Spring: Ready or not

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - If you’ve been waiting on Spring weather, or not, you are going to get it today. Warmth, wind, blowing dust, an elevated grassland fire danger, a cold front, and possibly a few light showers. All in less than 24 hours.

Blowing dust is likely this afternoon on the Caprock. There may be areas of low visibility. Westerly sustained winds will increase this afternoon to 20 to 30 mph, perhaps a bit stronger, with gusts of 40 to 50 mph possible.

Sprinkles and a few rumbles of thunder remain possible through the afternoon over the northeastern KCBD viewing area. I don’t expect more than one or two hundredths of an inch of rain in a few spots.

Afternoon temperatures will be similar to yesterday, peaking in the 70s. That’s a good ten degrees above the average for the time of year.

The warmth, wind, dry air and dry fuels combined create a high wildfire danger. A Fire Weather Warning (aka Red Flag Warning), issued by the National Weather Service, is in effect for most of the Caprock until 7 PM today. This includes Lubbock, Plainview, Levelland, Brownfield, Plains, Littlefield, Dimmitt, Tahoka, and Tulia.

When outdoors anytime, but particularly on windy days like today, please be aware of the fire danger. 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.

Smokers, make sure your butts are cold before discarding.

Outdoor cooking in traditional grills is fine.

Mostly fair and gusty tonight. Temperatures will remain above freezing.

Windy with blowing dust again tomorrow, especially through the morning. I anticipate northerly sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts near 50 mph possible.

Sprinkles are possible Friday. I don’t expect measurable rain.

It will be MUCH cooler tomorrow. Highs will be about 20 degrees lower than today.

Some good news regarding our wind. Winds should remain light throughout Saturday. With a mostly sunny sky and temperatures near the seasonal average, the afternoon will be pleasant.

The entire weekend, and next week too, is covered in my forecast here on our Weather Page. It’s also in our KCBD Weather App. You can download it for free from your app store.

Time Change Ahead

Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins in ten days. Not this weekend but next. Sunday, March 14, at 2 AM time springs forward one hour. With that simple act sunrise and sunset will appear to be an hour later.

Oh, and you lose an hour of sleep.

Some suggestions to help you ease into the loss of an hour:

1. Each of the next 10 days set your alarm and get up about five minutes earlier than the day before.

2. Each of the next 10 nights go to bed about five minutes earlier.

3. Sleep in a quiet, cool (temperature), and really dark room.

4. Use the clock, not the sun, to tell you when it’s time to go to bed or get up.

5. Eat healthy breakfasts.

6. Get some sun (while protecting your skin from damage).

7. Exercise on a schedule.

8. Drink extra water and limit caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.

9. Continue or find ways to limit stress.

Lubbock Climatology

78°F was the high at the Lubbock airport yesterday. 15 degrees above the average for the date. The March 3 record high is 88° (set in 2009).

46° was the low reported at the Lubbock airport this morning (unofficial as of this writing). Lubbock’s March 4 average low is 34° and the high 63°. The record low for the date is -1° (set in 1917) and the record high 89° (set in 2009).

No precipitation was recorded yesterday at the Lubbock airport. The total for the month-to-date is a trace, which is 0.09″ below average. The total for the year-to-date is 1.25″, which is 0.24″ below average.

Lubbock’s season-to-date snowfall total (recorded at the airport) is 12.0″, which is 4.5″ above the average-to-date.

Lubbock’s weather record dates from January 1911.

Today’s sunset in Lubbock is at 6:47 PM CST. Tomorrow’s sunrise is at 7:10 AM CST.

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