A strong cold front and associated polar air-mass, brought gusty north winds and winter-like cold to West Texas on Friday. As skies cleared and winds diminished Friday evening, temperatures plummeted overnight.
The southwestern Texas Panhandle and northwest South Plains experienced a hard freeze Saturday morning. Most communities in this region were below freezing for several hours prior to sunrise. The West Texas Mesonet site near Muleshoe fell to a frigid 21 degrees at 6 a.m. Cold temperatures of this magnitude likely caused significant damage to unprotected vegetation.
Further south, areas along the escarpment and I-27 corridor recorded their first freezes so far this Fall. Thermometers in western Hale county and northern Hockley county also bottomed out between 27 and 30 degrees.
Across Lubbock County, the Lubbock Preston Smith International airport recorded its first freeze of fall prior to sunrise. Texas Tech campus fell to 31. Reese Center was slightly colder, with a morning low temperature of 30 degrees.
Generally, areas across the southern South Plains and adjacent Rolling Plains escaped an official freeze. However, readings were in the lower 30's for an extended period of time, and patchy frost was reported.
If your plants suffered damage after this morning's freeze, trim the dead vegetation, water the root system well, and cover the base of the plant with mulch. If these actions are taken, overall damage to the vegetation should be minimized. Another cold front could bring a freeze to the Northern South Plains and frost further south by Tuesday morning. Stay tuned to the latest forecasts and protect tender vegetation once again.
Because the airport, official weather-record recording site of Lubbock , fell to freezing this morning, KCBD's First Freeze Contest has ended. The winner will be contacted next week.
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