El Niño and our Winter

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - On schedule the cold front in our forecast arrived overnight. Following the front today and tomorrow will not be as hot with temperatures peaking from about five to more than ten degrees cooler than Monday afternoon. My temperature and rain outlooks, and an El Niño update, follow.

Highs today will range from the upper 80s to near 90-degrees in the far northwestern viewing area to the mid- and upper 90s in the far southeast. Low to mid-90s will be common from the southwestern viewing area to near Lubbock and into the northeastern KCBD viewing area. Overall today will be partly cloudy and slightly breezy, with a northeasterly breeze generally in the 10 to 20 mph range.

Highs tomorrow generally will range from near 90 to the low 90s.

Our storm and rain outlooks are like recent days and weeks. Isolated thunderstorms are likely during the late afternoon and early evening, and then again late-night and the early morning. While rain is possible nearly anywhere, the Low Rolling Plains (east of the Caprock) is the favored area through Wednesday morning. This slight chance of rain for any given spot will remain the case through Friday night.

By the end of the work week Lubbock-area temperatures will peak in the mid-90s and this weekend in the upper 90s.

On the topic of high temperatures, Lubbock yesterday hit 103° (recorded at the airport). It's the hottest temperature of the year so far and was recorded this year once before, on July 10. The record high for the date, August 12, is 107° in 1936. The record for today also is 107° in 1936. It's the hottest temperature for this late in the season. The average high for the date is 92°.

Yesterday's 103° high brings Lubbock's 100-Degree-Day count to 13, three above the annual average. The 90-Degree-Day count is 61, four days behind the average year-to-date.

The El Niño has officially ended, but since it's not like throwing a light switch, conditions still lean toward El Niño and likely will for a month or two. If not into winter. During an El Niño our winters typically see above average precipitation and below average temperatures. During a La Niña our winters typically see below average precipitation and above average temperatures. Conditions in between, known as ENSO-neutral (neither a Niño nor Niña), typically result in an average winter. Frequent light freezes, occasional hard freezes, occasional mild afternoons, not much precip (including not much snow). ENSO-neutral conditions are anticipated through winter.

I’ll be posting later this morning the December, January, and February - meteorological winter - outlooks on my Steve Divine KCBD Facebook page. Look there, too, for last night’s sunset and this morning’s sunrise time lapses.

School is starting up. Watch for school traffic - both pedestrian and vehicular. Drive with extra caution!

Today’s sunset in Lubbock is at 8:36 PM CDT. Tomorrow’s sunrise is at 7:09 AM CDT.

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