LUBBOCK, Texas — KLBK Chief Meteorologist Jacob Riley has an update on a winter storm expected to impact the South Plains Monday night through Tuesday.
A Winter Storm Watch has been issued by highlighted areas below from 9 PM CST Monday, January 23rd, through 9 PM CST Tuesday, January 24th, 2023. Snowfall totals of 2-4″ are possible in this region, leading to hazardous travel conditions all day Tuesday into Wednesday afternoon.
Timing for this storm system will begin late Monday night and Tuesday morning. A strong storm system, centered in northern Mexico and southwestern Texas near El Paso, will begin to track along Interstate 20. As it does so, rain will begin to fall across eastern New Mexico and western Texas, especially along the state line. As precipitation increases from west to east, temperatures will cool. Just how much they cool continues to remain unknown due to several factors. Southeasterly winds and higher dew points will keep us 1-2 degrees above or below freezing. This will mean the difference in either a cold rain, or a heavy wet snow. Activity will increase area-wide by sunrise on Tuesday.
Throughout the day on Tuesday, a mixed bag of precipitation will continue to fall all across the KLBK viewing area. Areas south of Highway 380 will see a cold rain and wintry mix at times. Areas between Highway 380 and the Lubbock-Hale county line will mainly see a wintry mix, and areas along and north of Highway 70 should see mostly snow. Depending on exactly when we transition over from one precipitation type to another will greatly impact accumulation totals. Below is a map of expected primary precipitation types.
After precipitation comes to an end Tuesday night, very cold air will filter in as a cold front passes through the region. We will see temperatures drop below freezing area-wide once precipitation comes to an end. This will result in what we call a ‘flash freeze’. A flash freeze is when left over moisture on roadways freezes quickly as temperatures rapidly drop below freezing. As a result, roadways will likely become icy region-wide, resulting in hazardous travel through Wednesday morning.
Temperatures are expected to be in the 10s and 20s as of now. However, if snowfall overperforms, then we will see even colder temperatures due to a more significant snowpack. Below are expected snowfall totals as of Sunday afternoon. We can guarantee that this forecast will change as newer data continues to come in ahead of this storm system.
On the bright side of things, most of the region will see between 0.30″-0.60″ of liquid equivalent precipitation from this event, resulting in a little bit of drought improvement across the South Plains. Your First Warning Weather Team will continue to monitor the latest trends of this system. You can stay up to date with the latest information on Facebook, Twitter, our website at everythinglubbock.com/klbk-weather/, and in the First Warning Weather App.
Remain weather aware, South Plains! Stay warm, and stay safe.