We have already started to see the wintry precipitation fall in west Texas on Wednesday morning. There was a light mix of rain and snow in Lubbock before sunrise. Just enough to get the roads wet. Thankfully, we're not going to see a major ice issue with this system. The photo above the is computer forecast for this evening from 6:00 pm-midnight. It is not showing much happening during that time frame. That is what I am expecting. Just a light event, like we saw this morning; or even less. Most of the action tonight will be in the Permian Basin and Trans Pecos regions of Texas. I am expecting most of our wintry weather to occur later Thursday and into the new year.
The low pressure responsible for this round of wintry precipitation is going to be down to our southwest. That is a good position in terms of feeding moisture into west Texas. We're going to get some light rain/snow mix in Lubbock on Thursday morning, with some wet spots on area roads. The photo above is the computer forecast for noon-6:00 pm Thursday. Don't get too excited by this image, though. I am expecting a mix of rain/sleet/snow to begin in Lubbock after 5:00 pm. There will be snow in Dawson, Borden and Scurry Counties and some light snow in the eastern counties, as well.
As we get closer to midnight (Happy New Year!), this will begin to transition to some light snow for Lubbock and our eastern counties, as the photo depicts. The snow for our area should continue through 6:00 am on New Year's Day. So if you are going to be out celebrating the new year, 1) Don't drive drunk and 2) if you are driving, please use caution. Conditions will be the worst after midnight on Friday morning. This system will move out Friday morning and we'll get a mix of clouds and sunshine Friday afternoon. However, it will be a cold start to 2021, with a low of 22° and a high of only 40° in Lubbock.
In terms of snow accumulation, this forecast has changed, too. As the low pressure gets closer and we get closer to the time where the event will be at its peak, we get a better idea of what will happen. Lubbock and areas near I-27 may see up to an inch of snow; mainly on grassy surfaces. Farther east, expect 1-3" of snow east of Floydada, Crosbyton and Post. Dawson, Borden and Scurry Counties are still expected to pick up 2-4" of snow by 6:00 am Friday. There will be 10-17" of snow possible in the Trans Pecos region and 6-10" forecast for the Permian Basin.
The snow totals correlate to where the worst road conditions will be. To put it plain and simple, the farther south you go, the worse the roads will be. Once you get south of I-20...good luck. I would not advise driving that direction on Friday. The yellow counties in the photo to the right will just have to use caution Friday morning while driving. Ice is not expected, but there will be patchy slick spots. The orange counties will have snow cover and potentially some ice. Travel is not encouraged, but if you must go out Friday morning, drive very slowly. The red counties are where you should not drive at all, at least through early afternoon Friday. Roads will be snow covered and icy. Four wheel drive vehicles will have trouble driving, especially in Borden and Scurry Counties where the heaviest snow is expected (for our area).
I will provide an update, as needed, tomorrow if things look like they will change with the main event which will occur tomorrow evening, through Friday morning. Please use caution on area roads on Friday morning. I can not stress that enough!