Brief relief, Drought and fire

Our best chance of rain in some time, plus some heat relief - but not not much!

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Rain didn't make it to Lubbock overnight, but some rain-cooled air did. Temperatures this morning were just a little cooler, with Lubbock dipping into the upper 60s. About five degrees cooler than yesterday. Plus, we won't be as hot this afternoon. The slight drop, however, won't last long. If you're a heat-lover, boy do I have a forecast for you. If you're not, I still may have something for you.

First, our rain chances. I anticipate a little more thunderstorm and shower activity this afternoon and evening. This means a little better chance of rain, though still slight, at your location. Some of the storms may produce strong wind gusts, pockets of moderate to heavy rain and, of course, lightning.

Until there is widespread significant rain our local wildfire danger will remain elevated wildfire danger continues. Some of the lightning today and tonight may be “dry lightning”. That is, lightning without rain or with little rain, increasing the risk of fires.

Rain chances will trend down Friday and Saturday, with dry and very hot weather Sunday and Monday.

Second, our temperature outlook. After this morning's and afternoon's more seasonal temperatures, heat will increase over the next three to four days. Highs this afternoon will range from near 90 in the northwest to the mid- and upper 90s east. Tomorrow from the low 90s northwest to the upper 90s east. Saturday from the mid-90s northwest to near 102° (or so) east. Sunday from the upper 90s northwest to near 105° east. Monday is expected to be even hotter.

Third, the potential pattern change. While the high pressure area again builds over West Texas Friday through Sunday, trending us dry and very hot, it appears a cold front will make it into and through the KCBD viewing area late Monday or early Tuesday. This would bring a nice, but likely brief, drop in temperature and increase in rain chance.

If the front is a little early, Monday won't be as hot and Tuesday might be cooler than my current forecast.

If the front is a little late, Monday may be hotter and Tuesday not quite as cool as my current forecast.

There's a lot of room for variation, which means confidence is low in the forecast for next week. Watch for updates.

The fire danger will remain elevated and will gradually increase until significant rain falls across the viewing area. Please be careful outdoors and avoid activity which includes open flames, or which might create a spark. Do not drive over or park vehicles over dry grasses as the hot exhaust system may ignite the grass. Of course, smokers should never through butts out of vehicles. As I wrote here yesterday, not only is it a fire danger, its trashy.

Lubbock's low yesterday was 73°, which was seven degrees above the average for the date. The high was 97°, six degrees above the average for the date. The August 21 record low is 52° (1956) and the record high 103° (1930). Lubbock’s low this morning was 67°. For today, August 22, Lubbock’s average low is 66° and the high 91°. The record low is 58° (1923, 1945, and 1967) and the record high 100° (1930, 1985, and 1999).

Today’s record high of 100° is one of the lowest in August. Two other August dates, the 27th and 31st, share August 22nd 100°. Only one record is lower, August 29th, at 99°.

Today’s sunset in Lubbock is at 8:26 PM CDT. Tomorrow’s sunrise is at 7:15 AM CDT.

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