Fun in the sun: Safety first

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A stable weather pattern is underway and that means little day-to-day change in our weather. At least for a while. Temperatures will, however, move up a degree or two over the next few afternoons. Here's the weather we expect through the weekend, when storm chances will return, and our outlook for Independence Day.

Please keep in mind temperatures don't have to climb into the 100s, or even the 90s, for the interior of vehicles to become dangerously hot. Even when it's in the 80s outside the temperature inside a parked vehicle in the sun - even with windows "cracked" - can climb to deadly levels in minutes. NEVER leave anyone, especially a child or a person in less than good health, or an animal, unattended in a vehicle for even a moment. If you ever have any reason to carry a child in your vehicle, then check to make sure no one is left EVERY time you get out. Whether or not you have a child or grandchild, whether or not you are a parent or grandparent. Make it a habit.

And keep your safety in mind, too. Take it easy in the heat, drink plenty of water, use sunscreen, wear a hat, spend time in the shade or, better, in an air-conditioned space. Make sure those in your care are similarly provided for.

Thunderstorms are expected to develop this afternoon over and near the mountains of New Mexico and then drift out over the Eastern Plains. The steering winds, however, will keep rain west of the viewing area with the possible exception of the far northwestern corner - the Parmer County area. Steering winds will be even less favorable for storms to make it into the viewing area this weekend.

The just mentioned pattern, with thunderstorms over New Mexico, means there will be a chance of a storm each afternoon and evening in locations such as Santa Fe, Taos, Red River, Lincoln, Cloudcroft, and Ruidoso - where this is "Red Raider Weekend". Our KCBD Weather App, with the location set to Ruidoso, NM, reflects the slim storm chance and temperatures ranging from lows in the mid-50s to highs in the mid-80s. Of course, temperatures may vary considerably with changes in elevation.

As the high pressure begins to ease next week, you’ll see in our forecast, temperatures begin to decrease - slightly - and storm chances increase - slightly. Storms may return by Wednesday, with at least a slight chance of storms on the Fourth of July. That forecast, of course, is here on our Weather Page and in our Weather App:

Lubbock's low yesterday was 71°, four degrees above the average low for the date. The high was 92°, which is the average high for the date. The June 27 record low is 56° (1958) and the record high 114° (1994). For today, June 28, Lubbock’s average low is 67° and the high 92°. The record low is 56° (1946) and the record high 108° (1928 and 1980).

The latest sunsets of the year are today and tomorrow, at 9:02 PM CDT, in Lubbock. Tomorrow's sunrise is at 6:40 AM CDT. These times will vary depending on location, earlier the more east and south in the time zone and later the more west and north in the time zone. For example, sunset today in Apalachicola FL is at 8:44 PM CDT while in Van Horn TX it is at 9:06 PM CDT. Both share about the same latitude.

This time of year, however, it also depends on your latitude. For instance, in the Central Time Zone, sunset today in the southern tip of Texas (Brownsville) is at 8:25 PM while in the northeastern Panhandle (Follett) it is at 9:02 PM, but along the Canadian border in Minnesota (International Falls) it's at 9:19 PM CDT - and in northwestern North Dakota (Fortuna) it is at 10:02 PM CDT - that's an hour later than in Lubbock!

In mid-winter, the north-south variation will reverse: The more north a location the earlier sunset will be and the more south the later it will be. Sunrise will be later in the north versus the south.

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