LUBBOCK, Texas — KLBK Meteorologist Jack Maney has your Wednesday morning weather update!
Today: Snow chances increasing through the day, with some potential for briefly heavy snow during the afternoon. Chance of snow: 60%. High of 28°. Winds E 10-15 MPH.
Tonight: Clouds begin clearing overnight, with very cold temperatures. Low of 19°. Winds S 5-10.
Tomorrow: A secondary cold front arrives in the afternoon, halting our warmup. High of 45°. Winds N 12-18 MPH.
Winter weather is building into the south plains this morning! A band of snow is ongoing up in our extreme northern row of counties, affecting areas generally north of the US 70 corridor before sunrise this morning. Temperatures are in the 20s, and that’s about where they will stay all day long. The approaching upper level storm system will keep clouds in place all day long, and that is going to keep the sun hidden.
Current thinking on progression of this storm is that the heaviest snowfall totals will happen where the snow is already falling, generally increasing the further north you go. Dry air is in place this morning in Lubbock, with dewpoint temperatures in the single digits. This is going inhibit snow from forming for the first few hours of the day in Lubbock, but we will see those dewpoint values slowly rise through the morning. Once dewpoints get above about 10°F, precipitation will start to pick up. This appears likely to happen sometime around noon.
Forecast models are still in disagreement on how fast we will erode the dry air in place overhead, and that is leading to continued uncertainty in the snowfall totals forecast. 2 to 4 inches appears likely in our northern areas, but here in Lubbock, the forecast is much more conditional. It all depends on how quickly we moisten the low levels. If we get rid of the dry air more quickly this morning, then we will see higher snowfall totals. Generally, I feel confident that we could see at least an inch in the Hub City, possibly as much as two inches if we see a heavier band or two move through during the afternoon. Further south, a dusting may be possible, but snow chances diminish the further south you go.
The snow will clear out in the early evening from west to east, and the overnight looks mostly dry, with cloudcover diminishing through the overnight and into tomorrow morning. This will combine with snowpack to give us a very cold night, with lows dipping down into the teens.
Thursday, the sun will be out, and that should make pretty quick work of the snowpack left behind by today’s system. Highs will be warmer, though a secondary cold front will arrive around midday, halting our warmup in the mid-40s with a breezy north wind behind the front.
An upper level ridge will move toward the area over the weekend, and that will make this snow nothing but a memory by Saturday, as highs rise back above normal to the 60s. A weak system will move by on Sunday, though it will be starved of moisture such that it will only manage to give us an increase in cloudcover and lighter winds. Fire weather will be a bit of a concern this weekend and early next week with dry and breezy to sometimes windy conditions for several days.
Longer-term forecast model guidance is zeroing in on a major pattern shift next weekend. A broad, large-scale trough will take over the western US, basically reversing the status quo we’ve seen for the last several months. This will have big implications for our weather here on the south plains, giving much higher and more frequent potential for storm systems to bring precipitation chances and stronger, longer lasting cold air intrusions. It is still about 8 to 10 days away, so we can’t talk specifics just yet, but it is looking like we might have a change of pace coming soon!