Strong thunderstorms possible late today

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Our local weather pattern is shifting, bringing less of a chance of rain but stronger winds and hot afternoons.

This afternoon will be partly cloudy, gusty, and very warm. Isolated thunderstorms may pop up late this afternoon, so there is a slight chance of rain at any given location in the KCBD viewing area through the evening. While the threat of severe weather is low, any storms that develop in this afternoon and evening's environment will be strong and may produce hail and very strong wind gusts.

These storms will be high-based, meaning the bottom (base) of the storms will be rather elevated (high) above ground level. This is due in part to a decrease in moisture in the air, but also to warming of the air. The air must rise higher into the atmosphere before the moisture will condense into clouds. This usually translates into less overall rain - though isolated spots may see brief heavy rain, especially as storms collapse.

It usually also results in strong wind gusts. As the rain falls from these higher based storms into drier and warmer air, more of it evaporates, which cools the air. The cool air is heavier than the surrounding warm air, so the air will fall faster, sometimes reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph. When that fast moving air collides with the ground, it spreads our horizontally, often in what is called a gust front.

The ingredients for severe storms are marginal, even more so than yesterday, so any severe weather is expected to be minimal in coverage.

Tomorrow brings drier conditions, and with a strong southwest wind and a sunny sky locations near Lubbock will have highs near 100 degrees. Areas east and south of Lubbock may exceed the 100 degree mark. Unfortunately, wind gusts may exceed 40 mph.

Our current outlook for the Memorial Day weekend includes a chance of thunderstorms. For more on rain chances, winds, sky conditions, and temperatures see our local forecast on our Weather page at

Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.