In typical 2020 fashion, the weather just can't figure out what to do this fall. The one thing we do know is the drought is the biggest problem we're seeing in west Texas. We barely had a few hundredths of an inch of rain in September and October has been dry. The other thing to note about October is the warmth. Every day during the last work week had high temperatures above average here in Lubbock. This weekend was even warmer. Lubbock set record highs both Saturday and Sunday; with some triple digit highs in the eastern counties. This is ridiculous! We shouldn't be seeing 90° readings in October! This needs to stop!
Well, it's not looking like any of this nonsense is going to stop any time soon. I know what you're thinking. Great. This is wonderful. The only explanation is this is 2020. That's all I got for ya. Actually, we're seeing a high pressure ridge in control in the western United States. That won't let any precipitation enter west Texas. So we have to remain bone dry. Temperatures will be back in the 90s for highs Tuesday and Wednesday, before our next cold front drops in at the end of the week bringing in much cooler air.
The above picture is the latest 8-14 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for the week of October 19-25. The only real good news here is that we won't be seeing the awful summer time heat during that period. It is giving our eastern counties a 30% chance of below average highs during that time. Meanwhile, the rest of us will be generally looking at near average highs. That means we should be seeing temperatures in the range of 72-74° for highs and mid-to-upper 40s for lows. Remember I said 'should'. Being the year 2020, this could obviously change. But the long term forecasts suggests things should settle down.
What I don't have pictured here is the precipitation forecast during this time. I don't want to make you even more disappointed. The outlook for precipitation for the remainder of the month is looking bleak at best. We are setting into a La Niña pattern as we move through Autumn and into winter. That means there are colder than usual waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean. This will not promote the moisture to move into the southern United States. Therefore, we will see warmer and drier conditions for winter 2020-2021. This is the reason for the drought as of late and it's looking like that will carry over into the first few months of 2021.
I would say that the good news is the winter solstice is just 70 days away from today (October 12). But this is only half true. Hopefully we will at least see cooler air arriving at that point. The sun will be centered at 23.5° south latitude at 7:30 am CT December 21. Accordingly, December 21 is the shortest day of the year for sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere. With the sun so low in the sky and the days so short, I am hoping we will get some average, or near average days by the winter solstice. Enough with the 90° heat! We definitely do NOT want to see that garbage in the month of December. I think I will just quit if that happens!