Face Planting Into Winter

We're coming up on a busy few days of weather across west Texas. It all gets started today (Thursday). This evening, you will notice the wind starting to increase. This is in response to the approaching cold front. That strong front will be moving in late Thursday night/early Friday morning. For sure, this system will be pulling down cold and dry air from the north. The less certain part is precipitation for today. The above photo is showing forecast precipitation accumulation through 7:00 am CT Friday. It's not showing a lot. That much is expected. Right now, the better forecasts are calling for any isolated storm to remain east of Lubbock. There will be very strong wind gusts with any storm that does move in late Thursday/early Friday.

This weekend will see pleasant weather conditions. The west Texas wind will be at 10-15 mph on Saturday, under mostly sunny skies. Expect highs to remain below average in the low 70s. Sunday will be very similar. Clouds will be on the increase, with 15-20 mph wind by the afternoon and evening. Gusts on Sunday will get over 30 mph, especially late. Highs will stay in the low and mid 70s Sunday. However, the stronger cold front will be arriving after midnight Monday morning. This front is going to bring in the coldest air of the season.

The front will also have the possibility of providing our first bought of wintry weather. Take this part of the blog with a grain of salt, as the forecast will change this weekend. However, the latest stab at precipitation from the two of the more popular models is depicted above. The picture on the left is the forecast for Tuesday morning, from 1:00-7:00 am. It's obviously showing a mix of some snow and rain for most of the area. The picture on the right is a different model showing the precipitation coming in a bit later; from 7:00 pm Tuesday-1:00 am Wednesday. It's showing a bit messier precipitation area of mainly rain, with some sleet and freezing rain northwest of Lubbock.

What you should take away from this is that we will see LIGHT precipitation, if any, Tuesday morning, through Wednesday morning. This will not be a major winter event. Expect patchy slick spots for the morning commute Tuesday and Wednesday, so leave earlier so will be safer. Accumulations, if any, will be very light; meaning around, or less than a tenth of an inch. So it is not something to be worried about, but use caution while driving.

On to temperatures. One thing that is 100% for certain is that it will be very cold out there Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. The picture above is showing the forecast temperatures for 7:00 am Tuesday. We'll see readings down into the upper 20s for Lubbock and east, with the northwest zones in the low 20s. Wind will be gusting around 25-30 mph, so we're talking single digit wind chill values Tuesday morning. Bring in the pets and plants because this is going to be a hard freeze. The average first freeze for Lubbock is October 31. We will be hitting that actually Monday morning, with a low of 32°. That freeze will be five days ahead of the average.

I will provide updates over the weekend, especially if anything changes. But go ahead and prepare for this cold blast now. The cold air is for certain, with the precipitation portion much less. Coverage of precipitation Tuesday-Wednesday morning is only 10%. Hopefully things will come together and I can know with much more certainty over the weekend.