What’s driving our storms and rain
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - About every three to six years we have a weather pattern which results in repeated rounds of storms, each bringing a risk of severe weather and heavy rain. This may happen in late Spring or late Summer. This Spring has been one of those outlier years.
It’s a “blocked” pattern marked by a persistent large low-pressure area (a trough) over the western US and a high-pressure area (a ridge) over the eastern US. The circulation around these features (counter-clockwise around the low, clockwise around the high) funnels moisture-rich air into West Texas.
An occasional disturbance will eject our way from the western trough which helps generate storms and wring out the moisture as rain. Sometimes, just daytime heating will result in some late afternoon and evening storms.
A gradual change in the overall pattern is expected over the next several days. Based on that, I’m forecasting a downward trend in storm and rain chances. And an upward trend in temperatures.
Scattered thunderstorms and showers moved southeast across some of the KCBD viewing area this morning. Heavy rain accompanied some of the storms.
Rainfall totals for the area through noon today are posted on my Steve Divine KCBD Facebook page.
The following will sound very familiar.
Expect sunshine to break through the clouds this afternoon, which will be a little warmer. And still humid. Highs will range from the mid-70s to low 80s. Winds will remain light outside of any storm activity.
Isolated storms are possible late this afternoon, with scattered storms this evening. Flooding downpours are possible with any of the storms late today and tonight. Otherwise, the severe weather threat is remains low, with gusty winds the main threat. Small hail up to about a half-inch is possible.
Some storms and showers may linger into Thursday morning. Low clouds and patchy fog again will be possible in the morning. It will be another cool start with lows mostly in the 50s.
Storm and rain chances trend down Thursday and Friday. There will remain, however, at least a slim chance of isolated thunderstorms late each day.
Low and high temperatures will trend up over the next seven days. However, we may not see highs at average levels - for Lubbock that is near 90° - until the middle of next week. That will depend on how much or little rain falls between now and then.
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