There will be snow falling in the eastern counties, with the state line counties staying dry, or seeing light flurries. Lubbock is expected to see light snow during this time. The midnight-6:00 am window is the time when all precipitation will fall as snow. This event is forecast to wrap up by 6:00 am on Friday.
As precipitation begins this afternoon/evening across the region, temperatures for most of us will still be above freezing. Therefore, Lubbock and surrounding counties will see a rain/snow mix, generally on the lighter side from this evening through midnight. The eastern counties will see a snow/sleet mix, as the air will be slightly colder there. Expect light flurries, or light snow in the western counties. However, if model forecasts verify, those areas may not see any precipitation at all. It's very possible that the western counties will stay dry during this event.
As we get closer to midnight and begin to celebrate the new year, precipitation will transition to snow. Snow will be light on the Caprock, including Lubbock and surrounding counties. The eastern counties have the best shot to see accumulating snow from midnight-6:00 am on New Year's Day. Dawson, Borden and Scurry Counties will also see snow during this time, but the steady, moderate snow will move from those counties into the eastern Rolling Plains.
In terms of accumulations, the western counties will miss out on accumulating, if any snow at this time. All forecast models show the state line counties staying dry during this whole event. I can't rule out some flurries, don't expect much there. Lubbock and surrounding counties will see up to an inch of snow from this. Most of that accumulation will be on grassy surfaces and trees. Some will accumulate on roads, but as we get past 6:00 am, that will begin to melt. The eastern Rolling Plains will see 1-3" of snow, with the highest amounts in Dawson, Borden and Scurry Counties; where 2-4" of snow is possible.
Driving conditions will be worst the farther south you travel. Dawson, Borden and Scurry Counties are the three where driving is not encouraged through the afternoon Friday, even with four wheel drive vehicles. Roads will be snow covered and very slick there. Don't go out if you live in those counties. The eastern Rolling Plains counties will see many slick spots, with some snow covered roads. Please use extreme caution and only drive if you must. Lubbock and the I-27 corridor will not see much in the way of slick spots. With that said, patchy slick spots will be possible, so drive cautious and defensive if you're going to be headed out on New Year's Day.
Happy New Year everyone. Stay safe and stay warm. Let's make 2021 much better than 2020 was!