Long stretch of very cold weather ahead

Long stretch of very cold weather ahead

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

THIS AFTERNOON: It's warmed nicely across the western half of our area, with 70s common. It's been as warm as 77 at Sundown and Plains on the Texas Tech Mesonet. It's bitterly cold over the northern half of the country, a sign of what's moving this way.

TONIGHT: Freezing fog will likely develop again, low near 24. Wind NW-NE 5-10mph.

SATURDAY: The first of two cold fronts will move through in the morning. The wind will shift out of the NE 5-12mph. Because the front is moving through in the morning the cold air will lag behind, especially for locations west and southwest of Lubbock. A cold day here, high near 39. The fog and low clouds will take a while to diminish, but we'll probably see some sun in the afternoon. Much warmer across Southeast New Mexico.

forecast temperature map

NEXT FRONT: The wind will be out of the E/SE late Saturday, which may lead to some areas of fog or drizzle. The second, stronger cold front will arrive Sunday morning. It'll kick the NE wind up 15-25mph with higher gusts. High temp on Sunday only in the mid to upper 20s. But factor in the wind and it'll feel like the teens and single digits.

We may see some light wintry mix on Sunday, either as flurries/light snow...or freezing drizzle. The model images below depict real light wintry precip, not adding up to much. 

precip forecast map

precip forecast map

precip forecast map

While nothing heavy is expected, even a little icing on roads can cause problems...especially on New Year's Eve.

The sky should clear some late Sunday night, allowing the temperature to nose dive. Right now we're forecasting 7 for Monday morning, though parts of our area may go down around 0. That's the air temp. We do expect the wind chill to drop below 0 in Lubbock.

As for right at Midnight...wind chill here should be somewhere a few degrees either side of 0. 

NEXT WEEK: New Year's Day will be very cold, high only in the mid 20s despite a decent amount of sun. We'll probably stay freezing all day Tuesday. A slow moderation in the temperature is expected mid to late week, but still below the average high of 53.

7-day forecast

Be sure your home, vehicle and animals are ready for this long stretch of cold. Once it's freezing Saturday night it probably won't climb above 32 again until Wednesday mid-day. It's also a good idea to check on elderly friends and family. Stay warm and have a Happy New Year. Bobby will have an update to this forecast tomorrow.
-Matt

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